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<i>ArtForum</i> Reviews Films by Zhao Dayong at Flaherty Film Seminar

Street Life (dir. Zhao Dayong)

The Flaherty Film Seminar, a private, weeklong series of screenings and talks with filmmakers, scholars and enthusiasts, concluded another annual edition last month. This year’s Seminar was curated by film critic Dennis Lim with the guiding theme of “Work”. Chinese filmmaker Zhao Dayong attended the seminar, presenting his first two feature films: Street Life and Ghost Town, both distributed by dGenerate.

In ArtForum, Nicholas Rapold points out several highlights of the Seminar, including Zhao Dayong’s films:

Zhao Dayong‘s lauded Ghost Town (2009) conjures a marginal community in the provinces – a former Communist workers’ village perched in the mountains. Its unification of artistry (Zhao trained as an oil painter) with social portraiture made the centrally placed film a capstone to the week’s percolating dialogue on how work forges identity. Accordingly, Zhao’s embedded look at the Shanghai homeless, Street Life (2006), offered a fascinating vision of unmade man: a prolonged finale showing one of the subjects (recently beaten by police) engaged in demented Situationist crumping in a public square under a Jumbotron.

The full article can be accessed at ArtForum.


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