<i>Disorder</i>, <i>Winter Vacation</i> Named Discoveries of 2011 by Film Comment Magazine
Disorder (dir. Huang Weikai)
The current issue of Film Comment magazine polls several critics, filmmakers and programmers on the “unknown pleasures” they watched in 2010 that are poised to be more widely discovered this year. Two Chinese films are mentioned, both independent productions: Winter Vacation by Li Hongqi and Disorder by Huang Weikai. Here are the entries, both found at the Film Comment website:
Winter Vacation: The funniest film since Goodbye, Dragon Inn, but actually it’s funnier – and a bit faster-paced. There is not a single superfluous action nor unnecessary cut. The sky is always empty over this dead-end town in Inner Mongolia, and not even an insulting tirade from a teacher “off his medicine” can break the lethargy of his students. He’s in the wrong classroom, as his substitute begins a lesson on “how to be a useful person.” Then there’s a cathartic eruption of punk rock from the Top Floor Circus on the soundtrack. If only the students could hear it. – Thom Andersen
Disorder: Huang Weikai inaugurates a new genre: the City Cacophony Film. Taking Canton as his subject, he explodes the Romantic lyricism of Ruttmann and Cavalcanti into oblique shards as China’s third largest city, polarized by tradition and globalization, becomes a study in existential absurdity. A patchwork of amateur footage offers a berserk, scattershot glimpse into the public and private spheres of this modern metropolis. A distant cousin of Godard’s Weekend, shot through with Keystone Kops, discontented citizens, and a renegade pig, Disorder is an original, terrifying portrait of a society on the verge of a nervous breakdown. – Michael Chaiken
As official distributors of Disorder, we’re quite pleased that the film was singled out for praise as a discovery in the waiting – though we’re a bit puzzled by its designation as an “unknown pleasure,” as we’ve published numerous articles and news items on the film over the past year. Disorder featured prominently in our recent coverage of the 2010 Reel China Documentary Biennial. Disorder was also mentioned in the Moving Image Source poll of Best Moving Image Moments of 2010. We even announced that director Huang Weikai was available to present his work through the end of February! We’ll just have to do a better job of getting the word out about this and other exciting new work coming from the independent film scene in China.