Kevin Lee Reports on Chinese Cinema Today for “Ebert Presents At the Movies”
Check out a video produced by dGenerate’s own Kevin Lee for Ebert Presents: At The Movies:
Reporting on trends in the current Chinese cinema landscape, the video highlights three dGenerate titles representing the best Chinese independent documentary has to offer. Zhao Liang‘s Crime and Punishment, Ou Ning‘s Meishi Street, and Jian Yi‘s Super, Girls! Also discussed are Jian Yi’s recently defunct IFChina Original Studio and his approach to independent filmmaking in China.
While films like Jiang Wen‘s Let the Bullets Fly and Feng Xiaogang‘s Aftershock may dominate Chinese cinema headlines and rake in staggering box office figures, these three independent documentaries represent an outstanding range of styles and subjects. Crime and Punishment, a shrewd portrait of police-work in a small town bordering North Korea; Meishi Street, following a group of Beijingers struggling with the destruction of their Tiananmen Square-adjacent homes to make way for architectural development preceding the 2008 Olympics; and Super, Girls!, which traces the elation and scheming of young girls obsessed with China’s most popular TV singing competition, all epitomize attempts by independent filmmakers not to “offer escapist entertainment, [but to] try and connect with China’s reality.”