New Films by Liu Jiayin, Other Indie Directors at Beijing’s Opposite House
Poster for "Short Stays" film project at The Opposite House
From the official press release:
With a vision to support the growing contemporary Chinese art scene, The Opposite House in Beijing commissioned a short film collection project as an extension of their commitment to support emerging local artists in every medium, from sculptures to music and now, film. “Short Stays” is a unique project that has given a platform to independent film artists in Beijing to explore the concept and space of the House.
In collaboration with independent producers and film makers Zhang Xianmin and Samantha Culp, the idea is inspired by the use of the hotel’s space. From the new wave classic “Last Year at Marienbad” to the sleek “Lost in Translation,” hotels have always been great cinematic spaces. The closed door of a hotel room naturally evokes themes of mystery, memory, desire, escape, and curiosity.
“In this project, we wanted to peek through the keyholes into this borderline space, through the eyes of three fiercely original filmmakers,” says Samantha Culp, co-producer of “Short Stays.”
The short films by three award-winning young Chinese filmmakers – Liu Jiayin, Peng Lei and Zhao Ye – all based in Beijing but with festival cred from around the world, create a conversation around the nature of the hotel’s space and explore modern urban story telling in the framework of a type of creative experiment unprecedented in China. “Short Stays” also invited two up-and-coming photographers, Madi Ju and Lin Zhi Peng (aka 223) to document the filming process for the limited-edition DVD and booklet, adding another offbeat perspective to the project.
Details on the films, how to see them (for a limited time) and an online trailer after the break.
All three films – “A Room with a Cat” by Peng Lei, “Excuse Me” by Zhao Ye, “607” by Liu Jiayin – highlight the hotel’s symbiotic relationship with the worlds of art and design, and its bespoke approach to travel, architecture and guest experience. The three cutting-edge Chinese filmmakers have taken The Opposite House as their starting point to write and direct a short film (7-15 minutes in length) set there, each with their own distinct sensibility.
From Peng’s pop-infused “A Room with a Cat” with its beautiful girl waiting for an unknown visitor, to Zhao’s subtly science fiction “Excuse Me” to Liu’s signature practice of filming her parents performing symbolic actions, all show a range of bold visions inspired by the space fit for daydreaming in the heart of Beijing.
On the commissioned project, Anthony Ross, General Manager of The Opposite House, shares, “Continuing our support for the contemporary art scene, we’ve given these talented young film makers a platform and open brief to interpret our space – giving them full creative reign over what the House means to them and stories captured in the transient space of hotel rooms.”
All videos can be watched in The Opposite House, located in The Village on Beijing’s posh Sanlitun Road, through July 20. Map, directions and further details can be found at The Opposite House and Short Stays.