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Weekly Events: Oxhide II in Minneapolis, Old Dog at SFIFF

Monday, April 16th at 7:00p.m., 9:30p.m. Tuesday, April 17th at 7:00p.m., 9:30p.m.

"Oxhide II" (dir. Liu Jiayin)

Oxhide II at The Trylon, Minneapolis

Address: 3258 Minnehaha Ave S, Minneapolis, MN

Description: Building on the stunning vision of OXHIDE (voted one of the best Chinese films of the 2000s), writer-director Liu Jiayin once again casts herself and her parents in scripted versions of their life in a tiny Beijing apartment. Liu takes her uncompromising artistry to the extreme, setting all of the action around the family dinner table, which doubles as her father’s leather-making station. As the workbench is cleared for the family to make a dinner of dumplings, the camera catches every meticulous detail of the action in real time. Small moments between family members reveal deep insights into the mysteries of family relations and the art of everyday living.

OXHIDE II advances the inimitable artistry of one of China’s most prodigious filmmakers. Its lovingly intimate, naturalistic observations of working-class life suggest “the ultimate work of everyday realism” (Mike Walsh, Real Time Arts). At the same time, “Liu’s shots are carefully, rigorously, exquisitely composed” (Berenice Reynaud,Senses of Cinema), showcasing one of the most gifted visual artists working in China today. The result is “a direct, honest, miniature epic”(Daniel Kasman, MUBI Notebook).

Details and tickets can be found here.

Sunday, April 22, 2012, 3:45 p.m. Monday, April 23, 2012, 6:15 p.m. Friday, April 27, 2012, 8:30 p.m.

Address: Sundance Kabuki Cinemas 1881 Post Street (at Fillmore), San Francisco, CA

Description: Director Pema Tseden is the leading filmmaker in the only-just-emerging New Tibetan Cinema. His mesmerizing third feature, Old Dog, unfurls on plains some three thousand feet above sea level in the Tibetan region of the Chinese province of Qinghai. It tells the story of an aged sheepherder, his gruff grown son (who’s having trouble conceiving a child with his wife) and the old man’s Tibetan mastiff hound – a highly prized breed, much sought after by urban Chinese – whose existence is imperiled from all sides. An emotionally gripping family story that combines measured pacing with limitless vistas (breathtakingly photographed by cinematographer and fellow Tibetan director Sonthar Gyal),Old Dog makes use of those horizon-lines-that-delimit-human-destinies in ways that might have wowed John Ford, even as its portrait of rural anomie amid astonishing scenery takes a completely modern approach to narrative, patiently accumulating detail by telling detail. Its single most “dramatic” moment might just be a five-minute take depicting a sheep’s attempts to rejoin its flock after somehow slipping through a fence. – Chuck Stephens

Details and tickets can be found here.


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