Museum of the Moving Image Presents Tales from the New Chinese Cinema
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by BWW News Desk
In recent years, independent Chinese cinema has experienced an astonishing resurgence. Digital equipment has allowed filmmakers to be bolder, more daring, and to explore hybrid forms of documentary and fiction, and mix found and live footage while playing with varied formal strategies. Reaching beyond nostalgia and social protest, emerging filmmakers are plumbing surprising corners of Chinese reality with humor that is alternately light, dark, saucy, dry, raunchy, and conceptual.
Museum of the Moving Image will present a weekend-long series, Tales from the New Chinese Cinema, from April 29 through May 1, comprised of six feature films and two short works that showcase some of the most exciting and important filmmakers to emerge in recent years. The series was curated by Bérénice Reynaud (Co-Curator, Film at REDCAT) and Cheng-Sim Lim.
The films in the series are notable for their sharp contemporary sensibilities and their bold formal inventiveness. Among the emerging directors to be featured during the series are: Zhu Wen, a novelist turned filmmaker whose film Thomas Mao charts the Culture Clash between an American painter and a Chinese "hillbilly"; Li Wongqi, whose deadpan slacker comedy Winter Vacation has been a hit on the international film festival circuit; Li Jiayin, whose stunning and audacious feature film Oxhide II was filmed in just nine long takes in her parents' cramped apartment; Hao Jie, director of the bawdy rural sex comedy Single Man; Huang Weikai, director of the dazzling city symphony Disorder; and Lu Chuan, whose powerful City of Life and Death is a breathtaking dramatization of the Japanese army's occupation of the former Chinese capital, a violent period known as the Rape of Nanking.
Tales from the New Chinese Cinema is presented in collaboration with REDCAT (The Roy and Edna Disney / CalArts Theater), Los Angeles Filmforum, Echo Park Film Center, Pomona College Museum of Art / Media Studies, and UCLA Film & Television Archive.
SCHEDULE FOR ‘TALES FROM THE NEW CHINESE CINEMA,' APRIL 29-MAY 1, 2011
Thomas Mao (Xiao Dongxi)
Zhu Wen (born 1967) became one of the figureheads of the "newly-born generation" literary movement with his first novella, I Love Dollars (1996). After his collaboration with Zhang Ming (In Expectation, 1995) and Zhang Yuan (Seventeen Years, 1999), he turned to directing with Seafood (2001), the first Chinese narrative digital feature (Grand Jury Prize in Venice). His second film, South of the Clouds (2003), won the NETPAC Award in Berlin.
Preceded by 21G (21 KE)
After studying printmaking at the Academy of Fine Arts in Hangzhou, Sun Xun (born 1980) founded the animation studio Pi in 2006. His meticulous animations have been shown in festivals in China, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy, and media art centers in the US. His drawings and installations have been exhibited in galleries and museums in China, Europe and the U.S. 21G premiered at the Venice Film Festival.
Oxhide II (Niupi II)
Liu Jiayin (born in 1981) studied screenwriting at the Beijing Film Academy from 1999 to 2006, and is now part of the faculty of her alma mater. While getting her M.A., she wrote, directed, shot, and edited her first film, Oxhide (2004) which revealed her as one of the most original directors of her generation and won a flurry of international awards (FIPRESCI Prize and Caligari Award in Berlin).
Disorder (Xian Zai Shi Guo Qu De Wei Lai)
After graduating from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, Huang Weikai (born 1972), directed his first short film, Laden's Body Could Be Nothing But a Copy in 2002. He shot a number of independent documentaries and was involved in Ou Ning's and Cao Fei's multi-media Dazhalan Project (2005-2006). In 2005, he directed his first feature documentary, Floating.
Preceded by Condolences (Wei Wen)
Ying Liang (born 1977), graduated from the Department of Directing of Chongqing Film Academy. His first feature, Taking Father Home (2005) was invited to more than 30 international film festivals and received numerous awards. Subsequent films include The Other Half, which won the Special Jury Prize at Tokyo Filmex, and Good Cats (2008).
Single Man (Guangyun)
"The deceptively unsophisticated Single Man is hilarious and appalling by turns, but it always feels true."-Variety
Born in 1981 in the same village of Gujiagou where he shot Single Man with his neighbors and relatives, Hao Jie is a graduate from the Directing Department of Beijing Film Academy.
Lu Chuan (born 1971) graduated with a Master's in directing from the prestigious Beijing Film Academy before going on to make his first film The Missing Gun which premiered at Sundance. His second film, Kekexili, became the first mainland Chinese film to win the Best Picture prize at Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards.
"This guy is something of a Chinese Jarmusch, who, instead of US punk youth, films Communist teenagehood."-Libération
After graduating from the painting department of Beijing's China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), Li Hongqi (born 1976) became involved with the Nanjing-based group of "Tamen" poets. He published a poetry anthology, Cure and a novel, Lucky Bastard (2004) before directing So Much Rice (2005, NETPAC Award in Locarno) and Routine Holiday (2008).
Hours: Tuesday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday, 10:30 to 8:00 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Holiday Openings: Monday, April 18, and Monday, April 25 (Spring Recess for NYC public schools), 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Closed on Monday except for holiday openings).
The Museum is housed in a building owned by the City of New York and its operations are made possible in part by public funds provided through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Natural Heritage Trust (administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation). The Museum also receives generous support from numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals. For more information, please visit http://movingimage.us