Archive for the ‘dGenerate Titles’ Category

Extreme Documentary: Ai Weiwei, Li Ning, and Voyeurism in Chinese Cinema

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

By Maya Eva Gunst Rudolph

A long time practitioner and advocate of self-documentation, Ai Weiwei made online waves last week when he installed a set of “self-surveillance” cameras to document his life and work via a live feed. Buttressing the demands for “transparency and openness” that characterize so much of Ai’s work, this project launched a tongue-in-cheek reaction to the government surveillance cameras that surround Ai’s home and workshop. Only days after mounting his latest “installation,” though, Ai was ordered to remove the cameras and the internet feed ceased to live.

The artist sleeps tonight on "Weiwei Cam"

In the aftermath of its short existence, the so-called “Weiwei Cam” has been discussed as everything from an exercise in artistic narcissism to a wry subversion of the Chinese government’s Big Brother-ing. It seems undeniable that at its crux, the camera project, launched to commemorate Ai’s eighty-one day detention last year, served as a kind of self-aware self-policing. After all, what harm could befall a man with the world’s eyes on him?

With the Weiwei cam censored last week, Ai tweeted, “The cameras have been shut down. Bye-bye to all the voyeurs,” sparking another school of thought on his act of radical transparency. A documentary filmmaker whose work often chronicles his own movements and artistic and activist efforts, Ai is no stranger to inviting public eyes to his personal dealings. For a figure such as Ai Weiwei for whom documentation is both a voluntary and involuntary way of life, much can be gleaned from this most recent experiment, which reflects a larger tendency of self-examination and voyeuriusm in Chinese documentary film. In effect, Ai Weiwei’s most recent project seems to fit into the greater scheme of self-documentation in Chinese cinema and a trend of what might be called extreme documentary.

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Weekly Events: Timber Gang in Ann Arbor & Fortune Teller in Minneapolis

Friday, April 6th, 2012

Saturday, April 7th at 7pm

"Timber Gang" (dir. Yu Guangyi)

Timber Gang at University of Michigan

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“Old Dog” to Join Films from China and Hong Kong at San Francisco International Film Festival

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Pema Tseden‘s Old Dog, which made its North American premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival and US premiere at the Slamdance Film Festival, will open April 22nd as part of the San Francisco International Film Festival.

"Old Dog" (dir. Pema Tseden)

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The Apple Factory and the Real China

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

"Struggle" (dir. Shu Haolun)

Writer Mike Daisey was recently repudiated for fabricating numerous elements of his story “Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory”, about working conditions at Foxconn, Apple’s Chinese supplier. The story ran last month on public radio’s This American Life, and quickly became the popular show’s most listened podcast of all time.

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Huang Weikai’s Disorder to Screen at Maysles Cinema

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Attention, New Yorkers! Huang Weikai‘s “grimping, shocking, occasionally shocking” 2009 documentary Disorder will screen on April 3rd at the Maysles Cinema at 343 Lenox Ave in New York.

Huang Weikai's Disorder will screen April 3rd

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Crime and Punishment for North Korean Refugees in China

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

"Crime and Punishment" (dir. Zhao Liang)

The bleak stretch of border between Northeast China and North Korea is known as a particularly punishing zone, both politically and geographically. In Zhao Liang‘s film Crime and Punishment, the police culture of this pocket of the world is explored to mesmerizing, sometimes mortifying, effect. Portrayed unflinchingly in Zhao’s gaze is the extreme precision of rules the cops aim to attain, the chaotic confusion of almost-crimes and inexplicable legal proceedings; the world occupied by these police and those closely-watched citizens whose encounters with the “law” are rarely short of brutal. Bribery and false accusations abound and a sense of paranoia pervades the film, a sense of oppression that eats away at both the so-called cops and robbers. In the range of these police assaults, the distinction between public and private life falls away and mahjong games and quiet living rooms are ready targets.

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Dangerous Territory for China’s Female Activists

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Liu Ping (photo: Gilles Sabrie for The International Herald Tribune)

A recent article in The New York Times highlights a grassroots movement among China’s women to seek government positions and generally assert a greater dialogue for women’s issues in China. Focusing on activist Liu Ping, a native of Xinyu, Jiangxi Province, and her attempted inroads to campaign for women’s rights, the article discusses Liu’s outspoken behavior in response to an ugly marginalization of gender and identity. In the article, which appeared in early March, reporter Didi Kirsten Tatlow quotes Liu as saying, “Women in China have no status.”

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@Indie Filmmakers, A Micro-Blog Roundup

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Once again, we’ve rounded up some of our filmmaker’s micro-dispatches on Sina Weibo, China’s version of twitter. Here are some thoughts from some of China’s independent directors and indisputable proof that when you micro-blog in Chinese characters, 140 characters can go a lot further!

"Shattered" (dir. Xu Tong)

Xu Tong, director of Fortune Teller and Shattered, blogged on 02/12:

We had a discussion after the screening of “Shattered” on the eleventh and the people of Shanghai really impressed me. Who says people are numb – especially young people? They may not know some things (like history before twenty years ago) or be living in a state of reality (compared to some of the subjects of my movies); but once they’ve seen it, they’re eager to express their sorrows and joys, their angers and confusions. The problem is not our audiences, but ourselves. I should be harder on myself more often.

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Powerful Images of the Cultural Revolution in Art and Film

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

 

"Though I Am Gone" (dir. Hu Jie)

In The Guardian, Tania Branigan profiles an ongoing project of artist Xu Weixin–to complete a series of over one hundred painting of individuals whose lives were perversely impacted by the Cultural Revolution, both “accuser[s] and accused.”

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Prescreen showcasing Struggle

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012
Struggle on Prescreen

Struggle on Prescreen

dGenerate is excited to partner with upstart movie deal-of-the-day site Prescreen. Making waves for its innovative model, best described as “Groupon meets Online Movies”, Prescreen’s featured film of the day is Shu Haolun’s Struggle.

Rent it today to get it at the first day price of $3, after that it doubles in price. Let us know what you think of their model, we’re always looking for feedback on what emerging movie sites you want to see our films on.