Archive for the ‘dGenerate Events’ Category

Next Week’s Events: Winter Vacation in Chicago, Thomas Mao in NYC

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

“Winter Vacation”

Winter Vacation in Chicago next Monday (Nov. 14th, 7pm), as Part of the Doc Films Monday Series: A Selection of Chinese Independent Cinema.

LI Hongqi‘s critically acclaimed Winter Vacation will be screened at Doc Films, next Monday (11/14) at 7pm.

“No other director can touch poet-novelist Li Hongqi.” – Tony Rayns, BFI

“At the forefront of independent Chinese cinema.” – J.P. Sniadecki, Cinemascope

“Captivating!” – Berenice Reynaud, Senses of Cinema

Winter Vacation is a film of quiet anger. Throughout its still mastershots, a many peopled cast passes in and out of this wintery town within Inner Mongolia. Terse and deadpan, Winter Vacation evinces a style recalling such filmmakers as Jim Jarmusch, Tsai Ming-Liang and Corneliu Porumboiu.

GHOST TOWN is the eighth of eleven films to be screened at Doc Films Monday Series in collaboration with dGenerate Films.

Read more about Winter Vacation:

For more information about the screening, please visit:

More events after the break.


Karin Chien to Speak at Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Karin Chien to serve as one of the panelists at Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival


SAT NOV 12 | 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM |

460 College St @ Bathurst
Toronto, Canada


What is the future of Asian North American media in the current global context and the ascension of Asia? And where can Asian Canadian filmmakers position themselves within this evolving trajectory? Expert panelists weigh in to share their perspectives on our future. A must-see event. It might get existential!


Anita Lee, Producer, National Film Board of Canada, Co-founder of Reel Asian


Karin Chien, president and founder of dGenerate Films (more…)

Ghost Town labeled “Crucial Viewing” at Chicago Doc Films

Monday, November 7th, 2011

"Ghost Town" (dir. Zhao Dayong)

Zhao Dayong’s epic documentary Ghost Town is labeled “Crucial Viewing” by the Chicago Cine-file blog. Ghost Town screens tonight at University of Chicago’s Doc Films at 7pm. Screening details here.

Patrick Friel writes in Cine-file:

GHOST TOWN is a cinema of accretion: details build up, people’s lives pull into focus, the arc of a place is allowed to emerge. What would have been picturesque at 70 minutes begins to verge on profound at 170 minutes. Zhao’s film is observational in mode, like Frederick Wiseman’s work. But Wiseman gains depth through the actions of the people who inhabit and interact with the social structures and institutions he focuses on. Zhao’s subject is also a “structure” – the small village of Zhiziluo in the Southeastern part of China, near Tibet and Burma. Zhao focuses on the breakdown of this place, formerly a county seat and now all-but abandoned by the Communist government. Only the locals remain, struggling with their day-to-day existence and dealing with poverty, divorce, alcoholism, lack of work, marriages of convenience. (more…)

Next Week’s Events: Ghost Town in Chicago

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

GHOST TOWN in Chicago next Monday, as Part of the Doc Films Monday Series

Zhang Dayong’s critically acclaimed GHOST TOWN will be screened at Doc Films, next Monday (11/07) at 7pm.

“A miniature epic of the everyday” – A.O. Scott, The New York Times

Compelling… You won’t be able to shut it off” – Jim Hoberman, Village Voice

Don’t miss this “one of the most important films to have emerged from the booming (but still underexplored) field of Chinese independent documentaries” (Dennis Lim, Moving Image Source). If you are interested and are in the area, please come and check it out!

For more information about the Doc Films Monday series:

For more information on Facebook about this event, please visit:

Oxhide labeled “Crucial Viewing” – screens Monday at Chicago’s Doc Films

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

Oxhide (dir. Liu Jiayin)

On the Cine-File website, a comprehensive and highly selective guide to movie screenings in the Chicagoland area, critic Ignatiy Vishnevetsky (Ebert Presents at the Movies, and Chicago Reader) singles out Oxhide as “Crucial Viewing” for this week. Liu Jiayin’s masterpiece screens Monday at Doc Films at the University of Chicago as part of its 11-film series of Chinese Independent cinema, co-programmed with dGenerate.


Liu Jiayin’s OXHIDE I (Contemporary Chinese)
Doc Films (University of Chicago) – Monday, 7pm
Liu Jiayin made a name for herself on the festival circuit with this no-budget chamber piece; Monday’s Doc Films screening marks its long-overdue first appearance in Chicago. Despite OXHIDE’s popularity with a certain theoretical-formalist crowd, it’s one of the few films from the last decade to feel like the work of an outsider; Liu’s use of the ‘scope frame, for example, is a genuinely original: instead of using the wider aspect ratio to expand the horizontal, she cuts off the vertical, reducing the actions of a Beijing family (played by Liu and her parents) to hands, torsos, and the movement of objects across a table. There’s only one location, the camera is always static, the lighting is non-existent, and there are only 23 shots in the whole thing – but instead of being some dry postgraduate exercise, OXHIDE is nervy and sometimes surprisingly energetic, thanks in part to Liu’s sophisticated sound design; few recent films have been able to do so much with so little. (2005, 110 min, Video Projection) IV

More info at

11 Chinese Independent Films Screening this Fall in Chicago – Starts Monday

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Oxhide II (dir. Liu Jiayin)

This will be the largest series of Chinese cinema in Chicago this year. The series is listed online at: (note that the opening night screening is not listed).

A Selection of Chinese Independent Cinema

Mondays, September 26 – November 28, 2011
Doc Films, University of Chicago
Max Palevsky Cinema in Ida Noyes Hall
The University of Chicago
1212 East 59th Street, Chicago, IL

Tickets $5, free with DocFilms season pass ($30)

Few national cinemas are as vibrant as that of contemporary China. Similarly, there are few places in the world today where art and media practice share such an important role in addressing national memory and societal issues. For these and other reasons, some of the most important work being made in China today is made by independent artists, with techniques that challenge the conventions and boundaries of both documentary and fiction film.

dGenerate Films ( stands as an important cultural pipeline, distributing independent cinema from mainland China within North America and Europe. This program intends to offer a sampling of the dGenerate catalogue, which contains many of the most important films produced in China within the last decade. These films reflect Chinese independent cinema in its broad diversity, social urgency, and creative innovation.

Full schedule after the break. (more…)

Disorder discussed at Museum of Chinese in America

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

By Isabella Tianzi Cai

Chi-hui Yang (right) and Kevin Lee discuss Disorder with audience at Museum of Chinese in America

Director Huang Weikai’s short film Disorder played in the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) in New York City Chinatown last Friday evening, on August 12, 2011. It attracted students and people from the general public alike, who took an interest in contemporary Chinese documentaries. New York-based Chinese-language news source World Journal, the largest of its kind in North America, reported this event in an August 13, 2011 article.

World Journal reporter Du Yizhen writes in the article,”audience members were greatly amused by the scene where pigs loiter around on the Chinese highway.” The black humor of the film enabled western audiences to understand intuitively what is happening in China.

Chi-hui Yang, film scholar and former programmer of the San Francisco Asian American International Film Festival, and dGenerate Films Vice President Kevin Lee stayed with the audience after the film for a discussion. Yang examined how Disorder effectively exposes the problems brought about by China’s rapid economic development, and it depicts a myriad distortions resulted in ordinary people’s characters and dispositions. (more…)

Chicago Critics Crazy over Disorder; Screening at MoCA NYC This Friday

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

From Chicago to New York City, "Disorder" has film critics dancing in the streets.

This Friday at 7pm, Huang Weikai’s cinematic hurricane Disorder storms back into New York City, screening at the Museum of Chinese in the Americas in Chinatown as part of MoCA’s Chinese Cinema Club. Film programmer, lecturer and writer Chi-hui Yang will be on hand to discuss the film following the screening, with dGenerate’s Kevin B. Lee moderating.

Earlier in the summer, the film screened at the Nightingale in Chicago riding a wave of strong reviews from area critics. Here’s a sampling:

Ray Pride, New City:

Of the 300 or so movies I saw in 2010, partly on the weekly beat but also at festivals and for juries, one entry’s sheer strangeness and immediacy took me more by surprise than any other film or video. The movie’s even more headlong than this paragraph, hyperbole for the hypnotic: Huang Weikai’s fifty-eight-minute “Disorder,” is a black-and-white shot-on-video portrait of urban Guangzhou, but it’s also a sustained fury of delirium. Tossed into a maelstrom of deracinated images from Huang’s native province, we’re left adrift and agog at brief scenes of traffic jams, floods, accidents, police violence, fools winding through lanes of heavy traffic, and so many, many farm animals gone astray. Hot Docs programmer Sean Farnel went beyond considering “Disorder” a “city symphony,” saying it’s set in “Chris Marker-ville,” and Huang’s film is indeed an act of sustained bricolage, essaying contemporary China through a reported 1,000 hours of footage from news shooters with greater-than-average access to strange goings-on, creating an eruptive, hallucinatory landscape, resisting narrative, that is both tactile and otherworldly. It may be the first great film of the twenty-second century.


CinemaTalk: Interview with Huang Weikai, Director of Disorder

Monday, May 16th, 2011

"Disorder" director Huang Weikai

"Disorder" director Huang Weikai

Disorder, a bold documentary by Huang Weikai, has been steadily garnering recognition over the past year, screening at multiple venues across America. It’s been mentioned as one of the best films of 2010 by Moving Image Source and Film Comment magazine, and recently won Best Documentary at the Ann Arbor Film Festival. Seeing it at the Reel China Film Festival in NYU, Hua Hsu of The Atlantic called it “one of the most mesmerizing films I’ve seen in ages.”

Disorder screens this Friday in Chicago at The Nightingale as part of the White Light Cinema series, and Saturday and Sunday at Anthology Film Archives in New York City. Details for both events can be found here, as well as on the Chicago event’s Facebook page.

We have translated an interview with Huang Weikai that took place during one of the film’s first screenings at the 2009 Beijing Documentary Week (DOChina) and was originally published on the Fanhall Films website. (Sadly, both the Fanhall website and DOChina have been shut down this year; we hope that access to outstanding films like Disorder, as well as information about them, will continue to be accessible somehow in China.)

Q: What made you want to make this film?

Huang: I have lived in the city for a long time, and I have always been very concerned with city life. In recent years, cities have evolved a lot. This explains why I want to make a documentary about present city life in China. This film reflects what I think about city life, especially the chaotic side of it.


Film Comment Spotlights Disorder – playing tomorrow at Pomona, next week in S.F.

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Disorder (dir. Huang Weikai)

In the current issue of Film Comment, Chris Chang labels Huang Weikai’s experimental documentary Disorder a “Hot Property,” describing it as “a city symphony from hell:”

Disorder begins with an image of a geyser unleashed from a broken hydrant. Cut to a man, lying in the street, the victim of a traffic accident. Are the actions related? No clue. People gathering to help the injured party are clearly unnerved by the presence of the camera – one of the film’s recurring panoptic motifs. As they try to aid the fallen man, they accuse him of “faking it” and offer him hush money. A scene of a panicky mob in a supermarket follows shortly; and then, unexpectedly, a close-up of udon noodles. Chopsticks reveal a dead cockroach, and the utensils are then used to resubmerge the bug. That’s one of the many moments of perverse levity – but the film’s general mayhem proceeds inexorably.

Disorder screens at Pomona College this Thursday as part of the series “Between Disorder and Unexpected Pleasures: Tales from the New Chinese Cinema”, Friday at the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival in Ithaca, NY, and next Thursday at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Later this spring it will screen in New York at the Museum of the Moving Image and Anthology Film Archives.