14 Chinese Indie Films in Spain, curated by Bérénice Reynaud

September 26-October 13

La Filmoteca de Catalunya reprises

14 titles from the San Sebastian International Film Festival Program

“Digital Shadows: Last Generation Chinese Film”

The San Sebastian cycle was curated by Bérénice Reynaud, Co-Curator, Film at REDCAT; the second program was curated in collaboration with the Filmoteca de Catalunya

For more information: cultura.gencat.cat/filmo/

REN XIAO YAO / UNKNOWN PLEASURES (2002), Jia Zhangke
Jia Zhangke films Datong’s barren post-industrial landscape to portray the different ways a group of unsatisfied youngsters express their ‘disgruntlement’ with things around them: Bin Bin and his best friend, Xiao Ji drive their scooters aimlessly in a future with no hope. FIPRESCI Prize at the Singapore Festival.

September 26 and 27

LING YIBAN / THE OTHER HALF (2006), Ying Liang and Peng Shan
An efficient – and often humorous – mixture of documentary and fiction, told in fractured and punctuated mode with a series of fascinating illustrations filmed in the context of an industrial accident in the Sichuan city of Zigong. Winner of awards at the Tokyo, Jeonju and Singapore festivals.

September 28 and 29

MEISHI JIE / MEISHI STREET (2006), Ou Ning and Cao Fei
A powerful document on the havoc wreaked by the chaiqian (“demolition and relocation”) introduced by the government and companies hell-bent on revamping urban Beijing for the Olympic Games seen through the testimony of a restaurant-owner who refused to budge.

September 30, October 2

XUE CHAN / LITTLE MOTH (2007), Peng Tao
Debutant Peng Tao adapted Bai Tianguang’s novel Xue Chan, and spent weeks in the mountainous area of Hubei province selecting the cast of non-professional actors to depict the lives of professional beggars, deprived of the right to vote and occupying the lowest rung on the social ladder.

September 30, October 1

ZHALAI NUR/ JALAINUR (2008), Zhao Ye
The Jalainur mine (“ocean-like lake” in Mongolian) has been open for a hundred years, but today the pit is virtually empty and the workers are faced with the prospect of being paid off. Second feature using real images from the director of animated films, Zhao Ye. FIPRESCI Prize at the Pusan Festival and New Talent Award at the Shanghai Festival.

October 3 and 4

WANMEI SHENHUO / PERFECT LIFE (2008), Emily Tang
This documentary/fiction hybrid with the ironic title, Perfect Life, brings an intimate portrayal of the female condition in China seen through two women: one uneducated from a small town in north-west China, and another divorced from a Hong Kong man. Garnered the “Dragons and Tigers” Prize at the Vancouver Film Festival.

October 3 and 4

JIABIANGOU / THE DITCH (2010), Wang Bing
An investigation into the economic difficulties and fate of the people labelled as “rightwingthinking” by the Chinese Communist Party, largely for having expressed their opinion during the “Hundred Flowers” period. First narrative movie from the prestigious documentary-maker Wang Bing.

October 5 and 11

NIUPI ER / OXHIDE II (2009), Liu Jiayin
In 2004, at the age of 23 and while still studying at the Beijing Film Academy, Liu Jiayin caused surprise with Oxhide, a film shot with mini DV. Oxhide II is made along the same lines: Liu, her father and mother act in the movie, a fictional yet carefully planned film by one of the most original directors of her generation.

October 7

YISI ERBA / 1428 (2009), Du Haibin
On May 12th 2008 at 14:28, the Sichuan earthquake took the lives of 69,000 people and left another 15 million homeless. Du Haibin arrived in the epicentre of the catastrophe to lend a hand as a volunteer. Using borrowed filming equipment, he headed for Beichuan, the city worst hit by the seismic activity, where he shot this documentary. Best Documentary Award in the “Orizzonti” section of Venice Film Festival.

October 6 and 8

XIAO DONGXI/ THOMAS MAO (2010), Zhu Wen
In his third featuire, novelist-turned-filmmaker Zhu Wen tells an amusing, surreal and ironic tale where East meets West… or not? Thomas, a painter, is travelling the plains of Inner Mongolia and Mao is the miserable “innkeeper” who provides him with lodging.

October 7 and 11

HANJIA / WINTER VACATION (2010), Li Hongqi
The indolence of Inner Mongolia mixes with poetry of the absurd. It’s winter vacation time in a small, gloomy northern town where the children have nothing to keep them amused and the adults live in apathy. A film reminiscent of the dry humour and laconic dialogues of Jim Jarmusch, Aki Kaurismäki and Samuel Beckett. Golden Leopard at the Locarno International Film Festival.

October 12 and 13

XIANSHI SHI GUOQU DE WEILAI / DISORDER (2009), Huang Weikai
Along the lines of the old “city symphonies” – but with the added attraction of a complex soundtrack brought to us in several layers – this documentary feature by Huang Weikai is an original experiment in how to take urban textures to the screen. Huan collected over 1,000 hours of footage shot by a group of video enthusiasts in the streets of his native city, Guangzhou. Best Documentary Award at the Ann Arbor Film Festival.

Preceded by:

GONG GONG CHANG SUO / IN PUBLIC (2001), Jia Zhangke
Produced by the Jeonju International Film Festival, this documentary short – serving as inspiration for Unknown Pleasures – comprises 30 long takes shot over a period of 45 days, where we can see anonymous passers-by, travellers and workers at the railway in the little mining town of Datong. Grand Prix at the Marseilles International Documentary Film Festival.

And by:

WEIWEN / CONDOLENCES (2009), Ying Liang
In 2004 Ying Liang witnessed a terrible bus accident that filled the newspaper headlines. It only took 48 hours to rehearse and shoot the film, a little monument to the dead and a tribute to the indescribable (and silent) sadness of the survivors trapped in a media circus.

October 12 and 13

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