A Report from YunFest 2009

Tami Blumenfield at the University of Washington forwarded me a wonderful article highlighting a number of films that screened at YunFest earlier this spring. The article, posted on GoKunming, is by Jeff Crosby, who was involved in translating the English documentation of YunFest.

Here are some interest-piquing passages:

“Li Yifan has been busy exploring cinematic language, and his efforts have attracted much attention from the contemporary art scene. His submission, Village Archive: Longwangcun premiered in Beijing last year in a joint exhibition with artist Zhang Xiaotao. The film covers a Chinese village throughout the year in a peculiar archival format with absolutely no narrative structure whatsoever. The critics are calling it art. ”

“Wu Haohao seems to be on everyone’s lips. This young unknown filmmaker submitted four films this year, and three of them were selected. People’s Artist Jia Jinshu is an official entry in the competition segment. It follows a self-published novelist as he wanders the country. Kun 1 Action is described by the director as a “quasi-religious tribute to Liang Kun”, whoever that is. Forbid Silence is a montage of scenes from the filmmaker’s frequent trips between Taiyuan and Chongqing. What all these films have in common is that they defy categorization. People who have seen them tell me that Wu Haohao has the potential to become a driving force behind a new generation of documentary filmmakers. He’s worth keeping an eye on.”

“Disorder jumped out at me right away, not just because of the interesting title (in Chinese it reads something like “now is the future of the past”), but because of its unconventional approach. It is basically a collection of footage from strange events around the city of Guangzhou, including a runaway pig on a highway, and it is woven together with the soundtrack to create a visual “symphony”.”

The full article is here.

Anyone who attended YunFest 2009 or has seen films from their program is invited to share their own thoughts in the comments.

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