Posts Tagged ‘24 city’

Meishi Street and San Yuan Li in Portland (OR)

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Anyone in the Portland, Oregon area has the chance to view two dGenerate films at the Portland Art Museum’s NW Film Center in the coming weeks. Ou Ning’s Meishi Street will be screening on Thursday, Nov. 19 at 7 pm and Ou Ning and Cao Fei’s San Yuan Li screens Saturday, Dec. 5 at 2 pm. Both of these films are part of the NW Film Center’s Lens on China II series, which they describe thusly:

Since the end of the Cultural Revolution in 1976, China has undergone a series of profound, ever-accelerating transformations spurred by experiments with a market economy and a more open approach to foreign investment and external cultures. In the last decade the consequences of these changes have dramatically impacted China and its place in the world. Concurrent with the Portland Art Museum’s CHINA DESIGN NOW exhibition, the Northwest Film Center continues to explore the perspectives of Chinese and western filmmakers whose works reflect on the broad currents of contemporary change in Chinese society. As China’s past and future collide, the works by these media artists provide unique insight into the social and aesthetic confusions, obstacles, and opportunities being navigated in the interstices between history, daily reality, and the future’s promises.

Other films screening as part of this series include Jia Zhangke’s 24 City, Ning Ying’s I Love Beijing and Perpetual Motion, and Jennifer Baichwal’s Manufactured Landscapes.

More details can be found at the NW Film Center site.

Play the Jia Zhangke 24 City East-West Match Game

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

24city1It’s always an event for us at dGenerate when a Chinese film enjoys a theatrical release in the United States, especially when it’s a film from Jia Zhangke. But Jia’s new film 24 City, which opened today in New York and will hopefully make its way across the country, is a particularly interesting case, because the film in some ways is a critique of itself as a international cultural product.

The issue of the different reactions between Western and Chinese audiences to Chinese cinema has been with us for at least since the first appearance of Zhang Yimou’s exotic period tragedies. But what’s striking about 24 City is how it seems to elicit different reactions across national borders by design. The film mixes non-professional subjects with professional actors portraying civilians, and films all of them in the same talking heads interview format as they relate the history of a run-down factory complex in Chengdu. Chinese audiences are bound to recognize the actors, while Americans are not, with the exception of Joan Chen and possibly Jia regular Zhao Tao. This is but the tip of a wedge driven between distinctly Chinese and non-Chinese experiences of reality and fiction by this groundbreaking work.