Posts Tagged ‘anthology film archives’

Reviews Are In: Unanimous Praise for Crime and Punishment and Petition, Now Playing in New York

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Petition (dir. Zhao Liang)

Today is the first day of screenings for the indomitable Zhao Liang at Anthology Film Archives, and we couldn’t be happier with the press coverage so far. Here are some choice clips from reviews by New York critics for Zhao’s films Crime and Punishment (opening tonight at 6 and 9; additional screenings Saturday and Sunday) and Petition (starting tomorrow and screening daily at 6:30 and 9:30). More reviews and directions to Anthology after the break.

EMERGING FROM ARDUOUS, dangerous, in-the-trenches work, Chinese filmmaker Zhao Liang‘s documentary investigations open onto the profound problems of a country often kept hidden by authorities. His interest is in the banal mechanics of systematic oppression: His remarkable debut Crime and Punishment (2007), for instance, provides a rare look into the People’s Armed Police, a branch of law enforcement similar to the military in its regimented lifestyle and coldly abusive administration of “justice.”

Michael Joshua Rowin, ArtForum

Crime and Punishment (2007) follows the paramilitary People’s Armed Police on the beat, gaining extraordinary access to a station in the rugged, frigid Northeast, on the North Korean border. The staff of young officers – pettily prideful, swimming in their uniforms – is naive enough not to self-censor for the camera. They show as bullies, incompetent if not malicious, with their lone investigative technique a face-slap.

– Nick Pinkerton, The Village Voice

Although it has its clear literary antecedents in Kafka and Bleak House, Petition‘s look at the arbitrary and corrupt nature of authority is of a specifically Chinese variety – not to mention the authentic stuff of actuality. A case of life imitating art – or rather art documenting life imitating art – Zhao Liang’s non-fiction film continues the director’s dissection of petty Sino-officialdom begun in his first film, Crime and Punishment. While that movie recorded the power abuses of soldiers policing the Chinese-North Korean border, Zhao’s latest film moves to Beijing to document the bureaucratic nightmare known as the petition system.

– Andrew Schenker, The L Magazine


Zhao Liang’s Petition and Crime and Punishment Screening at Anthology Film Archives Next Week

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

We’re excited that the work of one of the preeminent filmmakers in China, Zhao Liang, will be showcased next week at the Anthology Film Archives in New York City. Zhao’s acclaimed, independently-produced documentaries Petition and Crime and Punishment will enjoy a week of screenings starting Thursday January 13 through Thursday, January 20. Screening details below, as well as on the dGenerate Films event page.

“Zhao Liang captures those sides of life that are ignored by official politics and, in so doing, acts as a chronicler of everyday life. Futility, running idle, stubbornness, and stamina are motifs shared by all of his films, while the dramatic consequences of the rapid economic and structural transformation in China constitute the continuous backdrop to his work.” (Quoted from the catalogue of the 2008 Berlin Biennial)

Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Avenue
New York, NY

Tickets may be purchased at the box office on date of screening.

Details on each film and screening times after the break.