Posts Tagged ‘chicago’

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…)

Final Week of Du Haibin 1428 Tour: Harvard, Yale, Chicago and SoCal!

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Du Haibin, director of 1428

Award-winning filmmaker Du Haibin continues his first ever visit to the U.S. this week. This past week saw screenings of his films at or near capacity at Stanford University, the San Francisco Chinatown YMCA (sponsored by the SF Asia Society), Reel China at NYU (main sponsors of Du Haibin’s trip), the Maysles Institute, and UnionDocs. Many thanks to all of our partners and sponsors for their work in organizing this tour.

The tour continues in the Northeast, Chicago and Southern California. Details below:


Harvard Film Archive
Emergent Visions Series
B04, Carpenter Center
24 Quincy Street
Cambridge MA 02138
Free and open to public
The screening will be followed by Q&A. Discussants include Eugene Wang, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Professor of Asian Art; Jie Li, Harvard College Fellow; and Ying Qian, PhD candidate at Harvard EALC.

7:00 PM
Yale University
Auditorium at Whitney Humanities Center
53 Wall Street
New Haven, CT
Director Du Haibin to attend

University of Chicago
5:30pm-7:30pm Screening
7:30pm-8:30pm Discussion and Q&A
Classics 21

California Institute of the Arts
Film Today Class
Bijou Auditorium
Presentation by Thom Andersen and Bérénice Reynaud
24700 McBean Parkway Valencia CA 91355
Director Du Haibin to attend

Rice University
Room 301, Sewell Hall
6100 Main St.
Houston, TX 77005

University of California, Santa Barbara
UCSB Multicultural Center
University Center room 1504
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-6050
(805) 893-8411
Director Du Haibin to attend

“A Quiet Marvel:” Chicago Critics on Ghost Town – Now Playing!

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Ghost Town (dir. Zhao Dayong)

As part of its national tour, Zhao Dayong’s acclaimed documentary Ghost Town is screening for a week in Chicago, from April 9-15 at Facets Cinematheque. Chicago critics are already showering unanimous praise upon the film. Some excerpts:

“Fine, go ahead and film!” hollers a resident of Zhiziluo. “But there’s nothing worth filming here.”
Zhao Dayong offers a differing view in “Ghost Town…” This skilled filmmaker finds much to contemplate in the long abandoned, largely depopulated Chinese town.

Bill Stamets, The Chicago Sun-Times

A quiet marvel, Zhao Dayong’s second feature-length picture is no less an indelible portrait of a place, and its people, as Terence Davies’ “Of Time and the City” and Jia Zhangke’s “Still Life” or “24 City.”

Michael Phillips, The Chicago Tribune

Directed by Zhao Dayong, this 2008 documentary presents Zhizilou, a small town in Yunan province, as evidence that the Chinese economic miracle has eroded once-thriving rural cultures by drawing villagers to large cities… The lush mountain scenery contrasts vividly with the crumbling town, but the biggest impact comes from the astonishing candor of the residents.

Andrea Gronvall, The Chicago Reader

Shot without government permission in a remote part of China, Ghost Town is about as handmade as filmmaking comes… Zhao finds unlikely poetry in his story, seemingly one of utter hopelessness, and uses it to bring this epic portrait full circle.

Ben Kenigsberg, Time Out Chicago

Director-editor-cinematographer Zhao Dayong’s astonishingly gorgeous, achingly sorrowful three-part independent documentary, “Ghost Town” (2008), captures the life and survival of Zhiziluo, a village in remote Southwest China. His work resembles that of his countryman Zhangke Jia and other filmmakers of the current generation working on high-definition video (a format less restricted by the Chinese government than 35mm features intended for theatrical exhibition), all demonstrating by witness, “What is now? What is China? What is the future?” All find the lyric in the mundane: So many stories, so many vistas of physical beauty and dusty ruin… “Ghost Town” is profound in portraying the particulars of generations of villagers and profoundly sad as well.

Ray Pride, New City Film

Tickets can be purchased at:

Facets Cinematheque
1517 Fullerton Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614