Posts Tagged ‘china institute’

CinemaTalk: Conversation with Zhao Liang, director of Crime and Punishment and Petition

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

This week on dGenerate we will be featuring articles related to Zhao Liang’s acclaimed documentary Crime and Punishment to coincide with the screening of his films at Anthology Film Archives in New York City. Click here for more information on the screenings.

This article was originally published August 17, 2010.

By Kevin B. Lee

Zhao Liang

Zhao Liang is one of China’s leading artists working in video, photography and documentary film. His work examines both rural and urban realities, fast-paced progress and nostalgia, the nature of politics, and the beauty of the natural world. He clearly connects with the underprivileged, whom he considers to be the engine of society, and homes in on the everyday aspects of life ignored by public institutions. He has directed two feature documentaries, Crime and Punishment and Petition, and his videos, photos and installations have been exhibited around the world.

To commemorate dGenerate Films’ release of Crime and Punishment, what follows is a transcript from Zhao Liang’s audience Q&A following a screening of the film at the China Institute on Feburary 5, 2010. Additionally, there are excerpts from a supplementary interview with Zhao conducted by dGenerate Films’ Kevin B. Lee.

Thanks to Isabella Tianzi Cai, Vincent Cheng and Yuqian Yan for their translation of the interviews.

1. From the audience Q&A following the China Institute screening of Crime and Punishment:

Question: Could you say something about how this film has been distributed in China and how it’s been received? Has it been screened in theaters? Has it been on the television as well as on the web?

Zhao: In China, this film was screened once in Beijing Independent Film Festival. Other than that, very rarely have people had the opportunity to see films like this, unless they go to certain art galleries where they might have such films. So it is definitely hard to have distribution done in China. Right now dGenerate Films Inc. in the United States is helping me distribute it here.

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CinemaTalk: Conversation with Zhao Liang, director of Crime and Punisment and Petition

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Zhao Liang

Zhao Liang is one of China’s leading artists working in video, photography and documentary film. His work examines both rural and urban realities, fast-paced progress and nostalgia, the nature of politics, and the beauty of the natural world. He clearly connects with the underprivileged, whom he considers to be the engine of society, and homes in on the everyday aspects of life ignored by public institutions. He has directed two feature documentaries, Crime and Punishment and Petition, and his videos, photos and installations have been exhibited around the world.

To commemorate dGenerate Films’ release of Crime and Punishment, what follows is a transcript from Zhao Liang’s audience Q&A following a screening of the film at the China Institute on Feburary 5, 2010. Additionally, there are excerpts from a supplementary interview with Zhao conducted by dGenerate Films’ Kevin B. Lee.

Thanks to Isabella Tianzi Cai, Vincent Cheng and Yuqian Yan for their translation of the interviews.

1. From the audience Q&A following the China Institute screening of Crime and Punishment:

Question: Could you say something about how this film has been distributed in China and how it’s been received? Has it been screened in theaters? Has it been on the television as well as on the web?

Zhao: In China, this film was screened once in Beijing Independent Film Festival. Other than that, very rarely have people had the opportunity to see films like this, unless they go to certain art galleries where they might have such films. So it is definitely hard to have distribution done in China. Right now dGenerate Films Inc. in the United States is helping me distribute it here.

Question: Could you explain why you made the film?

Zhao: It actually happened by chance. I was actually doing another project in 2004 somewhere around the China-North Korea border. I was there actually through connection. I was trying to document the interactions between the Chinese police officers and also the people from across the border, the whole dynamic between the border police and how they deal with people from the other side of the border. And after I got there, I realized that they were not dealing with that issue any more. Instead, I got the chance to observe their daily lives and found them fascinating. So I decided to change that particular project and make something that could actually document their daily life.

Question: I found it really interesting that the soldiers actually allowed themselves to be filmed. I just wonder how that came about and what your sense was. Did they see the problem of what was happening and want it to be made available to the public?

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US Premiere Screening of “lost” classic Chinese film Confucius

Thursday, February 25th, 2010
The China Institute SINOMATHÈQUE Film Series presents
US Premiere Screening of Confucius
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Two showings: 5 pm and 7 pm

Confucius (96 min., FEI Mu, 1940, B&W, Digital Beta, Mandarin Chinese & English Subtitles)

In collaboration with the Hong Kong Film Archive, China Institute is proud to present master director FEI Mu’s film classic Confucius (1940), an early 20th century portrayal of Confucius’ thought and life. Directed by Fei Mu (1906 –1951), the leading filmmaker of Chinese left-wing cinema movement prior to China’s pre-Communist era, Confucius was premiered in Shanghai and later shown across China from the end of 1940 through 1941. It was presumed lost following its brief re-run in 1948 until the Hong Kong Film Archive received a film negative of Confucius donated by an anonymous collector in 2001. With the help of the experts from the renowned film restoration and conservation workshop L‘Immagine Ritrovata of Italy and extensive research by local scholars, the Hong Kong Film Archive released the film during the Hong Kong International Film Festival in 2009.

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Documentary master Zhao Liang at Minneapolis (tonight!), Boston and New York (next week!)

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Petition (dir. Zhao Liang)

In the recent Top Ten Chinese Films of the 2000s poll, one of the top-ranked documentaries was Zhao Liang’s Petition: The Court of the Complainants. A pretty impressive showing, given that the film was just released last year and has been seen by relatively few people, even in Chinese cinema circles. Tonight folks in Minneapolis will have a chance to see what some are calling the most exciting Chinese documentary since West of the Tracks.

Zhao Liang will be visiting the Walker Art Center this weekend to present his films Petition and Crime and Punishment. Then he will visit the East Cost to present his work at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University, the Harvard Film Archive, the China Institute in New York, and the Center of Religion and Media at New York University.

Information on his films and a full schedule of his programs after the break.

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Taking Father Home Screening at China Institute

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

yaziWinner of several international festival awards, Taking Father Home is the debut feature of radical independent filmmaker Ying Liang, who borrowed equipment and recruited friends and family to realize his fierce vision of an emotionally scarred society. The film presents “a side of China that is rarely, if ever, seen on film.” (Richard Brody, The New Yorker)

More details can be found on the film here.

Friday, January 29 2010 ~ 6:00–8:00 PM
$5 member / $10 non-member

This film series is made possible through the generosity of the public and private grantors, and the support of the general public. Free popcorn and refreshments will be served and an open discussion will follow the screening. Seating is LIMITED. Reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis. To purchase tickets, please visit the China Institute website. For further information, please contact sinomatheque@chinainstitute.org, or call 212-744-8181 x137.

Location Details:

China Institute
125 65th Street
New York NY 10065

SUPER, GIRLS! and Director JIAN Yi at China Institute!

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

super_girls-thumbIn collaboration with dGenerate Films, the China Institute in America (125 East 65th Street) will present dGenerate title Super, Girls! (Chao Ji Nu Sheng) on Saturday, October 24, at 4:30 pm, as part of the Sinomathèque Film Series. An open discussion with director JIAN Yi will follow the screening.

Super, Girls! follows ten female teenagers on their quest to become instant superstars through the “Super Girls Singing Contest,” the wildly popular Chinese version of the “American Idol.” Discussing his unusual subject matter among Chinese indies, director Jian says in the “Director’s Statement”:

“Mainstream life is fairly underrepresented in independent Chinese documentaries as filmmakers tend to focus more on the society’s underprivileged groups. Yet ‘mainstream’ life in fast changing societies like China’s can be as different as Red Guards in 1960s, poets in 1980s, businessmen in 1990s and the ‘Super-girls’ in 2000s. What are the values of the family’s-only-child generation? How do they release their tremendous extra energy and money and embrace a globalized culture? China should not be just the playground for banks and corporations. China’s new generation of independent filmmakers look into the present-day mainstream culture and document and scrutinize this crazy and confusing time of the nation’s history.”

The Sinomathèque is an ongoing film series at the China Institute that showcases contemporary and historical work of every genre originating from China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.

For more information, visit the China Institute.

For further information, please contact sinomatheque@chinainstitute.org or 212-744-8181×150.

Q&A with Director Ying Liang at The China Institute

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Last Saturday we had the pleasure of presenting Ying Liang and his film The Other Half at The China Institute. Here’s the entire Q&A session with Ying Liang that followed the screening, in three parts. Special thanks to Vincent Cheng for his excellent live translation, and Jeff Yang and Jeff Hao for taping the session.

Part I:

0:00 – “What inspired you to make The Other Half?”

2:05 – “What’s your take on independent filmmaking in China?”

4:12 – “Who are your actors? Do they appear routinely in all your films?”

6:30 – “Have your films caused problems between you and the government?”

Part II:

0:00 – Continuing on the topic of the commercial and legal considerations of distributing independent cinema in China

7:00 – “To what degree do you consider your films to be documentary and not just fiction?”

Part III:

0:00 – Continuing on the topic of the film’s use of fact and fiction

3:55 – “Why can’t an army officer get a divorce?”

5:00 – “Are your films made with a non-Chinese audience in mind?”

Director Ying Liang to Visit NY and Bay Area

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009
Photo courtesy World Socialist Website

Photo courtesy World Socialist Website

dGenerate films is proud to welcome director Ying Liang to the New York City and SF Bay Area at the end of April and beginning of May. Ying will attend screenings of his most recent two features, The Other Half and Good Cats. (more…)

The New Home for Independent Chinese Cinema

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

Digital Underground in the People's Republic Welcome to the brand spanking new dGenerate Films blog! For those of you unfamiliar with us, dGenerate Films is a new non-theatrical US-based film distribution company focused on contemporary independent cinema from China. Why China? Well, no country in the world is going through a greater transformation and having a greater impact on the world right now, but to most outsiders it’s largely been invisible. It’s our mission to provide first-person, unfiltered looks at the issues facing China today and expose people to the amazing cinematic stories being told by these revolutionary filmmakers.

We’ve assembled an initial slate of films that we couldn’t be prouder of, by such up-and-coming filmmakers as Ying Liang, Ou Ning, and Jian Yi. And our film topics range from budding pop stars to war-era comfort women to the industrialization of rural China.

We’re just getting things underway, having done recent screenings of our films at places like the MOMA, Brooklyn Academy of Music, China Institute, and University of Maryland, and have begun pre-sales of our institutional DVD’s. Our focus is on educational and institutional sales of DVD and downloads, and exhibition screenings at public performance venues like museums, community organizations, and film forums.

So check out our film catalog, bookmark us, add our feed, signup for our email newsletter. We’ll not only be growing our collection, but intend for our site to be the authority on contemporary independent Chinese cinema. Welcome, the dGenerate Films team looks forward to seeing you back soon!