Posts Tagged ‘documentary fortnight’

Self-Portrait in a DV Mirror: a Review of Li Ning’s Tape

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

By Carlo Labrador-Pangalangan


Li Ning accepts the Silver Award at YunFest for his film “Tape”

Tape, directed by Li Ning, will screen this Thursday at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts as part of the series Fearless: Chinese Independent Documentaries.” Here is a review by filmmaker Carlo Labrador-Pangalangan, who watched the film when it screened at MoMA Documentary Fortnight in February.


In the past ten years, only a handful of films made me re-evaluate what I considered to be cinema, providing me with a new way of looking at things. Three of those films emerged from the independent filmmaking movement in China: Wang Bing’s Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks, Liu Jiayin’s first Oxhide film, and Li Ning’s Tape.

Li Ning could be considered a “late arrival” to the scene, emerging after many of the other digital filmmakers from China have already established themselves and are already working on their second or third projects. What an arrival, though. Li Ning has basically taken what people have become familiar with in Chinese independent cinema a step further. Actually, he’s opened another dimension.


Swimming in the Surreal: Notes from a Disorderly Screening of Disorder

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

By Kevin B. Lee

For one night, "Disorder" could not be contained to the screen

MoMA Documentary Fortnight is now over, and we at dGenerate headquarters in New York have more or less recovered from a week of intense activity, screening four of our new films as part of the series. Even with the edgy, challenging nature of the film, all of the screenings were well-attended and received. After both screenings of Fortune Teller, I talked with several audience members who were clearly moved after witnessing people living on the fringes of Chinese society, as well as director Xu Tong’s dedication in filming them. Viewers were equally amazed by the obsessive commitment of Li Ning in capturing the most intimate aspects of his life and creative struggles for five long, hard years in Tape. Even the six-hour marathon screening of Karamay left a couple dozen people eager to ask questions for director Xu Xin afterwards; though what they had to say weren’t so much questions as long, deeply emotional expressions in response to his film. We may have more to share about this in a later post.

But the screenings that took the cake were the two sold-out shows of Disorder, with director Huang Weikai in attendance. For some reason, there was a huge demand to see widespread social dysfunction in urban China, depicted in found footage video. For the second screening, Huang was joined by Xu Xin and independent film producer and programmer Zhu Rikun for an informative discussion, moderated by Professor Zhen Zhang of NYU. But it’s safe to say that the first screening was the more eventful. Take it from this review of the screening found on


Directors Li Ning (Tape) and Xu Tong (Fortune Teller) Introduce Their Films, Playing at MoMA Documentary Fortnight

Friday, February 18th, 2011

By Kevin B. Lee

As part of our screenings of Chinese independent documentaries at the MoMA Documentary Fortnight, we have produced video introductions with two of the directors: Li Ning (Tape) and Xu Tong (Fortune Teller). Directors Xu Xin (Karamay) and Huang Weikai (Disorder) will be present to introduce and discuss their films. Click here for full details and screening info.

Introductions can be viewed below. Read full descriptions of Tape and Fortune Teller

Li Ning introduces Tape:

Xu Tong introduces Fortune Teller:

New York Times Profiles Chinese Indie Docs and Other Coverage of MoMA Doc Fortnight

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Fortune Teller (dir. Xu Tong)

In the New York Times, Larry Rohter profiles the Chinese independent film movement, with special attention on the films screening at the Documentary Fortnight Festival at MoMA:

As a group they give a new and truer meaning to the phrase “independent film.” In a country where all movies must obtain official approval to be exhibited commercially, the five Chinese directors whose work will be featured beginning on Friday in the Museum of Modern Art’s Documentary Fortnight are forced to operate in a peculiar gray zone.

“You have to have an awful lot of energy and passion to make films with no funding and no prospect of having them seen in public in your home country except under the radar and off the grid,” said Sally Berger, the curator of the festival, who visited China last fall. “These are sophisticated, experimental filmmakers with a strong aesthetic sense, making films filled with a sense of urgency and change, even though they know they have a better chance of having their work seen abroad than at home.”

Director Xu Xin of Karamay weighs in on the importance of his work:


A Sneak Peak at Film Pages for Three New dGenerate Titles, All Playing at MoMA Doc Fortnight

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

In preparation for the Documentary Fortnight screenings of new dGenerate titles, we have prepared pages introducing each of our films in the series. Have a look and learn more about these distinguished titles who have the honor of screening at the Museum of Modern Art.

Karamay (dir. Xu Xin)

Fortune Teller (dir. Xu Tong)

Tape (dir. Li Ning)

In addition, Huang Weikai’s mind-blowing Disorder is already listed in our catalog and available for pre-order.

The 10th Annual Documentary Fortnight Festival of the Museum of Modern Art in New York runs from Wednesday February 16 to 28, 2011. Find out the screening details.

MoMA Documentary Fortnight Opens This Week, Featuring Four New Titles from dGenerate

Monday, February 14th, 2011

By Isabella Tianzi Cai

Karamay (dir. Xu Xin)

The 10th Annual Documentary Fortnight Festival of the Museum of Modern Art in New York runs from Wednesday February 16 to 28, 2011, showcasing 20 new outstanding international non-fiction films and videos. Four contemporary Chinese documentaries distributed by dGenerate Films will screen at the festival: Xu Xin’s Karamay (2010), Huang Weikai’s Disorder (2009), Xu Tong’s Fortune Teller (2010), and Li Ning’s Tape (2010). In addition, I Wish I Knew (2010), the latest film by Jia Zhangke (whose featurette Dong is distributed by dGenerate), will also screen.

Information about the five films after the break. Tickets can be purchased at the MoMA box office as early as the day before screening.