Posts Tagged ‘er dong’

Broadening the Chinese Film Scene: QCC and ISSAS

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011
Er Dong

Yang Jin's Er Dong, featured in both QCC and ISSAS programs

By Ariella Tai

Earlier this year, two new screening groups devoted to independent Chinese cinema were introduced into the Chinese film scene. The Qifang Cinephile Collective (QCC) and Indie Screening Alliance of Art Spaces (ISSAS) are both organized as traveling networks of screenings. The QCC holds several screenings each month in cafes, bars and libraries located in 11 different cities. Among the most recent round of screenings, themed “Youth”, was Yang Jin’s Er Dong, available in the dGenerate catalog. The ISSAS, initiated by curators Zhang Xiamin and Zuo Ging, will offer a 15-film program in the spring and fall. ISSAS’ April 2010 launch featured six Chinese independent films made within the past two years.

Both the QCC and the ISSAS seek to create new distribution channels within China, so that films providing vital perspectives in contemporary Chinese society and produced through independent means can be circulated within their country of origin. ISSAS, in particular, was specifically organized to redress these films’ lack of availability to the public and to “…promote the distribution of independent films, integrate current resources and effectively organize film events to further showcase the value of these works. [They] also hope to undertake some international film exchange events to change the current monologue of film culture in China.”


Interview with Yang Jin, Director of The Black and White Milk Cow and Er Dong

Monday, January 31st, 2011

By Isabella Tianzi Cai

Yang Jin, director of The Black and White Milk Cow and Er Dong

In this interview originally published on, director Yang Jin talks about the making of The Black and White Milk Cow (available through the dGenerate catalog). Yang discusses how he found his actors and how he worked with them. He also mentions his filming experiences, which include what he did to transition from one scene to the next, how he worked around his tight budget, as well as his experience with working with a script. He says that in Er Dong, he used a different approach, which was that he didn’t follow the script very strictly but filmed extra footage that could be used in the editing afterwards.

Translated by Isabella Tianzi Cai.

Q: May I ask what made you want to make The Black and White Milk Cow?

Yang: When I was still in school, my class did an exercise on making tragic stories. The requirement of the exercise was such as we needed to throw all tragic elements at one single character. I had read Chinese writer Wang Xin’s novella “The Black and White Milk Cow” at that point, and I considered the main character in Wang’s story extraordinarily tragic.

Q: So can we say that this film is a tragedy?

Yang: Yes.

Q: When did you shoot it?
Yang: I started it in the summer of 2004 and completed it at the end of that year.

Q: Were you still in school?
Yang: That’s right.

Q: Where did you shoot it?
Yang: I shot it in my hometown Caochuan county, which is in Pinglu, Shanxi. A few scenes were shot in the urban area of Pinglu, outside Caochuan.

Q: Why did you choose this place?
Yang: I had a small budget. Being able to shoot in my hometown saved me a lot of money. I didn’t need to pay my crew, neither for lodging. I am very familiar with the place. It is where my grandmother grew up. I have been there as a child. And I remember that there was a school in the village. Unfortunately when I started shooting the film, the school was gone. A family lived on the compound then. And we filmed there.


Er Dong spotlighted on China Radio International

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

By Ariella Tai

Poster for Er Dong (dir. Yang Jin)

Early this month, Beijing-based journalist Lance Crayon was interviewed about Yang Jin’s second feature and dGenerate release Er Dong. Listen to the discussion on the China Radio International website, to hear his enthusiastic assessment of the film as a “low budget epic” that uses non-actors and a sparse soundtrack to create a fascinating portrait of contemporary rural China.

Crayon says, “Watching this film was a lesson on what life is like in rural China. As a Westerner I have no idea what China is like outside of big cities…its quite educational.” He also touches on Yang Jin’s talent and ingenuity, at one point tentatively calling him “a Chinese Robert Bresson”.

Er Dong is available in dGenerate’s catalog, alongside Yang Jin’s first feature film, Black and White Milk Cow.

Filmmakers Share Their Visions at the Get It Louder Creative Showcase

Friday, November 5th, 2010

By Sara Beretta

Director Liu Jiayin answering questions at Get It Louder (photo: Get It Louder)

Get It Louder (Da Sheng Zhan), one of China’s hottest showcases for emerging creative talent, followed its first session in Beijing with a run in Shanghai. The film program was particularly intense, featuring 26 movies (9 documentaries and 17 narrative) by both Chinese and non-Chinese filmmakers. The screenings included dGenerate titles Er Dong (dir. Yang Jin), Oxhide I & II (dir. Liu Jiayin) and Street Life (dir. Zhao Dayong).

Get It Louder’s stated theme of “Sharism,” emphasizing a spirit of collaboration and exchange among audiences and artists, was especially pertinent to the independent films on display, which otherwise are largely inaccessible to audiences in China. Director Q&A sessions were characterized not only by technical and artistic topics, but often went in depth over the the directors’ intentions. The concept of “Sharism” was demonstrated in the exchanges between viewers and directors, enriching the cinematic experience. One’s individual experiences of the film is not cancelled but amplified in exchanging perceptions with others.

The artistry and complexity of the works shone through in the screenings. The hard life of homeless migrant workers is realistically and poetically told by Zhao Dayong in Street Life. The fiction work by Yang Jin is deeply rooted in his own experience growing up in rural Shanxi province. Liu Jiayin’s exploration of time and space creatively transforms gestures and rituals we all pass through daily. Once again, art and life are not that far from each other, and sharing the experience of feeling and commenting on them is enriching and worthy. Hope there will be more and more events and occasions – in China and elsewhere – to have a look at ourselves through the eyes (and lens) of independent directors.

MEET THE FILMMAKERS: Yang Jin at Apple Store Xidan Joy City, Beijing – November 2

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Film Director Yang Jin

dGenerate Films and the Apple Store in Beijing continue their ongoing series showcasing China’s newest filmmakers powered by digital technology. Next Tuesday, November 2, acclaimed digital filmmaker Yang Jin will show clips from his films and discuss his creative process.

Yang Jin’s talk is part of the series “Meet the Filmmakers,” a collaboration between the Apple Store in Beijing and dGenerate Films. Digital tools, from digital video cameras to editing software, have placed filmmaking in the hands of the people. This series introduces award-winning directors discuss with the general public how they use digital technology to create their latest movies, attracting worldwide attention and acclaim.

Read news coverage of the inaugural “Meet the Filmmakers” events, and watch video from previous Apple Store talks with filmmakers Cui Zi’en, Jian Yi and Peng Tao.

Corrected: This event will be held at the Apple Store in Xidan Joy City (NOT Sanlitun), Beijing, starting at 7pm.

Address: North Street, Xicheng District, Beijing Xidan Joy City. Phone: 131(8610) 6649-1400

Yang Jin was born in 1982 in Shanxi. In 2000, he enrolled in the Shanxi Film School’s photography program. In 2003, he enrolled in the College of Art And Communication at Beijing Normal University, where he majored in directing. He made a few of documentaries and some short feature films during his time there. Yang’s first film The Black and White Milk Cow (2004) won the Ecumenical Jury Award and FICC Jury/Don Quijote Prize of the International Federation of Film Societies at the 19th Fribourg International Film Festival. His second feature Er Dong screened at the Pusan, Rotterdam and Hong Kong Film Festivals.

Shelly on Film: Between the Cracks of Capitalist China

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

By Shelly Kraicer

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

It’s always an interesting time to be in China, a place seemingly without uninteresting times. To be here now, though, lets you see a singular moment in society floating, unpinned, somewhere in between two bankrupt ruling ideologies. The collapse of official Communism/Maoism/Socialism with Chinese characteristics, as the ruling thinking evolved from pre-Liberation through the Cultural Revolution to post-Mao Dengism, is the keynote for lots of standard accounts of China today.

Traditional Chinese culture was, for a time, obliterated by various more or less radical and institutional versions of leftist ideology. These slowly disappeared in fact, though the rote sloganeering formulas persist, especially around the “liang hui” or annual meeting of the Chinese government’s legislative bodies, that took place in the spring. Following Deng Xiaoping’s reforms, and the unbridled embrace of wealth-concentration and manifest corruption in the Jiang Zemin era, the new god became capitalism, in its rawest, unregulated forms. Free market ideology imported from its Western exponents has washed over China, pushing some groups and regions ahead, leaving millions in the interior and the countryside, behind. Now that financial market capitalism is having its own profound existential crisis in the West, does China have to think about tossing out its brand new ruling ideology, right on top of the refuse of the old one? It’s enough to cause a case of ideological whiplash.

What happens when an unstable society starts to face the possibility that its hot new set of ideological nostrums might be just as insubstantial as those it has just recently thrown over? It must be a dizzying sort of disorientation for those Chinese who have invested their new identities in the new ways of thinking.