Posts Tagged ‘fortune teller’

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:

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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.

Shelly on Film: A Verité Movie Star Charms Rotterdam Film Festival

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

By Shelly Kraicer

Xu Tong, Shelly Kraicer and Tang Xiaoyan at screening of Fortune Teller at Rotterdam (photo courtesy of Xu Tong)

This year’s Rotterdam Film Festival (IFFR) offered a slice of the best of Chinese indie, experimental, and near-indie cinema. Provocative films as usual, and some very special guests; more on that in a moment. Notable 2010 features like Li Hongqi’s Winter Vacation (Hanjia), Zhao Dayong’s The High Life (Xunhuan zuole), and Li Ruijun’s Old Donkey (Lao Lütou) were accompanied by one premiere: Black Blood (Hei xue), by Zhang Miaoyan, a brooding blood-transfusion AIDs drama whose gloomy predictability was vitiated by its strikingly monumentalist-minimalist photography. The Piano in a Factory (Gangde qin) married the quirky independent sensibility of director Zhang Meng with a modulated, elegiac tone that was mild enough for the China Film Bureau to condone. Li Ning brought his challenging hybrid performance piece/doc Tape (Jiaodai) to Europe.

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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.
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XU Tong

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Xu Tong was born in Beijing in 1965. He graduated from Communications University with a major in film. Wheat Harvest is his first feature-length documentary, which won the Red Chameleon at CinDi in 2009 and was selected by the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2010. His second feature-length documentary Fortune Teller won the Jury Prize at the Chinese Documentary Festival, was selected among the Best Ten documentaries at the China Independent Film Festival, and was an official selection for the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2011.

Filmography:

Chinese Films at Rotterdam Film Fest, Including Two dGenerate Titles

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

Fortune Teller (dir. Xu Tong)

This year’s 40th edition of the Rotterdam International Film Festival has a particularly strong showing of Chinese films. Though none are competing for the prestigious Tiger award, there are plenty in the Bright Future section of emerging filmmakers, as well as a couple of programs specifically about China. But we are especially pleased to announced that two titles we distribute in North America will make their European premiere at Rotterdam. dGenerate’s Kevin B. Lee will be attending the festival; if you happen to be there and would like to meet Kevin or attend a screening, he can be reached at kevin *at* dgeneratefilms *dot* com.

Our films are:

Fortune Teller, dir. Xu Tong

Li Baicheng is a charismatic fortune teller who services a clientele of prostitutes and marginalized figures whose jobs, like his, are commonplace but technically illegal in China. He practices his ancient craft in a village near Beijing while taking care of his deaf and dumb wife Pearl, whom he had rescued from her family’s mistreatment. Winter brings a police crackdown on both fortune tellers and prostitutes, forcing Li and Pearl into temporary exile in his hometown, where he revisits old family demons. His humble story is told with chapter headings similar to Qing Dynasty popular fiction, as the film draws narrative complexity from China’s everyday life.

Cinerama 7 Tue 01 Feb 10:30
Cinerama 5 Fri 04 Feb 12:45

More details

Tape, dir. Li Ning

For five grueling years, Li Ning documents his struggle to achieve success as an avant-garde artist while contending with the pressures of modern life in China. He is caught between two families: his wife, son and mother, whom he can barely support; and his enthusiastic but disorganized guerilla dance troupe. Li’s chaotic life becomes inseparable from the act of taping it, as if his experiences can only make sense on screen. Tape shatters documentary conventions, utilizing a variety of approaches, including guerilla documentary, experimental street video, even CGI. Much like Jia Zhangke’s Platform, Tape captures a decade’s worth of artistic aspirations and failures, while breaking new ground in individual expression in China.

LV 6 Wed 02 Feb 12:00 tickets
LV 3 Fri 04 Feb 16:00

More details

In addition. Zhao Dayong (Ghost Town, Street Life) will screen his new documentary My Father’s House, as part of the Festival’s special Raiding Africa program. Inspired by the growing influence of China in some African countries, the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) asks seven filmmakers from South Africa, Cameroon, Uganda, Rwanda, Congo and Angola to make films in China. The African directors’ films will premiere, along with a contextual film program, during the Rotterdam’s 40th edition.

We hope to have more coverage of the festival in the days to come…

Tape and Fortune Teller at Rotterdam International Film Festival

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

Those of you fortunate enough to be at the Rotterdam International Film Festival should look for two new dGenerate films, Li Ning’s Tape and Xu Tong’s Fortune Teller.

Tape screened on Friday and will also be screened on Wed, Feb. 2 at 12pm and Fri, Feb. 4 at 4pm. Fortune Teller also screened Friday and screens again on Tuesday, Feb. 1 at 10:30am and Fri, Feb. 4 at 12:45pm.

Descriptions of Tape and Fortune Teller can be found here and here. And if you happen to be at the festival, track down dGenerate’s Kevin Lee and say hi!

dGenerate Titles Fortune Teller, Tape to Screen at Rotterdam Film Festival

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Artist Li Ning performing "Tape"

The International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), one of the leading venues for global cutting-edge cinema, announced its Bright Future program of debut and second feature films by fresh filmmaking talent from around the world. Five Chinese titles are included in the lineup, including two represented by dGenerate Films: Fortune Teller by Xu Tong and Tape by Li Ning. dGenerate Films is the North American distributor of Fortune Teller and the international sales agent for Tape.

The IFFR runs from January 26-February 6, 2010 in Rotterdam. Both directors Xu Tong and Li Ning will be present at the festival. Screening dates and details will be announced later.

The full Competition lineup for the prestigious Tiger Award will be announced over the coming days. We expect more exciting titles from China to be announced, possibly featuring names familiar to the dGenerate catalog. Stay tuned.

Berenice Reynaud Spotlights Six Chinese Films at Vancouver

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Thomas Mao (dir. Zhu Wen)

Judging by the extensive coverage of Chinese films at the Vancouver International Film Festival, one can conclude that it is one of the key venues to see the best of Chinese cinema outside of China. We’ve already pointed to reports by VIFF Dragons and Tigers programmer Shelly Kraicer, Film Comment’s Robert Koehler and MUBI’s Daniel Kasman. In the latest issue of Senses of Cinema, Berenice Reynaud offers an in-depth take on half a dozen Chinese-language titles, among many other films reviewed from the festival. Some excerpts:

On Li Hongqi’s Winter Vacation: “Li alternates wordless, rigorously composed scenes with instances of sparse dialogue, a Beckett-like hollowing of everyday platitudes.”

On Zhu Wen’s Thomas Mao: “Another scintillating example of neo-Chinese wit.”

On Jia Zhangke’s I Wish I Knew: “Old Shanghai is disappearing in the wake of unprecedented urban destruction (a lot of it caused by the World Expo itself); I Wish I Knew captures it as a dream, a memory, a flow of cinematic images that are as fluid and immaterial as the two rivers that run through it.”

On Hao Jie’s Single Man: “Visceral, off-colour, generous to a fault, Hao Jie’s Guanggun (Single Man) is one of the most exciting filmmaking debuts in years.”

On Zhao Dayong’s The High Life: “Zhao plays with our narrative expectations, blurring the lines between fiction and self-representation.”

On Xu Tong’s Fortune Teller: “Following Li and Little Pearl on the back alleys and dusty roads of rural China, Xu – whose first film, Mai shou (Wheat Harvest, 2008) was the controversial portrait of a lower class prostitute leading a double life – casts an unsentimental gaze at these humble lives that the “new and harmonious society” would like to keep under the rug.”

Reynaud concludes of the latter three films:

During the Mao years, conformity was the norm. Now the powers-that-be want to transform the citizens into quiet, obedient consumers. Films such as Single Man, High Life or Fortune Teller outline the gap between these grand plans and the way people live, point out the heightened contradictions of modernisation. Whether they resort to fictionalisation or experimental techniques, they manage to capture something of this reality that Lacan perceived as left over between the symbolic (the laws) and the imaginary (the utopias of socialism or free market).

Read Reynaud’s complete festival report at Senses of Cinema.