Posts Tagged ‘fujian blue’

Patrick Radden Keefe’s New Yorker article on Fujian-Chinatown Snakeheads

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

The Snakehead (author: Patrick Radden Keefe)

This Friday dGenerate Films and the Museum of Chinese in American kick off their regular screening series Chinese Cinema Club. The first screening, held at the museum’s Chinatown location, will be Robin Weng‘s Fujian Blue, an exciting indie feature about reckless youths tied to the human smuggling trade in China’s Fujian province.

Joining us in post-screening discussion is Patrick Radden Keefe, author of The Snakehead: An Epic Tale of the Chinatown Underworld and the American Dream. It’s a fascinating book that digs deep into the smuggling of people from China to the US, an illegal practice which by the 1990s grew into a multi-billion dollar industry. Keefe will share his real-life observations of life and crime in Fujian, and also discuss how the “snakeheads” forever changed New York’s Chinatown.

Admission: $10/adult; $8/student & senior, Free for MOCA member. Visit the MoCA website for directions and details.

In 2006, Keefe published an eye-opening article in The New Yorker that eventually led him to write the book. Here’s a key excerpt:

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Chinese Cinema Club Launches This Friday at the MoCA in Chinatown

Monday, September 27th, 2010

The Chinese Cinema Club, a collaboration between dGenerate Films and Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA), is a movie club screening Chinese and Chinese American films on the first Friday of every other month.

The Club is a first step towards addressing the disappearance of cinemas from Chinatown, and its subsequent lack of public screening options. The aim will be to draw diverse movie-lovers and provide a regular space to gather, watch, discover and interact around cinema.

The series kicks off this Friday October 1 with Fujian Blue, Robin Weng’s acclaimed feature about reckless youths dangerously involved with illegal human trafficking in China’s Fujian Province.

Fujian Blue

2007, 87 min. Directed by Robin Weng.

This award-winning debut feature portrays two interweaving stories of youth crime and family crisis shed light on illegal emigration and human trafficking in China’s Fujian province.

Followed by Q&A with Patrick Radden Keefe, author of The Snakehead: An Epic Tale of the Chinatown Underworld and the American Dream, moderated by Kevin Lee, VP of Programming with dGenerate Films.

Admission: $10/adult; $8/student & senior, Free for MOCA member. To purchase tickets, please emaileducation@mocanyc.org.

Purchase tickets to all three screenings for $25!

To RSVP for the event, please visit the Facebook Event Page here.

UPCOMING FILMS:

Take Out
Friday, December 3, 2010, 7pm

2004, 87 min. Directed by Sean Baker and Shih-Ching Tsou
An illegal Chinese immigrant falls behind on payments on an enormous smuggling debt. Ming Ding has only until the end of the day to come up with the money.
Followed by Q&A with the directors, Sean Baker and Shih-Ching Tsou.

Oxhide
February 4, 2011, 7pm

2005, 110 min. Directed by Jiayin Liu

Daily life in an impossibly cramped Beijing apartment takes on epic proportions in this, intimate portrait, with unprecedented access, of a working-class Chinese family.

To find out more about the Chinese Cinema Club, please click here.

Chinese Indie Feature Wins Top Prize at Locarno

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Li Hongqi, winner of the Golden Leopard for Winter Vacation (Photo: Locarno Film Festival)

by Isabella Tianzi Cai

34-year-old Chinese director Li Hongqi’s feature, Winter Vacation, won the Golden Leopard Award at the 63rd Locarno Film Festival on Saturday, August 14, 2010. It is the second time in Locarno’s award history that one country has won the top prize for two consecutive years. In 2009, the award was given to She, a Chinese by another Chinese director Guo Xiaolu.

Winter Vacation tells a coming-of-age story set in a small town of Inner Mongolia in Northern China. The story centers around four youths and it takes place on the last day of their winter vacation. The youths’ general lack of purpose in life is captured in scanty dialogue and “long shots with little editing for stretches of several minutes” (GenevaLunch). As specified by Brian Brooks in indieWire,

“Their conversations are desultory and they sometimes seem to argue for argument’s sake. One of them, Laowu, talks frankly with his girlfriend about how teenage love might affect their studies, while Laobao questions school’s value and relevance to real life.”

Both thematically and stylistically speaking, Winter Vacation resembles dGenerate’s Fujian Blue and Betelnut. Though the stories take place in different parts of China, they share quite some common sentiments of Chinese youths today.

Trivia: The jury of the festival this year included Singapore filmmaker Eric Khoo, whose film My Magic was nominated for the Golden Palm award at Cannes in 2008.

Asia Society Film Recap: Fujian Blue

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Fujian Blue (dir. Robin Weng)

Concluding our recap of the Asia Society series “China’s Past, Present and Future on Film,” here is an excerpt from a full-length review by Joe Bendel of Robin Weng’s acclaimed feature Fujian Blue:

Port towns have a certain unsavory reputation, which the cities of Fujian Province amply fulfill. Home of the “Golden Triangle of illegal immigration,” China’s Fujian is also a border region, neighboring nearby archipelagos controlled by the Republic of China. Not surprisingly there is a lot of money to be made in Fujian, but nearly always at someone else’s expense. Indeed, it is an environment marked by corruption and exploitation that emerges in Robin Weng’s Fujian Blue.

Like nearly all of the films in the Asia Society series, Weng’s approach is unsentimentally naturalistic. However, Blue still has a strong narrative structure. The cast is also quite convincing in a way that is somewhat disturbing, given the film’s documentary-like realism and their characters’ morally questionable natures. Yet, what really distinguishes the film is its strong sense of place, depicting a Fujian where McMansions, red-light districts, slums, and the rocky natural beauty of the coastline exist nearly side-by-side.

While most of the films in the Asia Society series reflect the aesthetics of the Jia Zhangke-influenced “Digital Generation” (or d-generate), the selected films taken as a whole represent China’s geographic diversity quite well. Offering pointed social commentary and an unvarnished tour of Fujian, Blue is a strong conclusion to an ambitious film series.

Read the full review.

Also read Mike Fu’s exclusive review on our site.

Watch clips from Fujian Blue below:

Reveries of the Golden Triangle: Fujian Blue playing Friday

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Fujian Blue (dir. Robin Weng)

Robin Weng’s acclaimed feature Fujian Blue will screen at Asia Society this Friday, April 16, 2010 as part of the series “China’s Past, Present, and Future on Film.” dGenerate’s Kevin B. Lee will introduce the screening.

You can use discount code asia725 to buy tickets at the $7 member rate. Tickets can be purchased at the Asia Society website or at the Asia Society box office.

Fujian Blue (Jin Bi Hui Huang)
Robin WENG (WENG Shouming). China. 2007. 87 min. Narrative. Digibeta.
Friday, April 16, 6:45 pm

Here’s an exclusive review of the film by Mike Fu:

Subtropical reveries of money, sex, and power dominate the golden triangle of southern China in this gritty neorealist drama from Robin Weng (Weng Shouming). Featuring idyllic natural landscapes side by side with Fujian province’s urban sprawl, Weng’s narrative follows a group of young hoodlums circulating carefree in a vapid nightlife of karaoke bars and dance halls. By day, they pursue a more malicious endeavor to extort money from local housewives, whose husbands have made their fortunes abroad and left them floundering at home. The film opens contrasting rows of decrepit houses with breathtaking mansions, reminiscent of a southern Californian suburb, glistening beneath the sun. Already the dichotomy of contemporary Chinese society becomes apparent: the rift between haves and have-nots threatens to grow ever wider, and the stakes only become higher for a younger generation willing to risk everything.

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dGenerate Screening and Talk Next Tuesday at Swarthmore

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

dGenerate Films VP of Programming Kevin B. Lee

On Tuesday March 30 at Swarthmore College, Vice President of Programming Kevin B. Lee will speak about issues in contemporary Chinese cinema and his work with dGenerate Films.

Following Mr. Lee’s talk will be a screening of Fujian Blue, a 2007 film by Weng Shouming, that has played in various international film festivals and won the Dragons and Tigers Award at the 2007 Vancouver International Film Festival.

The China Film Journal writes that the film is “an absorbing narrative of deeply felt characters, a trenchant social commentary, and a tone poem to a nearly-lost generation.”

Admission Free. Sponsored by SAO as part of the APIA Heritage Month, Film and Media Studies program, FFS, Movie Committee and FOTS.

Location Information:
Science Center, Room 101
Swarthmore College
Swarthmore, PA

“Sinophilic Cinephilia:” Review of Asia Society Film Series

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Fujian Blue (dir. Robin Weng)

The value of Asia Society’s series China’s Past Present, Future on Film… is that it exposes us to a diverse group of lesser-known artists at a time when much of the discussion of contemporary Chinese cinema still revolves around big names like Jia Zhangke.

Andrew Chan reviews several of the titles playing at the Asia Society series, giving special mention to Robin Weng’s Fujian Blue.

Read the full article.

Discounted Tickets and Jia Zhangke in person for Asia Society series

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Our friends at the Asia Society are offering discounted tickets for their upcoming Film Series China’s Past, Present, and Future on Film, March 6 – April 16, 2010. You can use discount code asia725 to buy tickets at the $7 member rate. This includes tickets to see Jia Zhangke in-person on March 6! It’s also a chance to see several dGenerate titles on the big screen: Betelnut, Fujian Blue, Gai Shanxi and Her Sisters, and Little Moth.

Full schedule and details.