Posts Tagged ‘ghost town’

11 Chinese Independent Films Screening this Fall in Chicago – Starts Monday

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Oxhide II (dir. Liu Jiayin)

This will be the largest series of Chinese cinema in Chicago this year. The series is listed online at: http://docfilms.uchicago.edu/dev/calendar/2011/fall/monday.shtml (note that the opening night screening is not listed).

A Selection of Chinese Independent Cinema

Mondays, September 26 – November 28, 2011
Doc Films, University of Chicago
Max Palevsky Cinema in Ida Noyes Hall
The University of Chicago
1212 East 59th Street, Chicago, IL

Tickets $5, free with DocFilms season pass ($30)

Few national cinemas are as vibrant as that of contemporary China. Similarly, there are few places in the world today where art and media practice share such an important role in addressing national memory and societal issues. For these and other reasons, some of the most important work being made in China today is made by independent artists, with techniques that challenge the conventions and boundaries of both documentary and fiction film.

dGenerate Films (http://dgeneratefilms.com) stands as an important cultural pipeline, distributing independent cinema from mainland China within North America and Europe. This program intends to offer a sampling of the dGenerate catalogue, which contains many of the most important films produced in China within the last decade. These films reflect Chinese independent cinema in its broad diversity, social urgency, and creative innovation.

Full schedule after the break. (more…)

Ten Titles Now Available on Institutional DVD!

Monday, May 16th, 2011
We are pleased to announce the release of ten new titles on Institutional DVD, and the release of four titles on Home DVD. These titles include acclaimed festival films Ghost Town, 1428 and Disorder; probing environmental documentaries Before the Flood 1, Before the Flood 2 and Timber Gang (Last Lumberjacks), works by acclaimed social chronicler Shu Haolun, and landmark works by Hu Jie, one of China’s most important historical filmmakers.
A full list with descriptions can be found below; further details can be found on our online catalog. Buy them on Amazon or contact us directly.

Ghost Town (Fei Cheng)
directed by Zhao Dayong
Tucked away in a rugged corner of Southwest China, a village is haunted by traces of China’s cultural past while its residents piece together a day-by-day existence.

Disorder (Xianshi Shi Guoqu de Weilai)
directed by Huang Weikai
This one-of-a-kind news documentary captures, with remarkable freedom, the anarchy, violence, and seething anxiety animating China’s major cities today.

1428
directed by Du Haibin

This award-winning documentary of the earthquake that devastated China’s Sichuan province in 2008 explores how victims, citizens and government respond to a national tragedy.

Before the Flood 1 (Yan Mo)

directed by Li Yifan and Yan Yu
A landmark documentary following the residents of the historic city of Fengjie as they clash with officials forcing them to evacuate their homes to make way for the world’s largest dam.

Before the Flood 2 – Yong Tan (Yan Mo II- Gong Tan)
directed by Yan Yu
Yan Yu follows his groundbreaking documentary Before the Flood with this profile of the residents of Gongtan, a 1700-year-old village soon to be demolished by a hydroelectric dam project.

Timber Gang (aka Last Lumberjacks) (Mu Bang)
directed by Yu Guagnyi
Yu Guangyi’s stunning debut explores a grueling winter amongst loggers in Northeast China as they employ traditional practices through one last, fateful expedition.

Nostalgia (Xiang Chou)
directed by Shu Haolun
Acclaimed filmmaker Shu Haolun explores the rich culture and history of his Shanghai neighborhood upon its impending destruction.

Struggle (Zheng Zha)
directed by Shu Haolun
This powerful documentary explores the cruel realities of sweatshop labor and workplace injury in China, and one lawyer’s mission to defend worker’s rights.

Searching for Lin Zhao’s Soul (Xun Zhao Lin Zhao De Ling Hun)
directed by Hu Jie
This landmark documentary reveals the tragic life of a gifted young woman who was executed for speaking out during the height of Chairman Mao’s rule.

Though I Am Gone
directed by Hu Jie
The tragic story of a teacher beaten to death by her students during the Cultural Revolution.

Tragic Deaths and Media Cover-Ups, from 1994 to Today

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

By Isabella Tianzi Cai

Earlier this month, the story of a dead Chinese college student circulated the Internet under close monitoring by Chinese press authorities. The 23-year-old man, Zhao Wei, was a college student making his way home by train. He traded his seat with a passenger in another car so as to stay close with his friend. Somewhere during this exchange, he got on the bad side of his train conductor. He was led away by railway police and mysteriously died.

An initial autopsy report ruled that Zhao’s death was due to his jumping off the train. His body suffered many injuries, with signs also showing that he had been handcuffed. Unconvinced by the findings, Zhao’s bereft parents have been trying to petition the authorities to investigate further. As stated by official Chinese news channels, the case will be properly handled by the railway police, which, ironically, may have also caused the death.

(more…)

This Week’s Events: Disorder and Ghost Town at the Freer Gallery in Washington D.C.

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Disorder (dir. Huang Weikai)

DGENERATE FILMS EVENTS FOR THE WEEK OF 3/21/11-3/27/11

Disorder at the Freer Gallery

Friday, March 25 at 7 PM

Screening at the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital: Focus on China

Address:
Freer Gallery of Art
Jefferson Drive at 12th St SW
Washington D.C.

Description:
“Disorder is simply a gripping, stirring, occasionally shocking experience.” – Hua Hsu of The Atlantic

Huang Weikai’s one-of-a-kind news documentary captures, with remarkable freedom, the anarchy, violence, and seething anxiety animating China’s major cities today. As urbanization in China advances at a breakneck pace, Chinese cities teeter on the brink of mayhem.

Admission is free. Seating for films is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Auditorium doors will open approximately 30 minutes before each show.

Disorder at the Ann Arbor Film Festival

Saturday, March 26 at 2 PM

Preceded by the world premiere of Robert Fenz’s most recent film, “The Sole of the Foot”.

Address:
603 East Liberty Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Description:
Tickets are $9 and can be purchased by calling 734-604-4627 or emailing boxoffice@aafilmfest.org.

Ghost Town at the Freer Gallery

Sunday, March 27 at 2 PM

Screening at the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital: Focus on China

Address:
Freer Gallery of Art
Jefferson Drive at 12th St SW
Washington D.C.

Description:
A miniature epic of the everyday” – A.O. Scott, The New York Times

Tucked away in a rugged corner of Yunnan Province, Lisu and Nu minority villagers squat in the abandoned halls of this remote former Community county seat. Divided into three parts, this epic documentary takes an intimate look at its varied cast of characters, bringing audiences face to face with people left behind by China’s new economy.

Admission is free. Seating for films is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Auditorium doors will open approximately 30 minutes before each show.

For a full list of upcoming events, visit our Events Page.

This Week’s Events: Betelnut in Glasgow, Queer China in Claremont, and Ghost Town in Ithaca

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Betelnut (dir. Yang Heng)

DGENERATE FILMS EVENTS FOR THE WEEK OF 3/07/11-3/13/11

Betelnut at the Centre for Contemporary Arts

Tuesday, March 8 at 7:00 PM

Address:
350 Sauchiehall Street
Glasgow, United Kingdom

Description:
“Pure cinema” – Susanna Harutyunyan, FIPRESCI – The International Federation of Film Critics

Exquisite!” – Tony Rayns, Film Comment

Along a sleepy Hunan riverside, two delinquent boys experience a summer of love and violence in Yang Heng’s visually stunning debut.

Tickets are free, they will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. Call the CCA Box Office on 0141 352 4900 to reserve your ticket.

Queer China at Pomona College

Thursday, March 10

Address:
Pomona College
333 North College Way
Claremont, CA

Description:

Best Documentary at the Lisbon Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

Directed by Cui Zi’en, China’s leading queer theorist, activist and scholar, the documentary includes rarely seen footage of the first ever appearance of gays and lesbians on State television, including Cui Zi’en himself.

Ghost Town at Cornell Cinema

Friday, March 11 at 7:00 PM

Screening as part of the “China Now” Film Series

Address:
Cornell Cinema
104 Willard Straight Hall
Ithaca, Illinois

Description:

A quiet marvel” – Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

Tucked away in a rugged corner of Yunnan Province, Lisu and Nu minority villagers squat in the abandoned halls of this remote former Community county seat. Divided into three parts, Ghost Town takes an intimate look at its varied cast of characters, bringing audiences face to face with people left behind by China’s new economy.

Tickets are $7 for the general public, $5.50 for seniors, and $4 for students and kids 12 and under. Advance Sale Tickets can be purchased at the Willard Straight Hall Ticket Desk, or at the box office, which opens 20 minutes before the scheduled showtime.

For a full list of upcoming events, visit our Events Page.

Profile of Zhao Dayong, Director of Ghost Town and Street Life

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Zhao Dayong, director of Street Life and Ghost Town

By Isabella Tianzi Cai

This entry is part of a weeklong spotlight of newly available titles in the dGenerate Films catalog.

In the Global Times, Chris Hawke (Hao Ying) highlights director Zhao Dayong‘s filmmaking career and three of his documentaries. The article is occasioned by the screening of Zhao’s Street Life (2006) and Ghost Town (2008) at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing.

Street Life and Ghost Town, both available through the dGenerate catalog, have received international recognition in the festival circuit, and continue to garner praise from film critics from around the world. With regard to Street Life, Hawke writes,

Zhao explores how the poorest of the poor prey on each other, and draws parallels and allusions to the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West.

This point is reaffirmed by Zhao: (more…)

A Haunted Village on Halloween: Ghost Town at Cleveland Museum of Art Sunday

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Ghost Town (dir. Zhao Dayong)

In a stroke of inspired Halloween programming, The Cleveland Museum of Art will screen the acclaimed (and fittingly titled) documentary Ghost Town this Sunday at 1:30PM.

Special admission: $10; museum members, seniors age 65 and older, and students, $8; no passes or vouchers.

The Cleveland Museum of Art
11150 East Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44106

For more information about Ghost Town at the Cleveland Museum of Art website!

Keep track of upcoming screenings of dGenerate films by visiting our Events page.

A New Voice on Chinese Film: Dan Edwards’ Screening China

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

Directors Jia Zhangke, Wang Xiaoshuai and Lou Ye at the Beijing premiere of Wang's Chongqing Blues (photo courtesy of Screening China)

We’ve been following Dan Edwards‘ blog Screening China for the past several weeks, and it’s quickly shaping up to be an important source for reviews on the latest in Chinese film, especially from the indie/arthouse side. Dan, who is based in Beijing, writes for The Beijinger and Real Time Arts, among other publications. We’ve been linking all year to his coverage of our films and filmmakers: a review of Ghost Town; an interview with Liu Jiayin; a profile on documentary filmmakers; and a recap of the Hong Kong International Film Festival. He’s contributed a lot in a relatively short time, and it’s good to be able to access his content on his blog (which, ironically, is blocked in China).

Here are some recent highlights from his blog:

(more…)

ArtForum Reviews Films by Zhao Dayong at Flaherty Film Seminar

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Street Life (dir. Zhao Dayong)

The Flaherty Film Seminar, a private, weeklong series of screenings and talks with filmmakers, scholars and enthusiasts, concluded another annual edition last month. This year’s Seminar was curated by film critic Dennis Lim with the guiding theme of “Work”. Chinese filmmaker Zhao Dayong attended the seminar, presenting his first two feature films: Street Life and Ghost Town, both distributed by dGenerate.

In ArtForum, Nicholas Rapold points out several highlights of the Seminar, including Zhao Dayong’s films:

Zhao Dayong‘s lauded Ghost Town (2009) conjures a marginal community in the provinces – a former Communist workers’ village perched in the mountains. Its unification of artistry (Zhao trained as an oil painter) with social portraiture made the centrally placed film a capstone to the week’s percolating dialogue on how work forges identity. Accordingly, Zhao’s embedded look at the Shanghai homeless, Street Life (2006), offered a fascinating vision of unmade man: a prolonged finale showing one of the subjects (recently beaten by police) engaged in demented Situationist crumping in a public square under a Jumbotron.

The full article can be accessed at ArtForum.

“A Quiet Marvel:” Chicago Critics on Ghost Town – Now Playing!

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Ghost Town (dir. Zhao Dayong)

As part of its national tour, Zhao Dayong’s acclaimed documentary Ghost Town is screening for a week in Chicago, from April 9-15 at Facets Cinematheque. Chicago critics are already showering unanimous praise upon the film. Some excerpts:

“Fine, go ahead and film!” hollers a resident of Zhiziluo. “But there’s nothing worth filming here.”
Zhao Dayong offers a differing view in “Ghost Town…” This skilled filmmaker finds much to contemplate in the long abandoned, largely depopulated Chinese town.

- Bill Stamets, The Chicago Sun-Times

A quiet marvel, Zhao Dayong’s second feature-length picture is no less an indelible portrait of a place, and its people, as Terence Davies’ “Of Time and the City” and Jia Zhangke’s “Still Life” or “24 City.”

- Michael Phillips, The Chicago Tribune

Directed by Zhao Dayong, this 2008 documentary presents Zhizilou, a small town in Yunan province, as evidence that the Chinese economic miracle has eroded once-thriving rural cultures by drawing villagers to large cities… The lush mountain scenery contrasts vividly with the crumbling town, but the biggest impact comes from the astonishing candor of the residents.

- Andrea Gronvall, The Chicago Reader

Shot without government permission in a remote part of China, Ghost Town is about as handmade as filmmaking comes… Zhao finds unlikely poetry in his story, seemingly one of utter hopelessness, and uses it to bring this epic portrait full circle.

- Ben Kenigsberg, Time Out Chicago

Director-editor-cinematographer Zhao Dayong’s astonishingly gorgeous, achingly sorrowful three-part independent documentary, “Ghost Town” (2008), captures the life and survival of Zhiziluo, a village in remote Southwest China. His work resembles that of his countryman Zhangke Jia and other filmmakers of the current generation working on high-definition video (a format less restricted by the Chinese government than 35mm features intended for theatrical exhibition), all demonstrating by witness, “What is now? What is China? What is the future?” All find the lyric in the mundane: So many stories, so many vistas of physical beauty and dusty ruin… “Ghost Town” is profound in portraying the particulars of generations of villagers and profoundly sad as well.

- Ray Pride, New City Film

Tickets can be purchased at:

Facets Cinematheque
1517 Fullerton Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614