Posts Tagged ‘high life’

China Independent Film Festival Reviewed by Electric Sheep

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Perfect Life (2009, dir. Emily Tang)

In the online film journal Electric Sheep, John Berra reports on the China Independent Film Festival held last October in Nanjing. He describes the festival, now in its seventh year, as a semi-secret state of affairs:

As not every film in the line-up has received the stamp of approval from the Film Bureau of the State Administration for Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), this celebration of Chinese cinema occurs under the political radar, and the lack of the promotion means that many students of Nanjing University are not aware that an important film festival is taking place on their campus until a few banners appear in the days leading up to the event. However, the festival organisers somehow manage to make this ‘invisible’ festival sufficiently noticeable and 2010 screenings were well-attended, leading to a series of productive Q&A sessions with the filmmakers in attendance and valuable networking events.

Berra singles out several films for praise, starting with Perfect Life, directed by Emily Tang and executive produced by Jia Zhangke:

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Shelly on Film: Deeper Into Dragons and Tigers

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

By Shelly Kraicer

Rumination (dir. Xu Ruotao)

The 2010 Vancouver International Film Festival (September 30 to October 15) has just concluded. This was my fourth year programming Chinese language films for VIFF’s Dragons and Tigers section for East Asian cinema; this year’s edition featured 43 features and 21 shorts, co-curated by Tony Rayns and myself. I selected 19 features and three shorts: 12 from China, 4 from Hong Kong, 3 from Taiwan, 2 from Malaysia, and one from Singapore. Details of the films from the People’s Republic of China, including comments derived from my catalogue notes for VIFF, can be found below.

Within the D&T section, the Dragons and Tigers Award for Young Cinema, programmed by Tony Rayns, featured 8 films by young, as yet “undiscovered” directors. The jury, comprised of Jia Zhangke, Bong Joon-ho, and Denis Côté, awarded its prize to the Japanese film Good Morning World!, directed by Hirohara Satoru. Two special mentions were awarded: one to the Chinese film Rumination (Fanchu), by Xu Ruotao, and one to Phan Dang Di’s Vietnamese film Don’t Be Afraid B!

As usual, I chose more films from China than from any other territory. I try each year to balance at least two goals in my programming: I want to give VIFF audiences a sense of the increasing variety of Chinese language filmmaking, both in the independent sector, and in commercial genres. At the same time, it has always been VIFF’s policy and my own personal preference to highlight the work of independent young filmmakers working outside of the system of official censorship and distribution (independent tizhiwai films). Indie documentary filmmaking continues to be particularly strong in China, and I could only choose a few examples: it would have been easy to devote the bulk of my 9 feature length film slots to Chinese independent films this year.

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RealTime Reviews Films by dGenerate Directors at HKIFF

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

The High Life (dir. Zhao Dayong)

by Isabella Tianzi Cai

RealTime Arts, Australia’s critical guide to contemporary international arts, recently reviewed several films from the 34th Hong Kong International Film Festival – several by directors with films distributed by dGenerate.

In the Asian Digital Competition section of HKIFF, the awards went to Zhao Dayong’s The High Life and Yang Heng’s Sun Spots. RealTime’s Mike Walsh comments on the former, “Characters enter and then leave the narrative, frustrating our attempt to approach contemporary China in exclusively personal terms. It is worth comparing this to the structure of Zhao’s previous documentary Ghost Town which is divided into three parts, each focusing on a different character.” dGenerate Films distributes Ghost Town as well as Zhao’s debut feature Street Life (coming soon), and Yang Heng’s Betelnut.

In the same article, Walsh also highly commends Liu Jiayin’s mesmerizing documentary Oxhide II, the sequel to Oxhide (distributed by dGenerate). He writes,

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Video: Interview with Zhao Dayong on his new film The High Life

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Danwei.org interviews Zhao Dayong, Chinese independent filmmaker and director of Street Life and Ghost Town (both distributed by dGenerate). Zhao’s latest feature film The High Life premiered at this year’s Hong Kong International Film Festival. In this interview Zhao introduces these films, as well as his documentary My Father’s House and experimental feature Rough Poetry. More information about Zhao and his work is available on his website Lanternfilms. Video also on Tudou.