Posts Tagged ‘kathie smith’

“An Observational Powerhouse:” Review of Zhao Liang’s Crime and Punishment

Friday, August 10th, 2012

Twin Cities area film programmer Kathie Smith reviews Zhao Liang’s documentary Crime and Punishment, which screened earlier this year at the Trylon Microcinema, as part of a series of Chinese independent films programmed by Smith:

Crime and Punishment, Zhao Liang first feature length documentary, is an observational powerhouse. Bringing direct cinema back from the ashes, Zhao adds another dimension to China’s dichotomies by focusing on a small forgotten corner of this rising superpower. Situated on his home turf, Zhao is given unprecedented access to a local police station along the North Korean border. Mean streets these are not. Instead we have life on the margins where ambitions of any kind have left this town behind. The police are candid, the situations are often defy logic, and the arrests add up to little more than harassment masquerading as control. Even moments of idleness seem to be cloaked in an aura of base tedium: cleaning a gun, fiddling with a pair of handcuffs or a bout of wrestling in the snow.


Three New Chinese Indie Docs Reviewed in Variety and Twitch

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

By Kevin B. Lee

"Are We Really So Far from the Madhouse?"

Covering the Vancouver International Film Festival for Variety, Robert Koehler has been filing rave reviews of some new Chinese independent documentaries he’s seen at the festival’s Dragons and Tigers lineup. We are excited to see his praise for Bachelor Mountain, the new film by Yu Guangyi (whose Timber Gang is distributed by dGenerate) and Are We Really So Far from the Madhouse, the latest by Li Hongqi (whose Winter Vacation is available through dGF).

Coincidentally, the same three documentaries are also reviewed enthusiastically by Kathie Smith, who covered VIFF for the website Twitch.

Click through to read excerpts from Koehler’s and Smith’s reviews – click on their names to access the full text of Koehler’s reviews on Variety (registration required) and Smith’s on Twitch. Also read the program notes on all Chinese language films at VIFF by programmer Shelly Kraicer.