Posts Tagged ‘li ning’

Micro-Dispatches from Film Directors on Weibo, China’s Twitter

Monday, September 26th, 2011

A number of film directors whose titles we distribute have accounts on Weibo, the Chinese microblog comparable to Twitter. We looked through these accounts for interesting messages. The following were compiled by Yuqian Yan.

Ou Ning (director of Meishi Street and San Yuan Li):

9/11 Berenice Reynaud curated the Thematic Retrospective – Digital Shadows: Last Generation Chinese Film for San Sebastian International Film Festival. It will screen 20 films, including Meishi Street. (9/18-9/19, two screenings).

9/11 The press conference for 2011 Chengdu Biennial will be held tomorrow. I’m speechless after I got this notice, “According to the official requirement of the government press conference, please wear light-color, short-sleeve shirt with a tie.” There’s still enough time to buy a light-color, short-sleeve shirt, but no one has ever taught me how to wear a tie …

Zhao Liang (director of Crime and Punishment):

9/13 F***, Money can do everything! (commenting on “the Most Beautiful Moon of the Mid-Autumn Festival)

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LI Ning

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

BIOGRAPHY

Li Ning is a dancer, sculptor, performance artist, and filmmaker based out of Jinan, China. His first film is the documentary Tape.

SELECTED FILMOGRAPHY

Tape
2010, 168 min, documentary

- Official selection at the 41st International Film Festival Rotterdam, Netherlands, 2011
- Official selection at the 4th Reel China Film Festival at New York University, United States, 2008

Self-Portrait in a DV Mirror: a Review of Li Ning’s Tape

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

By Carlo Labrador-Pangalangan

 

Li Ning accepts the Silver Award at YunFest for his film “Tape”

Tape, directed by Li Ning, will screen this Thursday at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts as part of the series Fearless: Chinese Independent Documentaries.” Here is a review by filmmaker Carlo Labrador-Pangalangan, who watched the film when it screened at MoMA Documentary Fortnight in February.

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In the past ten years, only a handful of films made me re-evaluate what I considered to be cinema, providing me with a new way of looking at things. Three of those films emerged from the independent filmmaking movement in China: Wang Bing’s Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks, Liu Jiayin’s first Oxhide film, and Li Ning’s Tape.

Li Ning could be considered a “late arrival” to the scene, emerging after many of the other digital filmmakers from China have already established themselves and are already working on their second or third projects. What an arrival, though. Li Ning has basically taken what people have become familiar with in Chinese independent cinema a step further. Actually, he’s opened another dimension.

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CinemaTalk: Interview with Li Ning, Director of Tape

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Li Ning, director of Tape

Tape, a highly experimental documentary by performance artist, dancer and filmmaker Li Ning, made its European premiere last January at the Rotterdam International Film Festival. Since then it has screened at the MoMA Documentary Fortnight and won the Silver Award at the Yunnan Multicultural Visual Exhibitions, aka YunFest. The film makes its West Coast premiere at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts this Thursday April 7 as part of the series “Fearless: Chinese Independent Documentaries.”

The dGenerate catalog describes Tape as follows:

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. Tape shatters documentary conventions, utilizing a variety of approaches, including guerilla documentary, experimental street video, even CGI.

dGenerate’s Kevin B. Lee interviewed Li Ning at the Rotterdam International Film Festival. The following is a transcript of the interview. Translation by Amy Yiran Xu and Isabella Tianzi Cai.

dGF: You were originally a dancer, sculptor and performance artist for many years. How did you begin to make videos? Tape was originally a dance performance piece. At what time did you decide to make Tape as a video?

Li Ning: It began in 2000. I owned a DV camera then. I used it to document my performances, with my troupe, and also our training. It started simple, and I didn’t expect myself to make a documentary. Kevin knows this, I feel strongly about Jinan. I have been seeing certain scenery and objects there for over 30 years. They have left a mark in my heart and in my head. I used this crappy camera and made my first film. It was an amateurish film, which was completed 10 years ago and lasted a little over 40 minutes. In my opinion, it was closely related to Tape. And at a deeper level it shares the same things with those in Tape, such as our human condition, our changing cityscape, the choices that each human being faces.

dGF: This concept of “tape,” how did you come up with the idea of it?

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Disorder Wins Best Documentary at Ann Arbor Film Fest; Tape Wins Silver Award at YunFest

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Director Huang Weikai

It was a good weekend for a couple of filmmakers whose films we are fortunate to distribute. At the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Huang Weikai won the Michael Moore Award for Best Documentary Film, which comes with a $1,000 cash prize, for his trippy experimental documentary Disorder. Halfway around the world, Li Ning won the Silver Award at YunFest, one of the oldest independent film festivals in China, for his equally envelope-pushing documentary Tape. Unfortunately the YunFest site appears to be down at the moment, so we cannot access the full list of winners of the festival. In the meantime, we extend our warmest congratulations to Huang Weikai and Li Ning!

Both films will screen as part of the San Francisco Yerba Buena Center series Fearless: Chinese Independent Documentaries, playing all throughout April.

Disorder will screen April 9 at the REDCAT in Los Angeles as part of its series on New Chinese cinema.

Both Disorder and Tape are available in the dGenerate Films Catalog.

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.

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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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…