Posts Tagged ‘liu jiayin’

Filmmakers Share Their Visions at the Get It Louder Creative Showcase

Friday, November 5th, 2010

By Sara Beretta

Director Liu Jiayin answering questions at Get It Louder (photo: Get It Louder)

Get It Louder (Da Sheng Zhan), one of China’s hottest showcases for emerging creative talent, followed its first session in Beijing with a run in Shanghai. The film program was particularly intense, featuring 26 movies (9 documentaries and 17 narrative) by both Chinese and non-Chinese filmmakers. The screenings included dGenerate titles Er Dong (dir. Yang Jin), Oxhide I & II (dir. Liu Jiayin) and Street Life (dir. Zhao Dayong).

Get It Louder’s stated theme of “Sharism,” emphasizing a spirit of collaboration and exchange among audiences and artists, was especially pertinent to the independent films on display, which otherwise are largely inaccessible to audiences in China. Director Q&A sessions were characterized not only by technical and artistic topics, but often went in depth over the the directors’ intentions. The concept of “Sharism” was demonstrated in the exchanges between viewers and directors, enriching the cinematic experience. One’s individual experiences of the film is not cancelled but amplified in exchanging perceptions with others.

The artistry and complexity of the works shone through in the screenings. The hard life of homeless migrant workers is realistically and poetically told by Zhao Dayong in Street Life. The fiction work by Yang Jin is deeply rooted in his own experience growing up in rural Shanxi province. Liu Jiayin’s exploration of time and space creatively transforms gestures and rituals we all pass through daily. Once again, art and life are not that far from each other, and sharing the experience of feeling and commenting on them is enriching and worthy. Hope there will be more and more events and occasions – in China and elsewhere – to have a look at ourselves through the eyes (and lens) of independent directors.

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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Time Out Beijing Profiles Four Generations of Beijing Film Academy Directors

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Beijing Film Academy graduate, teacher and film director Liu Jiayin with her parents on the set of Oxhide II (2009)

By Isabella Tianzi Cai

Being the fastest growing film industry in the world, in terms of the increase in box office receipts, total screen numbers, and number of films produced, Chinese cinema is gathering unprecedented attention. While its future generates much discussion, its past also attracts more interest than ever. Time Out Beijing recently interviewed one Chinese director from each of the past four “Generations,” including dGenerate Director Liu Jiayin. Below are some observations of the interesting patterns that emerge from these interviews.

First, there is a clear lineage from the earlier generations to the latter ones. All four directors – Xie Fei from the Fourth Generation, Feng Xiaoning from the Fifth, Wang Xiaoshuai from the Sixth, and Liu Jiayin from the Seventh – acknowledged the presence of their seniors’ works and influences on them in the school. Xie Fei mentioned that during his time, video cassettes were not yet available, so “directors used to bring their new films for screenings” at the school. He got to see Xie Jin’s The Red Detachment of Women in print with his class in 1961. Feng described that for his generation, they ” paid attention to directors like Xie Jin who had gone before [them] – rejecting old traditions blindly is a bad idea.” Wang Xiaoshuai, on the other hand, listed specific people who inspired him when he was a student; they were Ni Zhen (the writer of Raise the Red Lantern), Zheng Dongtian, Lou Ye (director of Summer Palace and Suzhou River), and Lu Xuechang (A Lingering Face and Cala, My Dog!). Liu Jiayin, too, described the great film directors who had studied before her as “an inspiration” and said that she could not begin to tell how much she had learned from being there.

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Global Times: Liu Jiayin Working on Oxhide III

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

Liu Jiayin, director of Oxhide, Oxhide II and the forthcoming Oxhide III (photo courtesy of Liu Jiayin)

In anticipation of Oxhide and Oxhide II director Liu Jiayin’s presentation at the Beijing Apple Store this Thursday, Hao Ying of the Global Times (English edition) profiled the director. Here’s an excerpt:

Meeting director Liu Jiayin, it’s hard to forget scenes from her autobiographic film Oxhide in which her father tries to bully her into growing taller by forcing her to drink milk, and also urges her to hang from a pull-up bar. Her mother, also concerned she isn’t flowering into a curvy woman, urges Liu to dress more daintily, like a Japanese girl.

Her parents’ tactics didn’t work. During a recent interview with the Global Times at a coffee shop, the waitress asked the tomboyish, short director, “Mister, would you like some sugar?” Other people might be distressed by having the world know their most intimate stories, but this doesn’t seem to phase Liu, who is currently finishing the story for Oxhide III, the planned third part of her extraordinary series of fictionalized films about the intimate details of her own family.

Liu is giving a presentation on digital filmmaking at the Apple Store in Sanlitun Village on Thursday at 7 pm. She used Final Cut to edit Oxhide II on a friend’s computer, and currently uses a Macbook Pro. She advises also beginning filmmakers to borrow or rent a camera instead of buying one, because the technology is changing so fast.

Read the rest of the article – in which she gives some details on Oxhide III, and how to solve the filmmaker’s equivalent of “conquering AIDS and cancer” – at the Global Times.

MEET THE FILMMAKERS: Liu Jiayin at Apple Store Beijing this Thursday

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

Liu Jiayin

dGenerate Films and the Apple Store in Beijing continue their ongoing series showcasing China’s newest filmmakers powered by digital technology. This Thursday, August 5, acclaimed digital filmmaker Liu Jiayin will show clips from her films and discuss her creative process.

Liu Jiayin’s talk is part of the series “Meet the Filmmakers,” a collaboration between the Apple Store in Beijing and dGenerate Films. Digital tools, from digital video cameras to editing software, have placed filmmaking in the hands of the people. This series introduces award-winning directors discuss with the general public how they use digital technology to create their latest movies, attracting worldwide attention and acclaim.

Read news coverage of the inaugural “Meet the Filmmakers” events, and watch video from previous Apple Store talks with filmmakers Cui Zi’en, Jian Yi and Peng Tao.

All events will be held at the Apple Store in Sanlitun, Beijing, starting at 7pm.

Liu Jiayin was born in Beijing in 1981. At age 23, she made her debut feature Oxhide while a Master’s student the Beijing Film Academy. Oxhide has won several prizes (including the FIPRESCI award at Berlin Film Festival, Golden DV Award at Hong Kong International Film Festival, and Dragons and Tigers Award at Vancouver Film Festival) and has been called “the most important Chinese film of the past several years–and one of the most astonishing recent films from any country” (film critic Shelly Kraicer). Her follow-up Oxhide II (2009) was similarly lauded, and won awards at CinDi Seoul and was featured in the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes. She is currently a professor of screen writing at the Beijing Film Academy, and is developing the final part of her trilogy, Oxhide III.

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:

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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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New Films by Liu Jiayin, Other Indie Directors at Beijing’s Opposite House

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Poster for "Short Stays" film project at The Opposite House

From the official press release:

With a vision to support the growing contemporary Chinese art scene, The Opposite House in Beijing commissioned a short film collection project as an extension of their commitment to support emerging local artists in every medium, from sculptures to music and now, film. “Short Stays” is a unique project that has given a platform to independent film artists in Beijing to explore the concept and space of the House.

In collaboration with independent producers and film makers Zhang Xianmin and Samantha Culp, the idea is inspired by the use of the hotel’s space. From the new wave classic “Last Year at Marienbad” to the sleek “Lost in Translation,” hotels have always been great cinematic spaces. The closed door of a hotel room naturally evokes themes of mystery, memory, desire, escape, and curiosity.

“In this project, we wanted to peek through the keyholes into this borderline space, through the eyes of three fiercely original filmmakers,” says Samantha Culp, co-producer of “Short Stays.”

The short films by three award-winning young Chinese filmmakers – Liu Jiayin, Peng Lei and Zhao Ye – all based in Beijing but with festival cred from around the world, create a conversation around the nature of the hotel’s space and explore modern urban story telling in the framework of a type of creative experiment unprecedented in China. “Short Stays” also invited two up-and-coming photographers, Madi Ju and Lin Zhi Peng (aka 223) to document the filming process for the limited-edition DVD and booklet, adding another offbeat perspective to the project.

Details on the films, how to see them (for a limited time) and an online trailer after the break.

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Berenice Reynaud Reviews Four New Chinese Films

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Queer China, 'Comrade China' (dir. Cui Zi'en)

The newest issue of the online film journal Senses of Cinema features lengthy reviews by film scholar and Cal Arts professor Berenice Reynaud on new films from Mainland China. Titled “Men Won’t Cry – Traces of a Repressive Past,” Reynaud covers a dozen international titles that screened at last fall’s Vancouver International Film Festival, giving special attention to four new films from the Mainland, as well as the Hong Kong feature Night and Fog by Ann Hui. Her analysis is particularly astute at discerning issues of identity, gender, power and nationhood in the formal approaches taken by each film. The following are some choice excerpts, though readers are advised to read Reynaud’s appreciations in full:

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Indie Filmmakers Featured in Time Out Shanghai

Monday, June 7th, 2010

The newest issue of Time Out Shanghai (English edition) has a five-page cover feature spotlighting the new generation of independent digital filmmakers. The article singles out seven “directors to watch” whom the magazine playfully dubs “The Magnificent Seven:” Ying Liang, Yang Heng, Zhao Liang, Zhao Ye, Zhao Dayong, Liu Jiayin and Wei Tie. All seven are interviewed, as is dGenerate Films’ president Karin Chien.

The feature is not available online, but we’ve secured permission to make it available as a downloadable .pdf on the dGenerate website. You can download the feature here. Thanks to Nicola Davison at Time Out Shanghai.

dGenerate Films is the proud distributor of films from five of the “Magnificent Seven.” Learn more about their films by clicking on the following titles:

Liu Jiayin: Oxhide

Ying Liang: Taking Father Home; The Other Half

Yang Heng: Betelnut

Zhao Liang: Crime and Punishment

Zhao Dayong: Ghost Town