Posts Tagged ‘Subject: Asian Studies’

Street Life (Nanjing Lu)

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

ZHAO Dayong. China, 2006. Documentary, 98 min.
Mandarin w/ English subtitles.

STREET LIFE explores the hidden lives of homeless migrants who survive in the shadows of one of Shanghai’s most historic and affluent streets.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of Chinese migrants are drawn to the allure of Shanghai, one of the world’s most vibrant cities, with hopes of earning a decent living. Some end up in the dark alleys of Nanjing Road, Shanghai’s largest shopping street, where they learn to hustle and scrape together any kind of living they can. One migrant, known as Black Skin, faces numerous pressures in his daily existence, including police violence. Black Skin’s story intersects with those of fellow bottle collectors, enterprising thieves and even a young boy who was abandoned. Eventually Black Skin goes mad, dancing wildly through the crowds of Nanjing Road and in the doorways of luxury shops.

Director Zhao Dayong (GHOST TOWN, 2009 New York Film Festival) arrived in Shanghai in 2004 and began documenting the lives of itinerant Chinese using digital video. He saw their stories as overlooked portraits of the deep social impact caused by China’s rapid economic growth. Zhao uses bold, exaggerated compositions in order to emphasize the relationship between his vagrant subjects and the city streets they inhabit. The result is a raw, vivid portrait of physical and psychological rootlessness. STREET LIFE reflects the way of life for thousands of forgotten people in one of the world’s largest cities.

Director’s Bio:
Zhao Dayong

Reviews:

Select Film Festivals:

Jury Prize, Beijing Documentary Film Festival
City of Rome Prize, Rome Asiatica Film Mediale
Vienna Film Festival
Berlin Blobale Film Festival
Yunnan Multi Culture Visual Festival, China
Filming East Festival, UK

Film Clip:


FORMATS
PRICE
AVAILABILITY
**This title is available in the US only
DVD (Colleges, Universities, Institutions)
$295
DVD (K-12, Public Libraries, Select Groups)
$95
Digital Download (Purchase)
$195
Buy on Amazon
Digital Download (Rental)
$5
Public Performance Exhibition (NTSC Beta, DVD)
Contact

Fujian Blue (Jin Bi Hui Huang)

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

WENG Shouming, China (2007). Narrative, 90 minutes.
Mandarin and Fujianese w/ English subtitles.

Two interweaving stories of youth crime and family crisis shed light on illegal emigration and human trafficking in China’s Fujian province, in this award-winning debut feature.

In the southeastern coastal province of Fujian, Amerika and Roppongi (whose names refer to their absent fathers’ whereabouts) front “The Neon Knights,” a young band of delinquents caught up in fast living. They fuel their riotous routine by videotaping and blackmailing rich women engaged in trysts while their emigrant husbands are sending checks from overseas. Amerika’s ruthlessness is put to the test when he catches his own mother in an affair. Meanwhile, fellow gang member Dragon, who turns to crime to pay his family’s debt from smuggling his brother to Ireland, goes into hiding after stabbing a man. After an unexpected windfall, Dragon ponders whether to follow his brother out of the country or to help his family.

Robin Weng’s debut brings alive the world of Fujian, notoriously known as China’s centre for illegal emigration and human trafficking. Shot vividly on film with street-level realism, Fujian becomes a blistering microcosm for an entire generation of young Chinese lost in the global era. FUJIAN BLUE is “an unflinching depiction of the effect of globalization. Weng achieves a naturalism in detail that borders on investigative documentary” (Michael Guillen, The Evening Class). With “marvelous energy… Weng’s work captures this situation with remarkable clarity” (Gautaman Bhaskaran, The Hollywood Reporter).

Director’s Bio:

Weng Shouming

Reviews:

The Evening Class
China Film Journal
What’s On Xiamen

Select Film Festivals:

  • Dragons and Tigers Award, Vancouver International Film Festival
  • Rotterdam International Film Festival
  • Pusan International Film Festival
  • Mill Valley Film Festival
FORMATS
PRICE
AVAILABILITY
**This title is available in the United States only
DVD (Colleges, Universities, Institutions)
$295
DVD (K-12, Public Libraries, Select Groups)
$95
Order direct
Digital Download (Purchase)
$195
Video on Demand (Home)
$5
Not available
Public Performance Exhibition
Contact

Ghost Town (Fei Cheng)

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

ZHAO Dayong. China, 2008. Documentary, 169 minutes.
Mandarin, Nu and Lisu w/ English subtitles.

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

Compelling… You won’t be able to shut it off” – Jim Hoberman, Village Voice

A remote village in southwest China is haunted by traces of its cultural past while its residents piece together their existence.

Zhiziluo is a town barely clinging to life. 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. A father-son duo of elderly preachers argue over the future of their village church. Two young lovers face a break-up over harsh financial realities. A twelve year-old boy, abandoned by his family, scavenges the hillside to feed himself.

“Directed with scrupulous attention to detail by Zhao Dayong” (Manohla Dargis, The New York Times), GHOST TOWN is “one of the most important films to have emerged from the booming (but still underexplored) field of Chinese independent documentaries” (Dennis Lim, Moving Image Source). GHOST TOWN “has a strong sense of historical consciousness, an eye for unique material, and a real sympathy for the people in the film and their tough lives” (Chris Berry, Goldsmiths University). “I do not expect to soon find scenes to match GHOST TOWN’s mountaintop funeral, the running along after a rowdy exorcism, or the scanning of faces at the town Christmas chorale. His back to prosperity, Dayong finds hallowed ground” (Nick Pinkerton, Village Voice).

Reviews:

Director’s Bio: ZHAO Dayong

Film Website: Ghost Town – Lantern Films

Articles:

Select Film Festivals & Exhibitions:

Contact us to book a screening of this film at your festival, museum, or school.

Trailer:

Downloads: Press Kit (4.6 MB Zip file includes all publicity stills)

Publicity Stills:

Ghost_Town_1

FORMATS
PRICE
AVAILABILITY
**This title is available in the US only
DVD (Colleges, Universities, Institutions)
$295
DVD (K-12, Public Libraries, Select Groups)
$95
Digital Download (Purchase)
$195
Digital Download (Rental)
$4.95
Public Performance Exhibition (NTSC BetaSP, DVD)
Contact

Using (Long Ge)

Friday, August 7th, 2009

ZHOU Hao. China, 2008. Documentary, 105 minutes.
Mandarin w/ English subtitles.

Using An unusual relationship develops between an urban Chinese couple struggling with heroin and a filmmaker chronicling their addiction, in this provocative documentary on drug abuse, filmmaking and friendship.

For three years, filmmaker Zhou Hao chronicled the lives of Long and Jun, a couple struggling with heroin addiction in Guangzhou. Zhou captures Chinese junkie subculture, its members languishing in a slum flophouse, the equivalent of a modern day opium den. When Long is hospitalized after a failed robbery, Zhou speaks out from behind the camera to intervene. Still, Long and Jun persist, soon dealing drugs full-time to make ends meet. As the couple increasingly offers lies for answers, Zhou must confront his ethical responsibilities to them, as a friend and a documentarian.

USING probes a dark, cruel reality of contemporary Chinese society that has rarely been seen by any audience. Addicts disclose techniques for dealing with police, confronting sham suppliers and staying high throughout the day. Zhou’s unflinching depiction of his friends’ repeated attempts to quit blurs the line between filmmaker and subject, and raises provocative questions about the ways in which each uses the other.

Director’s Bio:
Zhou Hao

Select Film Festivals:

• 2007 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam
• 2008 Hong Kong Film Festival
• 2008 The 5th China Independent Film Festival
• 2008 Taiwan International Documentary Festival

Film Clips:

FORMATS
PRICE
AVAILABILITY
**This title is available in the US only
DVD (Colleges, Universities, Institutions)
$295
DVD (K-12, Public Libraries, Select Groups)
$95
Digital Download (Purchase)
$195
Digital Download (Rental)
Not Available
Public Performance Exhibition (NTSC Beta, DVD) Contact for pricing

Betelnut (Bing Lang)

Friday, August 7th, 2009

YANG Heng, China (2005) Narrative, 112 minutes

Hunan Dialect w/ English subtitles

Betelnut “Exquisite!” – Tony Rayns, Film Comment“Pure cinema” – Susanna Harutyunyan, FIPRESCI – The International Federation of Film Critics

Along a sleepy Hunan riverside, two delinquent boys experience a summer of love and violence in Yang Heng’s visually stunning debut. Ali and Xiao Yu are two teenage rebels idling away their days along the banks of a river in Jishou, a quiet town in Hunan province. They steal motorbikes, bully and rob kids, sing karaoke and get into fist fights outside the local internet bar. But their rough exterior belies a deeper romanticism, and a tenderness unfolds between them and their teenage loves. As one day bleeds into the next in this impoverished rural setting, it becomes apparent that these sun-baked days of misspent youth will be the wildest, freest time of their lives. These everyday subjects are transformed by a groundbreaking digital cinematography unlike any other Chinese film. Alternating deep-focus with bold flatness, Yang explores spaces with a mastery that recalls both classical Chinese and modernist landscape painting. Filmed in a summery palette with images that give off an otherworldly glow, BETELNUT offers a one-of-a-kind vision of what it’s like to be young, poor and free in China. “Yang is a first-class visual stylist, and BETELNUT is far and away the most exciting debut film I’ve seen all year.” (Michael Sicinski, The University of Houston)

Director’s Bio:

Yang Heng

Select Film Festivals:

  • Pusan International Film Festival – Winner – Best New Asian Filmmaker
  • Hong Kong International Film Festival – Winner – FIPRESCI Jury Prize
  • Continents Festival Nantes – Winner – New Vision Award

Film Clips:

FORMATS
PRICE
AVAILABILITY (US only)
DVD (Colleges, Universities, Institutions)
$295
DVD (K-12, Public Libraries, Select Groups)
$95
Digital Download (Purchase)
$195
Video on Demand (Home)
$5
Public Performance Exhibition
Contact

Meishi Street (Mei Shi Jie)

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

OU Ning. China, 2006. Feature, 85 min. Documentary.

Meishi Street MEISHI STREET shows ordinary citizens taking a stand against the planned destruction of their homes for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In order to widen traffic routes for the Olympic Games, the Beijing Municipal Government orders the demolition of entire neighborhoods. Several evictees of Meishi Street, located next to Tiananmen Square, fight through endless red tape and the indifference of fellow citizens for the right to keep their homes. Given video cameras by the filmmakers, they shoot exclusive footage of the eviction process, adding vivid intimacy to their story.

Acclaimed at over two dozen museums and galleries around the world, MEISHI STREET, by renowned visual artist Ou Ning, works as both art and activism, calling worldwide attention to lives being demolished in the name of progress.

Director’s Bio:
Ou Ning

Select Film Festivals:

Museum of Modern Art Documentary Fortnight
Istanbul Biennial

Film Clips:

FORMATS
PRICE
AVAILABILITY
**This title is available in the US only
DVD (Colleges, Universities, Institutions)
$295
DVD (K-12, Public Libraries, Select Groups)
$95
Digital Download (Purchase)
$195
Digital Download (Rental)
$5
Public Performance Exhibition (NTSC Beta, DVD)
Contact

Er Dong

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

YANG Jin, China (2008) Narrative, 151 minutes

Shanxi Dialect w/ English subtitles

Er Dong A rebellious teenager endures boarding school expulsion, family pressures and the harsh realities of rural life in northern China, until an uncovered secret from his past changes his life forever. Er Dong lives alone with his devout Christian mother in a small village. Frustrated with his bad behavior, his mother takes him to a Christian school with the hope that he will find God as well as a new direction in life. Instead, he finds a girlfriend, Chang’e, and their misconduct leads to their expulsion. Together they must face up to the harsh realities of work, parenthood and adult life in the tough economic reality of contemporary China. Recurring nightmares that plague Er Dong lead him to a shocking revelation of his own past.

Yang Jin’s second feature is a detail-rich, documentary-style portrait that builds with clear-eyed assurance through the life of a seemingly unheroic and unremarkable country boy. It’s not until the film looks backwards that one gains the full scope of Er Dong’s strangely epic journey. Quietly moving and full of authentic insight into the prospects for youth in rural China, ER DONG announces the arrival of a major new talent in filmmaker Yang Jin.

Director’s Bio:

Yang Jin

Select Film Festivals:

  • Rotterdam International Film Festival – Hubert Bals Recipient
  • Pusan International Film Festival – New Currents Award
  • Hong Kong International Film Festival

Film Clips:

FORMATS
PRICE
AVAILABILITY
**This title is available in all territories except China
DVD (Colleges, Universities, Institutions)
$295
DVD (K-12, Public Libraries, Select Groups)
$95
Digital Download (Purchase)
$195
Digital Download (Rental)
$5
Public Performance Exhibition (NTSC BetaSP, DVD)
Contact

Enter the Clowns (Chou Jue Deng Chang)

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

CUI Zi’en, China (2002) Narrative, 80 minutes

Mandarin w/ English subtitles

Eeter the Colwns “Liberating… ENTER THE CLOWNS conveys a sense of cinema at the vanguard.” – Scott Foundas, Variety

“Cui Zi’en inaugurates a new queer Chinese cinema.” – Tony Rayns, Time Out

Straight, gay and in-between Beijingers unleash a whirlwind of transsexual mayhem in this groundbreaking, gender-bending debut by China’s preeminent queer filmmaker.

Xiao Bo (Yu Bo) lives in a world where the lines defining men from women are constantly dissolving. He kneels at the deathbed of his father (Cui Zi’en) who has become a woman, and whose dying wish is to have oral sex with his/her son. His boyfriend “Nana” has also undergone a sex change, but Xiao Bo no longer finds her attractive as a woman. A sexual chain reaction ensues that wreaks havoc on traditional Chinese roles that govern male and female, parent and child.

Filmmaker, novelist and queer activist Cui Zi’en caused an international sensation with his shockingly transgressive debut. Inspired by the likes of Andy Warhol and Rainer Werner Fassbinder, but set within a specifically Chinese context, ENTER THE CLOWNS is “a movie that says everything you know about sexual identity and gender orientation is wrong” (Tony Rayns, Time Out). “Cui may be unique as China’s first gay filmmaker, but it is… in the international pantheon of queer filmmakers that we must ultimately locate him” (Chris Berry, positions: east asia cultures critique).

Director’s Bio
Cui Zi’en

Reviews:

Variety
Time Out

Select Film Festivals:

  • Jeonju International Film Festival
  • Vancouver International Film Festival
  • Mardi Gras Film Festival
  • Rotterdam International Film Festival
  • San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

Film Clips:

FORMATS
PRICE
AVAILABILITY
**This title is available in all territories except China
DVD (Colleges, Universities, Institutions)
$295
DVD (K-12, Public Libraries, Select Groups)
$95
Digital Download (Purchase)
$195
Video on Demand (Home)
$5
Public Performance Exhibition
Contact

Super, Girls! (Chao Ji Nu Sheng)

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

JIAN Yi. China, 2007. Documentary, 73 min.
Mandarin w/ English subtitles.

super_girls-thumb “As entertaining as it is revelatory” – Ronnie Scheib, Variety

SUPER, GIRLS! follows ten female teenagers on their quest to become instant superstars on China’s biggest television show.

The Chinese equivalent of “American Idol,” the “Super Girls Singing Contest” spawned an unprecedented pop culture phenomenon. Drawing over 400 million viewers, the show’s runaway popularity spurred the Chinese government to ban it after only two seasons.

The film provides unparalleled, intimate access into the contestants’ lives over several months. Through candid interviews and footage of nail-biting auditions and competitions, SUPER, GIRLS! offers a fascinating look inside what the Chinese media have dubbed “the Lost Generation” and their startling takes on sexuality and success in the new China.

Director’s Bio:
Jian Yi

Reviews:

Variety

Select Film Festivals:

Cambridge Film Festival
Minneapolis Film Festival

Film Clip:

FORMATS
PRICE
AVAILABILITY
**This title is available in all territories except China
DVD (Colleges, Universities, Institutions)
$295
DVD (K-12, Public Libraries, Select Groups)
$95
Home DVD $29.95 Buy on Amazon
Digital Download (Purchase)
$195
Digital Download (Rental)
$5
Public Performance Exhibition (NTSC Beta, DVD)
Contact

San Yuan Li (San Yuan Li)

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

OU Ning, CAO Fei. China, 2003. Experimental Documentary, 45 min.

San Yuan Li Armed with video cameras, twelve artists present a highly stylized portrait of SAN YUAN LI, a traditional village besieged by China’s urban sprawl.

China’s rapid modernization literally traps the village of San Yuan Li within the surrounding skyscrapers of Guangzhou, a city of 12 million people. The villagers move to a different rhythm, thriving on subsistence farming and traditional crafts. They resourcefully reinvent their traditional lifestyle by tending rice paddies on empty city lots and raising chickens on makeshift rooftop coops.

Directed by acclaimed visual artists Ou Ning and Cao Fei and commissioned by the Venice Biennale, SAN YUAN LI explores the modern paradox of China’s economic growth and social marginalization.

Director Bios:
Ou Ning, Cao Fei

Select Film Festivals:

Venice Biennale
Taiwan International Documentary Festival

Film Clip:

FORMATS
PRICE
AVAILABILITY
**This title is available in all territories except China
DVD (Colleges, Universities, Institutions)
$295
DVD (K-12, Public Libraries, Select Groups)
$95
Digital Download (Purchase)
$195
Digital Download (Rental)
$5
Public Performance Exhibition (NTSC Beta, DVD)
Contact