Posts Tagged ‘the other half’

CinemaTalk: Conversation with Ying Liang at the Beijing Apple Store

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Director Ying Liang

Director Ying Liang was interviewed at the Apple Store Sanlitun Beijing, as part of the “Meet the Filmmakers” series, co-presented by the Apple Store in Beijing and dGenerate Films, an ongoing series to showcase China’s newest filmmakers powered by digital technology.

Ying Liang graduated from the Department of Directing at the Chongqing Film Academy and Beijing Normal University. He directed his first feature film,Taking Father Home (2005), which won awards at the Tokyo Filmex Film Festival, the Hong Kong International Film Festival, and the San Francisco International Film Festival. In 2006, Ying made The Other Half (2006), which is supported by the Hubert Bals Fund (HBF) from the International Film Festival Rotterdam. The film also won the Special Jury Prize at the Tokyo Filmex Film Festival.

The video of Ying’s interview is in three parts, with an English transcript following each video. Video of Part One is below. Click through to view both videos and the full transcript. Interview conducted by Gigi Zhang. Videography by Michael Cheng. English transcription and subtitles by Isabella Tianzi Cai.

Note: English subtitles for each video can be accessed by clicking on the CC button in the pop-up menu on the bottom right corner of the player. The subtitles can be repositioned anywhere on the screen by clicking on them (if they are not displaying properly, click them to adjust).

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MEET THE FILMMAKERS: Ying Liang at Apple Store Beijing

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Ying Liang

dGenerate Films and the Apple Store in Beijing continue their ongoing series showcasing China’s newest filmmakers powered by digital technology. This Thursday, April 21, acclaimed digital filmmaker Ying Liang will show clips from his films and discuss his creative process.

Ying Liang’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 a previous Apple Store talk with filmmaker and activist Cui Zi’en.

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

Ying Liang graduated from the Department of Directing at the Chongqing Film Academy and Beijing Normal University. He directed his first feature film, Taking Father Home (2005), which won awards at the Tokyo Filmex Film Festival, the Hong Kong International Film Festival, and the San Francisco International Film Festival. In 2006, Ying made The Other Half (2006), which is supported by the Hubert Bals Fund (HBF) from the International Film Festival Rotterdam. The film also won the Special Jury Prize at the Tokyo Filmex Film Festival. Ying Liang’s latest film Good Cats (2008) premiered at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

CinemaTalk: Conversation with Richard Brody, Film Editor of The New Yorker

Monday, December 7th, 2009

dGenerate Films presents CinemaTalk, an ongoing series of conversations with esteemed scholars of Chinese cinema studies. These conversations are presented on this site in audio podcast and/or text format. They are intended to help the Chinese cinema studies community keep abreast of the latest work being done in the field, as well as to learn what recent Chinese films are catching the attention of others. This series reflects our mission to bring valuable resources and foster community around the field of Chinese film studies.

Richard Brody (Photo courtesy of <i>The New Yorker</i>)

Richard Brody (Photo courtesy of The New Yorker)

Richard Brody began writing for The New Yorker in 1999, and has contributed articles about the directors François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, and Samuel Fuller. Since 2005, he has been the movie-listings editor at the magazine; he writes film reviews, a column about DVDs, and a blog about movies, The Front Row. He is the author of the book “Everything Is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard.”

In this interview, dGenerate Films’ Kevin Lee talks to Richard Brody about his top ten films of the 2000s, in which he lists three Chinese feature films: Jia Zhangke’s The World, Wang Bing’s Fengming: A Chinese Memoir, and Ying Liang’s The Other Half. This conversation touches on all three films, and why Brody considers Chinese cinema to be “the crucial story in cinema of the past decade.” Brody also discusses two other films on his list, Jean-Luc Godard’s In Praise of Love and Claude Lanzmann’s Sobibor, 14 October 1943, 4PM, and their connection to the Chinese films he selected.

Brody’s full top ten list, and a topical index of the podcast with timecode follows after the break.

Play the Podcast (Time: 22:39) (right click to download)

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Canadian Premiere of The Other Half

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

the_other_half-thumbOn Friday, November 6, the Gibsone Jessop Gallery in Toronto, Canada, launches a screening series of contemporary Chinese films in partnership with dGenerate Films. This five film series will begin with Ying Liang’s The Other Half, “a fierce and harrowing cry of political rage.” (The New Yorker)

This marks the first in a five-film screening series at Toronto’s Gibsone Jessop Gallery. Gibsone Jessop not only showcases international contemporary art from around the globe, with a special focus on China, they also host nightly events such as film screenings, theater and music that deepen the understanding of the cultures and context their artists create within. The next five Fridays will highlight different dGenerate films. Subsequent screenings include San Yuan Li, Little Moth, Using, and Queer China, ‘Comrade’ China.

Visit Gibsone Jessop’s site for more information about the event.

Friday, November 6, 2009, 7:30pm
To reserve tickets, please email info@gibsonejessop.com
Tickets: $10 in advance, $12 at the door
Limited Seating.

CinemaTalk: A Conversation with Chris Berry

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Chris Berry

dGenerate Films is pleased to introduce CinemaTalk, an ongoing series of conversations with esteemed scholars of Chinese cinema studies. These conversations will be presented on this site in audio podcast and/or text format. They are intended to help the Chinese cinema studies community keep abreast of the latest work being done in the field, as well as to learn what recent Chinese films are catching the attention of others. This series reflects our mission to bring valuable resources and foster community around the field of Chinese film studies.

For our first CinemaTalk, we spoke with Chris Berry, Professor of Film and Television Studies in the Department of Media and Communication at Goldsmiths, University of London. Some of Chris’ work includes:

  • Author, Cinema and the National: China on Screen (Columbia University Press and Hong Kong University Press, 2006) with Mary Farquhar
  • Author, Postsocialist Cinema in Post-Mao China: The Cultural Revolution after the Cultural Revolution (New York: Routledge, 2004)
  • Editor (with Ying Zhu), TV China (Indiana University Press, 2008)
  • Editor, Chinese Films in Focus II (British Film Institute, 2008)
  • Editor (with Feii Lu), Island on the Edge: Taiwan New Cinema and After (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2005)
  • Editor (with Fran Martin and Audrey Yue), Mobile Cultures: New Media and Queer Asia (Durham: Duke University Press, 2003)
  • Translator and Editor, Ni Zhen’s Memoirs from the Beijing Film Academy: The Origins of China’s Fifth Generation Filmmakers (Duke University Press, 2002)
  • Author, “Imaging the Globalized City: Rem Koolhaas, U-thèque, and the Pearl River Delta,” in Cinema at the City’s Edge, edited by Yomi Braester and James Tweedie (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, forthcoming), part of a series TransAsia: Screen Cultures, co-edited by Chris Berry and Koichi Iwabuchi

Kevin Lee, dGenerate’s VP of Programming of Education, spoke with Chris about various topics from his current work and areas of focus, to comparisons between contemporary Chinese cinema and the Fifth Generation filmmakers whom he helped to champion in the 1980s and 1990s, to which recent Chinese films that have excited him the most.

Play the Podcast

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Download it here (right-click to download). (File size: 28.7MB)

Full transcript follows after the break.

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Changing the World (but don’t take our word for it!)

Thursday, June 18th, 2009
SFGate Homepage featuring Ying Liang

SFGate Homepage featuring Ying Liang

What a nice surprise to see our very own Ying Liang, director of Taking Father Home and The Other Half, peering at us from the homepage of the San Francisco Chronicle‘s website. And what an even nicer surprise to read the great article by Jeff Yang (formerly of A Magazine fame) tying dGenerate Films, and the films and filmmakers we represent, into the digital media revolution enabling independent voices from historically media-oppressed nations to be heard.

Yang and (we) agree we’ve come a long way from the government censorship of Tiananmen Square media coverage to today’s digitally-driven, people-powered media movement occurring in countries like China and Iran thanks to new technologies like Twitter, Facebook, and digital video. Give it a read here.

For more details on Taking Father Home and The Other Half, visit our Catalog.

Q&A with Director Ying Liang at The China Institute

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Last Saturday we had the pleasure of presenting Ying Liang and his film The Other Half at The China Institute. Here’s the entire Q&A session with Ying Liang that followed the screening, in three parts. Special thanks to Vincent Cheng for his excellent live translation, and Jeff Yang and Jeff Hao for taping the session.

Part I:

0:00 – “What inspired you to make The Other Half?”

2:05 – “What’s your take on independent filmmaking in China?”

4:12 – “Who are your actors? Do they appear routinely in all your films?”

6:30 – “Have your films caused problems between you and the government?”

Part II:

0:00 – Continuing on the topic of the commercial and legal considerations of distributing independent cinema in China

7:00 – “To what degree do you consider your films to be documentary and not just fiction?”

Part III:

0:00 – Continuing on the topic of the film’s use of fact and fiction

3:55 – “Why can’t an army officer get a divorce?”

5:00 – “Are your films made with a non-Chinese audience in mind?”

A Couple Reviews that “Nailed” our Films

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

Critic Nelson Kim of Hammer to Nail can definitely be considered an enthusiast of Chinese indie cinema, judging from a couple of recent reviews. In anticipation of NYC area screenings of two of our films, The Other Half (at the China Institute and Film Society of Lincoln Center) and Super, Girls! (at BAM), Kim reviewed both films. Here’s a choice excerpt from each:

The Other Half

Ying’s style offers a rich and fascinating combination of different modes, different registers: on one level, he’s operating as a journalist or documentarian, reporting on what he observes around him, from everyday domestic dissatisfaction to wider forms of political, economic, and cultural malaise (environmental degradation plays a major part in the storyline), while his elliptical approach to narrative and his highly expressive long-take technique place him in the tradition of contemporary art-house filmmaking, especially his fellow Sino-cineastes Hou Hsiao-hsien and Jia Zhang-khe. But unlike those two masters, Ying seems to be reaching for a more emotionally direct and accessible mode of address. In The Other Half he gives us suspense-building subplots, sudden dramatic reversals, surprise revelations, and outbursts of rage, regret, and yearning. This is the stuff of mainstream melodrama, and Ying’s remarkable facility at weaving such elements into what’s otherwise a reserved, carefully modulated mood piece suggests that he’s aiming for a fusion of art-film formal rigor and audience-friendly entertainment. Where he goes from here is anyone’s guess, but viewers are advised to start paying attention – after only two films, Ying has already passed beyond the merely “promising” phase; there are few young filmmakers anywhere in the world whose next work I’m more eager to see.

Read the full review

Super, Girls!

It’s been said that the USA is both the youngest of the great world powers, and also, paradoxically, the oldest, since we were the first to experience so many innovations of modern life. What comes through most clearly in Super, Girls! is its portrait of a very old culture rushing headlong into the hyper-capitalist future, in which business values trump all others, individualism clashes with traditional ideals of collectivism and community, and self-promotion lays the smackdown on Confucian humility. When the national finalists gather onstage to sing the show’s theme song, we could be listening to an American pop anthem, but really, it’s a lyrical expression of a dream that has long outgrown its Hollywood and Broadway origins and taken over the world: I’m empowered by joy. I shine like no other. Every caring eye sees my growth. Although Super, Girls! structures itself via the timeline provided by the rounds of competition, Jian doesn’t push things too hard – he understands there’s no need to hype up the suspense unnecessarily. Some contestants win, some lose, some surrender their hopes while others vow to try again another day. But the real drama here, the heart of the film’s appeal, is the view it provides of an entire nation in the grip of massive, all-encompassing change.

Read the full review