Hope it’s not too late to let all of you in NYC know that this Friday you have a special opportunity to watch the latest film by Jia Zhangke (if you’re going to Cannes to see his new feature, I don’t want to hear about it; for the rest of us, this is the best we’ll have until Toronto or NYFF), as well as several compelling documentary works that will collectively show you just what a mindblowing bundle of contradictions China is today.

You’ll also have an opportunity to screen SAN YUAN LI by the dynamic duo of Cao Fei and Ou Ning (their last film MEISHI STREET played at MOMA’s Documentary Fortnight). SAN YUAN LI will be one of the initial offerings by dGenerate Films, a new venture in which I am a partner, which will launch this summer to bring Chinese underground and independent works to wider audiences via DVD and digital delivery.  I’ll have more details on this in the weeks to come (when I’m less buried in Chinese screener DVDs).

Admission is FREE – RSVP required – Spread the word!

Asian CineVision presents Films from Contemporary China

Friday, 05/09/2008, 6:30–8:30pm (RSVP)

Rapid and irreversible change is the constant reality that China faces up to now. Whether preserving Shangri-la or exploring the “village-amid-the-city” phenomenon in Guangzhou, this program of five short films – featuring the latest works of Jia Zhang-ke and Guo Xiaolu – strive to make sense of the changes and capture pieces of history that are being eroded away fast.

TEN YEARS (WO MEN DE SHI NIAN) Director/Writer: Jia Zhang-ke Cast: Zhao Tao, Tian Yuan, Liang Jing Dong 2007 | 8 mins | Video | Color | Narrative | Mandarin w/ES A woman and a photographer see each other on a train year after year as it passes through cities and fields. The two women never converse, yet their virtually wordless bond expresses a world of emotions.

A HOUSE ON A PLAIN Director: Li Qiang 2006 | 18 mins | Video | Color | Documentary | Chinese w/ES Lao Li is the last farmer left in Fangshan in the Jiangsu Province. As the rural landscape literally shrinks, Lao Li and his wife struggle to maintain their livelihood in this moving and lyrical documentary.

ADDRESS UNKNOWN Director/Writer: Guo Xiaolu 2006 | 10 mins | Video | Color | Experimental | Mandarin w/ES From an apartment in Beijing, a woman writes postcards to a man in London. We do not see the woman or the man, only everyday scenes of Beijing that the camera fixes on with a sense of melancholy and longing.

GUARDING SHANGRI-LA Directors: An Tongqing, Li Xiaoming, Xie Qin 2005 | 35mins | Video | Color | Documentary | Chinese w/ES The legendary Shangri-la is situated in Jinjiang in the Yunnan Province, where the most spectacular site is the Tiger Leap Gorge. The gorge area, however, is about to be transformed by a new dam. The villagers decide to oppose the planned changes and seek to express their concerns.

SAN YUAN LI Directors: Cao Fei, Ou Ning 2003 | 45 mins | Video | Color | Experimental Documentary | Chinese w/ES

Commissioned by the 50th Venice Biennale, this cine-poem explores the “village-amid-the-city” phenomenon of San Yuan Li, or “triple prime back lane,” in the rapidly urbanizing city of Guangzhou. The filmmakers penetrate the village as a kind of “city flâneurs,” capturing the architecture and tension brought on by the changes.

Organized by: Curated by Asian CineVision, Inc. Co-sponsored by REEL China and dGenerate Films.
Sponsored by: Patron: Digital Plus
Supporters:Beyer Blinder Belle: Architects & Planners; EDAW ; Jerome and Kenneth Lipper Foundation
Friend:Bartco Lighting; Häfele; Ibex Construction; Let There Be Neon; Calvin Tsao
Location: Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place (Directions)
Price: Free
Telephone: 212.358.6121