Best Week Ever

ebert screengrab

I love that Roger Ebert’s Twitter wallpaper is the last shot of one of my all time favorite films. But of course, it was his writing that turned me on to it.

I’m grateful for his acknowledgement, and even more grateful for the article that drew his attention, on, of all places, The Wall Street Journal. Thanks Eric Kohn for deeming my efforts newsworthy.

And update on Thursday’s screening: half the seats have been reserved, so if you’re thinking of coming, you might want to let me know to put you on the list, just in case…

Ghost Town Tours the U.S. – Catch It If You Can

From dGenerate – I’ve worked my ass off to get this tour together, so if you happen to be at one of these cities and the following critic raves pique your interest, please check it out!

A.O. Scott writes in the New York Times:

Zhao has an exquisite ability to balance words with images… The life stories and household interactions that fill out the film’s three chapters take place against a natural background that is shot beautifully… A miniature epic of the everyday.

Time Out New York‘s David Fear gives the film four stars:

Zhao Dayong’s extraordinary documentary on life in the rural village of Zhiziluo, nestled at the foot of the mountains in China’s southwestern Yunnan province. Never mind the nation’s great economic leap forward; the longer you watch Zhao’s chronicle of the financially destitute and the bureaucratically forgotten, the more you feel that you’re witnessing a country fraying at its edges.

Nick Pinkterton in the Village Voice:

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.

Following its weeklong run at MoMA, Zhao Dayong’s acclaimed documentary Ghost Town is screening over the next several weeks at select US engagements. Contact us to book a screening of this film at your festival, museum, or school.

Ghost Town (dir. Zhao Dayong)

Union Theatre, University of Wisconsin
800 Langdon Street
Milwaukee, WI 53706

Southwest Film Center
3601 University Boulevard, SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106

Facets Cinematheque
1517 Fullerton Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614

University of Colorado, Humanities 150
Boulder, CO 80309-0234

Melnitz Movies
James Bridges Theater, Melnitz 1409
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Have One on Me: The 1000th Film


So I’m down to the 1000th and final movie to complete this project.  For those of you who’ve been following this blog over the years, I’d like to invite you to a special free screening of the film that I’ve arranged at Anthology Film Archives, 32 2nd Ave @ 2nd St, Thursday, April 8 at 8pm. For now, I’m leaving the identity of the film a secret, except that it’s unavailable on DVD in the US, and that one of my favorite film critics calls it “the sort of work that can renew one’s faith in movies.”

Again, the screening is free. BYOB (and bring a few more if you’re feeling generous).  If you want me to save you a seat, just leave a comment here or email me at alsolikelife (at) gmail (dot) com.

Hope to see you there.


If you happen to be in the Philly/Swarthmore area…


On Tuesday March 30 at Swarthmore College, Vice President of Programming Kevin B. Lee will speak about issues in contemporary Chinese cinema and his work with dGenerate Films.

Following Mr. Lee’s talk will be a screening of Fujian Blue, a 2007 film by Weng Shouming, that has played in various international film festivals and won the Dragons and Tigers Award at the 2007 Vancouver International Film Festival.

The China Film Journal writes that the film is “an absorbing narrative of deeply felt characters, a trenchant social commentary, and a tone poem to a nearly-lost generation.”

Admission Free. Sponsored by SAO as part of the APIA Heritage Month, Film and Media Studies program, FFS, Movie Committee and FOTS.

Location Information:
Science Center, Room 101
Swarthmore College
Swarthmore, PA

Video of My Evening with Jia Zhangke

Those who follow the dGenerate Films website may already have seen this, but on that site I’ve posted several videos of the MoMA event “An Evening with Jia Zhangke.” My favorite moment (besides comparing Zhao Tao to Anna Karina, Monica Vitti and Marlene Dietrich) is the four minute mark in the video below. See the rest here.

Check out the Award-Winning Betelnut This Friday at Asia Society!

(cross-posted on dGenerate Films)

Yang Heng’s Betelnut, winner of the Best First Feature at the Pusan Film Festival and the Critics’ Jury Prize at the Hong Kong Film Festival, will make its New York debut at the Asia Society as part of the series “China’s Past , Present and Future on Film.” You can use discount code asia725 to buy tickets at the $7 member rate. Tickets can be purchased at the Asia Society website or at the Asia Society box office.

Betelnut (Bing Lang)
YANG Heng. China. 2005. 112 min. Narrative. Digibeta.
Friday, March 26, 6:45 pm

Asia Society and Museum
725 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021

View a clip from the film below. Further details about the film can be found here, and after the break.

Continue reading “Check out the Award-Winning Betelnut This Friday at Asia Society!”

Announcing the Winner of the Shooting Down Pictures Fansub Challenge

I’m pleased to announce that the Shooting Down Pictures Fansub Challenge has a winner. Peaceful Anarchy answered my call to produce English fansubs for the mile-a-minute dialogue for Luis Garcia Berlanga’s Placido, and has thus earned the $150 prize ($10 more than I advertised! I really need to pay more attention to my own blog).

You can download the .srt file by right-clicking here. It’s also been uploaded to some movie file share sites, which are where you can find the movie itself. Feel free to give feedback on both the movie and the subs – I think this film is an absolute masterpiece and hope that others feel the same.