Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Jia Zhangke in Melbourne, New Film Screens Tonight

Leading Chinese director Jia Zhangke (left), with his wife and lead actress Zhao Tao (centre), and a friend in Melbourne last night. Jia and Zhao are in town for a screening of their new film A Touch of Sin at the Melbourne International Film Festival. Image Dan Edwards.

As all Melbourne cinephiles will be aware, the annual Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) is in full swing as I write. Excitingly for Chinese cinema aficionadoes, leading director Jia Zhangke, along with his wife and lead actress Zhao Tao, are guests of the festival.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Doco on Chinese Bloggers Screens Tonight in Melbourne

Chinese blogger "Zola" in Stephen Maing's documentary High Tech, Low Life.
Once again, it’s been waaaay too long between posts. Alas, life and work keep getting in the way of blogging. But I’ve roused myself to let Melbourne readers know that Stephen Maing’s excellent documentary High Tech, Low Life, about two prominent Chinese activist-bloggers, screens tonight at ACMI as part of the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival (HRAFF).

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Radio National Interview on Chinese Films at GOMA

Life amongst the ruins: Jia Zhangke's Still Life, screening at Brisbane's GOMA as part of the APT cinema program.

On Saturday 2 February 2013 I was interviewed by ABC Radio National's Jason Di Rosso about a pair of Chinese films playing at Brisbane's Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA).

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Chinese Box Office Figures for 2012 Released

A steamy moment from Painted Skin 2: The Resurrection, the second highest grossing domestically-made film in China in 2012.
SARFT has published the box domestic and overseas box office performers for 2012, and CMM-I have re-published the results in English here and here - or you can see the top ten results below.

As noted in a Newsbites post earlier this week, the low-budget comedy Lost in Thailand was the shock winner in the domestic box office stakes last year, pulling in a cool RMB 1 billion by the end of the year. The film is still in cinemas, so that figure has no doubt grown considerably in the first weeks of 2013.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Art, Activism and Ai Weiwei - Alison Klayman’s "Never Sorry"

Ai Weiwei sends the authorities a message from his hospital bed after suffering a cerebral haemorrhage following a blow from a policeman in Alison Klayman's documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry.

Alison Klayman's documentary Never Sorrry, about China's most controversial contemporary artist Ai Weiwei, has garnered acclaim around the world and was short-listed for the Best Documentary Academy Award this year (unfortunately it didn't make the final list of nominees). After screening at last year's Melbourne International Film Festival it enjoyed a brief theatrical season at Melbourne's Nova Cinema. It has now been released on DVD in Australia by Madman.

I interviewed Klayman when she was in Melbourne last year, and reviewed her film for the Dec-Jan issue of RealTime magazine. The RealTime article is reproduced below - you can see the piece in its original context here.

Art, Activism and Ai Weiwei - Alison Klayman’s Never Sorry

Ai weiwei has been accused of bigamy, charged with tax evasion, condemned as a subversive and dismissed as a clown. Although infamous as the artist the Chinese authorities love to hate, his critics are by no means only from government ranks.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Newsbites: Shock Box Office Hit, Wong Karwai Returns, and More Cancelled Festivals

Zhang Ziyi in Wong Karwai's new martial arts feature The Grandmaster.

Screening China’s regular roundup of Chinese film news.

Happy 2013! It’s been a very long time between posts here at Screening China - I got a little overwhelmed with the end-of-year rush in the final months of 2012. Among other things, I attended the annual Visible Evidence documentary conference in late December in Canberra. I'm pleased to say the event featured several papers focussed on Chinese documentary, by luminaries such as Paola Voci and Ying Qian.

Here’s a roundup of Chinese film news over the past few months.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Caged Interactions and Silent Tears – Zhao Dayong’s "Rough Poetry"

Sometimes a film that is initially underwhelming lingers in your mind, the echo of the images slowly transforming into more than they appeared in the moment of viewing. Zhao Dayong’s 50-minute Rough Poetry (2009) is, as its title implies, a unpolished experiment more than a fully fledged movie. But there is something in its meandering, apparently unscripted conversations and lingering close ups that resonated for days after I watched it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Melbourne Film Festival Pics and Coverage of China Docos Program

Dan Edwards and Ou Ning at the Melbourne International Film Festival last month (Image: Luisa Mirabilio, www.thinkloco.com.au)

As I reported extensively here at Screening China back in August, the Melbourne International Film Festival hosted a small retrospective of Chinese documentaries this year curated by myself, entitled Street Level Visions. The program attracted considerable interest, and dGenerate Films have now published a full summary of media coverage of the program, which included stories on television and radio, and in newspaper and magazines.

I’ve also got some pictures here of filmmakers Ou Ning (Meishi Street) and Wang Jiulaing (Beijing Besieged by Waste), who were in Melbourne as guests of the festival. The images are from a panel that took place in the festival bar on 14 August.

All image by Luisa Mirabilio (www.thinkloco.com.au).