Sunday, July 25, 2010

Gong Li & a Sixth Generation Love-in at Beijing's BC MOMA

Gong Li in her most recent film Shanghai, in which she co-starred with John Cusak.
 While Feng Xiaogang's IMAX blockbuster Aftershock (Tangshen da dizheng) was opening on 3,500 screen across China last Thursday (July 22), Beijing's BC MOMA cinema was hosting a big night of its own. Gong Li was spotted shooting outside and several star directorial talents – including Jia Zhangke – were on hand for the Beijing premiere of Wang Xiaoshuai's Chongqing Blues (Rizhao Chongqing).

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Tribulations of Chinese Rural Life: Huang Mei's The Village Elementary

While many things have improved in the People's Republic since the death of Mao in 1976, access to public education for the poor isn't one of them. I recently saw The Village Elementary, a documentary by Huang Mei, that delves into this issue with a portrait of life in a tiny village primary school in Gansu Province, west China. This arid, mountainous region features breathtaking  scenery, but harbours villages so impoverished its hard to believe they exist in the same nation as the glittering skylines of modern cities like Shanghai and Beijing.