Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ai Weiwei Released on Bail

Ai Weiwei out on bail - seen here at the door of his home in Beijing last night. Image David Gray/Reuters via The Guardian.

Good news today, with media outlets reporting Chinese artist and filmmaker Ai Weiwei was finally released last night on bail. The Wall Street Journal has posted a short video of Ai's arrival at his home in northeast Beijing. Although Ai looked tired and appears to have lost a lot of weight, he basically appeared to be in good health. He reportedly said he was unable to offer any comment to the media other than expressing happiness at being back home.

A Blank Slate for Our Own Thoughts and Prejudices – Wang Bing's Man With No Name

The man with no name in his subterranean dwelling, a scene from Wang Bing's eponymous documentary.

Wang Bing's new documentary Man With No Name is an intriguing companion piece to his recent debut drama The Ditch, so it's fitting that the two films screened alongside each other at this year's Hong Kong International Film Festival. Both works depict the lives of marginalised men living in the ruggedly parched landscape of China's northwest, but where The Ditch dramatises events from sixty years ago, Man With No Name is an observational documentary set in the present.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Corrosive Obsession – Yu Guangyi's Bachelor Mountain

San Liangzi in Yu Guangyi's quietly moving documentary Bachelor Mountain, screened at this year's Hong Kong International Film Festival.

Yu Guangyi's documentary Bachelor Mountain – caught at this year's Hong Kong Film Festival – beautifully captures the space where individual temperament and social circumstances intercept, forging a documentary that is both subtle in its social critique and moving in its portrayal of unrequited love.