Monday, March 19, 2012

Call for Participants in Sydney Workshop on Chinese Documentaries

Dr Jenny Chio and Professor Wanning Sun of the UTS China Research Centre in Sydney, Australia, have put out a call for participants for an exciting workshop planned for June. The organizers are looking to attract a broad range of participants, including academics from various fields, filmmakers and journalists. Guests will include Dr Yi Sicheng, the curator of China's regular Yunfest film festival in Yunnan, and Dr Luke Robinson, Lecturer in Film and Media Studies, University of Nottingham, and author of some of the best recent academic work on Chinese documentaries.

The program also includes some public screenings, which I'll provide details for when they are finalised.

The call for participants is reproduced below - contact Jenny Chio if you'd like nay more information at:

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Flashback – Hou Hsiao-hsien’s “Flowers of Shanghai”

Michiko Hada and Tony Leung in Hou Hsiao-hsien's Flowers of Shanghai (Taiwan, 1998).
To watch a film by Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien is to partake in a hypnotic, slow motion cinematic dance. To the casual observer, nothing is happening. Relations unfold slowly, minutely, with a passing word here, a subtle glance there, weaving a web of intrigue and emotion lying taut over the seemingly placid surface of the screen. To some it’s torture, but for those able to give themselves over the Hou’s dreamlike worlds, his is a cinema that can make you see whole new dimensions in the world on screen.

I’m not as familiar with Hou’s oeuvre as I’d like to be, mainly because his early work in particular is very hard to get in the West. Recently, however, I was lucky enough to see his 1998 Flowers of Shanghai (Hai shang hua) on the big screen, courtesy of the wonderful Melbourne cinematheque.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Quick Link: Los Angeles Times Profile of Chinese Film Critic Raymond Zhou

Chinese film critic Raymond Zhou. Image LA Times.

Last weekend the Los Angeles Times carried a long profile of Chinese film critic Raymond Zhou, who I’ve quoted more than once here at Screening China. Zhou is known in China to English and Chinese-reading audiences alike, thanks to his writings for the English-language newspaper China Daily. Zhou’s reviews and commentaries make for some of the more intelligent sections of the state-owned, notoriously dull paper, although as the LA Times piece makes clear, his writing is heavily constrained by the censorship and corruption underlying all Chinese media.