“V” as in “video.” Among Chinese filmmakers and artists for whom this “new” technology has only widely available within the past few years, this is an exciting time. The styles and modes of storytelling employed by the artists highlighted here are eclectic (for example, see the varied works of acclaimed video artist Wu Er Shan, two of which are also included in the Reel Asian National Spotlight programme this year). In this programme, three young Chinese artists show what happens when they pick up a video camera.
Xu Yiliang | 2003 | China | Video | 28:00 | Color | World Premiere
Old man Lao Tan is coming to terms with the death of his wife. After his stepdaughter brings her own father to the city to look after him, the two men gradually open up, with one confessing to the other a secret surrounding the old man’s deceased wife. While clearly a low-budget piece, the rigor in tone, pacing, and mise-en-scene of Pomegranate marks an auspicious start for this young filmmaker.
Xu Yiliang was born in the Jiansu province of China in 1980. She recently graduated from the Central Drama Academy with a Major in Television Arts, and is currently pursuing further studies in film directing at the Beijing Film Academy.
A Summer In An Ancient City
Pang Shan | 2003 | China | Video | 23:00 | Color | World Premiere
A classic tale of guilt and redemption. Chen Jun spends his summer days serving local customers at a food stall. One day, while serving a young girl, he notices another customer stealing her money. Too cowardly to act, he watches silently while the petty thief and his unsuspected victim go in opposite directions, leaving the young boy full of remorse. Fate, however, brings Chen Jun and the thief together once again. This time, the boy won’t let him get away with it …
Peng Shan, was born in Si Chuan province of China in 1981 and is currently studying at the Mei Shi Film Academy of Chongqing University.
The Missing House
Ying Liang | 2003 | China | Video | 28:00 | Color | World Premiere
Chen Jun is temporarily discharged from a correctional facility and allowed to return to his hometown. Far from a warm welcome, he discovers instead that since his father’s death his family home has been torn down and replaced by a hotel. In the streets outside, animosity lurks at every corner. Reminiscent of the themes of urban alienation found in the films of Tsai Ming-liang, The Missing House is an arresting piece with a socio-political message that resonates long after the credits roll.
Selected screenings: 27th Asian American International Film Festival; Hong Kong Asian Film Festival
Ying Liang was born in Shanghai, China, in 1977. He graduated from the College of Art and Communications at Beijing Normal University in 2000 and is currently studying at the Mei Shi Film Academy of Chongqing University.