CINÉMATHÈQUE QUÉBÉCOISE + VISIONS

FEMALE DIRECTORS
女导演
Nü daoyan

Directed by Yang Mingming
2012, 43 min, digital.
In Chinese with English subtitles.

Two brilliant young women, art school graduates with deliciously profane vocabularies and supreme confidence, talk sex, cinema, and power, as they wield their shared video camera like a scalpel. Yang Mingming’s superb debut is hilarious, moving, and subversive: is it documentary or fiction, or something new that violates both modes with gleeful abandon?

Screens with Listening to Third Grandmother’s Stories at 19:00 on 1 April 2016 

LISTENING TO THIRD GRANDMOTHER’S STORIES
听三奶奶讲过去的事情
Ting sannainai jiang guoqu de shiqing

Directed by Wen Hui
2012, 75 min, digital, b&w/colour
In Chinese with English subtitles.

A language written by women confronts official ideology in dancer/choreographer/filmmaker Wen Hui’s film. She starts from stories her 83-year-old great-aunt tells her of being tortured as a “class enemy” during Mao’s China: the result is poetry, an experimental documentary that combines testimony and dance-like gesture, in black-and-white and color.

Screens with Female Directors  at 19:00 on 1 April 2016 

Animated shorts programme

PERFECT CONJUGAL BLISS 
花好月圆
Huahao yueyuan

Directed by Zhong Su
5’26″ 2014

A gorgeous 3D animation unscrolling through Chinese history, from grey urban collapse to ultra-coloured consumer dystopia.

HOW
在哪儿
Zhi nar

Directed by Zhang Yipin
5’07″ 2013

Traditional pen-and-ink drawings, animating a fuzzy-haired ruddy-cheeked girl’s imaginative world of terror and freedom.

THE HUNTER AND THE SKELETON
猎人与骷髅怪
Lieren yu koulouguai

Directed by Bai Bin
26’07″ 2012

A spectacular animated version, flash plus thangka, of an Eastern Tibetan folk tale: when a hunter meets a fearsome skeleton monster, are they friends, or enemies?

AN APPLE TREE
苹果树
Pingguoshu

Directed by Bai Bin
10’43″ 2013

A Tibetan fable, in vivid colours, of an indomitable tree, assailed yet triumphant.

DOUBLE ACT
双簧
Shuanghuang

Directed by Ding Shiwei
4’38″ 2013

Black-and-white industrial surreal: bodies float between familiar bureaucratic monuments above the earth, while sunflowers lie beneath the earth.

MIRROR ROOM
镜室
Jingshi

Directed by Zhou Xiaohu
8’35″ 2012

Master clay animator Zhou fashions a bathroom of hallucinatory reflections, where Lacan meets fascism.

THE NEW BOOK OF MOUNTAINS AND SEAS PART 2
新山海经2
Xin shan hai jing 2

Directed by Qiu Anxiong
29’35″ (2007) 2012

Animating classic-styled ink and pen drawings, and filling them with quasi-nightmarish animal-machine forms, Qiu suggests a world under ecological collapse, where genetically tampered animal forms expire on earth and colonize the stars.

FAMILY REUNION
馬拉自在
Mala zizai

Directed by Chen Li-hua
18’ 2012

A-mei, a Taiwanese aboriginal woman working in a factory, is called home for the Harvest Festival, but her boss refuses. In Chen’s imaginative tale, illustrated with cut out and line drawn animation, a daughter’s powerful dreaming saves all.

Eight animated shorts will be screened together in a single programme at 5pm April 2 2016

Experimental shorts programme

THE POET AND THE SINGER
金刚经
Jingangjing

Directed by Bi Gan
2012, 26 min, b&w digital.
In Chinese with English subtitles.

A visually sumptuous, black and white poem that provocatively but elegantly juxtaposes a poet, a singer, a river, a pair of murderers, and the Diamond Sutra.

DISMANTLING CLEMATIS #16
拆铁丝16#
Cha tiesi 16#

Directed by Zhi Jun
2013, 30 min, digital.

After a fire, scarred bonsai trees are meticulously freed of their supporting wires by medical professionals.

I’M NOT NOT NOT CHEN ZHOU


Directed by Chen Zhou
2013, 34 min, digital.

The color yellow, as well as artist Chen Zhou and his alter ego(s), star in this droll, playfully conceptual tour de force.

 

Three experimental shorts will be screened together at 21:00 on 2 April 2016

EMPEROR VISITS THE HELL
唐皇游地府
Tang huang you difu

Directed by Luo Li
2012, 67 min, digital.
In Chinese with English subtitles.

Winner of the 2012 Vancouver International Film Festival’s Dragons & Tigers Prize, this is a quietly astonishing tour de force that hinges on a lovely conceit: relocating to the present day the famous story of the Tang dynasty Emperor Taizong’s visit to the underworld. Shot in elegant, black-and-white long takes, the film spins a tale of a local river god, the Dragon King, who, feuding with a fortune teller, alters the weather without authorization and is condemned to death. When the Emperor fails to commute the god’s sentence, otherworldly retribution is swift: he is summoned to Hell. Li’s audacious use of multiple levels of storytelling and filmmaking craftily and joyously subverts every authority around.

Screens at 19:00 on 3 April 2016

YUMEN
玉门
Yumen

Directed by Huang Xiang, Xu Ruotao and JP Sniadecki
2013, 65 min, 16mm-to-digital.
In Mandarin Chinese and Gansu dialect with English subtitles.

Two Chinese avant-garde artists and an American experimental filmmaker have collaborated on a stunningly beautiful Chinese experimental-fiction-documentary that dazzlingly combines ghost stories and “ruin porn” to form a celluloid psycho-collage. Shot on 16mm film, it’s set in the largely abandoned oil drilling town of Yumen – a place with an ancient, poetic history in China’s western Gansu province – and takes us through trashed, desolate urban spaces abandoned by Chinese socialism. But the filmmakers bring these places alive with their cast of ghosts, artists, vagabond dancers, and singers. It’s a film chock full of fascinating things: massive oil pumps and sun-blasted vistas; nude performance art and impromptu flamenco; fuzzy bunny rabbits and snarling canines; groovy 70s Taiwan pop and contemporary Korean girl bands; socialist nostalgia and postmodern pastiche.

Screens twice: 19:00 on 4 April and 21:00 on 6 April 2016

The_DOSSIER1

THE DOSSIER
档案
Dang’an

Directed by Zhu Rikun
2014, 129 min.
In Chinese and Tibetan with English subtitles.

Tsering Woeser, the subject of Chinese filmmaker Zhu Rikun’s extraordinary documentary, is a Tibetan writer now based in Beijing. Through her writing and online voice, she has become one of the most eloquent voices on Tibet. Zhu Rikun’s sharply designed, formally innovative documentary is completely in Woeser’s own voice: Zhu alternates formally photographed scenes of Woeser reading excerpts from her secret government “dossier” (which she has somehow gained access to) with scenes of her speaking in her own soft but powerful, eloquent, passionate voice. Woeser’s moving account of her political awakening and current activism makes for a powerful document of a Tibetan woman finding her voice and insisting on her freedom to use it.

Screens at 21:00 on 4 April 2016. Director Zhu Rikun will be present for a Q&A after the screening.

Peoples ParkPEOPLE’S PARK
人民公园
Renmin gongyuan

Directed by J.P. Sniadecki & Libbie Cohn
2012, 78 min, digital.
In Sichuanese and Mandarin Chinese.

This is an experimental, structuralist documentary shot in People’s Park, Chengdu, Sichuan, in one single, bravura take lasting 75 minutes by two young American directors. Their camera captures the fullness of Chinese urban leisure life. As the camera pans side to side and glides relentlessly forward through the park, it catches hundreds of Chinese urbanites out for fun, relaxation, socializing, and a certain kind of freedom: eating, strolling, singing, practicing calligraphy, and watching each other. Watching becomes dancing, as the film slowly gathers an ecstatic, trance-like groove, building to a rapturous climax, as people, movement, music, image, and sound mix together: this is as close to pure pleasure as cinema gets.

Screens at 19:00 on 5 April 2016

Cinémathèque Québécoise – 335, boul. De Maisonneuve Est
335, boul. De Maisonneuve Est
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

The beauty of independent cinema lies in its independence. The opposite of this independence is a media controlled by a propaganda mechanism under centralized command. Independence, exploration, and discovery grant you freedom.

Hu Jie (Spark)

CINEMA ON THE EDGE