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 together with the following 3 shorts on 30 March 2016 at 19:00 and 3 April at 13:00
The Hunter and the Skeleton
Lieren yu kulouguai
Directed by Bai Bin
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?
Directed by Zhong Su
A gorgeous 3D animation unscrolling through Chinese history, from grey urban collapse to ultra-coloured consumer dystopia.
Directed by Chen Li-hua
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.
No. 302 — Artscape Youngplace
180 Shaw Street
Toronto, Ontario M6J 2W5
I would definitely like to show my films to more Chinese audiences. I think the Chinese audience, especially the younger generation, are more open to foreign films, art films or alternative cinema. They are ready to see works that are not conventional, films that are simply different from mainstream movies. I always try to make my films authentic and faithful to the site/place/environment where they were filmed, and I greatly value the feedback from Chinese audiences, since I believe they share many concerns that are similar to mine.
–Luo Li (Emperor Visits the Hell)
CINEMA ON THE EDGE