Zhang Xiaoxi’s TV Miniatures

Avant-Garde Micro Film Festival Shanghai at K11 Art Mall

From April 22-May 5, K11 Art Mall in Shanghai plays host to works by some of China’s leading experimental animators as part of the “Avant-Garde Micro Film Festival”. Featuring three programs by four different animators, curator Cao Kai include premieres, repetitions of classics, and many other surprises. host to “Avant-Garde Micro Film Festival,” visitors can see his shorter pieces such as “Chaos and Order”, is screening a selection of the works of Liu Jian, one of the leading forces in contemporary Chinese animation. As part of the

Liu Jian at Avant-Garde Micro Film Festival Shanghai

P.I.G. Screening Series: Die Hard at the Grumpy Pig

On December 10, P.I.G. launches its Shanghai screening series with a special collaboration with our friends at The Grumpy Pig. And what better way to ring in the season than with a Hollywood holiday classic: “Die Hard” (1988). We’ll be screening the film and serving a special, Die Hard-themed menu – reserve now to make sure you don’t miss it! The Grumpy Pig x P.I.G. China “Movie & Grub”: Christmas Edition Tuesday, December 10, 2013, 8pm @ The Grumpy Pig, Shanghai Space Limited. Reservations: 6217-3355 GrumpyGrub1 Did you forget that “Die Hard” is an amazing Christmas movie? Watch the trailer again to refresh your memory…

Debut Feature “Bends” Opens in Hong Kong

After premiering at Cannes in May and touring the international festival circuit to much acclaim, “Bends” (過界), the debut feature of Hong Kong director Flora Lau, finally opened in Hong Kong in late November. Produced by P.I.G.’s own Melissa Lee, the film has attracted much media attention for its sensitive portrayal of the meta-relationship between Hong Kong and Shenzhen through two complex characters, portrayed by icon Carina Lau and young star Chen Kun. If you’re anywhere near Hong Kong, try to catch it in cinemas, or else wait for other territory release dates coming up. Read the in-depth New York Times profile here, as well as coverage from the SCMP, the WSJ, and an interview with Flora Lau from Indiewire. Also it’s worth exploring the beautiful Bends website, created by HK design star Rex Koo, which features behind-the-scenes extras and making-of videos. Trailer below: First of 3 making-of clips: BENDS_MAKING_OF – The_Story from Flora Lau on Vimeo.

November Roundup: News on Film, Digital and Beyond

(Real Chinese astronauts from Shenzhou-9 launch)
GRAVITY
(Sandra Bullock in current blockbuster “Gravity”)

Selected readings, links, and other buzzworthy items:

Gravity’s Big Impact: Gravity is breaking box office records in China, soaring past other current releases; while Gravity’s director Alfonso Cuaron wants China to take him to space, for real (reports Xinhua):
“I know that I will never do another space movie. It took too long. But I would go to space as soon as I was invited,” Cuaron told Xinhua in an exclusive interview given while he was in Beijing promoting “Gravity,” which debuted on the Chinese mainland on Tuesday. “So I’ll keep on pleading. Maybe then Chinese authorities will want to send me to space. I would be very happy to accept the invitation, very honored,” he said.

China’s Micro-Movie Zeitgeist: BBC piece on how micro-movies evade Chinese censorship; even Chinese airlines are using micro-movies in in-flight entertainment systems.

Hollywood x China: “Hollywood and China: in Figures” by Jonathan Landreth offers a useful look at the relationship by the numbers; LAT piece “Hollywood meets a sleeping powerhouse” is a good basic primer on current dynamics; NPR showcases “Hollywood’s New Strategy: Supporting Chinese-Made Blockbusters” and the flipside where “China Pits Hollywood Blockbusters Against Each Other
“; The Hollywood Reporter examines the Chinese presence at AFM earlier this month; The Guardian on what it gleaned from US/China Film Summit at AFM; Variety on how marketing platform FansTang Plans to Deliver Hollywood Content in China;

Festival Circuit: The Guangzhou Documentary Film Festival kicks off; as well as one part of the beleaguered China Independent Film Festival in Nanjing; the ASEAN Festival launches in Singapore; Asia-Pacific Film Festival runs in Macau mid-December; Beijing recently hosted the Chinese Folk Women Festival; Shanghai’s expat-geared “Meiwenti Film Contest” still seeking short film submissions until November 30 for its Dec 14 event; and an interesting UK academic research group exploring the phenomenon of film festivals in China.

Other: A report on Ang Lee at the Art of Transnational Cinema event at Harvard University; and the frankly disgusting teaser poster for upcoming TIny Times 3 (reported to start production soon in Rome).

Super Cool Party: Interview with Designer Francis Lam (aka db-db)

SuperCool1 Last week saw the launch of “Super Cool Party”, a new iOS app from Francis Lam (aka db-db), which has quickly taken over the Instagram and WeChat moments feeds of Shanghai creatives. It’s a “super pixelicious fashion simulation game” with db-db’s trademark style seen in Tofu Go and Nudemen – a combination of funky 8bit graphics, catchy tunes, and cheeky gameplay (which here involves “undressing” characters to unlock their clothing for fun mix-and-match). In the future, it may feature packs of branded fashion content and beyond. Francis’ expansive practice also encompasses his long-time work as Creative Technologist at Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai, and founder of hand-crafted wooden furniture brand OWW. To kick off POV’s new interview series with diverse creatives, Francis graciously agreed to answer our questions. POV INTERVIEW: FRANCIS LAM, AKA DB-DB Q: In a nutshell, how would you describe “Super Cool Party”? What’s its connection to shopping and fashion? A: It’s a fashion-themed 8-bit casual game + social camera app. But what I also want to experiment is to create a new platform for advertising and mobile gaming. In-game advertising has always been a big turn-off for gamers, I really want to build something that can make both marketers and gamers happy. Q: What inspired the game, especially its visual style, music, and beach setting/”party” concept? A: Happy, fun and 8bit are always the main themes and styles of my work. It also vaguely linked to my Nudemen Series by the way. User images from Instagram – add your own with the #supercoolparty and #supercoolstyle tags! Q: This is your first app since Tofu Go – what have you learned since then, and what different techniques of design, programming, marketing, and distribution were you looking to try in Super Cool Party? A: I think all my other mobile apps and games are experiments or extensions of my other work. Most of them were finished in a weekend or so. Super Cool Party is a more well-thought and

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produced project which leverages different digital and social channels. It’s also the first product launched by my new entity db+DB. dcf880d2569111e3a9810ebdd4ba5cf5_6 Instagram from @bbfish Q: Since you left Wieden+Kennedy to work on independent projects, you mentioned that you’re pursuing an interesting workflow of experimenting with various new projects on quick-iteration time-schedule. Can you describe this new project structure you’re exploring? A: Sure. db+DB is a small team aiming for making tiny digitally-driven products in fast iterations. We have three criteria for our products: 1. It has to be launched in less than 2-3 months. 2. It has to be commercially viable. 3. It has to have a big idea which potentially change the world and make our lives better – maybe for just a little bit. Q: What do you think is the future of mobile advertising, and how do you think games are important in this space? Many people have talked about the death of Weibo and the rise of Weixin as a space for brands – how are you hoping that an app/game like Super Cool Party can pioneer new directions on those platforms? A: I think games are one of the biggest digital communities yet to have a working advertising ecosystem. Super Cool Party is an experimental project to try answer the issue. Q: What inspires you the most right now? A: Currently, definitely my newborn daughter. Download Super Cool Party here and check it out!

“On Fear” Zine and GIFs by Inkee Wang

Inkee Wang (Wang Yingqi) is currently a student at London’s Royal College of Art, and has been attracting attention for her delightfully skewed illustrations for some time. Now they leap off the page/screen in her project “On Fear”, which takes the form of a specialized Tumblr, a series of animated GIFs, and a limited-edition zine. The experimental visual essay explores the nature of fear that all humans share – and even digs deep into history for parallels to our modern condition.

See more at the project site, and some of our favorite selections below. GIFs of the day(/week/month)!

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Meet Mr. Cao, Skateboarding Hutong Bathroom Attendant

A very cool short video from our friends at Tranquil Tuesdays (artisanal tea brand based in Beijing):

Skateboarding Hutong Bathroom Attendant Mr. Cao

Working in Beijing’s historical hutong neighborhoods, life is never dull in Tranquil Tuesdays’ office and showroom on Fangjia Hutong. These past two weeks in the heat of the Beijing summer, we thought we saw an improbable mirage: a skateboarding hutong bathroom attendant skating by our doors. After days of stunned excitement watching Mr. Cao whiz by Tranquil Tuesdays hutong office and showroom in Beijing, we finally caught up with him (I literally ran out of our office to catch him before he crossed the street) to express our admiration and ask him if we could film him skating down our hutong: Fangjia Hutong. Mr. Cao is from Hebei province and lives on Fangjia Hutong. He skateboards to work at a public bathroom 3 km away, and says he has been skateboarding for a few months.

Via Tranquil Tuesdays Blog

So Fresh and So Clean: Beautiful Vintage Soap Packaging from China

Feast your eyes on this collection of vintage soap packaging from China – assembled by the retro aficionado U-Book on Douban. U-Book also has some amazing galleries of mid-century Chinese clothing catalogues and a particularly lovely vintage Seagull camera. As some have remarked on Weibo, they look good enough to eat! (“很小的时候,总会觉得香皂是蛋糕那样能吃的东西,,看这个设计和颜色,,太有爱了”) View the full set here. (Via one

of our favorite artists Yan Cong)