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
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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 Did you forget that “Die Hard” is an amazing Christmas movie? Watch the trailer again to refresh your memory…
November Roundup: News on Film, Digital and Beyond
(Real Chinese astronauts from Shenzhou-9 launch)
(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)
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
produced project which leverages different digital and social channels. It’s also the first product launched by my new entity db+DB. 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)!
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)
Films to See: China Heavyweight
Great profile on the acclaimed documentary film China Heavyweight, check out the beautiful cinematography/stills from Sun Shaoguang!
Via Canada’s documentary blog, also called POV! – Point of View Magazine
[Photo: Sun Shaoguang, from China Heavyweight, dir. Yung Chang (2012)]
As Time Goes By in Shanghai – New Documentary
Premiering this week at “Hot Docs” is “As Time Goes By in Shanghai”, a new documentary on Shanghai’s own Peace Hotel band – the oldest jazz band in the world. Directed by Uli Gaulke, the film looks like a charming portrait of some old guys who still have a trick or two up their sleeves. From the film’s description: The oldest band of the world has been playing every evening at the Peace Hotel in Shanghai for more than thirty years. Most members of the band, all
Jazz musicians of the first rank, are older than 80 years. AS TIME GOES BY IN SHANGHAI accompanies the oldest band in the world on their greatest adventure yet: their appearance at the North Sea Jazz Festival Rotterdam, the most important festival of its kind. In the final weeks before their appearance, this musical film will immerse itself in a world of unparalleled change. Jazz stands for improvisation, individualism, freedom and creativity. Against the backdrop of great jazz hymns, the film will chart the fascinating life stories of these seven exceptional musicians: from the Japanese occupation to the Cultural Revolution right up to today’s turbo planned economy. With humour, wisdom and a tale or two being spun on the way, the men in black suits will lead us on a tour of their everyday lives in one of the world’s most modern cities and show us how good old jazz has given them the strength to weather the storms of time. Check out the trailer on Youtube or below, and a Tumblr with great behind-the-scenes photos.
Chinese families’ goods in Huang Qingjun’s pictures
The idea for the series about people’s material goods, now called Jiadang (Family Stuff), came in 2003 with some photos he took for the magazine Chinese National Geography. But the project didn’t really get under way until three years later, when Huang started travelling around China looking for suitable places and people.
“Most people thought what I was proposing was not normal. When I explained I wanted to set up a photo, that it would involve taking everything out of their house and setting it up outside, that took quite a lot of explaining,” he says.
“But almost all of them, when they realised what I was trying to do, they understood the point.”