Posts tagged film
I think there’s no better time to reflect on Seattle’s 2011 Bumbershoot®: Seattle’s Music & Arts Festival, which I had a three-day pass to, than exactly four weeks after the start of the festival. Instead of writing detailed reviews for everything I saw, I decided to break it into what I thoroughly enjoyed, what I didn’t love and what I wished I saw.
I thoroughly enjoyed:
- The Improvised Shakespeare Company
- MarchFourth Marching Band
- YACHT (music)
- The Trey McIntyre Project (dance)
- Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
- Dan Savage and Terry Miller: It Gets Better (words and ideas panel)
- Manos: The Hands of Felt by Puppet This
- 1 Reel Film Festival - Frankly Female films: Election Day, Worn, 0507
I didn’t love:
- Why Censorship? Why Revolution? Why Now? (words and ideas panel)
- Kristin Hersh: Paradoxical Undressing (music/monologue one-woman show)
- 1 Reel Film Festival – Frankly Female film: Connect To
- Visual art: The Magic Show, Skaters Gauntlet, Bumber by Number
I wish I saw:
- Spectrum Dance Theater
- Vendetta Red
- Lots of 1 Reel Film Festival: Best of SIFF 2011 Jury Award Winners, Best of SIFF Audience Award Winners, Around the World in 50 Minutes
Image taken without permission from official Bumbershoot site.
I recently saw “Aftershock (唐山大地震)” at Seattle’s Uptown Theater on Queen Anne, thanks to reading about it in MusicDish*China. The film is China’s highest grossing domestic movie of all time, the first commercial entertainment film made outside the United States for IMAX, and apparently the 83rd Academy Awards’ Chinese nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.
“Aftershock” deserves its popularity and critical acclaim for several reasons, including its special effects, acting, dramatic narrative, and tastefully placed humor. One of the film’s most controversial aspects is, predictibly, that it takes the Chinese federal government propaganda standpoint on depicting the poorly handled tragedy and resulting history. I have very little problem with this, though, as it enabled the film’s expensive budget and wide distribution. Jeremiah Jenne’s post “Aftershock and the legacy of the 1976 Tangshan Earthquake” on Granite Studio sums up my opinions of the movie pretty well.
As a Millennial who recently lived in China as a foreign national, one of the aspects of the film that touched me most was its realistic depiction of huge differences in priorities and lifestyles among Chinese generations since 1976 due to rapid political and economic changes tied to urbanization.
Take, for example, my friend my age who I spent Chinese New Year with this past year. His father’s parents are farmers in a village with basically no running water and electricity. They speak only the local language, so I had a very hard time communicating with them. My friend’s father is a wealthy, college-educated entrepreneur in the closest major city Kunming where he and his wife live an extravagant lifestyle and speak the same local language plus Mandarin. My friend spent four years in Australia, teaches English in Beijing where he buys real Apple products and Ray Ban sunglasses, and struggles to hide his homosexuality from his family even though he is out to most of his Beijing friends. “Aftershock” contains similarly wide generational differences within the family at the center of the story.
Have you seen “Aftershock”? What aspects of it did you like and dislike the most? I look forward to your comments.
The Third Annual New Beijing International Movie Week is actually three weeks long this year and continues through March 21, 2009. It features independent films, both long and short, from around the world, most of which premiered in 2008, in various popular venues around the city, such as nightclubs. All movies have subtitles in Chinese, English or both, depending on the language of the film. I’ve had the pleasure of going to the festival on two nights so far. Many of the films are so new and unknown that it’s hard to find information about them online.
It’s exciting to see so much attention directed at Mumbai. India has the second largest population and film industry in the world, yet many Americans know little about it. For example, who in the U.S. studies any of the languages spoken in India, which combined have more speakers worldwide than Spanish?