March 5: Disorder: Screening and Discussion with Chinese Filmmaker Huang Weikai

(Disorder/現在是過去的未來, Huang Weikai, China, 58 min, DVD,
2009 Young Jury Special mention Award of Cinéma du Réel,
Friday, March 5th, 2010, 3:00pm
CWAC 157
Cochrane-Woods Art Center, 5540 S. Greenwood Ave, Chicago

“At times the news is more dramatic than the movie.” This
is the theme and intent of Disorder. A mysterious and
dystopian contemporary city symphony, Disorder consists of
footage from a dozen amateur filmmakers, and weaves together
a series of striking observational scenes from the streets
of Guangzhou, including a madman dancing ecstatically in the
middle of the street, pigs running wildly on a highway, the
discovery of a cultural relic on a construction site, an
escaped alligator, and more. Together these scenes form a
grim study of rapid economic growth, the ensuing
urbanization and anarchy lurking behind ostensible order. As
the title says, it’s complete chaos and disorder. Between
the chilling, surreal content, creepy, grainy aesthetic and
disturbing lack of exposition, Disorder is captivating from
start to finish.

San Yuan Li (Ou Ning and Cao Fei, Cameraman: Huang Weikai,
40 min, DVD, 2003)

The subject of China’s explosive modernization has certainly
been much in the news lately, especially with the recent
Olympics. “San Yuan Li” confronts the issue head-on in a
portrait of a once-rural village that has been swallowed up
by the neighboring metropolis of Guangzhou, captured by the
artists and a team of assistants who fanned out across the
city with digital video cameras. Less documentary than
cinematic poem, it presents a kaleidoscopic picture of a
place that has fallen victim to voracious urban sprawl. Its
cameras start outside the city and its gleaming high-rises
and move inward, roaming San Yuan Li’s claustrophobic
streets and blind alleys before focusing on the faces of the
people who live there. This isn’t just a story about
infrastructure, but also humanity.

Huang Weikai graduated from the Chinese Art Department,
Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts (China), and has worked as a
graphic designer and cameraman. He has been directing
independent films since 2002. His previous works include the
film short Laden’s Body Could Be Nothing but a Copy (2002)
and the documentary Floating (飄/Piao,2005). His filmography
as cameraman includes Meishi Street (煤市街) which received
an official invitation to the 10th International Istanbul
Biennial in Turkey in 2005, and San Yuan Li (三元里) which
was invited to Z.O.U., the 50th Venice Biennal in 2003.

Co-sponsored by Center for East Asian Studies and Art and
Politics of East Asia Workshop


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