High Presents China on Screen Film Series in conjunction with 'First Emperor" exhibition
ATLANTA, January 22, 2009 – The High Museum of Art will present the film series China on Screen from January 30 through February 7, 2009. The series will feature three critically acclaimed films that explore Chinese culture and history, including the award-winning “Still Life.” The series is presented in coordination with “The First Emperor: China’s Terracotta Army, ” which is currently breaking attendance records at the High and was named one of Time Magazine’s “Top 10 Exhibitions of 2008.”
“Viewers will find in these three acclaimed films from leading directors of the Sixth Generation an individualist, contemporary and urban approach to cinema. Focusing on China’s economic and social revolution, their makers shine a critical light on globalization and the alienation that has accompanied rapid change,” said Linda Dubler, Curator of Media Arts. “In contrast to the lush, big-budget productions made in China during the 1980s, their work often has a documentary texture and incorporates the spontaneity and realism of that genre. These are films that present history as the lived experience of individuals and open our eyes to the protean place that is China today.”
The series opens on Friday, January 30, with “Up the Yangtze.” Canadian filmmaker Yung Chang was inspired to film this documentary after listening to the many stories from his immigrant grandfather about the Yangtze River. The film traces the changes that have taken place in China through the lives of two young people, Chen BoYu (Jerry) and Yu Shui (Cindy), who work for Victoria Cruises that organizes farewell tours of the Three Gorges Dam area. Their stories are woven together into a film that Stephen Holden of The New York Times calls “an astonishing documentary of culture class and the erasure of history amid China’s economic miracle.” This film is in Mandarin and English with subtitles.
On Saturday, January 31, the winner of the Grand Prize at the 2006 Venice Film Festival, “Still Life,” will be shown. This film focuses on the fast-paced changes that have transformed China and explores the impact these changes have had on its people. The film is set in central China’s Fengjie, a 2,000-year-old town on the Yangtze. Fengjie is being simultaneously demolished and rebuilt by the monumental Three Gorges Dam project, which has displaced more than 2 million residents. The parallel narratives in the film follow two characters: a coal miner in search of his wife and a nurse seeking a divorce from her engineer husband. Although their paths never cross, they are, in the words of The New York Times’s Manohla Dargis, “connected by context, culture, language and landscape.” She also names director Jia Zhang-ke “among the most strikingly gifted filmmakers working today.” This film is in Mandarin with subtitles.
The series closes on Saturday, February 7, with “Sunflower,” a family drama spanning three decades. The film traces the upheaval of Chinese society and the struggling relationship between a father and son. The two meet for the first time during the height of the Cultural Revolution when the father, Gengian, once an accomplished artist, returns to Beijing after years of exile and reeducation. The New York Times’s Jeanette Catsoulis observed, “‘Sunflower’ parallels the upheavals in Xiangyang’s life with those of his country, exploring the tension between tradition and modernity with insight and intimacy. . . . As Xiangyang struggles to fashion his own life, his quest reflects the hopes of an entire generation.” This film is in Mandarin with subtitles.
Film Series Schedule
Unless otherwise noted, all films begin at 8 p.m. and are screened in the Richard H. Rich Theatre, located in the Memorial Arts Building, adjacent to the High at Peachtree and 15th Streets in midtown Atlanta.
“Up the Yangtze”
Friday, January 30
(Canada, 2007, 93 minutes.)
Saturday, January 31
(China, 2006, 111 minutes.)
Saturday, February 7
(China, 2005, 129 minutes.)
This series is presented in coordination with “The First Emperor: China’s Terracotta Army.” 35mm projection facilities in the Rich Auditorium were provided by a gift from George Lefont.
To purchase tickets in advance go to www.High.org, visit the Woodruff Arts Center Box Office or call 404-733-5000. Tickets for all shows are $7 general admission and $6 for students, seniors and Museum members. Patron-level members enter free. Tickets may also be purchased at the door on the night of the screening.
The public may call the High’s film hotline at 404-733-4570 for up-to-the-minute information about visiting directors, receptions, changes or cancellations and a free subscription to the quarterly film calendar. The Museum’s website is www.High.org.
The High Museum of Art
The High Museum of Art, founded in 1905 as the Atlanta Art Association, is the leading art museum in the southeastern United States. With more than 11,000 works of art in its permanent collection, the High Museum of Art has an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American and decorative art; significant holdings of European paintings; a growing collection of African American art; and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, photography and African art. The High is also dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Southern artists and is distinguished as the only major museum in North America to have a curatorial department specifically devoted to the field of folk and self-taught art. The High’s Media Arts department produces acclaimed annual film series and festivals of foreign, independent and classic cinema. In November 2005, the High opened three new buildings by architect Renzo Piano that more than doubled the Museum’s size, creating a vibrant “village for the arts” at the Woodruff Arts Center in midtown Atlanta. For more information about the High, please visit www.high.org
The High Museum of Art is a division of the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta, which also includes the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Young Audiences and the 14th Street Playhouse.
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DIGITAL IMAGES FOR THE FILMS ARE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST