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High Partners with Georgia Tech to Celebrate Independent Chinese Cinema

ATLANTA, March 10, 2011 – The High Museum of Art has partnered with the Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Literature, Communication and Culture to celebrate Chinese film this April with Independent Chinese Cinema, a series of three acclaimed films. Held from Saturday, April 2, through Saturday, April 16, the film series will include “Last Train Home,” “Senior Year” and “Suzhou River.” The film series is co-presented by Georgia Tech’s School of Literature, Communication and Culture.

“China. Youth. Pain. Hope. Home. Migration. Reality. Dream. Those are some of the key words and central sentiments you will discover in the three gems selected from the increasingly prominent corpus of independent Chinese cinema,” says Qi Wang, assistant professor, School of Literature, Communication and Culture at Georgia Tech. “Co-curator Linda Dubler and I hope to offer a brief yet fruitful insight into Chinese society today, and to try together to understand and perhaps share the country’s changes, charms and challenges as experienced and contemplated by the Chinese not only as groups but also as individuals.”

The festival begins on Friday, April 2, with Canadian-Chinese filmmaker Lixin Fan’s “Last Train Home.” This documentary explores the world’s largest human migration—130 million people—by focusing on one couple, Zhang Changua and Chen Suqin, who represent their fellow travelers as they fight crowds and the clock to make it home in time for the Chinese New Year. Zhang and Chen have left their children with their grandmother to find jobs in the booming clothing manufacturing plants located far from their rural Sichuan home. The long absences take their toll on the family and lead to large gaps in values and expectations between the generations, but the Chinese New Year is a time when the whole family is finally able to reunite. In his review in the New York Times, A. O. Scott called “Last Train Home” a film “of melancholy humanism that finds unexpected beauty in almost unbearable circumstances . . . a story that on its own is moving, even heartbreaking. Multiplied by 130 million, it becomes a terrifying and sobering panorama of the present.” (2009, 127 minutes.) In Mandarin and Sichuan dialect with subtitles.

On Saturday, April 9, director Zhou Hao’s film “Senior Year” delves into the frenzied world of one class of high school seniors preparing to take the national college entrance exams that will determine their destinies. Faced with mountains of memorization and rigid behavioral standards, most students buckle down—but some rebel and some simply crumble under the pressure. Zhou Hao brings tenderness, humor and quiet outrage to this rare behind-the-scenes look at China’s educational system. (2005, 95 minutes.) In Mandarin and Fukienese with subtitles. The film series closes on Saturday, April 16, with director Lou Ye’s “Suzhou River,” a mysterious, modern noir film that finds its visual inspiration in the watery channel that runs through Shanghai, and takes its narrative framework from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo.” At its center is the unseen videographer through whose eyes the film unfolds. The film revolves around a single actress playing two distinctive women who an obsessive love is unable and unwilling to tell apart. The actress is both Meimei, the videographer’s girlfriend and a “mermaid” at a sleazy tropical nightclub, and Moudan, a businessman’s teenage daughter who is in love with a motorcycle courier working for her father. No good comes from this convoluted plot, but as the Village Voice’s J. Hoberman observes, director Lou Ye “has transformed Shanghai into a personal phantom zone . . . making a ghost story that’s shot as though it’s a documentary—and a documentary that feels like a dream.” (2000, 83 minutes.) 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. All films are in Mandarin, Sichuan or Fukienese with English subtitles.

“Last Train Home”
Saturday, April 2, 2011

“Senior Year”
Saturday, April 9, 2011

“Suzhou River”
Saturday, April 16, 2011

Support
This program is made possible with support from Dr. Jacqueline Royster, Dean of Georgia Tech’s Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts; Professor Jay Telotte, Chair of Georgia Tech’s School of Literature, Communication and Culture; film director Zhou Hao and co-curators Linda Dubler (High Museum) and Professor Qi Wang (LCC, Georgia Tech).

Tickets
To purchase tickets in advance, go online 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.

Film Information
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.

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 12,000 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 Woodruff Arts Center
The Woodruff Arts Center is ranked among the top four arts centers in the nation. The Woodruff is unique in that it combines four visual and performing arts divisions on one campus as one not-for-profit organization. Opened in 1968, the Woodruff Arts Center is home to the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the High Museum of Art and Young Audiences. To learn more about the Woodruff Arts Center, please visit www.woodruffcenter.org.

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