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Pasts and Futures: interflowing fiction/nonfiction

The massive reservoir of familial memories and the country’s past continues to shape women’s imagination of and desire for a more generous future. Their determination of waving pasts and futures together also bring them courage to break boundaries of fiction and nonfiction.

Virgin Blue (Niu Xiaoyu, 101 min 2021)
12:30pm, 18 Feb 2024 with online Q&A @ the Garden Cinema

After her college graduation, Yezi returns home to spend her last summer vacation with her grandmother, who has been living alone ever since her grandfather passed away. The house is full of grandma’s memories that have gradually taken on actual forms in real life. Sometimes they appear as a cat, a plant, or as a total stranger, and sometimes they manifest themselves as her grandpa or even Yezi’s childhood self. Meanwhile, her grandma slowly slips into the abyss of amnesia and time begins to lose all meaning. Haunted by relentless memories, Yezi finds herself wandering among fragments of her family history, where she recollects a deserted childhood and revisits her own past.

Virgin Blue

Niu Xiaoyu

Niu Xiaoyu was born in Hefei, Anhui Province, and graduated from Beijing Film Academy with a Bachelor’s degree in animation and a Master’s in experimental film. Xiaoyu has independently produced two short films, which have been shortlisted at the 10th China Independent Film Festival, the 26th Festival Cote Court and the 12th FIRST International Film Festival.

NIU Xiaoyu

Talks Overnight (Su Qiqi, 76 min, 2023)  autobiographic /experimental nonfiction
1:30pm, 24 February 2024 with Q&A @ BLOC, QMUL

In the beginning of 2020s, the world seemed to be in a state of chaos and disorder, with individuals slipping into depression and confusion. The middle-aged intellectual couple engage in one long talk and try their best to express with words, although they might step into a greater unknown. However, expression and communication, imagination and poetry, are already the basis for something.

Su Qiqi

Su Qiqi is a film critic. Over the years, she has been working actively to promote Chinese independent cinema. She also co-produced Zheng Lu Xinyuan’s The Cloud in her room (Rotterdam Golden Tiger) and Qiu Jiongjiong’s A New Old play (Locarno Special Jury Award). Talks Overnight is her directorial debut.

Su Qiqi

Anachronic Chronicles: Voyages Inside / Out Asia
(Pan Lu; Araki Yu, 63min, 2021) – nonfiction

1:30pm, 30 March 2024 @ BLOC, QMUL

Building on home videos made between the 1960s and 1990s from ordinary families around East Asia, the film shows the power of “anti-spectacle” of the folk images that are full of anthropological/sociological messages: the excitement/discomfort about the ability to control the making of moving images for the first time; the (self-)invitations to perform; the half-staged, voyeuristic and unconscious recording of the family. The overlapping themes and similar occasions in the videos incur boredom, the filmmakers’ playful yet insightful conversation stitches the chaotic footage together and gives new life to a nostalgic form of cinema.

Lu Pan

Lu Pan is an Associate Professor at the Department of Chinese History and  Culture, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She is also the co-director of Many Undulating Things (2019), Miasma, Plants, Export Paintings (2017), Traces of an Invisible City: Three Notes on Hong Kong (2016).

Pan LV

Araki Yu

Araki Yu (1985)’s films have been programmed at international festivals including International Film Festival Rotterdam, where he won the Ammodo Tiger Short Film Award in 2018. He was shortlisted as one of the 21 artists for the Future Generation Art Prize hosted by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation in Kyiv, Ukraine in 2019. 

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