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Jiang Wen Rising
May 8, 2017
BAMcinématek presents Jiang Wen Rising, a series dedicated to the work of the wild man of contemporary Chinese cinema, Jiang Wen. Jiang Wen is that rarest of talents: both a magnetic screen presence and a risk-taking auteur, whose films confront the last 100 years of Chinese history with subversive humor and a surplus of style. While he has moved between art house prizewinners and blockbuster spectacles, what unite all his films are an offbeat sensibility, freewheeling visual style, and ability to smuggle ingeniously veiled political critiques past state censors.
The series begins on Wednesday, May 3 with Jiang acting and directing in Cannes Film Festival Grand Prix winner Devils on the Doorstep (2000—May 3 & 6). Shot in black and white and set during the Japanese occupation of China the film mixes abject grimness and absurdity. The series continues to highlight Jiang’s work in front of the camera with his starring role in Xie Fei’s Black Snow (1990—May 4), which won the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and finds Jiang playing an ex-con readjusting to daily life outside of prison. Jiang is also in front of the camera in Xie Jin’s Hibiscus Town (1986—May 7
), a sweeping historical drama set during the Chinese Cultural Revolution.
Experiencing Chinese history through the lens of Jiang Wen continues with The Sun Also Rises (2007—May 10), combining four stories spanning the 1950s to the end of the Cultural Revolution, this whirlwind of a film will be shown on 35mm. Also using the Cultural Revolution as a backdrop is Jiang’s interpretation on the “coming of age story” in In the Heat of the Sun (1994). The New York premiere of the newly restored DCP of In the Heat of the Sun will screen on May 5 and 9.
The series wouldn’t be complete without Jiang’s action-blockbuster, Let the Bullet’s Fly (2010—May 6 & 11). The film shattered box-office records in China and stars Jiang and Chow Yun-fat facing off in 1920s China. Jiang returned to the 1920s with Gone with the Bullets (2014—May 7), a Jazz Age-crime-musical which references everything from slapstick comedy to film noir and gangster films.
See BAM website for schedule