February 8, 2014
2806 Clearwater St
Los Angeles, CA
Demolition (2008) is a portrait of urban space, migrant labor, and ephemeral relationships in the center of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in western China. Attending first to the formal dimensions of the transforming worksite – including the demands of physical labor and the relationship between human and machine – the film shifts focus to the social dynamics of a group of thirty men and women who have come from the countryside to work in this ever-changing urban landscape. In exploring the various banal yet striking interactions between these members of China’s “floating population,” the city’s residents, and the filmmaker, Demolition simultaneously expresses and resists the fleeting nature of urban experience. Runtime: 62 min
Songhua (2007) depicts the intimate and complex relationship between Harbin residents and their “mother river,” the Songhua in northeastern China. By attending to the everyday activities of leisure and labor unfolding along the banks and promenade, this nonfiction video also explores the interface between aesthetics and ethnography as it addresses environmental crisis within a major waterway of China. Runtime: 29min
JP Sniadecki was born on a goat farm in Michigan, grew up in the industrial rustbelt of Northern Indiana, and has lived and worked for several years in China. A filmmaker and Assistant Professor of Performing and Media Arts at Cornell University, he produces work at the intersection of cinema and ethnography. His films screen at festivals such as the Berlinale, the New York Film Festival, and Edinburgh International Film Festival. His filmography includes: Yumen (2013), People’s Park (2012), Foreign Parts (2010), The Yellow Bank (2010), Chaiqian/Demolition (2008), and Songhua (2007). He is also founder of Emergent Visions, a film series that screens new independent cinema from China.
Film Program by Rebecca Baron.
Still from Songhua Courtesy of JP Sniadecki.