Posted by Jeremy Goldkorn on Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at 2:32 PM
Clip from The Last Breadbox, click to watch on Youtube
In 2008, Danwei published a clip from a documentary called The Last Breadbox by Sam Voutas showing city-wide spontaneous celebrations on the streets of Beijing after the city won the hosting rights for the 2008 Olympic Games.
Shot in summer 2001, the film follows three taxi drivers in Beijing as the city gears up for the Olympic bid. The three drivers are: a retrenched man in his 50s who grew up during the Cultural Revolution, a mother of an 8 year old daughter who dreams of opening a restaurant, and a carefree man in his 30s obsessed with tropical fish.
There are scenes of street celebrations and flag waving when Beijing wins the bid. Beijing rock band Shazi's (沙子) song "Our Current Healthy Little Aspirations" features prominently on the soundtrack. The film was released in 2002.
Fast forward to last weekend. A film called Beijing Taxi by Miao Wang premiered at the SXSW festival in Austin Texas yesterday.
It's a documentary that follows three taxi drivers in Beijing as the city gears up for the Olympics. One driver is in his mid 50s and came of age during the Cultural Revolution. The second, a mother of a young daughter, dreams of opening a clothing store. The
There are scenes of street celebrations and flag waving on the night of the opening ceremony. Beijing rock band Shazi's song "Our Current Healthy Little Aspirations" features prominently on the soundtrack.
Links and Sources
Jobs in China
Henry on The Eurasian Face
Caroline W on Big in China
Michael on Julia Lovell on translating Lu Xun's complete fiction: "His is an angry, searing vision of China"
Brandon K. on Clueless academic takes on popular fantasy novels
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The Eurasian Face : Blacksmith Books, a publishing house in Hong Kong, is behind The Eurasian Face, a collection of photographs by Kirsteen Zimmern. Below is an excerpt from the series:
Big in China: An adapted excerpt from Big In China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising A Family, Playing The Blues and Becoming A Star in China, just published this month. Author Alan Paul tells the story of arriving in Beijing as a trailing spouse, starting a blues band, raising kids and trying to make sense of China.
Pallavi Aiyar's Chinese Whiskers: Pallavi Aiyar's first novel, Chinese Whiskers, a modern fable set in contemporary Beijing, will be published in January 2011. Aiyar currently lives in Brussels where she writes about Europe for the Business Standard. Below she gives permissions for an excerpt.
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From the Vault
Classic Danwei posts
+ Korean history doesn't fly on Chinese TV screens (2007.09): SARFT puts the kibbosh on Korean historical dramas.
+ Religion and government in an uneasy mix (2008.03): Phoenix Weekly (凤凰周刊) article from October, 2007, on government influence on religious practice in Tibet.
+ David Moser on Mao impersonators (2004.10): I first became aware of this phenomenon in 1992 when I turned on a Beijing TV variety show and was jolted by the sight of "Mao Zedong" and "Zhou Enlai" playing a game of ping pong. They both gave short, rousing speeches, and then were reverently interviewed by the emcee, who thanked them profusely for taking time off from their governmental duties to appear on the show.