8/4/07 1:00 PM Beautiful Men 人面桃花

rmthBeautiful Men 人面桃花 CCC Member $3, Non-CCC Member $6
Screening time: 8/4/07, 1:00 PM This documentary explores a gay bar in the city of Chengdu, Southwest China, and records a slice of the lives of three drag dancers on and off stage. Sister Sha, still practices and manages to dance at the age of 47. Qingqing, a veteran dancer, married a girl and became the father of a baby girl. Xixi, the rising star, delicately maintains a relationship with his lesbian girlfriend, and plans a marriage for their parents. Every night from 10 PM, they change into women and perform ballet or folk dances for the audience. 時男時女、可男可女、非男非女,是一眾在台上反串登場,逾越性別界線的演員的真實寫照。在如夢如幻的燈光下,性別不過一場表演。台上的一張張面孔,寫下的卻是現實生活中的點滴體驗。

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Directed by Du Haibing, 98 mins; 2005; English & Chinese Subtitles

* Winner of Best Documentary Award at the Pusan International Film Festival 2005

杜海滨《人面桃花》 98mins, 2005 (Beautiful Men)




Du Haibin has persevered in the difficult world of documentary filmmaking for over five years, garnering fame and acclaim for Along the Railway. After graduating in photography from the Beijing Film Academy, Du started on the long road of his documentary career. He continues to produce fine documentaries each year, though the medium gets little financial backing. In 2005 his fifth documentary, Beautiful Men, received the prestigious Best Documentary award at the Pusan International Film Festival and was screened at a number of art house cinemas. This year Du is presenting two new works. The first follows the group of child actors in Zhang Yuan’s new film, Little Red Flowers (Kanshangqu Henmei). The second is due for release later this year and provides an insight into the life of a quarryman in the suburbs of Beijing.

… on his choice to make documentaries

“I remember when I watched Robert J. Flaherty’s Nanook of the North, I was so deeply moved by it. Documentaries give me more freedom than a feature film would. I feel a responsibility to record people’s lives fairly and objectively during these times of change. I’m glad that through my work I can experience different kinds of life. This is important to me, to my life. Every time I re-watch my work it feels like re-reading some very old books. Very special.”

… on the difficulties of making documentaries

“Communicating with the people I shoot is not a difficulty for me. The biggest difficulty is how to keep challenging myself. When I film a documentary, I cut myself off from the outer world. I eat, drink and live with my subjects. I disappear. At first my family couldn’t understand what I was doing. My work is not for fame or wealth. Whether my work is shown at home or abroad, documentary audiences are always small, but I think the world needs serious films that cause people to reflect on their society.” (Text by Alice Wang)

時男時女、可男可女、非男非女,是一眾在台上反串登場,逾越性別界線的演員的真實寫照。在如夢如幻的燈光下,性別不過一場表演。台上的一張張面孔,寫下的卻是現實生活中的點滴體驗。曾執導《鐵路沿線》、《北京紀事》等紀錄片的杜海濱,透過鏡頭紀錄易裝演員的苦與樂。一個台養百樣人 — 人到中年,怕自己年華老去的舞孃、和愛自己的女孩結婚生子的鎖櫃同志、希望有日能與女友結婚的女子,台上台下盡訴心中情。影片更以平行剪接呈現雙畫面,打破傳統紀錄片形式,讓觀眾看得更闊更真。(香港同志影展)

Gender is a performance, onstage and off. The theatrical tradition of cross-casting is put under the spotlight in the latest effort of veteran documentary filmmaker Du Haibin, whose previous work includes Along the Railway and Life in Beijing. This documentary examines the trials and tribulations, joys and elations of cross-casting actors and actresses, revealing a variety of personalities that are united on stage – the middle-aged dancer who fears growing old, the closeted gay actor who married the girl who loves him, the actress who dreams of tying the knot with her girlfriend, all the performers bared their souls on camera. Breaking conventions by using parallel cutting and split screen images, the documentary gives a closer look into the lives of these magnificent performers. (Hongkong Lesbian & Gay Film Festival)

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