Meet Mr. Cao, Skateboarding Hutong Bathroom Attendant

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A very cool short video from our friends at Tranquil Tuesdays (artisanal tea brand based in Beijing):

Skateboarding Hutong Bathroom Attendant Mr. Cao

Working in Beijing’s historical hutong neighborhoods, life is never dull in Tranquil Tuesdays’ office and showroom on Fangjia Hutong. These past two weeks in the heat of the Beijing summer, we thought we saw an improbable mirage: a skateboarding hutong bathroom attendant skating by our doors. After days of stunned excitement watching Mr. Cao whiz by Tranquil Tuesdays hutong office and showroom in Beijing, we finally caught up with him (I literally ran out of our office to catch him before he crossed the street) to express our admiration and ask him if we could film him skating down our hutong: Fangjia Hutong. Mr. Cao is from Hebei province and lives on Fangjia Hutong. He skateboards to work at a public bathroom 3 km away, and says he has been skateboarding for a few months.

Via Tranquil Tuesdays Blog

Films to See: China Heavyweight

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Great profile on the acclaimed documentary film China Heavyweight, check out the beautiful cinematography/stills from Sun Shaoguang!

Via Canada’s documentary blog, also called POV! – Point of View Magazine
[Photo: Sun Shaoguang, from China Heavyweight, dir. Yung Chang (2012)]

A new documentary beyond Jules Vernes’s Wildest dreams

Using a computer, Google Earth and photos and videos found on the Internet, Globodrome retraces the route described in Jules Verne’s book Around the World in 80 Days. (Globodrome itself is only 69 minutes long.)

(via FNC 2012: The documentary Globodrome retraces Jules Verne’s 80-day journey, via the Internet | Montreal Gazette)

As Time Goes By in Shanghai – New Documentary

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Premiering this week at “Hot Docs” is “As Time Goes By in Shanghai”, a new documentary on Shanghai’s own Peace Hotel band – the oldest jazz band in the world. Directed by Uli Gaulke, the film looks like a charming portrait of some old guys who still have a trick or two up their sleeves.

From the film’s description:
The oldest band of the world has been playing every evening at the Peace Hotel in Shanghai for more than thirty years. Most members of the band, all Jazz musicians of the first rank, are older than 80 years.

AS TIME GOES BY IN SHANGHAI accompanies the oldest band in the world on their greatest adventure yet: their appearance at the North Sea Jazz Festival Rotterdam, the most important festival of its kind.

In the final weeks before their appearance, this musical film will immerse itself in a world of unparalleled change. Jazz stands for improvisation, individualism, freedom and creativity. Against the backdrop of great jazz hymns, the film will chart the fascinating life stories of these seven exceptional musicians: from the Japanese occupation to the Cultural Revolution right up to today’s turbo planned economy. With humour, wisdom and a tale or two being spun on the way, the men in black suits will lead us on a tour of their everyday lives in one of the world’s most modern cities and show us how good old jazz has given them the strength to weather the storms of time.

Check out the trailer on Youtube or below, and a Tumblr with great behind-the-scenes photos.

Of Bulldozers and Nail Houses

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With China’s hectic urbanization and mass demolitions in the news again, P.I.G. is proud to present a special artist collaboration with Russia’s Sergey Balovin.

In his recent Shanghai performance piece entitled “Euthanasia 2”, the artist referenced an important event in Russian art from 1974, when an unauthorized exhibition of nonconformist artists was destroyed by government bulldozers. Read more information on his performance here, and watch the video documenting this site-specific performance below –