After our round slating of yesterdays video car crash, we give you something a little more edifying.
Andrew Field teaches Chinese History here in Shanghai and made a film in 2007 “Notes from the Chinese Underground” which was screened for the first time in D-22 last week. The press release says it better than we could:
Notes from the Chinese Underground: Indie Rock in the P.R.C.
In 2007, Andrew Field undertook a personal journey through the indie rock scene in Beijing, Shanghai, and elsewhere in China, documenting that scene and capturing some of the top indie rock bands performing in the P.R.C. today. Embarking on a quest to learn what the rock scene could tell him about a changing China, Andrew ended up discovering what China had to teach him about the power of rock music.
Combining live concert and festival footage along with recorded music and interviews with select band members, rock club owners, record company owners and promoters, this film explores how Beijing is nurturing one of the hottest indie rock scenes on the planet. More than just a survey of the scene, the film highlights the struggles and sacrifices that all of these people are undergoing as they challenge the dominant commercial values and pop-oriented musical tastes of mainstream Chinese society.
Bands profiled in the film include Lonely China Day, Joyside, SUBS, Carsick Cars, Hedgehog, Guai Li, PK-14, Brain Failure, Snapline, Re-TROS, and Flying Fruit. The film also features a special appearance by China’s very own rock godfather, Cui Jian, the man who began China’s rock revolution in the 1980s.
Please note that this film is a work in progress. Sound and image quality, and narrative and interview content will all be adjusted and refined as we proceed to the final cut. We expect to have the final cut finished by the end of the year, and we plan to return to Beijing for another more public screening of the film early next year.
We didn’t actually go to the screening, but from someone fluent in the language with an educated viewpoint of China and her history, we imagine this might be quite interesting.
Here is Andrew being interviewed for BON TV