Beijing Scene, Volume 5, Issue 18, July 23 - 29

by Christiaan Virant

Facing an outpouring of punk plague and the creeping invasion of techno-tweaked break beats, China's longhaired rockers have retreated to the studio to crunch out a new wave of modern metal. Leading the way are seasoned high-energy heavies Shou Ren (Thin Man) who plan a double-barreled blast of phreak frenzy by cross-marketing their debut album with an outsized glossy book documenting the rise of Chinese rock.

Greater China grunge kings The Fly are also polishing their second album, which will highlight the guzheng-esque guitar work of newcomer Hu Zi and feature more of frontman Feng Jiangzhou's manic musings on urban insanity.

Trance-rockers Mu Ma and the thrash-metal Cold Blooded Animals are lending their support to the epic battle for the ears of China's youth. Both are in the studio and on track for a pre-millennium-party album release.

China's mainstream moviemakers were charged with the murder of modern mainland cinema at a secret conclave of underground writers and film directors in Chengdu this month.

Organized by a local literary magazine and leading female poet Zhai
Yongming, the two-day conference found the country's leading directors guilty of pandering to foreign fancy and focusing solely on churning out picturesque, award-winning films.

Nanjing prose prophets Han Dong and Zhu Wen joined auteur Wu Wenguang and others for the lashing, which caught VIP invite Chen Kaige unawares and in the crossfire.
Although Chen defended his career and emphasized the bureaucratic
constraints on all cultural activity in the mainland, the spunky underground crowd shouted him down, demanding an end to epic historical dramas and a sharper focus on the realities of modern life.

Mainland moviegoers will be taken to the cleaners later this year by the kind folks at China's hottest production house: Imar Film Co. After dissecting the timeless themes of love and longing in surprise hits 'Spicy Love Soup' (Aiqing Malatang) and 'Beautiful New World' (Meili Xin Shijie), Imar's team of young hipsters have turned their quirky gaze on the backrooms of Beijing's public bathhouses.

Slated for year-end release, 'Shower' will lure viewers into the steamy
realm of communal bathing for an introspective look at society stripped naked and scrubbed clean. Following a thorough stripping down, Imar will take film fans on the road for the mainland's first-ever road movie 'The End of the Line', slated to begin shooting in October.

China's avant-garde stage king Meng Jinghui has cut nearly 30 minutes of tedious dialogue from his newest foray into post-modern theater after angry audiences complained the marathon musical left them spent.

Although the play packed in the masses and fueled speculation about a theater renaissance in China's capital, 'Rhinoceros in Love' was widely criticized for its lethargic script-a joint effort by Meng and playwright Liao Yimei.

Meng responded by slashing pages of dialogue, retaining the audience-friendly musical interludes and his creative pop-culture pisstakes. The new-and-improved play won immediate praise from the thespian elite as well as relieved theatergoers who raved it was the best Chinese modern drama they had ever seen.

And finally, audio iconoclast cum beat poet Zu Zhou will release his first novel later this summer, casting a Beijing sneer on the growing body of slick sex and drug-inspired prose seeping out of Shanghai.

Zu Zhou features prominently in sultry scribe Mian Mian's tell-all sexpose 'La La La'. Harking back to the Cultural Revolution (1966-76) samizdat mode of literary dissemination, Zu Zhou plans a xerox-only release of his work Rabid Howling Grave. Bootlegging is encouraged.


Previous Stories...


Daily Entertainment Classifieds Books Wine & Dine comrade Language Doctor AYI cartoon FYI News from the Chinese Press