It’s not every day that a Chinese animated film manages to secure more than 1 million yuan in funding. It’s even rarer that that money comes from the crowd.
But 3,596 backers saw promise in Big Fish & Chinese Flowering Crabapple, a new film by Liang Xuan. Enough promise that they donated 1.58 million yuan over 45 days on Demohour.
It now holds the title of China’s most successful crowd-funded project to date.
The Uyghur-language songs of teen heartthrob Ablajan Awut Ayup run on a loop through the heads of many Uyghur tweens and young urbanites. Taking cues from Justin Bieber, the ever-popular dance moves of the late-Michael Jackson, and the pretty-gangster affect of Korean pop stars, Ablajan is a self-styled chart-climber; he is a self-made song-and-dance man. Whether you love him or hate him, the fact remains that he has cornered the Uyghur children’s music market by tying clever songwriting with catchy beats.
A high-tech research lab is probably the last place you think you'd find a rock 'n' roll genius, but Fuzzy Mood is all the proof you need. Distilling mathematical theories into musical layman's terms, this band will definitely put you into a better mood - with science!
Today on C4: China goes for bronze with a soft moon landing attempt. Plus, this:
Stuart: "Chang'e, by the way, is the goddess of the moon... and the shuttle is her Jade Rabbit."
Rob: "Her Jade Rabbit, I bet she has a lot of fun with that, doesn't she?"
Illustrator Josh Cochran posted the following, a veritable visual crossword highlighting the year in pop culture, two weeks ago on his Tumblr. The artist has generously allowed us to republish the image, on which we'll highlight two China-related elements: Edward Snowden ("there are 10 Edward Snowdens here," Cochran writes; see how many you can find), and the sharks. We really hope it's an allusion to this shark story from Shanghai.
The Silk Road of Pop (2013: 53 min) ends with a young rapper saying he wants the world to know Uyghurs exist. The man, a sculpted crop of hair jutting from his chin, says, “Aside from China, who knows that Uyghurs exist? Zero percent.” As a view from a train window merges into film credits while the Uyghur musician Perhet Xaliq and his wife Pezilet sing an old song of Uyghur youth “sent down” from the city, the pathos of the rapper's plea seems to resonate with the atmosphere of the land, the tight cement block apartments, the frozen sidewalks paved with Shandong tiles.
Our favorite Masshole in China, Donnie, has done his best work yet, pretending to be Roger Federer on the streets of Shanghai. "Wo ai Zhongguo," he says, which is exactly what the real Rog would've said, probably.
Not to be missed is the girl who covers her mouth and nearly giggles herself into oblivion, thinking Roger Federer just told her (in Chinese!) that she's "very cute."
School Bar has been killing it this year. In my book it's Beijing's #1 live rock 'n' roll venue at the moment. Pretty much the only place you can walk up on a random day of the week and be statistically likely to find a decent local band and at least a dozen drunken teenagers in leather jackets just living the dream. You should go there on Saturday because all the bands playing are worth your time & money & some potential liver damage.
The bar Alfa was hopping last Friday as actors / patrons gathered for a casting call / fundraiser for indie director Moxie Peng’s newest project, My 17 Gay Friends.
Eighty percent of the night’s collected cover went to support the production.
Attendees had the choice of being a judge or trying out for a role in the film. Judges were given masks to protect their identities and limited to choosing only two candidates.
By all standards Wang Meng (1934- ) has had a tremendously successful career. Easing out of his problematic role as Cultural Minister in 1989, Wang was nominated for the Nobel Prize in 1994 by the Chinese Literary Society. He has published more than 100 books and was listed as the 24th most commercially successful writer in China in 2010 with a net worth of 1.75 million yuan. This past year a village on the border of Kazakhstan opened a museum in his honor.
Some Old Time American porch music this week, in anticipation of Friday night's big "Roots Rage" show down at Mako Livehouse. The gentleman on the fiddle is Michael Ismerio, visiting us in Beijing from North Carolina. He's been gigging around town, sitting in with the Yellow Hutong Weasels and others, doing roots music workshops, playing shows, and calling square dances. Serious. He was the caller at last night's square dance at the Home Plate BBQ Sanlitun preview dinner. Goes something like this. Dare to be square, man.
Junkyard Planet, the first book by Bloomberg Shanghai correspondent Adam Minter, offers a look at the often unheard and unseen $500 billion global scrap and recycling industry, which has formed in the shadow of burgeoning Western -- and increasingly Chinese -- consumerism. Minter is himself “a proud junkyard kid” from a Minneapolis scrap trading family that established themselves through hard graft in the post-Depression period. This background provided him the connections to offer an invaluable insider perspective on this unknown trade -- and also informs his somewhat Romanticized, American Dream-inspired perspective.