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Echo Park Film Center Presents Two Films by Xiaowen Zhu

Thursday, March 9 at 8 pm

Echo Park Film Center is pleased to present two short films by London-based artist, filmmaker and writer Xiaowen Zhu. One made in New York and one made in Los Angeles, both films excellently reveal the complex relationship between people and places in an exquisite, rhythmical and emotional way. This screening will also be the Los Angeles premiere of Oriental Silk.

Distance Between (2012, 25:00) is a 3-channel film ostensibly on the topic of long-distance relationships. The project begins by interviewing couples involved in long distance romantic relationships, focusing on particular traits and benefits of a mediated and technologically enabled exchange. Taking this source material, Xiaowen Zhu mixes spontaneous interviews with reenactments by 6 subjects based on quotes taken from actual interviews. The material was then re-configured and re-contextualized by the artist. Using staged scenarios, designed stenography and cinematography, the film encourages the viewer to re-examine their notions of the Documentary Interview and to ponder the boundary between fact and fiction. “Long-distance relationship” is used as a subject to explore issues of identity, home, love and trust.

Oriental Silk (2015, 30:00) explores the worldview of the owner of the first silk importing company in Los Angeles. Carefully and quietly, the film observes this owner, Kenneth Wong, as he goes through his daily routine in the store and tells his story: how his parents, first-generation Chinese immigrants, realized the American dream through the store; how the once legendary store’s fortunes rose in close connection with the Hollywood entertainment industry, then fell with the proliferation of cheaper silk in the new global economy; how he himself came to be the owner of the shop and caretaker of the family legacy; and about his deep feelings for the shop, its history, and its future. The film not only serves as a “beautiful articulation – thematically and visually – of the relationship between scale and intimacy” (Prof. Sukhdev Sandu, New York University) but also presents “a moving and meditative exploration of the ways in which people use objects to make sense of the emotional past.” (Dr Rachel Silberstein, Rhode Island School of Design)

The artist will be present to join Q&A following the screening.

Doors 7:30 PM; $5 admission.

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