LIU Jiayin - Director
Oxhide II (Niu Pi Er)
Directed by LIU Jiayin, 2009 (132 minutes, Mandarin w/ English Subtitles)
Breaking new ground in cinematic art, Liu Jiayin’s follow-up to her masterful debut OXHIDE turns a simple dinner into a profoundly intimate study of family relationships.
Building on the stunning vision of OXHIDE (voted one of the best Chinese films of the 2000s), writer-director Liu Jiayin once again casts herself and her parents in scripted versions of their life in a tiny Beijing apartment. Liu takes her uncompromising artistry to the extreme, setting all of the action around the family dinner table, which doubles as her father’s leather-making station. As the workbench is cleared for the family to make a dinner of dumplings, the camera catches every meticulous detail of the action in real time. Small moments between family members reveal deep insights into the mysteries of family relations and the art of everyday living.
OXHIDE II advances the inimitable artistry of one of China’s most prodigious filmmakers. Its lovingly intimate, naturalistic observations of working-class life suggest “the ultimate work of everyday realism” (Mike Walsh, Real Time Arts). At the same time, “Liu’s shots are carefully, rigorously, exquisitely composed” (Berenice Reynaud, Senses of Cinema), showcasing one of the most gifted visual artists working in China today. The result is “a direct, honest, miniature epic” (Daniel Kasman, MUBI Notebook).
Jiayin Liu was born in Beijing in 1981. At age 23, she made her debut feature Oxhide I (2005) while a Masters student at the Beijing Film Academy. Oxhide I has won several prizes (including the FIPRESCI award at Berlin Film Festival, Golden DV Award at Hong Kong International Film Festival, and Dragons and Tigers Award at Vancouver Film Festival). Her follow-up film Oxhide II (2009) was similarly lauded, winning awards at CinDi Seoul and was featured in the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes. She is currently a professor of screen writing at the Beijing Film Academy, and is developing the final part of her trilogy, Oxhide III.
”A masterpiece… inventive, quietly virtuosic.” -David Bordwell, Observations on Film Art
”Arguably the most interesting new Chinese director to emerge since Jia Zhangke..” -Peter Rist, Offscreen