Gnarly animation and slacker humour reign in this Chinese punk comedy.
Dir. Liu Jian / People's Republic of China / 2023 / Mandarin with English subtitles
A pair of art-student anti-heroes, Kurt Cobain-lovin’ Xiaojun and his friend Rabbit, are set for revenge when their canvas is vandalised. But then again, maybe they’d rather philosophise than act… There is something thrilling about watching the students in Art College 1994 being so un-thrilled. Along with the bone-dry wit of art-school nihilism, this animated feature perfectly captures the ambivalence of being on the cusp of adulthood, while living within a scene – and a society – embarking on its own rapid metamorphosis. Behind the film’s grungy-yet-immaculately-detailed style, Liu Jian (Have a Nice Day) is a director with attitude, and in this partly autobiographical film – featuring cameos from fellow directors Jia Zhangke and Bi Gan – his acerbic humour and social critique are leavened by a deep affection for outcasts.
Kate Taylor, Programme Director
Masterfully evading the trappings of the corny nostalgia flick, Art College 1994 attains a perfect balance of humour, thoughtfulness and heart.
A gallery carousel of 2 items
Director: Liu Jian
Liu Jian (China, 1969) majored in Chinese Painting and graduated from the Nanjing Art Institute in 1993. Since then, he has made various works which have met with the criteria of modern art and have been presented in some of the most important exhibitions in China and abroad. He is one of the representative artists of Gaudy Art and Conceptual Photography. He began working on animations in 1995 and founded Le-joy Animation Studio in 2007. His first feature animation, Piercing 1, screened in numerous film festivals, including Holland Animation FF, Annecy International Animation FF, and Hong Kong International Film Festival. The film also won Best Animated Feature Film at the 4th Asia Pacific Screen Awards. Liu Jian also teaches animation filmmaking at the China Academy of Art. In 2017, his feature animation film Have A Nice Day premiered in competition at the Berlin Film Festival before being screened in more than 50 festivals worldwide including BFI London, Sitges, Thessaloniki and Annecy.
Writers: Lin Shan, Liu Jian
Producer: Yang Cheng
Voice Cast: Dong Zijian, Zhou Dongyu, Huang Bo
Sales Agent: Memento, Mathieu Delaunay ([email protected])
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Photo: Still from Art College 1994
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