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From China to France – tales of the underdogs

Hieu Chau

Mon Sep 17 2012


THIS week, two very different critically acclaimed films will be screening exclusively at Cinema Nova: a documentary on Chinese artist/political activist Ai Weiwei and a story about a giant flea (yes, flea!) in Paris. Intrigued? Hieu Chau has more. 

Screening exclusively on September 20 at the Cinema Nova in Carlton are two drastically different films – Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry and A Monster in Paris.

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry 

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry is a documentary that studies the controversial contemporary Chinese artist and political activist, Ai Weiwei. Made by first-time director Alison Klayman – a freelance journalist working in China at the time – the documentary has been touring the film festival circuit and was included for screening at this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival. Despite China’s strict regime and censorship laws, Ai Weiwei has stood as something of a symbol as far as creativity and expression is concerned which has, in the process, established him as China’s most famous international artist. Intimate and politically charged, Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry is a film that provides an unprecedented portrait of a national figure whose work and spirit have been chastised within his home country.

A Monster in Paris 

In 1910 France, a giant flea on the run from authorities crosses paths with a beautiful singer in the 3D animated feature A Monster in Paris. Directed by Bibo Bergeron, whose previous credits include The Road to El Dorado and Shark Tale, A Monster in Paris is a charming and whimsical tale that is gorgeously animated and has an essence about it that harkens back to the musical magic of Disney. Playing like a cross between King Kong and The Phantom of the Opera (an admittedly unusual blend of genres!) A Monster in Paris is something of a passion project for Bergeron who vied to make a film set in his home city during a time period that fascinated him. A Monster in Paris also features the vocal talents of French actress and songstress Vanessa Paradis and Sean Lennon, the son of the beloved Beatle, John Lennon.

Session times for Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry and A Monster in Paris are available through the Cinema Nova website.