C/O BUTTERFLY 《一蝶》 (2015)
C/O BUTTERFLY – A Rhapsody of the Womb
A Film by Joanne Cheng (70min 2015)
In c/o Butterfly, the viewer encounters an abortion, enters a womb, a tunnel, a stream-of-consciousness to meet two women at a crossroad. PHOENIX in her 40s, unmarried, wants a child via IVF; BUTTERFLY in her 20s, entangled with a man of power, aborts one. Viewers walk along the chilly interiors of the nightmares of the two women haunted by the spirit of the crushed fetus who lives on.
c/o BUTTERFLY is a meditation and a eulogy of life and time lost。Defying genre conventions, c/o BUTTERFLY is a hybrid of documentary and psycho drama with animation. Poetic and occationally surreal, the film explores some of the core issues of human dilemma: birth, death, loss of innocence, all assoicated with womb, the source of life.
C/O BUTTERFlY is an intimate look at our body Body as garden Body as battlefield Body as tomb From Fetus to a girl, from a girl to a found woman,life is often going through painful transformation I love to study those who dare to venture in search of independence Abortion is again a sensitive topic It’s a perfect metaphor for a filmmaker to mediate on life and death and choices in between
C/O BUTTERFLY－A Rhapsody of the Womb Beijing, China (Dec, 1st, 2015) C/O BUTTERFLY- A Rhapsody of the Womb, a thought-provoking film on abortion, sexuality and identity directed by China-born intercultural filmmaker Joanne Cheng, will be launched in film festivals worldwide in 2015. C/O BUTTERFLY represents an independent voice in recent women’s cinema commenting on the casualty of female freedom through abortion, one of the most troubling social issues facing China today. With feminist sensibility, from the vantage point of the female womb, Cheng probes into the myth of female sexuality and female independence against a backdrop of the 21st century and a fast changing China, and further comments on our quest for self discovery, self redemption and rebirth.
In c/o Butterfly, the viewer encounters a stream of scenes and consciousness–an abortion, enters a womb seen as a cave, and meets two women at the crossroads, haunted by lives that could have been. PHOENIX, in her 40s, unmarried and career oriented, wants a child via IVF; BUTTERFLY, in her 20s, entangled with a man of power, aborts one. Viewers walk along the chilly interiors of the nightmares of these two women haunted by the spirit of a crushed fetus that lives on.The film is a meditation but also a eulogy of life and time lost.
Viewers familiar with recent art house films such as “TOUCH OF SIN by Jia Zhangke and “BLACK COAL AND THIN ICE” by Diao Yinan may find Cheng’s C/O BUTTERFLY more provocative with some disturbing images that echo a similar concern for violence in China and the pain and turmoil associated with them. While both male filmmakers comments on the social ills of China, Cheng points more to the responsibility of the individual. Inspired by a real–life incident, Cheng made a ad hoc film of passion without a shooting script and professional actors. As a low-budget independent effort, the film showcases a stunning visual quest into the horror and turmoil a woman experiences when making difficult choices in her life. “The naked message is there under the microscope, one has to be daring enough to confront it”, said the director who always investigates human dilemma from the vantage point of human bodies, this time, she chooses the womb, the most sacred place of creation. “While I celebrate independence and choices, I also want to listen to voice of the fetus, the youngest and the most fragile and underrepresented.”
Cheng’s work often deals with the protagonist’s predicament with deep metaphysical perceptions, often with a touch of poetry in the form of a meditation. Joanne Cheng has become known for courageous filmmaking powered by intellectual and emotional honesty, often digging into taboo themes ignored by mainstream cinema. Her films often explores the issues of birth, death, sexuality and innocence, tapping into the complex relationships between body and soul, society and the individual, male dominance and female independence. Cheng consciously seeks a way to explore forbidden truths, even sometimes overstepping the limits, foreshadowing a social and political reality that officials may not be ready to deal with and audiences rarely confront. Cheng’s films are mostly seen by English speaking viewers as the intimate portraits of contemporary China. Cheng’s cinematic sensibilities were cultivated by her film education in US where she studied Hollywood films and works of European masters like Bergman, Fellini and Antonioni, whose works mostly deal with immortality, death, uncertainty and human freedom.
A veteran documentary filmmaker, Cheng has made a leap from mere“recording” to “inventing”, pioneering a cinematic style new to her work, fusing documentary with poetic live action images and animation, music mixed with monologue, to present a thoughtful and philosophical narrative usually only found in personal cinema. Sometimes it feels like a meditative cinema with an edge of a thriller.
Like her role model, the Oscar laureate Ang Lee whom Cheng once worked briefly for as a production assistant on PUSHING HAND in 1992, Cheng is one of the few bilingual filmmakers who can access Chinese reality with total fluency without language and cultural barriers. Before immigrating to USA in late 80s, Cheng worked as the English speaking journalist/anchorwoman for China Central Television (CCTV), and, later in New York, as a freelance reporter for network like ABC 20/20, therefore honing a investigative style for her later filmmaking. Cheng is best known for her award winning documentary trilogy-Intimate portraits of contemporary China: GOLDEN LOTUS-The Legacy of Bound Feet (2006), MAMA’S GOLD, The Orphans of Shangri-La (92min, 2003), CHINA GOLD RUSH (52min, 2000); RED FAREWELL(15min,2014), an investigation on the secret of longevity in rural China, is currently in exhibition in ASIAN ARTS 40 YEARS in New York. Cheng is also in development of two feature scripts on interracial romance set against apocalyptic times.
C/O BUTTERFLY is an independent production of East-West Corridor Communications Inc, a creative media company that produces bilingual films with distinctive local voices targeting global audience.
《一蝶》- 子宫狂想曲 简介
由美籍华裔跨文化程娟（Joanne Cheng）导演的新片《一蝶》- 子宫狂想曲（C/O BUTTERFLY－A Rhapsody of The Womb）即将2015年问世国际电影节。《一蝶》 很可能是近年国际女性电影中人性探索的代表力作。 它所代表的独立声音围绕着现代中国近年最热门和最具争议的主题－青春和流产。影片刻画的是在现代急速变化依旧男权的社会里女性探索追求独立实现自我过程中身心失衡代价高昂的焦虑与恐惧。
“这是我第一次在震颤中聚焦生命原点故事－子宫的故事。通过《一蝶》再次思考人性中最根本的困惑：女人生存于男人世界里的困惑，女人自己本身身体中的困惑，性困惑，情爱困惑，怀孕堕胎 青春的挥霍，独立尊严与生命的代价 ，”程娟导演说。
程娟生于北京，原中央电视台英语记者兼主持人。1988年赴美深造影视艺术硕士后移居纽约。90年代初程娟 在纽约 创建东西走廊国际文化传媒有限公司，帮助美国国际公司进入中国市场 提供中英双语广告公关咨询和商业影视制作译制配音等。 2000年 程娟 从事独立电影创作。程娟 双语纪录片三部曲－中国人文肖像《东方淘金》2000,《金娃娃》2003和《中国金莲》2006 知名于世界十几个国家的国际电影节和美国公共电视。 程娟电影尚未在中国大陆媒体上映。
在以奥斯卡奖导演李安为旗帜领军的跨文化电影新浪潮里，程娟来了。 她以独特大胆和诗意哲理风格 人文关怀，彰显个性，致敬挑战逆境人类的尊严和勇气。程娟正在以二十多年中美跨国经验为营养倾力打造有艺术风格的商业电影，包括《一蝶》2014， 魔幻动作片《欢喜观音》2018，以及科幻动作片《东凤西飞》2017。程娟中国人文肖像纪录片续集即将问世： 探寻长寿秘诀的民俗写真《喜丧》2015和 关注中国自闭症主题的《金童闭女》2016。
This is about the most meaningful hour I’ve spent doing anything in a very long time. This philosophical documentary-esque film which melds seamlessly into tales of prostitution, rape, abduction, and even murder – and then returning to the philosophical surreal – produced an incredibly visceral reaction and produced, for me at least, a rather scary window on our general blasé position on abortion.
I look very forward to the next installments of this gripping story-telling of youth passing us by.
It also needs to be mentioned that for such a small cast and technical crew, the work and acting is outstanding. Bravo, Joanne!