North by Northeast by China…

NXNE, Toronto’s counterpart to Austin’s massive SXSW, takes over the city from June 11-17. A part of that chunk of time is for films. This year, a China documentary is on the bill. Down: Indie Rock in the PRC is a film by Andrew Field and Jud Willmont, and looks at a few bands that the filmmakers came upon in their search to document the yaogun scene in 2007.

I’ve been asked to attend the screening and be a part of the post-film Q&A session, and have graciously accepted. The screening goes down Thursday June 14 at 12.30 p.m. at the National Film Board (150 John St.). There’s more info here.

It was twenty-three years ago today…

Twenty-three years ago, it was June 4, 1989.

I lived in Beijing through ten anniversaries, but the significance of the date, in what must sound, to those who didn’t live there over the past few years, odd, seemed to shrink over my stay. Until, however, I looked into yaogun’s history, and saw that the movement that brought thousands to Tiananmen Square was nourished at the same teet as was the passion for rock and the drive to yaogun. Citizens in the Square and yaogunners on stages were after the same thing: It was about possibilities. There was so much that was new, and there was a hunger to discover it all, and more. And there was so much hope.

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