FILM REVIEW of UUFO
By Chen Liu
Based on shared family stories, the artist Yun Chen describes her experience of and response to events that occurred in the lives of her parents and grandparents during the cultural revolution. Yun’s short film, UUFO, reflects her connection to these events, as she attempts to arrive at a deeper level of understanding.
The artist’s presentation in her video is very creative and innocent. The Cultural Revolution is one of the most well-known events in China’s modern history, and is always presented in a very serious way. This culturally popular viewpoint is discussed at length and always generates a great deal of commentary. In contrast, Yun uses lots of experimental techniques inspiring viewers to regard the Revolution in a way that focuses on a sense wonderment.
Yun interprets the Cultural Revolution the same way any other historical event in China would be. But in her short film the artist ignores popular attitudes regarding the event and instead focuses on the feelings of experiencing it. Lastly, Yun associates the Revolution with a UFO, but in the case of her film she uses the title UUFO, unidentified “unidentified flying object”, seeing the revolution as an unexpected happening with an unexpected ending. She brings a very open perspective of the Cultural Revolution and would love for viewers to abandon the more commonly accepted attitude toward the event. In the beginning of the film, the artist uses a song “Ode to Coral”, sang by Peng Liyuan, the current first lady of China and at the end of the film, she clarifies UUFO. The careful and odd placement of these two things emphasize unexpected viewpoints within this short film – encouraging audiences to look at the Cultural Revolution as a historical event which may already submerge in history.