Step Inside Shanghai’s Luxury Animal Emporium
With a five-star dog hotel, professional grooming parlors and hair-coloring centers, Pet Zoo Mega Store is introducing Shanghai’s canine community to a world of unforeseen luxury. Photographer Jonathan Browning, a regular for Der Spiegel, The New York Times and Financial Times, takes us behind the third floor complex, over 21,000 square feet, to document the bizarre pedigree pampering, which includes natural mud massage spas and dog ‘Jacuzzis.’ “The grooming center is all open-plan, with glass walls, so that the owners can watch in confidence during their animals' spa treatment,” explains Browning of the doted-over pooches. “With Shanghai being the hottest it’s been in 140 years, the spa's ‘summer coat haircut’ has proved popular; essentially a short shave all over the body except for the head, ears and tail.”
The Uplifting Stories of Rural China's Boxing Rings
Young pugilist He Zongli gets put through his paces in the gym and receives the wisdom of his coach Qi Moxiang at a training camp for the National Men's Boxing Championship in this extract from Yung Chang new feature documentary China Heavyweight. Working closely with a local crew, the Chinese-Canadian filmmaker traveled far into the Sichuan countryside to capture the daily routines of coach Qi and his teenage boxers. “The first time we met everyone I was struck by their philosophy of trying to change these rural countryside kids, to instil in them values that would help them in the future,” recalls Yung. “Coach Qi seemed to be almost a cliché of a boxing coach—someone who doesn’t make an income, but is so selfless and passionate for the idea of the sport that he’s dedicated his life to it.” Brought up by Chinese parents in Toronto’s rustic backwoods, the director saw movies as a way of escaping his upbringing, and of connecting with other people and their stories. Selected for the Sundance Film Festival in 2008, Yung’s first film Up The Yangtze told the poignant tale of a young girl taking a job on a Yangtze River cruise ship, set against the construction of the Three Gorges Dam. Currently the filmmaker is finishing up a third feature documentary, Fruit Hunters, following the lives of obsessive collectors searching for rare and exotic fruits all around the world. “It’s a celebration of diversity in the face of monoculture,” he says.
The Japanese Neo-Dadaist Makes a Slow-Mo Splash
A paean to eternal themes of love and sacrifice and the enduring pull of the creative process, Zachary Heinzerling makes his filmmaking debut with Cutie and the Boxer, a meditative observation of painter-boxer Ushio Shinohara. This exclusive sequence, shot on a Phantom camera, shows Ushiro pummeling the glass ‘canvas’ with affecting vigor. The former enfant terrible moved to New York from his native Japan in 1969 in search of international recognition that has never quite materialized. In the Sundance-fêted documentary, Heinzerling captures the Octogenarian and his long-suffering wife and de facto assistant Noriko preparing for their first joint exhibition: Ushio will present a selection of his ‘box paintings’––Jackson Pollock-inspired abstractions created by hurling paint-covered boxing gloves across a massive canvas, and Noriko, a showcase a series of witty illustrations entitled “Cutie and the Bullie”, which satirize their turbulent 40-year-old marriage. “Ultimately, my goal was to absorb the audience in the raw spirit and beauty that emanates from the couple,” explains Heinzerling. “To open a door onto the creative and very private world where the rhythms of the Shinoharas’s lives play out.” The result is an intimate tapestry of a challenging partnership, cemented by a bond that transcends their various artistic and financial impediments.
Cutie and the Boxer hit cinemas in the US this weekend, and will premiere in Europe November 1.