Skip to content

The Freeze/Satellite

Li Ning

Release year: 2011

Run time: 123 mins

Film type: Experimental Film


Li Ning's personal and social life after Tape.
Although the camera was turned on myself, Tape still presents an outward force. Almost all its anger is directed at society, life, the state and the machine outside the body...But The Freeze/Satellite turns the camera more to issues of the heart and soul...

In 2010, Li Ning went to France, co-operated with the director, Old Bay, became an actor in his troupe, and participated in the creation of the drama Satellite. Perhaps religious authority was offended, for the whole group seemed cursed with a series of setbacks and odd incidents during rehearsals and performances…

The assistant of the troupe had a mental attack, came to the office after drinking heavily, looking like the devil. We ordered him to rest in the living room, and I took the camera to film him, and then, following the sound of the door breaking out, he ran away…

We hurried down the stairs only to find a strange woman convulsing in a pool of blood. How did he suddenly become a woman (is he really a devil)? Or did he go out and knock her over…?

The body, which is a plant planted in reality, would die without matter.
Does the free orbit of the mind still require control from the ground?
How long does love last?


Director biography

Li Ning, born in 1972, is a theatre and film director, a physical education researcher and practitioner, and a curator.
He graduated from the Fine Arts Education Department of Shandong Art Academy, specializing in sculpture. In 1997, he founded The Physical Guerrillas, a group engaged in the creation of physical theatre and live performance art, performed at home and abroad.
As an artist, he has created a large number of theatre and film works, many of which have become classics of contemporary Chinese physical theatre and video art, and he is also recognized as a representative of these two fields.
He was invited to perform, or to exhibit, exchange and to create, at the Julidans Art Festival in Amsterdam and the Culturescapes Festival in Switzerland. Since 2010, he has also been invited to participate in the creation of the French Limitrophe Company, a situational drama group, which has toured the Festival d’Aurillac, the Ghent Art Festival in Belgium, the Stoke Art Festival in the UK, and the Wuzhen Theatre Festival, among others.
As an experimental film director, his famous works Tape and Untitled-3 have been collected by dozens of university libraries, art galleries, and museums in the United States. Li Ning has received funding from various national foundations many times to complete his theatre and film works, such as the Dutch Done Foundation (which supported Li Ning and The Physical Guerrillas for 3 years, in 2006, 2007, 2008), and the EU cultural project Chin-A-Moves, as well as the China Independent Film Fund Indie Cinema Fund and so on.
As a curator, he presided over and participated in the operation of the Jinan Fangyu Art Festival, the Weifang Village Theatre Festival, the International Factory Theatre Festival Laiwu, and other platforms to improve China's ecology of art and literary.

Director's statement

My film is a derivative of my continuous action. My creatve method is to insert my body into various people and events. I will not limit my work to those artificially divided film types before creation. If feature films, documentaries, experimental films, and so on, are the sides that make up the pyramid, what is the apex of the pyramid? There is no distinction between types. Nothing is important. Only spirit and soul matter. People and life precede art, and life does not follow a script. I do not want to anticipate and control anything: The body is a dagger, and the image is its mark on the world.