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Tailor by Day, Chef by Night: Naomang Challenges Conventions a Dish at a Time in Short Film



Martell's first-ever documentary is Chinese director Luo Jian’s first project with Lief after she was discovered with award winning short at the BFI London Film Festival

Tailor by Day, Chef by Night: Naomang Challenges Conventions a Dish at a Time in Short Film

Luo Jian is a new generation Chinese filmmaker-talent who is blending past and future through exquisite visual storytelling. She is emerging onto the global stage through Lief’s roster of uniquely diverse filmmakers, and now introduces her latest project premiered through NOWNESS.

On the 32nd floor of a commercial compound in Beijing, there is a man who - on most evenings - leaves behind his life as a tailor to run a midnight canteen. His clients wander in from the bustling capital in search of sumptuous, home-made meals from a part-time chef who goes by the name Naomang - 'the busy' or 'restless'.

“Strengthened by the atmospheric visual palette in Naomang, the director reveals the creative tenacity of those who find new ways to preserve generational legacies.” says one review of the film. 

In this first-ever short film from Martell, the historic French Cognac house commissioned rising Luo Jian to find a gastronomic story that mirrors their approach to creating a lasting legacy by challenging conventions. “Naomang’s success lies not in his dual identity of tailor by day, chef by night," says the director, “but in the quality of the suits he makes and the taste of his food.”

Jian crosses temporal boundaries by merging portraits of Naomang’s nightly cooking ritual with his memories of wandering in awe through the food markets of Shanghai as a child. After the death of his mother, recollections like these encouraged Naomang to share her culinary legacy.

“A born and raised ‘Beijinger’ said to me that the food and drink Naomang serves reminds him of home,” says Jian. “It is fascinating that this local experienced nostalgia in another person’s hometown recipes. That’s the power of food; it touches people on an emotional level.”

Born in the Uyghur Autonomous Region of China, Jian has a distinctive visual style that lends itself to surrealist and fictional portrayals of everyday encounters. “Fictional storytelling appeals to me because of how art affects the world,” says the director, whose protagonist encounters a colossal goldfish floating outside a window. “Just like religion depends on myth, and history depends on anecdote, art spreads through romantic storytelling.” 


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Categories: Short Films and Music Videos, Short films

Lief, Fri, 12 Jun 2020 16:09:55 GMT