Yang Chao – Chang jiang tu AKA Crosscurrent (2016)

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Quote:
In a daze following his father’s sudden death, cargo ship captain Gao Chun falls under the spell of a mysterious book of poetry found hidden in his ship’s engine room, sending the beleaguered captain on an unexpected journey both up the Yangtze River, the very cradle of Chinese civilization, and into the center of his own troubled soul. Guided by the beautiful, enigmatic An Lu, and carrying a mysterious shipment for a ruthless crime lord, Chun’s pilgrimage to the powerful river’s source becomes a sublime, poetic quest to understand man’s relationship to nature, the impulses of love and desire, greed and corruption, and the very nature of faith itself. Filmed in gorgeous 35mm by Mark Lee Ping-Bing (IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE), director Yang Chao’s film melds elements of the classic road movie with a singular aesthetic rooted in ancient Buddhist practice. Featuring an unforgettable sequence in the Three Gorges Dam, CROSSCURRENT is a transcendent voyage into the possibilities of the metaphysical and the realities of flesh and blood. Continue reading

Hannes Böck – New Hefei (2008)

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New Hefei was done in the winter of 2007/2008 during a stay in China for several months through a series of photographs and prepared in the spring of 2008 in the provincial capital Hefei in black and white on 16mm shot. Hefei has an extreme economy growth rate and is one of the fastest-growing mega cities of the new China.
The conglomerates from private and state-dominated industry dominated the economic growth and repeated this in the Chinese provincial city. Currently the process of urban transformation has been completed here, as in other urban centers in China. The presentation of new urban areas is an important issue in contemporary Taiwanese and Chinese films.

Basically the whole thing was inspired by Antonionis “La Notte” and “L’eclisse”. So if you know these films, you’ll find something here. Continue reading

Yuxin Zhuang – Ai qing de ya chi AKA Teeth of Love (2007)

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Synopsis:
An experienced TV drama screenwriter and a professor at the Beijing Film Academy, Zhuang Yuxin makes his debut feature Love Teeth in 2006, winning much applause from critics. Praised as the female version of the award-winning In the Heat of the Sun, Love Teeth also documents the rapid social and economic changes in Mainland China after the disastrous Cultural Revolution. The notions of love, pain, and memory recur when the film unfolds a woman’s history of three romances that all end in physical as well as psychological pain. Officially selected for the Deauville Asian Film Festival 2007 in France, Love Teeth also won the Best Feature at the 14th Beijing Student Film Festival. Continue reading

Yang Zhang – Kang rinpoche AKA Paths of the Soul (2015)

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Quote:
Docu-drama follows the journey of a group of Tibetans on a pilgrimage to Lasa, the holy capital of Tibet. The journey covers 1,200 km on foot, in a continuous repetition of prostrating one’s self on the ground. Over 10 months, we see the simplicity of human relationships and the nature of family, suffering, and resolve. Continue reading

Wen Jiang – Yang guang can lan de ri zi AKA In the Heat of the Sun (1994)

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Quote:
Beijing, the Seventies. Now that the Cultural Revolution has driven most adults to the provinces, 14-year old Monkey and his pals have free reign over the city. They hang around, get up to no good and discover that unsolvable mystery more commonly referred to as ‘girls’.

In the Heat of the Sun is a beautifully shot semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story where the ostensible nostalgia is undercut by an ironic narrator, who keeps blurring the line between what’s real and what may be imagined (“Wait, maybe it didn’t happen that way,…”). It’s a movie not just about memories, but also about the act of remembering and on how difficult that is, in a city which constantly re-builds itself from the ground up, in a country which constantly rewrites its own history. Continue reading

Bing Wang – He Fengming aka Fengming: A Chinese Memoir (2007)

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Robert Koehler wrote:
With virtually a single-camera set-up and absolute attention paid to a woman who survived the horrors of Mao’s China, Wang Bing continues his run as one of the world’s supreme doc filmmakers with “Fengming: A Chinese Memoir.” While his extraordinary epic, “West of the Tracks,” traced the destruction of a city’s industrial zone and the forced relocation of thousands of residents, new pic is scaled in opposite fashion–intimate, minimalist, nearly private, as former journalist and teacher He Fengming describes in vividly painful detail how her life in the revolution turned into a 30-year nightmare. Prospects point to specialized treatment at major fests, but vid is where pic will really stand the test of time. Continue reading