China

Shuqin Huang – Ren gui qing AKA Woman Demon Human (1987)

Based on a true story. A girl born in the “theatrical trunk” grows up under the lights of her parents’ Peking Opera Company. This complete immersion into theatrical life naturally leads her to the stage. She is trained by her father to play traditional roles. Her dream was to be the first woman to play the more significant male roles. This was completely against tradition. She suffers discrimination and humiliation, but in the end turns adversity into admiration when she becomes the first woman to play a great mythical hero in Peking Opera, defying all tradition and destroying all precedents. Breathtaking performances and cinematographic artistry create a powerful and visually stunning tale. No less could be expected from the masterful hand of the brilliant female director, Huang Shuqin. Read More »

Yen-ping Chu – Yi shi er niao AKA One Stone and Two Birds (2005)

During the reign of Emperor Jia Jing of the Ming Dynasty, the evil court official Yan Song relies on the emperor favoritism towards him, becoming overbearing and domineering. An honest official Zhang Ying Long impeaches Yan Song w/ a “Ten Cimes Five Deceits” against him. But instead he gets flogged 30 times, and banished to a far off frontier Guizhou.

Zhang Ying Long’s remonstration won the hearts of the common people, on the day of his banishment thousands of people turned out to see him off. At the sight of this, Yan Sung knows that if he does not kill off Zhang Ying Long, he will be unable to deter other court officials. Thereupon, he arranges for assassins to kill Zhang Ying Long during the journey. Read More »

Zhangke Jia – Lai Fang AKA Visit (2020)

Synopsis
The idea is to create a film at home, using the environment, the people or the animals in that space. The only outdoor areas that may be used are outdoor living spaces, such as the terrace, the garden, the balcony and the stairwell. Read More »

Xueshu Yan – Ye shan AKA In The Wild Mountains (1986)

Quote:
Two mismatched farming couples experience both sexual and social change in 1980s China. Husband-swapping and entrepreneurial zeal fuse in this superbly shot, wittily realised take on a country where rambunctious capitalism and desiring bodies are two sides of the same coin.
NY : ‘Hard life in country’ indeed – the country being rural China, the time being some unspecified point in the mid-70s. Read More »

Gan Bi – Nanfang AKA South (2010)

Quote:
Original Title in Chinese: 南方
When studying in campus, Gan Bi (Kaili Blues and Long Day’s Journey Into Night) finished his first work Nanfang (South) in 2010. This work got a golden prize of the best film in the film festival of his school.

It is said that Gan Bi doesn’t care about the preservation of the digital copies of his works. Two of his early works are not easy to find. And this one is the best quality I can find. And another work called Laohu (Tiger) is still no resources… Read More »

Kaige Chen – He ni zai yi qi AKA Together with You AKA Together (2002)

Synopsis:
Liu Xiaochun (Tang Yun), a 13-year-old violin prodigy, and his devoted father, Liu Cheng (Liu Peiqi), leave their provincial Chinese town for Beijing, hoping to find a violin teacher and, ultimately, success. The teenager is at first coached by the eccentric professor Jiang (Wang Zhiwen), but he is soon replaced with the renowned professor Yu (Chen Kaige). The day of the big competition is fast approaching, and Xiaochun must decide if this new, high-pressure life is right for him Read More »

Yi’nan Diao – Ye che AKA Night Train (2007)

Wu Hongyan is a young woman working as a prison guard during executions of female convicts. She feels lonely after her husband died, and she takes a night train to another city to visit a dating service. After a series of unsuccessful dates, she meets Li Jun. It quickly becomes obvious that he is hiding a secret: he is the widower of one of the female convicts of which Wu Hongyan assisted in the execution. Li Jun is torn apart by his feelings, as he is both attracted to Wu Hongyan, and having a desire for revenge for his executed wife. Read More »