China

Yinan Diao – Zhifu aka Uniform (2003)

Quote:
Economic unrest roils central China’s Shaanxi Province: local factories are merging, thugs threaten managers, personnel records get lost, and workers are without protections such as health insurance. The police and much of society are surly. Xiao Jian, a mild young man whose father is ill, works in the family street stall doing pressing and tailoring. A laundered police-officer’s shirt goes uncollected, and Xiao Jian puts it on: it opens doors. Wearing it, he chats up a clerk, Zheng Shasha, and takes her out. He extracts fines from drivers who violate traffic laws. In these tough times, he’s not the only one with two identities. How long can he sustain it? Read More »

Xiaowen Zhou – Ermo (1994)

In the course of cinematic history, there have been many great quests: searches for the Holy Grail, the Ark of the Covenant, the true nature of Humankind, the essence of God, and, during this film from Chinese director Zhou Xiaowen, a 29-inch television. In Ermo, a somewhat better- constructed cousin to Zhang Yimou’s The Story of Qui Ju, we follow the obsessive struggle of one woman (Alia) to earn the money to buy the biggest television in her village. There’s no sacrifice she won’t make, an attitude that her aging, impotent husband (Ge Zhijun) is incapable of understanding. In his view, money is for building houses, not buying gadgets. Read More »

Chusheng Cai – A Dream in Pink AKA Pink Dream AKA Fenhongse de meng (1932)

Here is one of Cai Chusheng’s earliest films, set in and around the dancehalls of art deco Shanghai.

Plot, per wikipedia:
Pink Dream tells the story of a young novelist who is supported by a loving and hard-working wife. The novelist, however, is drawn to the decadent life of a socialite who introduces him to the dance halls that dot Shanghai. As the film progresses, the novelist soon learns of the emptiness of this urban existence and rejects it as a “pink dream.” Read More »

Wenguang Wu – Jiang Hu: Life on the Road (1999)

Synopsis

Jiang Hu features “Yuan Da” (Far and Wide), an amateur entertainment troupe that roams the countryside around Beijing and neighboring provinces, providing corny programs to local people. The film is full of socio-ethnographic information, as the camera witnesses the routine operations of the troupe and its members’ interactions. Sometimes tension is revealed when members confess to Wu their worries and complaints in a hushed voice. Read More »

Shangjun Cai – Ren shan ren hai AKA People Mountain People Sea (2011)

Synopsis : Lao Tie knows in his heart that he must help find his younger brother’s killer, despite his own problems. He has only recently returned home penniless to the remote mountain community after years away working in the city. Although the police identified the murderer as ex-con Xiao Qiang from a neighbouring village, they were not able to stop him from escaping. Lao Tie decides to hunt down his brother’s killer. He begins a journey that will unleash his long-suppressed inner pain and rage. Read More »

Jiarui Zhang – Fang xiang zhi lu AKA The Road (2006)

Plot Synopsis Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide
Over the course of five decades, a naïve ticket girl living in rural Communist China finds her life gradually shaped by the decrees of her government and the route of the Xiangyang bus in director Zhang Jiarui’s emotionally sweeping tale of loyalty and maturity. Li Chunfen (Zhang Jingchu) is unwaveringly loyal to her government, and always assumes that they have her best interests in mind. A cheerful teen who works aboard a bus that travels the route between Longze and Xiangyang, Li admires crusty driver Old Cui (Fan Wei), and develops a warm puppy love for handsome young doctor Liu Fendou (Nie Yuan). Read More »

Pema Tseden – Zhuang si le yi zhi yang AKA Jinpa (2018)

This is a story of revenge and redemption.

On an isolated road passing through the vast barren plains of Tibet, a truck driver who has accidentally run over a sheep chances upon a young man who is hitching a ride. As they drive and chat, the truck driver notices that his new friend has a silver dagger strapped to his leg. He comes to understand that this man is out to kill someone who wronged him earlier in life. As he drops the hitchhiker off at a fork in the road, little does the truck driver realize that their short time together has changed everything, and that their destinies are inexorably intertwined.

On the path of life, sometimes we meet someone whose dreams overtake our own to the point that they converge. Read More »