Tag Archives: Mandarin

Yue Lü – Mei ren cao AKA The Foliage [+Extras] (2003)

In the summer of 1974, Xing-Yu (Shu Qi) meets and falls in love with a rebel, Si-Mong. A member of the Chinese People’s Army, her comrades immediately frown on their relationship. Her leader and childhood sweetheart, Yuan, then enlists her in a plan to betray Si-Mong in exchange for a discharge so she may return home to care for her sick father. Will Xing-Yu choose country and politics over love? Read More »

Fruit Chan – Mou sha si shui nian hua AKA Kill Time (2016)

After the death of her policeman father, Xiaomai (Angelababy) begins to look over his old journals filled with notes about the cases he investigated over the years. The mention of a purple scarf in the notes particularly catches her attention, prompting her to purchase a similar scarf from a mysterious website that claims to sell everything, as long as one can pay the price. Soon after, Xiaomai’s close friend (Rayza) is found dead, strangled by a purple scarf. All of this awakens Xiaomai’s memories of her childhood sweetheart Qiushou (Ethan Juan), whose mother was also strangled to death with a purple scarf by an unknown killer. Xiaomai and Qiushou grew up together and fell in love, but he suddenly disappeared from her life 15 years ago without a word. She begins to believe that Qiushou has returned and may be seeking revenge. Read More »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Yimou Zhang – Yi ge dou bu neng shao AKA Not One Less (1999)

Quote:
In a remote mountain village, the teacher must leave for a month, and the mayor can find only a 13-year old girl, Wei Minzhi, to substitute. The teacher leaves one stick of chalk for each day and promises her an extra 10 yuan if there’s not one less student when he returns. Within days, poverty forces the class troublemaker, Zhang Huike, to leave for the city to work. Minzhi, possessed of a stubborn streak, determines to bring him back. She enlists the 26 remaining pupils in earning money for her trip. She hitches to Jiangjiakou City and begins her search. The boy, meanwhile, is there, lost and begging for food. Minzhi’s stubbornness may be Huike and the village school’s salvation. Read More »