Tag Archives: Mandarin

Zhuangzhuang Tian – Yaogun Qingnian AKA Rock Kids (1988)

Realistic portraits of Chinese youth embracing western culture. Read More »

Jianxin Huang – Hei pao shi jian AKA The Black Cannon Incident (1985)

Quote:
A key Fifth Generation work released during the second phase of Deng Xiaoping’s social and economic reforms, this robust social satire delightfully depicts the clash between the rising class of rapid industrial modernizers and old Party cadres with a serious Cultural Revolution hangover. The film chronicles the Kafkaesque predicament of a bumbling factory translator who is suspected of industrial espionage after sending an innocent telegram that is intercepted by a militant snoop. (The “black cannon” of the title refers to the missing chess piece the hapless hero is trying to locate.) Placed under investigation and reassigned to a less sensitive department but never informed of the reason for his demotion, he petitions to get his job back, sparking an increasingly obtuse and hilarious series of Party meetings, set in a boardroom straight out of German Expressionism. Read More »

Zhangke Jia – Jiang hu er nv AKA Ash Is Purest White (2018) (HD)

Set in China’s underworld, this tale of love and betrayal follows Qiao, a dancer who fires a few warning shots during a fight and then, after lying to protect her gangster lover Bin from a long prison sentence, ends up in jail herself. When she’s released five years later into a changed world, she goes in search of Bin, who has been mysteriously silent during her imprisonment… Read More »

Yue Lu – Zhao xiansheng AKA Mr. Zhao (1998)

From the Chicago Reader
A watershed in the history of Chinese cinema, this first feature (1998) directed by Lu Yue–the remarkable cinematographer of Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl and several recent features of Zhang Yimou, including Shanghai Triad–is an eye-opening comedy about adultery in contemporary Shanghai. Much of the dialogue is improvised by the talented actors–Shi Jingming as the husband, a professor of traditional Chinese medicine; Zhang Zhihua as his factory-worker wife; and Chen Yinan as his mistress and former student–and both the shooting style and the emotional directness of the performances suggest the filmmaking of John Cassavetes. Read More »

Xu Xin – Karamay (2010)

The film opens on the morning of December 8th 2007, in Karamay’s Xiaoxihu cemetery. Daybreak casts a cold grey light over faraway mountains and the Gobi sands. As the camera moves from grave to grave, it zeroes in on the photographs encased in glass on every tombstone. All are of children. Exactly 13 years ago, Karamay’s Friendship Hall was the site of a horrible tragedy: nearly 800 grade and middle-school students and their teachers, hand-picked to entertain a delegation of education officials, were in the midst of a performance when a fire broke out in the hall. Read More »

Kar-Wai Wong – Dung che sai duk AKA Ashes of Time Redux (1994)

Two years after forming his own production company, Jet Tone, Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai released ASHES OF TIME, a martial-arts epic based on THE EAGLE-SHOOTING HEROES, a series of novels by Louis Cha writing under the pseudonym Jin Yong. The film was set in jianghu, an imaginary world with its own views of good and evil. In 2008, unhappy with the many alternate versions of ASHES OF TIME available, Wong reedited and restored the film, working with the original negative and soundtrack, which were in severe disrepair. The new version, called ASHES OF TIME REDUX, which screened at such prestigious international gatherings as the Cannes, Toronto, and New York Film Festivals, is a breathtaking example of Wong’s masterly storytelling technique, combined with the stunning cinematography of Christopher Doyle and gorgeous new cello solos recorded by Yo-Yo Ma. Read More »

Wei Lo – Bing tian xia nu AKA Vengeance of a Snowgirl (1971)

Synopsis:
The head-slicing Snow Maid heroine is enraged after she learns that her mother has been raped by a gang of thugs. The vengeful woman picks up her sword and seeks out the notorious Golden Hair Mouse for high-flying, hard-hitting revenge. Read More »