Tag Archives: Mandarin

Jia Zhangke – Ying sheng AKA The Hedonists (2016)

Quote:
In China, three unemployed Shanxi laborers are looking for work. Their last hope is to be employed as performers in a surreal amusement park.

Tony Rayns wrote:
A showstopper, a funny/sad tale of three unemployed miners – their faces will be familiar to fans of Jia’s films – trying for ridiculous new jobs as bodyguards and theme-park actors. Read More »

Yu Wang – Du bi quan wang da po xue di zi AKA Master of the Flying Guillotine (1975)

Storyline:
The one-armed boxer is stalked by a vengeful flying guillotine expert, after his disciples were killed in the first ‘One-Armed Boxer’ film. But as the flying guillotine master is blind, he starts his quest by becoming a serial killer of one-armed men. Meanwhile, the one-armed boxer is running a martial arts school, where he teaches his pupils to control their breath so they can run up walls and along ceilings. And there’s an Indian fakir whose arms can extend until they’re ten feet long. As you may have gathered, a rational plot summary is pretty pointless – but rest assured there are epic martial arts battles and ludicrously inspired moments galore. Read More »

Zhangke Jia – Xiaoshan huijia AKA Xiao Shan Going Home (1995)

Xiao Shan, a temporary worker at the Hongyuan Restaurant, has just been fired by his boss Zhao Guoqing. Deciding to leave Beijing and returns to his home in Anyang, he goes to see a series of people from his hometown who have also been living in Beijing -construction workers, train ticket scalpers, university students, attendant, prostitutes- but no one wants to go back with him. Dispirited and confused, he searches out one after another of his old friends who are still in Beijing. Finally he leaves his wild long hair, the symbol of his life in the city, at a roadside barber stand as his offering to Beijing. Seoul Independent Film Festival Read More »

Yimou Zhang – Hong gao liang AKA Red Sorghum [91min edit] (1988)

Quote:

Celebrated Mainland filmmaker Zhang Yimou brings his inimitable touch to Red Sorghum, a sumptuous drama set during 1930s China, just prior to the Japanese occupation. Jiu’er (Gong Li) is a young bride arranged to marry the leprous owner of a sorghum winery. But the leper dies, and Jiu’er takes over the winery, along with her lover (Jiang Wen), a burly rogue with a natural, rough charisma. Their rural lives are filled with struggle and even joy, but the invasion of the Japanese brings tragedy and blood to their doorsteps. Told in glorious shades of red, Red Sorghum is quintessential Zhang Yimou, and uses setting, cinematography, and stunning imagery to create characters and mood that are both iconic and recognizable. Gong Li and Jiang Wen both turn in revelatory performances. As both an anti-war film and a portrait of pre-Communist Chinese life, Red Sorghum is a compelling, powerful achievement from a true master of cinema. Read More »

Jen Wan – Youma caizi AKA Ah Fei AKA Rapeseed (1983)

Quote:
After graduating foreign languages department at Soochow University, he moved to USA, where he received MA in Film from Columbia College in California. While in America, he managed to create two well-received short films. In the early 80s he came back to Taiwan. In 1983 he was invited to direct one of the segments in an omnibus film The Sandwich Man. His episode is entitled The Taste of Apple (蘋果的滋味). The two other parts were directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien and Zeng Chuang-hsiang. This movie, together with another anthology film – In Our Time (1982), is considered a landmark in the emergence of the so-called Taiwanese New Wave. Among his other films, the most significant are Ah Fei (1984), Super Citizen Ko (1995) and Connection by Fate (1998). Read More »

Kang-sheng Lee – Bang bang wo ai shen AKA Help Me Eros (2007)

Quote:

The literal translation of the Taiwanese title is ‘Help Me, God of Love’, since Eros is an artifact of Greece-Roman mythology. The exclamation is a wry reference to the film’s comically cynical perspective on human relationships, in which a wide variety of unlikely subjects – food, marijuana and live eels, amongst others – become substitute objects of comfort and affection for the protagonists. The plea for help is also a strong theme in the form of the suicide hotline. Read More »

Zhuangzhuang Tian – Lie chang zha sha AKA On The Hunting Ground (1984)

Tian Zhuangzhuang is perhaps the best known of [the Fifth Generation] for reviving and revitalizing a staple of the Chinese film industry — the “national minority” genre. Made to celebrate the solidarity of the Chinese people under the Communist regime, these films, often made by studios based in the minority areas themselves, showcased the songs, dances, customs, and patriotism of the non-Han community. Stories of liberation, they usually contrast the “backwardness” of traditional life before the Revolution with the benefits of Chinese Communist rule. Read More »