Tag Archives: Mandarin

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 »

Wen Jiang – Guizi lai le AKA Devils on the Doorstep (2000)

Stephen Holden in the New York Times wrote:
[The film] belongs to that rarefied breed of antiwar movie that adopts a lofty satirical distance from its characters’ plight. By turns farcical and horrifying, it scrupulously avoids plucking heartstrings to portray the soldiers and peasants alike as paranoid fools buffeted by the shifting winds of war…While acknowledging that war is hell, it goes further to suggest it is ludicrous. Read More »

Zhuangzhuang Tian – Cha ma gu dao xi lie AKA Delamu (2004)

Imdb:
Delamu ¨C Tibetan for “Peace Angel”. Since ancient times, China’s two primary land routes connecting it to the outside world have been the Silk Road in the north, and Tea Horse-Road in the south. The mountain village of Bingzhongluo-Tibetan for “Village of Tibetans” is located on the high plateau of western Yunnan Province, at the foot of Gaoligong Mountain. Traveling along the Nujiang River, one can reach the southern Tibetan border town of Chawalong-Tibetan for “Valley of Dry Heat.” But with no roads connecting the two places, since ancient times the transport of all goods and supplies has relied entirely on horse caravans. The journey of more than 90 kilometers zigzags through high mountain slopes, dense forests, gorges and wastelands. Read More »

Ye Lou – Suzhou he aka Suzhou River (2000)

Plot Summary:
The river Suzhou that flows through Shanghai is a reservoir of filth, chaos and poverty, but also a meeting place for memories and secrets. Lou Ye, who spent his youth on the banks of the Suzhou, shows the river as a Chinese Styx, in which forgotten stories and mysteries come together. Mardar, a motorcycle courier in his mid-twenties, rides all over the city with all kinds of packages for his clients. He knows every inch and is successful thanks to the fact that he never asks questions. One day he is asked by a shady alcohol smuggler to deliver his sixteen-year-old daughter, Moudan, to her aunt. Read More »