天注定 | A Touch of Sin

A Touch of Sin2

An angry miner revolts against the corruption of his village leaders.  A migrant worker at home for the New Year discovers the infinite possibilities a firearm can offer. A pretty receptionist at a sauna is pushed to the limit when a rich client assaults her. A young factory worker goes from job to job trying to improve his lot in life. Four people, four different provinces. A reflection on contemporary China: that of an economic giant slowly being eroded by violence, A Touch of Sin weaves together four strands, spanning the bustling southern metropolis of Guangzhou to rural townships.

Directed by Zhang Ke Jia | Starring : Tao Zhao, Wu Jiang, Baoqiang Wang, Jia-yi Zhang, Luo Lanshan | Presented at Cannes Film Festival

一代宗师 | The Grandmaster

The Grandmaster

With martial arts getting more popular in the Thirties, more people seek to learn them via the professionals at Foshan in Southern China. Some of the experienced masters like to challenge their counterparts and undergoing battles. To have their whole concentration, it is their practice to lock up the venues and no one is allowed to leave during battles. No food and no rest before reaching any results. Ip Man is a young rich man extremely talented in martial arts, but he chooses to keep a low profile. Yet this doesn’t keep him out of these troubles ahead. One day he is trapped in this battleground so he has to use every means in order to get out of there. The masters are amazed by his abilities. Master Kung and his daughter Kung Yi are amongst, and the latter is attracted to this newcomer. A high warlord is assassinated by his own guard Yi Xian Tian. All masters in Foshan vow to take Tian down no matter what.

Directed by Kar Wai Wong | Starring : Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Ziyi Zhang, Chen Chang, Benshan Zhao, Hye-kyo Song | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Belgrade Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival

二次曝光 | Double Xposure

Double Xposure

Since debuting with her first feature Fish and Elephant in 2001, director Li Yu has gone from rough-and-ready documentary realism with non-professional actors to working with some of the biggest Chinese stars. This stylish and briskly paced psychological thriller, her fifth and visually most ambitious feature yet, plumbs thriller staples of dualities and doubling in dizzying permutations – past indistinguishable from present, reality entangled with illusion, guilt and terror shadowing feelings of love – to a clincher of an ending. Joan Chen in a supporting role impresses, as does Chinese superstar Fan Bingbing, playing a young urbanite whose façade of certainties and comforts – boyfriend, apartment and car – violently splinters in a moment of jealousy.

Directed by Yu Li | Starring : Bingbing Fan, Joan Chen, Shaofeng Feng, Siyan Huo, Anlian Yao | Presented at N/A

有种 | Beijing Flickers

Beijing Flickers

Beijing is happening these days, but not everyone is living the golden life. Dumped, fired, evicted and abandoned by everyone (including his dog), a down-on-his-luck man finds solace with a circle of equally ill-fated friends, in this touching and lighthearted drama from independent Chinese auteur Zhang Yuan.

Directed by Yuan Zhang | Starring : Zinuo Wang, Xiaofeng Li, Yulai Lu, Bowen Duan, Wenwen Han | Presented at Toronto Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival, Miami Film Festival

记忆望着我 | Memories Look at Me

Memories Look at Me

Song Fang is the protagonist in her own soberly filmed docudrama, in which she returns from Beijing to the house of her parents in Nanjing. The film is largely set indoors, where Song shares everyday life and many memories with her parents, sister-in-law, brother and niece. Song is always on screen as they talk about relatives living and dead, about more or less successful careers, about old friends, illnesses and accidents, funerals and weddings. A young niece, Diandian, makes disarming comments that provide a lighter note. Between the conversations – that often take place around food – and rare excursions, we catch a glimpse of changing Chinese society. It is obvious that the norms and values of the older generation are being devalued, but that some deep-rooted traditions will probably continue for a very long time.

Directed by Fang Song | Starring : Yu-zhu Ye, Di-jing Song, Fang Song, Song Yuan | Presented at Locarno Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Mar del Plata Film Festival, Entrevues Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Portland Film Festival, San Francisco Film Festival

搜索 | Caught in the Web

Caught in the Web

The story of three women whose worlds collide, Caught in the Web is a social commentary about the ‘sound bite’ society we are becoming, where perception becomes reality and judgments based on limited facts quickly spread, without regard for the truth or the damage they could cause.

Directed by Kaige Chen | Starring : Yuanyuan Gao, Chen Yao, Mark Chao, Hong Chen, Xueqi Wang | Presented at Toronto Film Festival

萧红 | Falling Flowers

Falling Flowers

While bombs destroy 1941 Hong Kong, Xiao Hong lays ill in a nearly abandoned hospital recounting her short life to an admirer.  Falling Flowers is the story of China’s Xiao Hong, a writer who is torn apart by societal expectations of women, fickle lovers, and her own complex needs.  As a young woman faced with the prospect of an arranged marriage, Xiao Hong leaves her family and follows her dream of attending university.  Overwhelmed by her financial situation she finds some support from her fiance but it does not last long.  Out of school, unwed, pregnant and trapped in a hotel for bad debt, Xiao Hong begins to crumble until a dashing reporter, Xiao Jun, visits her.  Their passion for art and literary success helps them overcome their poverty but is it enough to overcome the perils of war and his womanizing ways? Directed by Huo Jiangi, Falling Flowers is a beautifully shot period piece that skillfully tells the tragic tale of one of China’s important modern authors.

Directed by Jianqi Huo | Starring : Jia Song, Jue Huang, Renjun Wang, Chao Wu, Zhang Bo | Presented at Shanghai Film Festival, Hawaii Film Festival