马背上的法庭 | Courthouse on Horseback

Courthouse on Horseback

In Southwest China’s Yunnan Province, a traveling law court is doing the rounds. Feng, an experienced judge in his fifties, is assisted by Auntie Yang the, court clerk, and Ah-Luo, a recent college graduate. However, the troupe unravels when they reach a village where Ah-Luo is to be married as an unexpected incident leads to confrontation.

Directed by Jie Liu | Starring : Baotian Li, Yaning Yang, Li Tingliang, Yulai Lu | Presented at Venice Film Festival

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有话好好说 | Keep Cool

Keep Cool

Utilizing a hand-held camera to create a frantic, off-balance effect that is radically different from the techniques with which he made his films best known to Western audiences Raise the Red Lantern and Ju Dou, Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou has made a fast-paced modern comedy that serves as an allegory for the state of China in the late 1990s. The story’s protagonist is Xiao Shuai, a bookseller who falls in love with the seductive, free-spirited An Hong. To learn her address, Xiao follows her, but An spurns his advances. He refuses to give up; eventually she caves in and invites him to her home for some quick love. Unfortunately they start, but are interrupted at a crucial moment. Later Xiao is accosted by the burly henchmen of An’s new lover, a sleazy nightclub owner. They are beating him like an old rug when Lao Zhang, an old researcher, intervenes. During the scuffle, his prized laptop computer is smashed and later, he demands that Xiao replace it. But Xiao cares nothing for the destroyed laptop; he only wants revenge upon his attackers. Together he and Lao arrange to meet the villains in their club for a showdown.

Directed by Yimou Zhang | Starring : Wen Jiang, You Ge, Ying Qu, Baotian Li, Benshan Zhao | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Sao Paulo Film Festival

摇啊摇,摇到外婆桥 | Shanghai Triad

Shanghai Triad

Zhang Yimou’s Shanghai Triad won the Technical Grand Prize at Cannes Film Festival in 1995, and was also nominated for the prestigious Golden Palm. Having collaborated with Zhang Yimou for a few artistically acclaimed titles including Raise the Red Lantern, Gong Li had by then made a name for herself as an actress. After Shanghai Triad, she stopped working with Zhang for more than a decade until Curse of the Golden Flower reunited them in 2006. Wonderfully colored and visually sumptuous, Shanghai Triad also received a nomination for Best Cinematography at the Oscars. Shanghai Triad, a film noir by genre, shows triad life through the eyes of a teenager, a perspective not often seen in this genre. Teenage boy Shuisheng moves from the countryside to Shanghai to stay with his uncle, who is under triad leader Tang. Tang sends Shuisheng to serve his mistress Xiao Jinbao (Gong Li). She has an affair with Song, another triad leader who plans to seize power from Tang. Shuisheng, innocent and naive, involuntarily gets involved in a power struggle which may explode at any time.

Directed by Yimou Zhang | Starring : Li Gong, Baotian Li, Wang Xiaoxiao, Xuejian Li, Chun Sun | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, New York Film Festival, London Film Festival

菊豆 | Ju Dou

Ju Dou

A woman married to the brutal and infertile owner of a dye mill in rural China conceives a boy with her husband’s nephew but is forced to raise her son as her husband’s heir without revealing his parentage in this circular tragedy. Filmed in glowing technicolour, this tale of romantic and familial love in the face of unbreakable tradition is more universal than its setting.

Directed by Yimou Zhang | Starring : Li Gong, Baotian Li, Wei Li, Zhang Yi, Xingli Niu | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, New York Film Festival, London Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, Valladolid Film Festival, Melbourne Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival

人·鬼·情 | Woman Demon Human

Woman Demon Human

A girl born in the “theatrical trunk” grows up under the lights of her parents’ Peking Opera Company. This complete immersion into theatrical life naturally leads her to the stage. She is trained by her father to play traditional roles. Her dream was to be the first woman to play the more significant male roles. This was completely against tradition. She suffers discrimination and humiliation, but in the end turns adversity into admiration when she becomes the first woman to play a great mythical hero in Peking Opera, defying all tradition and destroying all precedents. Breathtaking performances and cinematographic artistry create a powerful and visually stunning tale. No less could be expected from the masterful hand of the brilliant female director, Huang Shuqin.

Directed by Shuqin Huang | Starring : Shouli Xu, Baotian Li, Yanling Pei, Yining Song, Li Cun | Presented at N/A