三枪拍案惊奇 | A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop

A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop

Master director Yimou Zhang tackles an adaptation of the Coen brothers’ classic Blood Simple in this period dramedy full of slapstick and plot twists. When the owner of a Chinese noodle shop attempts to kill his adulterous wife, the fireworks fly. The proprietor also hopes to eliminate his wife’s woebegone lover, but complications and high-flying action arise courtesy of a rampaging band of feudal soldiers and the shop’s wacky employees.

Directed by Yimou Zhang | Starring : Honglei Sun, Ni Yan, Xiao Shen-Yang, Dahong Ni, Benshan Zhao | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Athens Film Festival, Helsinki Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro Film Festival, Edmonton Film Festival, Sitges Film Festival, Sao Paulo Film Festival, Mar del Plata Film Festival

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透析 | Judge

Judge

In a small northern Chinese city in 1997, Judge Tian privately struggles with the loss of his daughter, killed by a stolen car in a hit-and-run accident. On the bench he encounters Qiuwu, a mechanic accused of stealing two cars. Perhaps influenced by his emotional state, the outwardly impassive judge imposes an almost-obsolete criminal law on Qiuwu that sentences him to death for his crime. Desperate to mitigate his sentence, Qiuwu agrees to donate his kidney to a rich businessman dying of a terminal illness, hoping at the very least that his impoverished family may profit from his demise.

Directed by Jie Liu | Starring : Dahong Ni, Ting Mei, Liang Qi, Zheng Zheng, Yingchun Song | Presented at Venice Film Festival, Pusan Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival, Los Angeles Film Festival, Miami Film Festival

满城尽带黄金甲 | Curse of the Golden Flower

Curse of the Golden Flower

China, Later Tang Dynasty, 10th Century. On the eve of the Chong Yang Festival, golden flowers fill the Imperial Palace. The Emperor returns unexpectedly with his second son, Prince Jai. His pretext is to celebrate the holiday with his family, but given the chilled relations between the Emperor and the ailing Empress, this seems disingenuous. For many years, the Empress and Crown Prince Wan, her stepson, have had an illicit liaison. Feeling trapped, Prince Wan dreams of escaping the palace with his secret love Chan, the Imperial Doctor’s daughter. Meanwhile, Prince Jai, the faithful son, grows worried over the Empress’s health and her obsession with golden chrysanthemums. Could she be headed down an ominous path? The Emperor harbors equally clandestine plans; the Imperial Doctor is the only one privy to his machinations.

Directed by Yimou Zhang | Starring : Yun-Fat Chow, Li Gong, Ye Liu, Jay Chou, Dahong Ni | Presented at Glasgow Film Festival

活着 | To Live

To Live

Directed by 5th generation filmmaker Zhang Yimou; starring Gong Li. When the irresponsible Xu Fugui loses his family’s fortune during a gambling spree, he causes his loved ones incredible hardship. Fugui’s father dies from a heart attack upon hearing the news, and his pregnant wife abandons him. Unable to put bread on the table, even for himself, Fugui works as a street vender, and when his wife notices his uncustomary humility, she returns. Within a year, Fugui desires to open a shop but is unable to raise the necessary funds. Instead of money, the local loan shark gives him his old shadow puppets. Soon, Fugui masters the art of puppetry, which increases his paltry income — but also serves as propaganda for the imminent Communist Revolution.

Directed by Yimou Zhang | Starring : Li Gong, You Ge, Ben Niu, Wu Jiang, Tao Guo | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival