我十一 | 11 Flowers

11 Flowers

One of China’s foremost Sixth Generation directors, Wang Xiaoshuai (Beijing Bicycle, Shanghai Dreams) tells a striking, autobiographical coming-of-age tale set in the final days of China’s Cultural Revolution. Eleven-year-old Wang Han lives with his family in a remote village in Guizhou province. When Wang is selected to lead his school through their daily gymnastic regiment, his teacher recommends that he wear a clean, new shirt in honor of this important position – a request that forces his family to make a great sacrifice.

Directed by Xiaoshuai Wang | Starring : Ni Yan, Jinchun Wang, Wenqing Liu, Renlang Qiao, Yi Zi | Presented at Toronto Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival, Pusan Film Festival, Tokyo Film Festival, Les Arcs Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Göteborg Film Festival, Istanbul Film Festival, Taipei Film Festival, St. Louis Film Festival, Fribourg Film Festival

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桃姐 | A Simple Life

A Simple Life

Based on a true story, the film centres on Ah Tao, an amah who has worked for the Leung family for four generations. She lives with and takes care of Roger, a film producer who is the only member of the Leung household still living in Hong Kong. Roger returns home one day and finds Ah Tao unconscious after a stroke. Convinced she has becoming a burden, Tao resigns and moves into a retirement home. But upon her arrival, she continues to be taken care of by Roger, who realizes just how important she is to him. He decides to do his best to watch after the person who has nurtured him all his life. But Ah Tao’s health is fast deteriorating. Hui has always excelled when telling stories of everyday life. In A Simple Life, she delivers a rich and heartwarming drama that not only deals with the many abandoned old people in Hong Kong, but also exquisitely captures the unique relationship between the amah and the family for which she cares. In an age when loyalty between employers and employees is fast disappearing, A Simple Life highlights a culture that has almost ceased to exist in Hong Kong: one in which a person devotes their life to serving a family, and in return is cherished as much as any other relative.

Directed by Ann Hui | Starring : Andy Lau, Deannie Yip, Hailu Qin, Fuli Wang, Paul Chun | Presented at Venice Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, London Film Festival, Stockholm Film Festival, Dubai Film Festival, Palm Springs Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Okinawa Film Festival, Durban Film Festival, Istanbul Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival, Munich Film Festival, Portland Film Festival

中国姑娘 | She, a Chinese

She A Chinese

Mei, a young Chinese girl bored with life in her little village, decides to quit for the nearest town, Chongqing. But life there isn’t much easier either; sacked from a clothing factory shortly after starting work, she makes do with a job in a hairdressing salon. There she meets and falls for Spikey, a local mafia’s contract killer. For this brute of a man – who has no qualms about asking her to beat him in the street with a nunchaku – she seems simply another notch on the bedpost. One evening, he comes home covered in blood and dies at her feet. Mei discovers several bundles of banknotes under his mattress, and sets off for London where she has an opportunity to marry Mister Hunt, a man of seventy. In her new husband’s silent home, a new life begins. Will she be satisfied with this monotonous routine? Paced to an original soundtrack by John Parish – working with PJ Harvey and the band Eels – and chaptered in telling titles such as Sometimes you wonder who you really are and Mei feels love under the Big Ben calendar, Xiaolu Guo has made a film in which the challenges Mei must confront do not deter her quest for a more promising future. The filmmaker uses elements of nature – stifling summer heat, a duck bleeding to death, a dog wolfed down by a fox –to express her protagonist’s feelings. Through this journey and the people Mei meets, She, a Chinese conjures the mix of cultures in the early 21st century and how people, lifestyles, consumer goods, and music all cross borders. Although these cross-cultural currents bring about a degree of chaos in Mei’s life, she finds the will to escape isolation, and to follow her desires, come what may.

Directed by Xiaolu Guo | Starring : Lu Huang, Wei Yi Bo, Geoffrey Hutchings, Chris Ryman, Hsinyi Liu | Presented at Locarno Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Hamburg Film Festival, Ghent Film Festival, Pusan Film Festival, Sao Paulo Film Festival, London Film Festival, Vienna Film Festival, Mar del Plata Film Festival, Göteborg Film Festival, Istanbul Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival, Melbourne Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro Film Festival

盲山 | Blind Mountain

Blind Mountain

There are two ways to take on Li Yang’s potent, concise Blind Mountain, and both have horns: as the howling social-critique screed it was intended to be, and as a Chinese realist version of the “white trash” exploitation epics of the American ’60s and ’70s — which makes the dynamic of the story universally human, not exclusively Chinese. But Chinese it is in actuality, through and through: simply put, unemployed college grad Bai accepts a job to collect medicinal herbs in the remote northern country, and after landing in a secluded village wakes up to find herself literally sold into slavery, as a bought-and-paid-for bride for a local ne’er-do-well.

Directed by Yang Li | Starring : Lu Huang, Youan Yang, Yunle He, Yuling Zhang, Yingao Jia | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Hawaii Film Festival, Bratislava Film Festival, Portland Film Festival, Istanbul Film Festival

最好的时光 | Three Times

Three Times

Three stories of women and men: in 1966, “A Time for Love,” a soldier searches for a young woman he met one afternoon playing pool; “A Time for Freedom,” set in a bordello in 1911, revolves around a singer’s longing to escape her surroundings; in 2005 in Taipei, “A Time for Youth” dramatizes a triangle in which a singer has an affair with a photographer while her partner suffers. In the first two stories, letters are crucial to the outcome; in the third, it’s cell-phone calls, text messages, and a computer file. Over the years between the tales, as sexual intimacy becomes more likely and words more free, communication recedes.

Directed by Hsiao-hsien Hou | Starring : Qi Shu, Chen Chang, Shi-Zheng Chen, Fang Mei, Lawrence Ko | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Taipei Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, New York Film Festival, London Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, San Francisco Film Festival, Istanbul Film Festival, Indianapolis Film Festival, Yerevan Film Festival, Helsinki Film Festival

十面埋伏 | House of Flying Daggers

House of Flying Daggers

Towards the end of the Tang dynasty, the Emperor’s rule is waning and corruption is rife, and many groups are formed in society to challenge the authorities. Out of all the groups, the most powerful is The House Of Flying Daggers. The government decides to send Feng Tian County’s top captains Leo and Jin to capture the new leader within 10 days. Leo suspects that Mei, the beautiful new dancer at the Peony Pavilion, is the daughter of the old leader, and Leo decides to send Jin disguised as a warrior called Wind to rescue Mei, and to ensnare her trust so she’ll lead them to the secret headquarters of The House Of Flying Daggers. But as Jin and Mei spend more time together, they begin to develop feelings and desire for each other. However danger is lurking from all corners, and can Jin and Mei really love each other when there are secrets being hidden from both sides?

Directed by Yimou Zhang | Starring : Ziyi Zhang, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Andy Lau, Dandan Song, Jun Guo | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Copenhagen Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Bergen Film Festival, Vienna Film Festival, London Film Festival, AFI Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival, Dublin Film Festival, Iceland Film Festival, Cairo Film Festival, Istanbul Film Festival

不散 | Goodbye Dragon Inn

Goodbye Dragon Inn

A Japanese tourist takes refuge from a rainstorm inside a once-popular movie theater, a decrepit old barn of a cinema that is screening a martial arts classic, King Hu’s 1966 “Dragon Inn.” Even with the rain bucketing down outside, it doesn’t pull much of an audience – and some of those who have turned up are less interested in the movie than in the possibility of meeting a stranger in the dark.

Directed by Ming-liang Tsai | Starring : Kang-sheng Lee, Shiang-chyi Chen, Kiyonobu Mitamura, Tien Miao, Chao-jung Chen | Presented at Venice Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Pusan Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Vienna Film Festival, Tokyo Film Festival, London Film Festival, Hawaii Film Festival, Stockholm Film Festival, Oslo Film Festival, Nantes Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Febio Film Festival, Belgrade Film Festival, Wisconsin Film Festival, Buenos Aires Film Festival, Istanbul Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival, Singapore Film Festival, Munich Film Festival, La Rochelle Film Festival, Maine Film Festival