日照重庆 | Chongqing Blues

Chongqing Blues2

Award-winning Chinese filmmaker Wang Xiaoshuai explores new territories with his latest film Chongqing Blues, which was Mainland China’s only entry in the main competition of the Cannes Film Festival 2010. Inspired by a true hostage case that happened in Chongqing, the film digs into the heart of a guilt-ridden father who seeks redemption after the tragic death of his estranged son. Upon returning from his voyages, shipmaster Lin Quanhai is informed that his son was gunned down by the police half a year ago in a supermarket robbery. The tragedy prompts Lin to return to his Chongqing hometown to find out what happened to his son, whom he hasn’t seen in 13 years. His quest eventually brings him to the painful realization that he is the one to blame, having inflicted indelible damages to the ones closest to him through his long absence and negligence.

Directed by Xiaoshuai Wang | Starring : Xueqi Wang, Bingbing Fan, Hao Qin, Yi Zi, Feier Li | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Warsaw Film Festival, London Film Festival, Tokyo Film Festival, Göteborg Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival

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卡拉是条狗 | Cala, My Dog!

Cala My Dog

The humdrum existence of a Beijing factory worker and his family is disrupted when their beloved dog is confiscated by the police for being unlicensed. The worker has but 24 hours to raise the sizable sum required to pay the license fee.

Directed by Xuechang Lu | Starring : You Ge, Jiali Ding, Bin Li, Xiaogang Feng, Qinqin Li | Presented at N/A

头发乱了 | Dirt

Dirt

Four childhood friends are reunited in Beijing when one of them returns to live there while studying nursing. Ye Tong, who relishes the idea of returning here to touch the past, narrates this tale of lives that intertwine again. In childhood, they had played in the alleyway of their connected homes; as adults, the alley is a place of danger and threats. Director Guan Hu uses this story to herald the emergence of a new generation of filmmakers in China. Dirt uses the rising rock music scene in Beijing to depict the Sixth Generation movement that arose after the Tiananmen Square protest of 1989. As the film’s story unfolds, Tong’s life gets complicated as she finds herself attracted to one of her childhood friends, Wei, a local rock band leader. His long, flowing black hair and his lean, muscular body are seductive, and Tong falls for him and his music. Wei lets her play in the band, distracting her from her nursing studies and from the other childhood friends. Tragic realities unfold for these Beijing friends and seal their fate and future.

Directed by Hu Guan | Starring : Lin Kong, Xie Kun, Geng Le, Jia-yi Zhang, Jiali Ding | Presented at N/A

蓝风筝 | The Blue Kite

The Blue Kite

Told from the perspective of a young boy, Tietou, this film traces the fate of a Beijing family and their neighbors as they experience the political and social upheavals in the 1950s and 1960s China.

Directed by Zhuangzhuang Tian | Starring : Liping Lü, Cunxin Pu, Xuejian Li, Xiaoying Song, Ping Zong | Presented at Toronto Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Tokyo Film Festival, Hawaii Film Festival

大太监李莲英 | Li Lianying, the Imperial Eunuch

Li Lianying

Tian admits that this chamber epic was not a ‘personal’ project; for a film which began shooting only a few months after the Tiananmen Square massacre, it certainly feels more like a flight into history than even an oblique response to the moment. Spanning the last five decades of the Qing Dynasty, it centres on the oddly affectionate relationship between Empress Dowager Cixi and her chief eunuch; the stars were a real life couple at the time. The often filmed historical facts are rehearsed efficiently enough: the folly of deflecting naval funds to the building of the Summer Palace, puppet emperor Guangxu’s ill fated bid for autonomy as a reformist and so on. But the film is vindicated by its prime mover Jiang Wen’s colossal performance as Li; no other actor has ever gone deeper into the implications of castration and living as a neutered animal.

Directed by Zhuangzhuang Tian | Starring : Wen Jiang, Xiaoqing Liu, Fan Xu, Xu Zhu, Jiali Ding | Presented at Berlin Film Festival