地下的天空 | The Shaft

The Shaft

In a mining town in western China, separately, we follow three members of a family. Each individual family members’ story flows from one to another chronologically, although they do not simply trace the continual development of a single family. There is the daughter who has to choose between her dreams and a suitable husband, the son who is about to start work down the mine, and the father who has just retired. Their lives are inextricably bound together as they symbolically represent the men and women from all mining towns who must accept their thwarted dreams and aspirations, and learn to accept their lot in life.

Directed by Chi Zhang | Starring : Deyuan Luo, Xuan Huang, Luoqian Zheng, Chen Li, Qiya Gong | Presented at Edinburgh Film Festival, Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Hamburg Film Festival, Ghent Film Festival, Marrakech Film Festival, Sao Paulo Film Festival, Torino Film Festival, Palm Springs Film Festival, Seattle Film Festival

二十四城记 | 24 City

24 City

A masterful film from Jia Zhang-ke, the renowned director chronicles the dramatic closing of a once-prosperous state-owned aeronautics factory in Chengdu, a city in Southwest China, and its conversion into a sprawling luxury apartment complex. Bursting with poetry, pop songs and striking visual detail, the film weaves together unforgettable stories from three generations of workers – some real, some played by actors – into a vivid portrait of the human struggle behind China’s economic miracle.

Directed by Zhang Ke Jia | Starring : Tao Zhao, Joan Chen, Jianbin Chen, Liping Lü | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Sao Paulo Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, London Film Festival, Mar del Plata Film Festival, Torino Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Glasgow Film Festival, Cleveland Film Festival, Wisconsin Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro Film Festival, St. Louis Film Festival

黑社会 | Election

Election

Every two years senior members of Hong Kong’s oldest Triad, The Wo Shing Society, elect a new chairman. Fierce rivalries emerge between the two eligible candidates. Lok, respected by the Uncles is the favorite to win. His rival Big D will stop at nothing to change this by going against hundreds of years of Triad tradition – influencing the vote with money and violence. When Wo Shing’s ancient symbol of leadership, the Dragon’s Head Baton, goes missing, a ruthless struggle for power erupts and the race to retrieve the Baton threatens to tear Wo Shing in two. Can Wo Shing balance their traditional brotherhood ways with the cut-throat modern world of 21st century business?

Directed by Johnnie To | Starring : Simon Yam, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Louis Koo, Nick Cheung, Ka Tung Lam | Presented at Cannes Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro Film Festival, Torino Film Festival, Sitges Film Festival, La Rochelle Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Pusan Film Festival, Buenos Aires Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival

天边一朵云 | The Wayward Cloud

The Wayward Cloud

The most audacious film to date from visionary director Tsai Ming-liang, The Wayward Cloud is about a porn actor and the museum tour guide who enters into a strange relationship with him, unaware of his profession. Hsiao-kang is the same alienated youth whose chance encounter with Shiang-chyi provided the spark that fueled Tsai’s earlier films. Once again, these two lost souls cross paths—he now works as an actor in no-budget porn films, and she wanders around Taipei, hoarding bottles of water because of a serious drought. In fact, the government is recommending that people eat watermelons to hydrate themselves. This fruit sets in motion a perverse (and often hilarious) symbolic theme throughout much of the film. As in his earlier film The Hole, Tsai adds trashy, campy musical numbers into the narrative. These sequences play against the raw sex scenes, creating a bizarre, existential chaos. The filmmaker has created a perfectly realized alternative universe in his ongoing exploration of sex, bodies, and loneliness. His stationary camera perfectly illustrates the isolation and exploitation the characters are trapped in—yet the film is as funny as it is emotionally tortured. Tsai’s characters are indeed wayward clouds, drifting through life without purpose, in a world without water. And prepare yourself for the film’s unbelievable final scene, which manages to be both weirdly erotic and profoundly disturbing.

Directed by Ming-liang Tsai | Starring : Kang-sheng Lee, Shiang-chyi Chen, Yi-Ching Lu, Kuei-Mei Yang, Sumomo Yozakura | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Brisbane Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, Sitges Film Festival, Stockholm Film Festival, Torino Film Festival, Nantes Film Festival, Alba Regia Film Festival, Helsinki Film Festival

假装没感觉 | Shanghai Women

Shanghai Women

After Women’s Story, Peng returns to the most straightforward representation of women’s issues in Shanghai Women, a film about three rural women. As the first work in Peng’s Shanghai Trilogy, Shanghai Women describes the problem that women encounter trying to secure urban (residential) space through the story of women from three generations: a grandmother, mother and a daughter, Ah-xia. Fed up with her philandering husband, the mother decides to divorce and moves with Ah-xia to grandmother’s. The grandmother lives with her son, with his wedding on the horizon. Grandmother’s becomes too cramped for comfort because of the larger family. To secure their place, mother accepts a reluctant marriage arranged by the grandmother, with Li, who lives with his son. Li is nitpicking, stingy, and even violent and finally the mother and Ah-xia leave the place together. The mother considers a remarriage with her ex-husband but Ah-xia encourages her mother to make their own future together and find their own place. The film reveals the realities of an urban divorced woman and her insecure life if she leaves her husband’s house in a scene where mother and daughter ceaselessly wander about creek-side areas in Shanghai.

Directed by Xiaolian Peng | Starring : Liping Lü, Haiying Sun, Zhenyao Zheng, Wenqian Zhou, Jing-ming Shi | Presented at Cairo Film Festival, Nantes Film Festival

命带追逐 | Mirror Image

Mirror Image

Pawnshop manager Lin Tung-Ching’s life has become too unpredictable since the lifeline of his left hand was damaged in a motorcycle accident. His girlfriend Eiko is desperate to find a way to help Tung-Ching retrieve his lifeline. She suggests they take customers palm prints, so she can practice her palm-reading. Even though Eiko is helping him, Lin feels attracted to a another girl, one who came to collect her pawned watch. He manages to meet her without Eiko knowing.

Directed by Ya-chuan Hsiao | Starring : Hsiao-fan Fan, Jiunn-jye Lee, Era Wang, Dei-yuan Chu, Li-wei Yang | Presented at Hong Kong Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Marrakech Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, London Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival, Torino Film Festival, Buenos Aires Film Festival, Jeonju Film Festival

周末情人 | Weekend Lover

Weekend Lover

Weekend Lover’s noir-style and tales of violent disaffected youth led to its comparison with similar films of the period, notably Zhang Yuan’s Beijing Bastards. Like that film, Weekend Lover is also considered a defining film for the “Sixth Generation” of Chinese cinema, particularly in its tone and subject matter that focuses on modern urban life instead of traditional Chinese history. The film follows a young man, A Xi who is recently released from prison. Once released, he seeks out his old girlfriend Li Xin who has since begun a relationship with La La a young musician. As the two men vie for her attention, tension and violence escalate.

Directed by Ye Lou | Starring : Xiaoqing Ma, Hongshen Jia, Xiaoshuai Wang, Zhiwen Wan, An Nai | Presented at Torino Film Festival=