搜索 | Caught in the Web

Caught in the Web

The story of three women whose worlds collide, Caught in the Web is a social commentary about the ‘sound bite’ society we are becoming, where perception becomes reality and judgments based on limited facts quickly spread, without regard for the truth or the damage they could cause.

Directed by Kaige Chen | Starring : Yuanyuan Gao, Chen Yao, Mark Chao, Hong Chen, Xueqi Wang | Presented at Toronto Film Festival

赵氏孤儿 | Sacrifice


For more than four generations the members of the Zhao clan have held the highest positions in the land. Zhao Dun is currently chancellor and his son, Zhao Shuo, a general in the royal army. He is married to the king’s older sister, Zhuang Ji. Tu’an Gu, the Zhao’s arch-enemy, is not content to accept the clan’s power and influence; he incites a massacre which decimates the entire Zhao clan – over 300 members of this family fall victim to the carnage which leaves no-one alive. As her husband faces death, Zhuang Ji goes into labour and gives birth to the last Zhao. She dies in childbirth and the doctor, Cheng Ying, takes the baby into his care. This news reaches Tu’an Gu and, angered that his plan to wipe out the clan might be thwarted, he takes all the babies of the city hostage until the last descendant of the Zhao is found. The doctor Cheng Ying has also just become a father. When Tu’an Gu’s soldiers arrive to take away his son, his wife hides her own child and gives the soldiers the little Zhao, pretending that he is her child. Shortly afterwards they find the baby that Cheng Ying’s wife was hiding. Taking him to be the last member of the Zhao clan, Tu’an Gu has the boy killed. The townsfolk’s children that were being held hostage are given back to their families. The last Zhao now grows up as Cheng Ying’s son in the doctor’s house. Years go by. Cheng Ying decides to take his step-son with him to serve at Tu’an Gu’s court. Tu’an Gu becomes a patron of the last Zhao. But Cheng Ying has other plans in mind – plans in which his step-son will play a central role.

Directed by Kaige Chen | Starring : You Ge, Xueqi Wang, Fengyi Zhang, Xiaoming Huang, Bingbing Fan | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Mill Valley Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro Film Festival, Abu Dhabi Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival

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

麦田 | Wheat


In the Kingdom of Zhao, all the men have left for war and Lady Li (Fan Bingbing), wife of the absent lord, says victory will soon bring their men back home. When two enemy deserters invade the kingdom they pretend to be Zhao soldiers and improvise a tale for Lady Li describing Zhao’s victory. Word of the supposed victory spreads rapidly throughout the town, causing misplaced optimism among the women until the truth is revealed and despair and horror emerge.

Directed by Ping He | Starring : Bingbing Fan, Zhiwen Wang, Jue Huang, Jiayi Du, Xueqi Wang | Presented at Shanghai Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Ghent Film Festival, Tokyo Film Festival

梅兰芳 | Forever Enthralled

Forever Enthralled

Acclaimed Fifth Generation director Chen Kaige brings the tumultuous life of Peking Opera legend Mei Lanfang to the big screen in the highly anticipated biopic Forever Enthralled. The inspiration for Leslie Cheung’s character in Chen Kaige’s 1993 masterpiece Farewell My Concubine, Mei Lanfang was one of the greatest Peking Opera stars of modern China. An actor who specializes in female roles, he was renowned for his great beauty on stage and performed extensively around the world, famously introducing Peking Opera to Western audiences. Pulling viewers into a riveting world of musical allure and historical tumult in early 20th century China, Forever Enthralled follows Mei Lanfang’s amazing, inevitable rise to fame – from his bold challenges against his teacher as a teenager, to his US tour that brought New York to its feet, and finally to his refusal to sing during the Japanese Occupation period. Portrayed in youth by newcomer Yu Shaoqun and in adulthood by Hong Kong star Leon Lai, Mei Lanfang embodies the professional and emotional struggles of a man whose life belonged not to himself, but to the stage.

Directed by Kaige Chen | Starring : Leon Lai, Ziyi Zhang, Honglei Sun, Hong Chen, Xueqi Wang | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Seattle Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro Film Festival, Ghent Film Festival

天地英雄 | Warriors of Heaven and Earth

Warriors of Heaven and Earth

North of the vast 8th century Tang dynasty Chinese empire, the commercially and culturally priceless silk route is controlled by 36 friendly Buddhist kingdoms. Their are threatened by Turkic nomad tribes, the caravans also by brigand bands. Japanese scholar Lai Qimay not return home until the emperor is satisfied with his missions to retrieve refugees from the barren border lands. The last is competent imperial lieutenant Li, who was proscribed for refusing to execute Turkic prisoners. He now lives among fellow warriors for hire as caravan escorts. Lai Qi and Li reach a gentleman’s agreement to postpone their lethal duel till after the safe arrival of a caravan including a young Buddhist monk and his mysterious freight. When Turkic warlord Khan’s daughter’s hand seals an alliance with brigand sword master An, the only way out is trough the grimly dry Gobi desert.

Directed by Ping He | Starring : Wen Jiang, Kiichi Nakai, Xueqi Wang, Wei Zhao, Bagen Hasi | Presented at Tokyo Film Festival, Melbourne Film Festival, Oslo Film Festival

阳光灿烂的日子 | In the Heat of the Sun

In the Heat of the Sun

“Change has wiped out my memories. I can’t tell what’s imagined from what’s real” One central obsession, time, preoccupies all of the greatest Chinese language films of the ‘90s. Each of these films in some way makes the most radical demands on our experience of temporality, exposes the ideological underpinnings of our preconceptions about time, and insists on a vision of breathtaking, liberating alternatives. Although it played in a few film festivals, In the Heat of the Sun remains largely unknown outside of China. Jiang Wen and writer Wang Shuo (the cynical “bad boy” of new Chinese literature) collaborated on this 1994 feature about coming-of-age in 1970s Beijing. A cast made up largely of young teenagers portrays what it might have been like to be young, privileged, and completely unfettered in a Beijing largely depopulated of adult authority figures by Mao’s Cultural Revolution. The film’s politics, though, are implied — mere shadows on its margins. Jiang’s camera, wandering at will through space, and tracking and backtracking through time, embodies an absolute freedom just out of reach of the film’s principals. Ostensibly a nostalgia film about the Cultural Revolution’s “good old days”, this film is much more: a self-consciously post-modern, post-“fifth generation” dismantling of the modern Chinese realist film; an ironic, romance-drenched interrogation of the possibility of eros and passion in a totalitarian era; and a meditation on the traps and opportunities afforded by creative mis-remembering.

Directed by Wen Jiang | Starring : Yu Xia, Wen Jiang, Geng Le, Jing Ning, Xueqi Wang | Presented at Venice Film Festival

大阅兵 | The Big Parade

The Big Parade

For eight months in 1985, 10,000 Chinese men and women underwent a grueling training program to prepare for a parade celebrating the 35th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic. The drilling was harsh and unsparing: The rookies were required to maintain formation for three hours in the sun, to march in torrential rain, to stand at attention on one foot. Chen Kaige, a member of the noted Fifth Generation of young Chinese filmmakers, won acclaim throughout the world for Yellow Earth. But some of his supporters took him to task for The Big Parade, which they saw as glorifying the martial spirit. The film, however, evidently failed to please the authorities too; it was shelved for two years and a new, presumably more positive ending, was required. Chen says that his motive was neither to extol nor to criticize military virtues. “To put it simply, our primary concern is the relationship and the problems that arise between individuals and the group, personality and communal spirit, man and his environment, in a constantly changing world. What we studied is not what the big parade achieved, but the social psychology that surfaced in the training program.”

Directed by Kaige Chen | Starring : Xueqi Wang, Chun Sun, Li Tung, Lu Lei, Qiang Guan | Presented at Montréal Film Festival, Torino Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival

黄土地 | Yellow Earth

Yellow Earth

A first feature by the 32-year-old Chen Kaige, Yellow Earth is the breakthrough film that the Chinese cinema has been needing for many, many years. It is set in the arid hills of Northern Shaanxi in 1939. A soldier arrives in a mountain village and is billeted with a poor widower and his daughter and son; the soldier has been sent from the Communist base at Yan’an to collect local songs as examples of peasant culture. He is disturbed and baffled by much of what he finds in the village and when he learns that the widower’s 12-year-old daughter is to be forced into a marriage, he realizes helplessly that he is a powerless to intervene…. The film’s political candor matches its aesthetic daring. The images, exquisitely composed, derive from the traditions of Shaanxi peasant painting and Chen uses them as the basis for a film “language” unlike anything else in contemporary cinema. The summit of his achievement is that he makes his new language sing.

Directed by Kaige Chen | Starring : Xueqi Wang, Bai Xue, Quiang Liu, Tuo Tan | Presented at Locarno Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Hawaii Film Festival, Edinburgh Film Festival