荡寇 | Plastic City

Plastic City

Liberdade, São Paulo– a multi-ethnic neighborhood with the largest Japanese immigrant community in the world. Here, traditional Japanese achitecture clashes with the gritty urban landscapes, while people of all races come here to do business – legal or illegal. This is where the story of Plastic City begins… Yuda, a feared Chinese outlaw, and his adopted son Kirin, an impulsive young dreamer, together rule the pirated goods racket in the ultra-liberal Brazilian metropolis. The magnate and his heir control all of from rival gangs to street hawkers, corrupt politicians to erotic dancers. But an empire that takes years to build can also crumble to the ground with one fatal mistake… A conspiracy between politicians and the mafia begins to threaten Yuda’s power. Little by little, he loses control of his business and is ultimately arrested. Kirin struggles to re-conquer his father’s honor, fighting this city’s wars singlehandedly. But Yuda, tired of the bloodshed and feeling the weight of his years, abandons his son, falsifies his own death and returns to the jungle in a last attempt to put an end to his criminal life. Escaping from a complex maze of violence, Kirin sets out to find his father. In the mysterious jungle, father and son both have to wipe the slate of their past clean. Only in the end will Kirin discover the ultimate answer to the search for his own destiny.

Directed by Nelson Yu Lik-wai | Starring : Jô Odagiri, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, Yi Huang, Chao-jung Chen, Tainá Müller | Presented at Venice Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, AFI Film Festival, Stockholm Film Festival, Febio Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, Sao Paulo Film Festival

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吴清源 | The Go Master

The Go Master

The latest film from celebrated Fifth Generation director Tian Zhuangzhuang, The Go Master shines a light on the life and times of Wu Qingyuan. Better know by his Japanese name Go Seigen, Wu is considered the greatest Go player of the 20th century, his talents bringing him from his native China to a professional career in Japan when he was only a teenager. Based on Wu’s autobiography, this elegantly shot and remarkably restrained biopic follows the life of a singular figure, fascinating not only for his genius and achievements in the game of Go, but also for his unique experiences as a Chinese man in Japan during an immensely turbulent period in history. With the breakout of the Sino-Japanese War in the 1930s, Wu Qingyuan and his family are thrown into an uncomfortable and dangerous position as Chinese nationals residing in Japan. While Wu’s family returns to China, he chooses to stay behind in his adopted country to continue to pursue the game of Go. In the quiet recluse of his school, there are no politics, only the singular dedication to his art and the love for his wife Kazuko. However, the chaos of the times eventually forces him out of his enclave, throwing his life and mind into conflict. Wu joins a cult in a sober pursuit of faith and his own ongoing battle to come to terms with himself.

Directed by Zhuangzhuang Tian | Starring : Chen Chang, Sylvia Chang, Xuejian Li, Ayumi Ito, Yi Huang | Presented at New York Film Festival, Rome Film Festival, Hong Kong Film Festival, Ankara Film Festival, Shanghai Film Festival, Bangkok Film Festival, Cinemanila Film Festival

长恨歌 | Everlasting Regret

Everlasting Regret

Adapted from Wang Anyi’s award-winning novel, the film follows the life of a legendary Shanghai beauty, Wang Qiyao, whose fading glamour is mirrored by the prosperous growth of the city of Shanghai. The film co-stars Tony Leung Ka Fai, Hu Jun, Daniel Wu, and Huang Jue as men who fall for Wang Qiyao. Yet those she loves just leave her one after another when she grows old, and eventually she herself has to face what fate has prepared for her. The metropolitan city is perhaps the only thing that can survive all the drastic changes and remain forever young… Everlasting Regret resembles Stanley Kwan’s Center Stage thematically for both detail the rise and fall of a Shanghainese woman, but Everlasting Regret ambitiously covers a longer period from 1940s to 1980s, almost half a century. The nostalgic mood of the film reminds of Kwan’s best-known piece Rouge. Art Director William Chang, famous for creating a nostalgic atmosphere in Wong Kar Wai’s In the Mood for Love and 2046, successfully reconstructs the lifestyle of old Shanghai.

Directed by Stanley Kwan | Starring : Sammi Cheng, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Daniel Wu, Jun Hu, Jue Huang | Presented at Venice Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, Tokyo Film Festival, Cinemanila Film Festival