落叶归根 | Getting Home

Getting Home

Zhao is an ageing worker who toils away in Shenzen in order to earn a living. When his friend and colleague Wang suddenly dies, Zhao decides to transport his body back to his native town. He purchases two tickets for the cross-country bus, and pretends that his silent travelling companion has drunk so much alcohol that he has fallen unconscious. Shortly afterwards, the bus is attacked by armed bandits. Zhao asks the bandits to kill him first, so that he can stay with his dead friend forever. Touched by this display of loyalty, the robbers decide to let the bus go. But instead of thanking Zhao, the other passengers throw him and his dead friend off the bus. Pretending that his friend is seriously ill and must be taken to hospital immediately, Zhao tries to flag down passing cars. After spending the night in a hotel, Zhao discovers that all his money has been stolen and begins to lose heart. But he refuses to be browbeaten. Whenever he needs money, he rearranges Wong so that he looks like a beggar. And whenever he is hungry, he joins a funeral party and bawls his eyes out so that he can enjoy the food served at the wake. During his odyssey across China Zhao is obliged to get along with all kinds of people. Just before he reaches his destination, the old man and his dead friend are caught in a torrential downpour, so that now Zhao finds himself engaged in a struggle against nature.

Directed by Yang Zhang | Starring : Benshan Zhao, Dandan Song, Degang Guo, Haiying Sun, Ma Wu | Presented at Berlin Film Festival, Bangkok Film Festival, Cinemanila Film Festival, Vladivostok Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, St. Louis Film Festival, Kerala Film Festival, Wisconsin Film Festival, Edmonton Film Festival

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上海伦巴 | Shanghai Lunba

Shanghai Lunba

The last film of Peng Xiaolian’s Shanghai Trilogy, Shanghai Rumba is based on a true story. The film draws us into 1940’s Shanghai, when Kuomintang’s corruption was at its zenith, while ironically retaining the opulence of its golden age in the film industry. The film is about the making of Crows and Sparrows as well as the difficulties of women’s entry into the society at that time, as told through the story of an actress. Wanyu’s life has been marked by historical turmoil and changes in Shanghai at the time. She is forced to play the role of the good wife after marrying into a wealthy family, but cannot shake off her true calling as a film actress after being inspired by Gone with the Wind. Chosen as a heroine for Crows and Sparrows and free from her stifling and restricted life, her dream comes true. Wanyu falls in love with Ah Chuan, who plays opposite her in the film. But he gives up her love because of the burdens his family has imposed on him. They part ways and meet again on the set of a film several years later. The life of an actress, who never gives up her dream and love in the mist of turmoil, unfolds through the alternating focus on the inside and outside of the 1940’s Shanghai film scene. Though based on a true story, this is the most glamorous and dramatic of Peng’s films.

Directed by Xiaolian Peng | Starring : Quan Yuan, Yu Xia, Yi Guan, Jie Cui, Xin Gao | Presented at N/A

电影往事 | Electric Shadows

Electric Shadows

It was a golden age of movies, like to watch movies want to be a movie actor female announcer Jiang Xuehua (Jiang Hongbo ornaments) unwed gave birth to a daughter like watching the same movie Lingling. This kind of elementary school understand the bad boy Mao Xiaobing Mao Xiaobing frame magic telescope, the telescope can see any want to see the movie, two people become good friends because of the movie, when Mao Xiaobing go gave the telescope the Ling-Ling Chiang. Later, the same is the movie lasting bonds, Jiang Xuehua and movie projectionist Pan Daren married soon gave birth to a son Bingbing, Lingling feeling by the threat to their own position in the home. Later, an accident, and Lingling climbed the roof watching movies brother accidentally fall killed the father of a slap in the face for Lingling runaways. Mao Xiaobing has long become Maotai Bing (Xia Yu ornaments), makes him an unexpected encounter Lingling almost deaf, mentally unstable, thus opening a dusty past.

Directed by Jiang Xiao | Starring : Yu Xia, Yihong Jiang, Zhengjia Wang, Shan Jiang, Haibin Li | Presented at Toronto Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival, Marrakech Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival

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

西洋镜 | Shadow Magic

Shadow Magic

Director Ann Hu’s arthouse drama tells the story of Raymond, an itinerant Englishman who is the first to bring motion pictures to China. While conservatives frown upon the Western invention, the images are a marvel to peasants and royalty alike. Raymond’s hand-cranked projector casts images that all at once threaten and amaze the Chinese audience, many of whom have a difficult time reconciling technology and tradition.

Directed by Ann Hu | Starring : Yu Xia, Jared Harris, Peiqi Liu, Liping Lü, Yufei Xing | Presented at Toronto Film Festival, Tokyo 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