movie reviews

“Flowers of War”: The Reviews Are In

Hollywood star Christian Bale stars in the new Zhang Yimou movie “Flowers of War” about the Rape of Nanking during World War II, which many have seen as Zhang’s effort to secure China’s first Oscar. After...

Mao’s Last Dancer

The Houston Chronicle reviews Mao’s Last Dancer, a film about ballet dancer Li Cunxin, who was the first person in the cultural field to defect from China: Directed by Bruce Beresford from a screenplay by Jan Sardi,...

Men Won’t Cry – Traces of a Repressive Past

In Senses of Cinema, Berenice Reynaud reviews a number of movies from the Vancouver International Film Festival, including four from mainland China: The shadow of lost sons haunts Du Haibin’s 1428, an award-winning (Orizzonti...

Modern Slavery in Rural China

The New York Sun reviews Blind Mountain (盲山), Li Yang’s movie about human trafficking, which is being released in New York this week: Of all the recent movies to tackle the terrifying issue of human trafficking (including...

China’s Alluring ‘Still Life’ Runs Deep

The Boston Globe reviews Jia Zhang-ke’s Still Life (三峡好人): Fengjie County, which lies along the Yangtze River in China, is flood-prone. To stem the deluges, the region has made way for the Three Gorges Dam, an epic,...

Blurring Reality’s Edge in Fluid China – Dennis Lim

Another review of Jia Zhangke’s Still Life, which just opened in New York, from the New York Times: A meticulous record of a vanishing world — Mr. Jia’s cinematographer, Yu Lik-wai, surveys the wreckage with slow panning shots that evoke the horizontal expanse of Chinese scroll paintings — “Still Life” is an act of commemoration […]

Drowning in Progress – J. Hoberman

The Village Voice reviews Jia Zhangke’s Still Life, which is just being released in the U.S.: More observer than director, Jia is concerned with how it feels to be in a particular environment. His films are predicated on a sense of everyday social flux and, more than any I’ve seen, they provide some sense of […]

Casualties of China’s Transformed Economy – Jeannet Catsoulis

From the Washington Post: Bracketed by stunning long shots taken from the front of a moving freight train, Wang Bing‘s epic, three-part documentary, Tie Xi Qu: West of Tracks,” is an astonishingly intimate record of China’s painful transition from state-run industry to a free market. Filming between 1999 and 2001, Mr. Wang and his sound […]

Postal Modernism in the Cinema – Danwei

From Danwei blog: Ann Hui‘s(ËÆ∏ÈûçÂçé) new movie The Postmodern Life of My AuntÔºàÂ߮¶àÁöÑÂêéÁé∞‰ª£ÁîüÊ¥ªÔºâ tells a story of love, games, and opera. But what makes it postmodern? Nothing, according to Hu Xudong, a noted columnist, poet, and Peking University professor. In a column for The Beijing News last week, Hu mused on how the term “postmodern” […]

Video: Trailer of the Banned Film – “Summer Palace”

From SFIAAFF: A heady and emotionally charged chronicle of the short-lived sexual and political idealism which swept through Beijing in the late ’80s, Lou Ye’s (®ÑÁÉ®) fourth feature marks a stunning new direction for Chinese cinema. Certainly the most erotic and sexually explicit film to come from mainland China, SUMMER PALACE is ground-breaking in its […]

Ways of looking at Curse of the Golden Flower – Joel Martinsen

From Danwei blog: There’s been quite a bit said about how bad Zhang Yimou‘s latest film is: how Curse of the Golden Flower is all empty spectacle, how its skimpy costumes and blood-soaked finale amount to commercialized garbage, and how its social commentary is superficial and essentially irrelevant…. Seven layers of Curse of the Golden […]

Zhang Yimou’s New Film Reveals Softer Side Of China – New America Media

From New America Media: As China continues its economic transformation and materialism runs rampant, acclaimed Chinese director Zhang Yimou offers an antidote to big city distractions. In his new film “Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles (ÂçÉÈáå˵∞ÂçïÈ™ë),” Zhang returns to his spare, emotional palette with a focus on human relationships. He offers a glimpse into […]

“Crazy Stone” climbs up in box office – China Daily

From China Daily via Xinhua News Agency: As for a comedy, there is no higher praise and honour than a remark like “the movie is laughable” when the viewers walk out of the cinema, he concluded. Many viewers attributed the suspense, funny dialogue and vivid characters to the success of “Crazy Stone (ÁñØÁãÇÁöÑÁü≥§¥).” Regarded as […]

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