Chinese language cinema

Chinese language cinema

From Andy Lau to John Woo, from Jiang Wen to Tsai Ming-liang to Sylvia Chang, and from triads to kung fu to hopping vampires to costume epics, this is the place to go for features, interviews and revi

ews about Chinese-language movies from Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China.

Chinese movie stars up in arms over piracy
Chinese film stars usually want nothing to do with authorities. But on Monday, four actors and directors joined a press conference about piracy along with three police ministers and a Communist Party official. Known for some of China’s most successful domestic productions, such as The Wandering Earth and Wolf Warrior II, the quartet – Wu Jing, Han Han, Huang Bo, and Shen Teng – issued a call to arms against illegal movie downloads. “Sometimes on the way to my own movie premiere, sitting in the traffic, I would notice street vendors selling DVDs of the movie I’m about to release,” said Huang, leading actor in the Chinese sci-fi comedy Crazy Alien, at the conference. The stakes in this war on
Chinese movie stars up in arms over piracy
‘Bring back a wife’: a director comes out to his Chinese parents in Netflix film
Documentarian Hao Wu’s latest film, All in My Family, focuses on Chinese family tradition, gay relationships and children born using surrogacy through an extremely personal lens. The film – set for release on Netflix this Friday – was shot over a series of Lunar New Year trips to Chengdu, in southwest China, from New York, where he settled 20 years ago. We watch him agonize over when and how to tell his grandfather that he’s gay, married to his Chinese-American husband Eric and has two children: a boy and a girl born through surrogacy. “I wanted to show the challenges for gay people of Chinese descent, what kind of cultural and generational barriers and differences they have to negotiate in
‘Bring back a wife’: a director comes out to his Chinese parents in Netflix film
Why you need to watch the bitchy, badass, most-Googled show of 2018
What was most Googled TV show of 2018? No, not Game of Thrones. Or Roseanne. Or The Handmaid’s Tale. The title goes to the Story of Yanxi Palace: a Chinese period drama featuring a group of scheming concubines who struggle for power and the love and attention of Emperor Qianlong (1711-1799) of the Qing Dynasty.    Not only has the 70-episode drama gained a huge following in China (where Google remains not officially available), but it’s also been a hit in Singapore, Brunei and Vietnam.  But why has the show been successful? Well, the show has bucked the standard tired genre tropes, which usually feature an innocent and submissive female lead. Instead the tale of Wei Yingluo, who goes from a
Why you need to watch the bitchy, badass, most-Googled show of 2018
What a ‘stinky’ art house film says about Chinese cinema
A top critic has trashed the latest film by acclaimed Chinese director Jia Zhangke, triggering a vigorous debate online about the meaning of art and cinema in modern China. Jia’s new film, Ash Is Purest White, has impressed international critics and competed for the coveted top prize at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.    But it has been lampooned by the editor of state tabloid Global Times, who compared it to “stinky tofu” for the “negative energy” it brings to audiences. “The film is full of negative energy,” Hu Xijin wrote on China’s Twitter-like social media platform Weibo on Monday. “Negative energy can get audiences hooked like opium, but I hope Chinese filmmakers can learn from Hollywo
What a ‘stinky’ art house film says about Chinese cinema
China’s priciest film ever pulled after it bombs, big time
China’s most expensive film ever has been pulled from cinema screens, after earning just $7.1 million in its opening weekend – on a claimed $100 million budget. Fantasy epic Asura had been marketed in part on claims of its enormous cost, but it seems that audiences weren’t impressed – so much so that the film’s producers have decided to pull the flick, according to The Hollywood Reporter. A post to the film’s social media accounts on Sunday stated that the film would be pulled from theaters as of 10 pm that day. The film was backed by a consortium of Chinese film producers, including Alibaba Pictures Group, whose parent company also owns Inkstone. A representative of lead production company
China’s priciest film ever pulled after it bombs, big time
China’s own ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ is pushing drug prices down
It’s the power of film in action. A dark comedy billed as the Chinese answer to Dallas Buyers Club has forced a response from Beijing on the country’s costly cancer medication. The Chinese government has vowed to speed up price cuts to cancer drugs after Dying to Survive, a film inspired by real-life stories of leukemia patients smuggling generic drugs from India, became the talk of the country. China’s State Medical Insurance Administration said on Sunday it would take measures to ensure that prices of cancer drugs would fall, after tariffs for imported drugs were abolished in May. Dying to Survive hit screens on Friday, and has already taken more than $230 million at the box office. Ticke
China’s own ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ is pushing drug prices down
Chinese women filmmakers are blazing a path
Women, so goes a Chinese revolutionary slogan, hold up half the sky. In the 21st century, they appear quite capable of propping up half of the country’s cinema screens, too. Well, almost. According to latest box office statistics, female directors have helmed three of the 10 most popular domestic blockbusters in the country so far this year. It is a significant milestone. With earnings of $204 million, Taiwanese singer-actor Rene Liu’s Us and Them comes in at No. 5 on the popularity charts. Her directorial debut is a romance drama about the decade-long relationship between a young couple in Beijing, and Liu has written herself into the record books by becoming the first female Chinese filmma
Chinese women filmmakers are blazing a path
Jackie Chan on showcasing Chinese culture – and John Cena’s Mandarin
With a body of work that spans more than 40 years, Chan has achieved fame, fortune, and many broken bones – but the international action star views his career as having a deeper purpose. “When I film now, it’s not about what’s just fun or amusing,” says Jackie Chan. “I think about if the film can bring Chinese culture, or my own culture and reflections, to the outside world… It’s as simple as that.” In recent years, Chan has become more vocal about national pride and the role he can play as a cultural ambassador. “It’s something that I feel I have a duty to do,” he says. “For example, projects like Kung Fu Panda; even if the budget is super low, I’ll still do it. Why? I want these films to b
Jackie Chan on showcasing Chinese culture – and John Cena’s Mandarin
China’s ‘Pulp Fiction’ opens at a French film festival, one year late
One year on, the Chinese animated film that's been likened to Pulp Fiction has been shown at one of the world’s biggest animated film festivals. The black comedy crime drama Have a Nice Day was withdrawn from screening at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival last year, at the request of its producers.  They had apparently yet to receive official clearance from Chinese officials to have their film shown overseas, but producer Yan Chang told the BBC that ”it has nothing to do with politics.” Now the film is back at the festival with a bang. That’s not to say it’s been a bad year for the movie, which played at the Berlin Film Festival, went on to a successful limited release in Ch
China’s ‘Pulp Fiction’ opens at a French film festival, one year late
Why Cantonese teenagers are ditching their mother tongue for Mandarin
Once upon a time, Cantonese was the language that transported Chinese cinema, business and culture across the world. But that’s all changing. Cantonese is being spoken by fewer and fewer people in its spiritual home. The language is fighting what locals fear is a losing battle against China’s official tongue. Guangzhou, formerly known as Canton, is the capital of Guangdong province – and the home of Cantonese. Spoken by 73 million people across the world, Cantonese has had great global influence because most of the early Chinese immigrants came from southern China. When they moved, they took their culture and language with them. Mandarin, also known as Putonghua – “common speech” – originat
Why Cantonese teenagers are ditching their mother tongue for Mandarin