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Chinese Cinema & Filmmakers

Durian, Durian (Liu lian piao piao) (Hong Kong, 2000)

Directed by Chen Guo. Cast: Qin Hailu, Mai Huifen. The film is divided into two parts, with the first half taking place in Hong Kong and the latter half another world away, in Mudanjiang near the North Korean border. The consistent thread is a young Mainland lady, Yan. The movie records her stay in Hong Kong where, on a three-month visa, she services as many as three dozen clients a day, and her post-Hong Kong existence back home where she uses her hard-earned cash to become a successful and respected entrepreneuse. PAL format min.

Dust in the Wind (Lien lien feng chen) (Taiwan, 1986)

Directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien. A story about a young couple from a village in the southern part of Taiwan. Filled with details of urban Taipei, and depicting the transition from rural to industrial life in contemporary Taiwan, this is also a poignant story of young love lost. A teenaged couple moves to the city to find work, but are separated when the boy is drafted and the girl marries another. 109 min. 999:2806 Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

East Palace, West Palace (Dong gong xi gong) (China, 1997)

Directed by Yuan Zhang. Cast: Si Han, Hu Jun, Liu Yuxiao, Ma Wen, Lu Rong. This film focuses on a young gay Chinese writer, A-Lan who, being attracted to a young policeman, manages to have himself interrogated for a whole night. His life-story which he tells during the interrogation reflects the general repression of the Chinese society. The policeman's attitude shifts from the initial revulsion to fascination and finally, to attraction. 90 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Eat Drink Man Woman (Yinshi nan nu) (Taiwan, USA, 1994)

Directed by Ang Lee. A retired master chef and widower is worried about the future of his three unmarried daughters who are skeptical about marriage. Yet he himself surprises them with his secret love affair with a young woman many years his junior. 124 min. ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database
Awards
National Board of Review, USA - Best Foreign Language Film
Awards National Board of Review, USA - Best Foreign Language Film

Electric Shadows (Meng ying tong nian) (2004)

Directed by Jiang Xiao. Cast: Xia Yu, Jiang Yihong, Jiang Shan, Niu Zhenhua. When a delivery man crashes into a girl, she asks him to feed the pets in her apartment, while she is in the hospital. There he finds her diary that exposes the story of a young girl's passion for the movies, which re-ignites his own longing for the days when the cinema enchanted China's masses. 95 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Empress Wu Zetian (Wu Zetian) (China, 1939)

Directed by Fang Peilin. Cast: Hong Bai, Lanjun Gu, Zhizhi Hang. Empress Wu rose to power after the decline of the Tang Dynasty (690 to 705 A.D.) and ruled at a time when women were still bound by tradition and a patriarchal social structure. This film traces her entry into the Imperial Palace as a favored concubine, her rise to power and her dalliances with her lovers, the Zhang brothers, who later conspired to remove her from the throne. 95 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Enter the Dragon (Hong Kong, USA, 1973)

Director, Robert Clouse. Bruce Lee, John Saxon, Ahna Capri, Shih Kien, Bob Wall, Angela Mao Ying, Betty Chung, Geoffrey Weeks, Yang Sze, Peter Archer, Jim Kelly. Lee goes to the island of a warlord of crime, Han, who carries on his opium smuggling and prostitution activities under the disguise of a martial arts academy.

Ermo (Hong Kong, China, 1995)

Director, Chou Hsiao-wen (Xiaowen Zhou). Comedy about Ermo, a humble noodle-maker in a remote Chinese province who finds that money can't buy happiness - but it can get you very close. 95 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database
Reviews and articles:

Fallen Angels (To lo tien shih) (Hong Kong, 1995)

Directed by Wang Chia-wei (Wong Kar-Wai). Set in the underworld of present day Hong Kong, this film intertwines two tales of love and isolation. First there's the unconsummated love affair between a contract killer and the ravishing female agent who books his assignments. When the killer decides that he must move on, he leaves her with only a coin for the jukebox and instructions to play a song, "Wang ji ta" ("Forget him"). In the second drama ex-convict Ho makes a living by re-opening shops that have closed for the night and intimidating customers into buying goods and services from him.

Farewell My Concubine (Ba Wang Bie Ji) (China, Hong Kong, 1993)

Directed by Kaige Chen. Story that spans more than 50 years in the lives of two gay male actors at the Peking Opera and of the woman who comes between them. Also an absorbing drama of the period in Chinese history from the warlord era through the Cultural Revolution. Based on the novel by Li Pi-hua. 157 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database
Awards
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards - Best Foreign-language Film
Golden Globe Awards - Best Foreign Language Film

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