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Mainland China

Dream of the Red Chamber (Hong lou meng) (China, 1944)

Directed by Bu Wancang. Cast: Zhou Xuan, Yuan Meiyun. One of the earliest filmed versions of the classic Chinese novel. In this Chinese costume epic, set during the 1700s, a prominent family loses its good fortune when one of the sons loses the jade chip that was embedded in his mouth. Their luck returns when the chip is found, but eventually he brings disgrace to the family when he marries against his father's will. 125 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Drifters (Er di) (2003)

Directed by Wang Xiaoshuai. Cast: Duan Long, Shu Yan, Wang Zhilang, Zhao Yiwei, Tang Yang. A Chinese man feels pulled between his responsibilities in America where he has fathered a son, and China where he has fallen in love with an opera singer. 120 min. 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

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

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

Fish and Elephant (Jin nian xia tian) (China, 2001)

Directed by Yu Li. Cast: Xiao Qun works at the Beijing Zoo as an elephant keeper, while her lover, Xiao Ling runs a clothes stall in an indoor market. Their relationship comes under fire, however, with the arrival of Qun's divorced mother who, unaware that her daughter is gay, tries to set her up with a man. Further complicating matters is the appearance of Qun's ex-girlfriend, Junjun, now wanted by the police for killing her abusive father. 97 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Frozen (Jidu hanleng) (China, 1996)

Directed by Wu Ming (Xiaoshuai Wang). Based on a true story according to the filmmaker, this film provides a rare look at the avant-garde art world of Beijing. A young performance artist decides to make his own suicide his last work of art. On the longest day of the year, he plans to melt a huge block of ice with his own body heat and die of hypothermia. His "Ice Burial" is a chilling expression of post Tiananmen Square ennui in China. 95 min. ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Goodbye Dragon Inn (Bu san) (Taiwan, 1989)

Director, Ming-liang Tsai. Cast: Kang-sheng Lee, Shiang-chyi Chen, Kiyonobu Mitamura, Shih Chun, Tien Mao, Chao-jung Chen, Kuei-Mei Yang. A Japanese tourist takes refuge from a rainstorm inside a run-down movie theater that is screening a martial arts classic, King Hu's 1966 "Dragon Inn." Even with the rain bucketing down outside, it doesn't pull much of an audience -- and some of those who have turned up are less interested in the movie than in the possibility of meeting a stranger in the dark. 83 min.

I Love Beijing (Xiari nuanyangyang) (China, 2000)

Directed by Ying Ning. Cast: Tao Hong, Yu Lei, Zuo Botao. This romantic drama follows the fortunes of a young Chinese cab driver who is depressed because of a recent divorce. He turns his personality around to become a ladies man, wooing a waitress, a librarian, and then a talk-show host. Lost in the dating wars, he longs to find the love of his life in the rapidly changing city of Beijing. 78 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database
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