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Chinese Cinema & Filmmakers

Princess Iron Fan (Tie shan gong zhu) (China, 1941)

Directed by Wan Guchan and Wan Laiming. Produced by the Wan brothers in the midst of World War II, this is the first feature length animated film produced in China. The film is also one of the earliest works to extensively use the rotoscoping animation process. Following the Monkey King, his master and friends on their journey to the West reach Fire Mountain. They are unable to pass because of the fire but learn that a special iron fan can quench the flames. However, the fan belongs to Princess Iron Fan and she will not willingly lend it to them. 73 min.

Puppetmaster (Hsi meng jen sheng) (Taiwan, 1993)

Directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien. Based on the highly dramatic autobiography of real life Taiwanese puppetmaster Li Tian-lu. The story covers the period of Japanese colonization from 1910 to World War II. Li's puppetry, like all Chinese culture, was banned by the Japanese, but during World War II, the Japanese used the traditional Chinese puppet theater for their war propaganda. Only after the war did street theatres start playing again. 142 min. ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database
Awards

Pushing Hands (Tui shou) (Taiwan, 1991)

Directed by Ang Lee. Cast: Lang Xiong, Wang Lai, Wang Yetong, Deb Snyder. A tai-chi master and widower moves from Beijing to a New York suburb to live with his only son. With a daughter-in-law who has no use for him and an ever-changing society, problems quickly arise. He is forced to call upon his tai-chi teachings and it's "pushing hands" to give him the balance needed to survive in this poignant and comic tale. ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database
Reviews and articles:

Queen of Sports (Ti yu huang hou) (China, 1934)

Directed by Yu Sun. Cast: Li Lili, Zhang Yi, He, Feiguang, Langen Han. An athletic village girl comes to Shanghai, where she discovers the true nature of competition and love. The focus of the film is clearly on sport, including physical training, study and competition, though while at the school, she becomes rather fond of her coach, the brother of a classmate whom she knew in her childhood, as well as earning the jealousy of some catty classmates.

Raise the Red Lantern (Da Hong Deng Long Gao Gao Gua) (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, 1991)

Directed by Zhang Yi-Mou. Set in 1920's China, 19-year-old Songlian has become Fourth Wife to the wealthy Chen. Yet she must share her husband with three existing wives. Each must wait until dusk for the arrival of a red lantern, which signifies with whom the master will sleep tonight. When Songlian discovers that the other wives cheat to win the red lantern, she decides to join the fight for Chen's attention. Based on the novel by Su Tong. 125 min. ; ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database
Awards

Rebels of the Neon God (Qing shao nian nuo zha) (Taiwan, 1992)

Directed by Ming-liang Tsai. Cast: Chao-jung Chen, Chang-bin Jen, Kang-sheng Lee, Hsaio-Ling Lu, Tien Miao, Yu-Wen Wang. Set amidst the urban jungle of Taipei, is this stylish tale of teen angst and despair. Centering on four disaffected, disillusioned youth, the storyline shuttles between the deadpan, petty con games of two Taipei hoods, a young woman, and a cab driver's son who's being pressured to study by his parents. 106 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Red Cliff (Chi bi) (China, 2008)

Directed by John Woo. Cast: Tony Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Zhang Fengyi, You Yong, Chang Chen. In 208 A.D., in the final days of the Han Dynasty, shrewd Prime Minister Cao Cao convinces the fickle Emperor Han that the only way to unite all of China is to declare war on the kingdoms of Xu in the west and East Wu in the south. Thus begins a military campaign of unprecedented scale, led by the Prime Minister, himself. Left with no other hope for survival, the kingdoms of Xu and East Wu form an unlikely alliance.

Red Firecracker, Green Firecracker (Pao Da Shuang Deng) (China, Hong Kong, 1994)

Directed by He Ping. Set against the close of the Ching Dynasty at the turn of the century, this tale of forbidden love and loyalty ignites the screen with passion. With no male heirs to run their fireworks factory, the Chai family's beautiful daughter has been groomed for the role of master. Renounced of her femininity, she is clothed like a man and forbidden to marry, a role which she dutifully accepts until a rebellious young artist becomes employed at the factory.

Red Sorghum (Hong gao liang) (China, 1987)

Directed by Zhang Yimou. Film begins as a lusty romantic comedy about a nervous young bride's arrival and ensuing seduction at a remote winery, and ends as a heroic drama of partisan resistance during the Japanese occupation. Based on the novel Red Sorghum and Sorghum Wine. by Yen Mo (PL2886.O1684 H8613 1993 Main Stack, Moffitt) 91 min. ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Revenge of the Drunken Master (1984)

Directed by Godfrey Ho. Cast: Johnny Chan, Eagle Han, Bruce Cheung, Wang Sao. Fei Hong is a happy go lucky kung fu master who becomes a target of the Black Mask Ninja Gang. They set out to make sure Fei Hong and Sam the Seed never meddle in their schemes again. Big mistake! English language version. 81 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

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