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Foreign Languages and Literatures

Chinese movies spring-2013

February 12, 2013

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Movies are shown in Miller 208.

The movie on April 10th is shown in Miller 205


February 6th - Red Sorghum 红高粱

The movie is about when an old leper who owned a remote sorghum winery dies.
Jiu’er, the wife bought by the leper, and her lover, identified only as “my Grandpa” by the narrator, take over the winery and set up an idealized quasi-matriarchal community headed by Jiu’er. When the Japanese invaders subject the area to their rule and cut down the sorghum to make way for a road, the community rises up and resists as the sorghum grows anew.
It is a very famous Chinese film since it first debut in 1988 and till now it is still one of the most influential films in Chinese movie industry.


February 13th - The soul of Bread 愛的麵包魂

Gao-bing works in a bakery in a small town. The owner, Mr Chiu, is very into his Rock ‘n ‘Roll band, and the apprentice Di doesn’t seem enthusiastic about learning baking at all. The business of the bakery is getting down and Gao-bing doesn’t know what to do with the situation. All he can do is work harder and make more bread. Ping, the daughter of Mr Chiu, grew up together with Gao-bing and is Gao-bing’s girlfriend. She often complains that Gao-bing only follows  traditions and doesn’t take any dramatic actions to save the bakery. In order to develop revolutionary new flavors, Ping takes baking courses in the city where she meets Bread. Bread, born in America, is charming and humorous. He falls for Ping at the very first sight. Even though Ping is with Gao-bing, she finds Bread’s bread has a special magic. She thinks Bread might be the one that saves the bakery…


February 20th - Farewell my Concubine 霸王别姬

Until Farewell, My Concubine (Ba Wang Bie Ji), not many people were aware that most members of the Peking Opera were originally orphans or illegitimate castaways with nowhere else to turn. Such is the case of the film’s protagonists, Duan Xiaolou (Zhang Fengyi) and Cheng Dieyi (Leslie Cheung), two homeless outcasts, trained from childhood in the grueling rigors of the Opera by master Lu Qui. The film traces the 52-year friendship between Xiaolou and Dieyi, a friendship pockmarked with fiery conflicts and tender reconciliations. Though the delicate Dieyi specializes in female roles and the gutsy Xiaolou plays noble warriors, theirs is an essentially heterosexual relationship; still, when Xiaolou takes upon himself a prostitute bride (the magnificent Gong Li), Dieyi is as petty and jealous as an outcast mistress. Farewell, My Concubine holds the viewer in thrall from start to finish; as such, it is thoroughly deserving of its many international film awards and nominations. Surprisingly, this worldwide success was something of a flop in its home country of China; perhaps it hit too close to home for those viewers who’d lived through the same years so painstakingly recreated in the film.


February 27th - Raise the Red Lantern 大红灯笼高高挂

China in the 1920’s. After her father’s death, nineteen year old Songlian is forced to marry Chen Zuoqian, the lord of a powerful family. Fifty year old Chen has already three wives, each of them living in separate houses within the great castle. The competition between the wives is tough, as their master’s attention carries power, status and privilege. Each night Chen must decide with which wife to spend the night and a red lantern is lit in front of the house of his choice. And each wife schemes and plots to make sure it’s hers. However, things get out of hand…


March 6th - Secret 不能說的秘密

Ye Ye Xiang Lun, a talented piano player is a new student at the prestigious Tamkang School. On his first day, he meets Lu Xiao Yu, a pretty girl playing a mysterious piece of music. Starring Jay Chou a famous Taiwanese artist all around Asian.


March 13th - To Live 活着

Fugui and Jiazhen endure tumultuous events in China as their personal fortunes move from wealthy landownership to peasantry. Addicted to gambling, Fugui loses everything. In the years that follow he is pressed into both the nationalist and communist armies, while Jiazhen is forced into menial work. They raise a family and survive, managing “to live” from the 40’s to the 70’s in this epic, but personal, story of life through an amazing period.


March 20th - Drink Eat Man Women饮食男女

In 1994, Ang Lee made a movie about food and relationships called Eat, Drink, Man, Woman. Eighteen years later, the film’s producer Hsu Li-kong has produced a film on the same subject but with a brand new story and cast, except for senior Taiwan actress Gua Ah-lei, who is the lead in both pictures. Joyful Reunion is a mainland-Taiwan co-production set in the picturesque city of Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province. It tells the love stories of a vegetarian restaurant owner and his daughter. The detailed presentation of Chinese cuisine and enchanting scenery in Hangzhou make watching the film pleasant on the eyes.Another highlight is Gua Ah-lei, who is older than 60 but still steals the show from fellow lead actress Huo Siyan with her impressive ballroom dancing scenes and emotional performance. The role - a passionate old woman - is totally different from her trademark image of a tender and elegant housewife.


April 3rd - Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon 卧虎藏龙

Taiwanese filmmaker Ang Lee took a break from making Western period dramas to fashion this wild and woolly martial arts spectacular featuring special effects and action sequences courtesy of the choreographer of The Matrix (1999), Yuen Woo Ping. In the early 19th century, martial arts master Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun-Fat) is about to retire and enter a life of meditation, though he quietly longs to avenge the death of his master, who was killed by Jade Fox (Cheng Pei-pei). He gives his sword, a fabled 400-year-old weapon known as Green Destiny, to his friend, fellow martial arts wizard and secret love Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh), so that she may deliver it to Sir Te (Sihung Lung). Upon arrival in Peking, Yu happens upon Jen (Zhang Ziyi), a vivacious, willful politician’s daughter. That night, a mysterious masked thief swipes Green Destiny, with Yu in hot pursuit – resulting in the first of several martial arts action set pieces during the film. Li arrives in Beijing and eventually discovers that Jen is not only the masked thief but is also in cahoots with the evil Jade. In spite of this, Li sees great talent in Jen as a fighter and offers to school her in the finer points of martial arts and selflessness, an offer that Jen promptly rebukes. This film was first screened to much acclaim at the 2000 Cannes, Toronto, and New York film festivals and became a favorite when Academy Awards nominations were announced in 2001: Tiger snagged ten nods and later secured four wins for Best Cinematography, Score, Art Direction, and Foreign Language Film.


April 10th - The Troubleshooters 顽主

This movie is adapted from one of the masterpieces of Wang Shuo, the reknowned Chinese screenwriter. It tells the story of a man named Yu Guan and his friends, who open a company called “Three For” company, which is supposed to help make people’s lives more convenient. They are called upon to deal with love affairs on behalf of ambitious people who are too occupied with their own career, they are willing to be the doormat and scolded by the wives in place of those henpecked husbands, etc. Funny and reminiscent of the problems in everyone’s lives.


April 17th - The World 世界

An exploration on the impact of urbanization and globalization on a traditional culture.


April 24th - Caught in the Web 搜索

The story begins on a bus, when white-collar worker Ye refuses to give up her seat to a senior citizen. Her defiance is videotaped by a journalist intern and played during a news show. The video sparks intense debate on and off the Internet. Some Internet users search for Ye’s personal information and post it all online. The issue soon brings tremendous changes to the families of both the journalist intern and Ye’s boss





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