Woman Demon Human

Huang Shuqin - Woman Demon Human (Ren gui qing, 1987)

Cine-Club "sinocinephile" organized by CLCC and EUCHAN

"Woman, Demon, Human" , by Huang Shuqin ,

7pm on 17 March 2015, Institut Libre Marie Haps, local 14-01, rue d'Arlon, 14 ,1050 Bruxelles

www.mariehaps.vinci.be

woman demon human

Based on the real life story of Pei Yanling, the movie portrays a famous female performer of leading male roles in Hebei opera, her best-known role being the underworld demon catcher Zhong Kui. In an interview, the female director Huang Shuqin said: “What astonished me about Pei Yanling was that such a pretty and charming actress was playing the rugged, ugly ghost catcher Zhong Kui. It struck me that in this was an extraordinary spiritual journey that was worth delving into.” The film begins with a shot of Qiuyun (Pei Yanling’s fictitious persona) as an adult, putting on her make-up in front of a confusing array of mirrors. In some of the mirrors, she appears fully made up as the male character Zhong Kui, in others, she’s quite obviously an adult woman.

 

Qiuyun becomes increasingly confused about her identity as her onstage “male” persona begins to bleed into her offstage “female” life. This is further complicated by her relationship with her parents: her father, who also specializes in playing Zhong Kui, does not want her to enter the acting profession and has a very close bond with her after her mother abandons the family to run off with another man. Throughout her acting career, Quiyun endures hardship and repeated misfortune and wins her successes only with difficulty. Qiuyun’s mother’s adulterous love and her elopement constitute rebellion against traditional moral ethics. In her ignorance, Qiuyun is a victim of traditional ideas but also identifies with them, and this is why she clashes with her childhood friends, is unlucky in love, has an unhappy marriage, and is estranged from her mother.

 

It’s a fascinating film that bends reality and raises questions about gender and identity that aren’t often addressed in mainstream Chinese films, or indeed in any other national cinema. It is also probably the movie that made Huang Shuqin’s name and in the words of female critic Dai Jinghua is “the only movie in contemporary China that can unequivocally be called a women’s film”. This work may be viewed from a great variety of perspectives. It was produced in the context of contemporary China’s ongoing cultural critique, giving voice to the malaises that pervaded the cultural life of the 1980s.

Wolf Totem

wolf totem

Wednesday 25 February 2015 in Belgium

Director : Jean-Jacques Annaud
Produced by : Jean-Jacques Annaud, Xavier Castano, La Peikang, Bill Kong
Screenplay : Jean-Jacques Annaud, Alain Godard, John Collee, Lu Wei
Based on : “ Wolf Totem ” by Lu Wei
Starring : William Feng Shaofeng, Shawn Du, Ankhnyam Rachaa, Basen Zhabu, Yin Zhusheng
Running time : 121 minutes
Country : Chine, France
Language : Mandarin, Mongol

Plot

The film is based on Lu’s autobiographical novel which took him 30 years to write. It follows a student, Chen Zen (William Feng Shaofeng), sent from Peking to Inner Mongolia to teach a nomadic tribe of shepherds in 1969. It is the real Chen , who needs to learn a lot about the life in this infinite land , hostile and vertiginous on the notion of community,freedom and responsibility , and the most feared and revered creature of the steppes - the wolf, discovering the complex relationship between these almost mythical and sacred creatures and the shepherds.

But it is Chen who ends up learning from the tribes folk about existence on the plains and their near-mystical bond with those wolves that a government apparatchik wants to exterminate.

He found that the Chinese nation (Han) is a kind of nation like the “sheep” and the ethnic minorities (Mongolian , Manchu, Huns , Turks) are a kind of nation just like “ wolves ”. Thus he uses the image of “ wolf ” and “ sheep ” to symbolize his “ Rise and Fall of Chinese combat confusion theory ”.

Reviews

You would expect no less from Annaud, a helmer who shot “ The Lover ” in Vietnam, Brad Pitt starrer “ Seven Years in Tibet ” partly in Tibet, and tiger sibling tale “ Two Brothers ” in Cambodia. A singular director by any standards, Annaud’s films lie at a unique halfway somewhere between Hollywood (with their high concepts and bold ambitions) and French arthouse (in the urgency of their themes).

A Touch of Sin

A Touch Of Sin PosterA film by Jia Zhang-Ke with Zhao Tao, Jiang Wu, Wang Baoqiang, Luo Lanshan
Best screenplay, Festival de Cannes 2013
Georges Delerue award for best music, Film Fest Gent 2013
Country : China – Time : 133 min – Year : 2013 – Distribution : www.cineart.be
Since 11 December 2013 at cinema
Brussels : Vendôme, Galeries – Liège : Churchill – Mons : Plaza-Art – Gent : Sphinx
 
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Jia Zhang-Ke’s ‘ A Touch of Sin ’ : subversive, censor-friendly, or both ?

Leading Chinese director and independent cinema figure Jia Zhangke’s newest feature, A Touch Of Sin,flies in the face of official rhetoric about a “ harmonious ” Chinese society with graphically violent images. However, when looking at the ways in which it actually complied with government censorship to gain funding and distribution, the question about whether or not it is “subversive” becomes much more difficult to answer.

The film, which won the Best Screenplay award at Cannes, held its U.S. premiere at the 51st New York Film Festival and was the only Chinese entry in this year’s program.

Read more: A Touch of Sin

Movie Review : Let the Bullets Fly

A film by Jiang Wen

let-the-bullets-fly-poster-characters

I have to admit it, I have a major man crush on Jiang Wen, which is why I was at the movie theater at midnight last night/this morning to see his newest movie, Let the Bullets Fly. I actually scored the last two tickets available, the midnight and 12:10 screenings were completely sold out, a rarity in China. I’ve tried to stay away from any major spoilers, though there is one minor one, so if you like to go into a movie totally “ fresh ” click away now.

Jiang Wen (who also serves as director and writers) brings together a great cast that also includes Ge You, Chow Yun-fat, Liu Jialing, and Chen Kun. Like a lot of Jiang’s movies, he gets his family involved, his wife, Zhou Yun, and brother, Jiang Wu, also play key roles. There are even brief cameos from celebrated director Feng Xiaogang and Obama’s half brother Mark Ndesanjo.

The film takes place during the republic era and opens with Zhang Mazi (Jiang) and his band of mountain bandits attacking the train carrying the new county mayor, his wife, and his advisor. Shi Ye (Ge You) and the mayor’s wife (Liu Jialing) survive, but when the bandits find out their captives have no money on them, Shi makes the suggestion that being mayor can bring with it more riches than imagined, and since nobody in the village knows what the new mayor looks like (this is back in the days when government positions could be bought, some would argue not so different from today), Zhang decides he’ll make himself mayor.

When Zhang reaches the village, he discovers that despite his title, real power in the county resides in the hands of Huang Silang (Chow Yun-fat), the unpopular county warlord who killed the 5 previous mayors. The tension between the two escalates when Zhang’s “ son ” meets an untimely and violent death. Thus begins an action packed “ chess match ” between the two, with each strategizing and hoping to outwit the other and gain control of the county.

At its most basic, the story is a Chinese version of the classic Robin Hood tale, but this oft tread trope is made interesting by the excellent little details – crisp writing paired with beautiful cinematography and costumes. The writing, in particular, is enjoyable, its clever and manages to bring in a lot of humor. The scene where Zhang questions his bandits about the rape of a woman and each individual explains why it couldn’t have been them was one of the few times I’ve ever experienced an audience applaud during a movie.

This was one of four major movies from bigtime directors being released this month (the Zhao Benshan/Xiao Shenyang “ Just Call Me Nobody ”, Chen Kaige’s “ Sacrifice ”, and Feng Xiaogang’s “ If You Are the One 2 ″) and while I’m sure “ If You Are the One ” will dominate at the box office, this is the one I’d recommend the most. It’s certainly one of the most entertaining (Chinese or foreign) movies I’ve seen this year.

an article by : www.modernleifeng.com

Winter Vacation secures Golden Leopard

Winter Vacation - 寒假Awards News

Li Hongqi's (李紅旗) Winter Vacation (寒假) has secured the Golden Leopard, the top prize at the Locarno film festival (4-14 Aug).

Read more: Winter Vacation secures Golden Leopard