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Chinese Movies
Jan 8, 2008 02:51
  • LEMONCACTUS
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Hi all,

I recently watched a movie called Still Life (English name). It's Chinese name is 三峡好人. The director is Jia Zhangke 贾樟柯.

The film isn't new, it was released in 2006, but I think it is fabulous. It is a story of the lives of normal Chinese set against the backdrop of the building of the 3 Gorges Dam. The cinematography is very special, the way the camera lingers on the scenes way longer than you'd expect. Its apparent simplicity hides great depth and emotion.

I've not seen a movie yet that captures the essence of living in contemporary China so completely, nor have I seen one which seems so replete with compassion and humanity. This movie looks, sounds (and if it were possible) tastes like China. A refreshing change from the beautiful-flying-kung-fu flicks that (MIS)represent Chinese cinema in the box offices of the West.

I also love the early Zhang Yimou movie "一个都不能少". I don't know the English name. The majority of the cast in this movie are children and untrained actors. The young girl, who steals the show as a child recruited to teach a class at a village school, and later goes on a mission to the "big city" to find one of her missing pupils, is a revelation.

2 questions:

1. If you've seen these movies, what do you think of them ?
2. Can anyone share any other Chinese movies (that aren't in the kung fu genre) ?

LC :)

Jan 8, 2008 04:44
#1  
  • NICHOLAS
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Hi LemonCactus,

一个都不能少 is called "Not one less" in English. I agree, it is an excellent film.

I highly suggest two films I'm sure you will love:

和你在一起

and

落叶归根

Also 太阳照常升起 is a good film too. Please give me your feedback on these films if you manage to watch them.

Nick
Jan 8, 2008 14:36
#2  
  • GRIZ326
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Nicholas, you did not describe the films...it would be useful....

LemonCactus, you may have given me something to do for one evening of Spring Festival...thank you.
Jan 9, 2008 01:54
#3  
  • NICHOLAS
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Sorry

和你在一起 (Alone, together)

This is the story of a rural farm boy who goes with his father in the hope to get a scholarship in the regional school.
He is a talented violinist and always wins the local competitions. This movie is about the unconditional bonds of family and is exceptionally well made. The movie is set mostly in Beijing.

落叶归根 (Getting Home)

This is the story of a peasant factory worker who upholds a promise he made to his colleague that when they die, the other would get the body back to their hometown. Having no money he finds it very difficult to carry his friend home and meets many people along the way. Very funny, very heart warming with some beautiful scenery. Mostly set in Southern China.
Jan 9, 2008 02:00
#4  
  • LEMONCACTUS
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Thanks Nicholas, that's brilliant. I'm off to see if I can track them down and will report back.

LC

Jan 9, 2008 20:18
#5  
  • LEONARDO
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Hi,

I recommend the movie "Peacock" to you guys. The Chinese title of the movie is 孔雀( Kong Que).
The movie is a masterpiece about life. It tells a story about the three siblings in a ordinary family . The story is set in the 1970s in a small town in China. A middle aged couple has three children. The eldest son is obese and mentally challenged. The second child is a girl. She fell in love with a paratrooper, while her passion for the beloved one fails, she changes her life attitude and marries a man she doesn't love. The youngest son of the family is a playboy. Three siblings have extremely different attitudes towards life and naturally they end up differently. Personally, I think this movie aims to convey a message to the audience: we should hold a correct life attitude and live our daily lives in a down-to-earth way. Anyone who is frivolous to life will end up with misery. Additionally, I understand that this movie poses several questions for the viewers to reflect upon: what is the essence of life? What should we value in life? After all, Peacock is a great movie. It death with the issues that youngsters might encouter in the process of growing up: puppy love, passion, the pangs of growth and youthful frivolity. ( Did I sing much too high praise of this movie?) It deserves the tribute and of course one of my favorites) BTW, Peacock won the Silver Bear Prize in Berlin Movies Festival. Hopefully, you guys will enjoy it. I am expecting to hear what you think of the movie.

Jan 10, 2008 01:31
#6  
  • LEMONCACTUS
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Thanks Leonardo, I will look for this one too, and let you know what I think :)
Jan 12, 2008 19:30
#7  
  • INMEDIC
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Yes, I seen that movie and it is called not one less
Jan 13, 2008 21:22
#8  
  • LEMONCACTUS
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落叶归根 (Getting Home)

Hi Nicholas,

Just to let you know I managed to watch "Getting Home" over the weekend... and I loved it.

A few highlights, without giving too much away, are the scenes when our main character is racing a water buffalow which had me laughing out loud, then the scene of him carrying his friend past all the cars in the traffic jam in Yunnan, and the part when he decides that he'd rather be dead too.... in fact, at that part I was laughing and crying at craziness of it at the same time!

In fact, there are so many memoriable episodes in his roadtrip!

I shed a few tears at this, I don't mind admitting. I was absolutely touched, heart-warmed and saddened by turns. It's an excellent movie, simple, moving, and set in some gorgeous locations and I appreciate the recommendation very much.

LC :)
Jan 15, 2008 03:48
#9  
  • NICHOLAS
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LC,

I'm so happy to hear you have enjoyed this film also.

It is easily one of the best films from any culture I have seen.
I too have laughed(笑了) and cried(哭了)watching this film. Not just the first time watching it either.

Thanks for letting us know how much you enjoyed it.
Jan 15, 2008 03:54
#10  
  • JIMMYB
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Hi, all. I watched 'Getting Home" too. At the beginning, I was scared by that movie. You know, I didn't anticipate that he carried a dead body. However, I was moved finally. Really a good movie.
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