Guo Jie, a migrant worker in Shanghai, makes a living by loading enormous stacks of polystyrene foam boxes on her bike, pedalling around Shanghai to re-sell them to wholesalers.
Unwieldly, dangerous and by her own admission a bit scary, it’s a job that proves a challenge to navigate busy roads. It also hints at the struggles the nearly 300 million rural migrant workers face in China. As their country undergoes rapid development, many people from rural communities must leave home behind to look for jobs in the city, where there are more opportunities. Continue reading →
Source: Sixth Tone (4/16/18) First Gay-ish Film Widely Released in China Despite suspected cuts from media regulators, advocates see ‘Looking for Rohmer’ as an important step toward LGBT acceptance.
By Qian Zhecheng
A promotional poster for the recently released film ‘Looking for Rohmer.’
Gay cinemagoers in China are finding “Looking for Rohmer” a bit of a letdown.
Long heralded on Chinese social media as the first gay-themed film to be approved for nationwide release, “Looking for Rohmer” — also known by its prerelease title, “Seek McCartney” — premiered on Friday to mixed reviews. When Sixth Tone’s reporter attended a Shanghai screening on Friday evening, the only three other viewers in the theater were all gay men.
After the final credits, a 35-year-old consultant told Sixth Tone that “Looking for Rohmer” was more arthouse film than “gay film.” He declined to give his name for fear of publicly revealing his sexuality. Continue reading →
After years of preparation, the Wanda Film Metropolis will formally open on April 28. Jason Wei handles marketing for the hotel portion of the project. Nick Zhang is in charge of marketing for the Wanda Studios portion of the project. I met with them last week at the site for a preview of what will be revealed at the opening.
The commercial part of the project includes a large retail mall, three separate amusement parks (theme park, water park, movie theme park, all indoors for year round operation), at least 6 separate hotels, two large exhibition centers, a large marina and a massive number of condos. Nothing except the condos have formally opened for business.
The movie studio project is being conducted under the heading of Wanda Studios Qingdao (青岛万达影视产业园）which operates separately from the commercial portions of the Film Metropolis. You can check out the studio complex on their website at www.wandastudios.com. Continue reading →
Chinese horror movie The Possessed, a pseudo-documentary that focuses on exorcism culture in the rural areas of Shandong Province, was pulled from this month’s release lineup just days before it was set to hit theaters in China on Wednesday, the film’s studio confirmed on Saturday.
Dubbed “the best Chinese horror movie of the past few years” by some film critics, the low-budget flick from director Ma Ka explores fortune-telling culture and a special exorcism ceremony popular in rural villages throughout the eastern parts of China. The good word around the film made it one of the most anticipated domestic titles coming in April.
The film first captured the attention of the public after it won Best Artistic Exploration at China’s FIRST International Film Festival in 2016. Continue reading →
The organizers of the Third Zurong Dialect Film Festival [足荣村方言电影节], China’s first movie festival aimed at promoting cinematic works in which a majority of the dialogue is in one of China’s many local dialects, held a press conference in Beijing on Saturday.
While the organizers did not release the location and dates for the festival, they did announce the members of this year’s jury panel and the registration and selection rules for candidate films.
According to the submission rules, any completed production with Chinese subtitles featuring at least one lead role speaking a dialect will be eligible to take part in the festival.
Chinese sci-fi fans are bubbling over with excitement today following a report that beloved science fiction trilogy “The Three-Body Problem” may be made into a high-budget television series by Amazon.
The Financial Times reported yesterday that the American video subscription service will likely earmark $1 billion in order to acquire the rights to the extremely popular trilogy of novels written by Liu Cixin and produce three seasons of episodes. Continue reading →
Lawrence Ko stars in Missing Johnny, which follows the stories of three young people living in Taipei. Photo: Handout
Taipei has accused Beijing of inconsistency between what it says and does after a Taiwanese film was banned on the mainland amid claims its lead actor Lawrence Ko supports independence for the island.
It comes a month after Beijing introduced a raft of preferential policies for Taiwanese that include more access to the lucrative mainland market for their film, television and books. Continue reading →
Source: Sixth Tone (3/28/18) The Chinese Film Awards No One Wants to Win Annual prizes for most disappointing movies aim to improve the country’s film industry, not create a hall of shame, says founder.
By Yin Yijun
Actor Wang Baoqiang holds up his broom-shaped trophy during the ninth Golden Broom Awards in Beijing, March 26, 2018. VCG
At the Golden Broom Awards on Monday, only one winner showed up to collect their trophy.
Such a low turnout would be a serious blow to the Oscars or Golden Globes, but it was a boon for the Golden Broom Awards, which honor China’s least impressive films of the year. Director and actor Wang Baoqiang was only the third winner and first A-lister to attend the ceremony in its nine-year history.
As a smiling Wang claimed his pint-sized, broom-shaped Most Disappointing Director trophy for his directorial debut, “Buddies in India,” he told the audience that while it was hardly the most glorious distinction, it would encourage him to improve. Continue reading →
Before the founding of the socialist state in 1949, only one woman director was recorded in Chinese film history: Xie Caizhen, who made her single film, An Orphan’s Cry(Guchu beisheng), in 1925. Unfortunately this film is no longer available to watch. The enforcement of gender equality after 1949 by the CCP ensured women’s participation in the film industry. During the 1950s and 1960s, women directors such as Wang Ping, Wang Shaoyan, Yan Bili and Dong Kena received institutional endorsement from state film studios and contributed reputable films that have been granted the honour of classic works of Chinese cinema: The Story of Liubao(Liubao de gushi, dir. Wang Ping, 1959), The Eternal Wave (Yongbu xiaoshi de dianbo, dir. Wang Ping, 1959), A Grass on Kunlun Mountain (Kunlun shanxia yike cao, dir. Dong Kena, 1958), and others. Continue reading →
2017 has been a very interesting year for the Chinese-speaking world (allow me not to dwell on the politics of the matter). The collaborations between China and Hong Kong have resulted in a number of blockbusters, Chinese filmmakers continue to produce unique (original if you prefer) films, Hong Kong is trying to reinstate its former status with the help of governmental initiatives, while Taiwan keeps producing masterpieces of all genres. Continue reading →
A Black Panther display. Sarunyu L / Shutterstock.com
To understand where race relations in China are right now, one needs only to look to the highest grossing Chinese film of all time, last year’s Wolf Warrior 2. Directed by its star, Wu Jing, the ultra-patriotic action blockbuster was China’s answer to the thinly veiled military propaganda of Hollywood films like Rambo or Zero Dark Thirty, grossing $854 million and becoming China’s 2018 submission for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars (sadly, it wasn’t nominated). Unfortunately, it also mirrored the American blockbuster’s tendency to lean into unflattering foreign stereotypes, portraying Africans alternatively as unscrupulous enemies or weak, faceless hordes awaiting salvation. Continue reading →
I am happy to announce the publication of my book, Metacinema in Contemporary Chinese Film. The book will be on display at the upcoming SCMS (with the North American distributor, Columbia UP) and AAS conferences. See information below.
“Stuckey surveys a broad swath of contemporary Chinese cinema, from popular blockbusters to elite art films, around the theme of metacinema, yielding new insights into both previously neglected films and those already acknowledged as contemporary classics. The result is a fascinating dive into the growing and diversifying cinema culture of China today.” —Jason McGrath, University of Minnesota
“Stuckey’s brilliant work, Metacinema in Contemporary Chinese Film, offers insightful close analyses of films by key directors from the PRC (Jiang Wen, Lou Ye, Jia Zhangke, and Li Yu), Hong Kong (Peter Chan), and Taiwan (Tsai Mingliang). This clearly written book is essential reading for scholars and students of Chinese cinemas. Stuckey’s study of genre and metacinema makes it a must-read for anyone interested in cinema.” —Michelle Bloom, University of California, Riverside Continue reading →
MCLC and MCLC Resource Center are pleased to announce publication of Chris Berry’s review of Zhang Yimou: Globalization and the Subject of Culture (Cambria 2017), by Wendy Larson. The review appears below, but is best read at its online home here: http://u.osu.edu/mclc/book-reviews/chris-berry/. My thanks to MCLC media studies book review editor, Jason McGrath, for ushering the review to publication.
Kirk A. Denton, editor
Zhang Yimou: Globalization and the Subject of Culture
By Wendy Larson
Reviewed by Chris Berry
MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright March, 2018)
In Zhang Yimou: Globalization and the Subject of Culture, Wendy Larson asks us to take Zhang Yimou 张艺谋 seriously again. This is a very welcome intervention. Few Chinese film directors seem to have been more widely—and diversely—reviled than Zhang. As Larson nimbly lays out in her introductory chapter, he was first attacked for alleged self-orientalism in pursuit of foreign film festival awards in the early 1990s. Then, his martial arts megahit Hero (英雄, 2002) was condemned for promoting “fascist” submission to authoritarianism. Worst of all, his more recent films, such as the Matt Damon vehicle The Great Wall (长城, 2016), have been ridiculed and dismissed. Nevertheless, Zhang remains China’s only director with a global reputation beyond the festival scene, and the only one with enough clout to put together a project like The Great Wall. Even though many of us might be more comfortable with festival favorites like Jia Zhangke 贾樟柯, we should not ignore directors with wider impact like Zhang Yimou, Feng Xiaogang 冯小刚, and the host of younger genre filmmakers that have emerged as the industry has boomed in the People’s Republic. Continue reading →