China Film Insiders: Melanie Ansley

 /  China Film Insiders  / 
What’s important is to take the pulse of everybody in terms of what projects are going on: where are they getting their financing? Who’s behind it? What are these companies after and what are they making? The China Hollywood Society gives me the opportunity to talk to people I might not otherwise meet, about work I might not normally hear about. Read More

Film Review: ‘Suspect X’ An Inelegant Equation

 /  Reviews  / 
Western audiences may be unsettled by the idea that the unspeakable acts that Shi commits to help his lady neighbor and thus win her affection might deserve compassion. In our culture, this is plain creepy, but in China, where a generation of male only children have been mathematically aced-out and will never have a woman to love because there aren’t enough to go around, the story does strike a certain poignant chord. Read More

What Everybody ‘Knows’ About Insta-Star Jing Tian

 /  Chinasplaining  / 
In the vacuum left by the lack of a reliable independent press, Chinese gossip, with its penchant for detailed embellishment and invasive speculation can make TMZ look like The New York Review of Books. Add the Internet into the mix, and it goes to the next level, a web of conspiratorial, celebrity-denigrating innuendo that is wildly judgmental, sexist, and almost impossible to respond to. Read More

Does Xi Jinping Go To The Movies?

 /  Chinasplaining  / 
Obama loved The Godfather, Trump screened Finding Dory his first month in office, and North Korea’s late Kim Jong Il was cinema-obsessed. But what about China’s President? Does Xi Jinping unwind with a bucket of popcorn and a buddy comedy? Read More

Why You Can’t Cast Richard Gere If You Want Your Film To Show In China

 /  Chinasplaining  / 
Sexiest Man Alive Is Persona Non Grata In PRC   Say you’re producing a project that you hope can qualify as a US-Sino Co-Production. Or you have a strong, non-Chinese commercial project that you want China to accept as part of its import quota. Or you’re submitting a script to STX, or Paramount, or a Read More

Film Review: ‘The Great Wall’ is The Best of Zhang, The Worst of Zhang

 /  Reviews  / 
  The Great Wall (2016), story by Max Brooks, Edward Zwick & Marshall Hershkovitz; screenplay by Carlo Bernard & Doug Miro, Tony Gilroy; directed by Zhang Yimou Distributed by Universal Pictures (cinemas here) Grade: B+ The first coproduction between China and the US directed by an A-list auteur from either country, Zhang Yimou’s The Great Read More

Film Review: Han Han’s Race Back To The ’90s Is a Sentimental Journey

 /  Reviews  / 
Duckweed (2017), written by Yu Meng; directed by Han Han
. Distributed by China Lion Films, opens in the U.S. February 10, 2017 (cinemas here). Grade: A- It’s been a tumultuous decade since producer Fang Li of Beijing Laurel Films sighed to the foreign press about the fate of two of his movies that fell afoul Read More

Film Review: ‘Demons Strike Back’ at the Audience in ‘Journey to the West 2’

 /  Reviews  / 
Slapstick subversiveness notwithstanding, "Journey to the West 2: The Demons Strike Back" still amounts to a Sinocentric power play that diminishes the appeal of the enterprise. Read More

Film Review: ‘Buddies’ Out of Control in ‘India’

 /  Reviews  / 
‘Buddies’ Out of Control in ‘India’ Buddies in India (2017), written and directed by Wang Baoqiang. Distributed by ChinaLion, opened in the U.S. January 27, 2017 (cinemas here). Grade: C+ A bromance with a hollow message, combined with a whirlwind of wuxia action, road comedy, Bollywood musical, and a half-baked primer on classical monkey-god mythology, Read More

Film Review: ‘Some Like It Hot’ More like Lukewarm Water

 /  Reviews  / 
A typical, and not unentertaining contemporary Chinese comedy of upwardly-mobile, city-dwelling, professional-class Chinese boy-men, dumbstruck by hot young women who are not their wives, with an unsubtle moral tacked on the end. Read More

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