Film Review: ‘Battle of Memories’ Puzzles but Isn’t Easily Forgotten

 /  Reviews  / 
Director Leste Chan's "Battle of Memories" is a Chinese puzzle of a sci-fi murder mystery about the human tendencies to try to control destiny and then escape the pain when things don’t turn out as planned. Read More

Film Review: ‘Extraordinary Mission’ Shows New Possibilities For Modern Action

 /  Reviews  / 
'Extraordinary Mission' is an extraordinarily lush feat of production, presenting an acutely visualized widescreen world with the urgent velocity of a film that its makers feel has to cram in every last bit. In our current fallen world of big-screen action, it’s a syllabus for possibilities that remain. Read More

Film Review: ‘Born In China’ Projects Soft Power, Cuddly As Well

 /  Reviews  / 
After his previous work, it may have seemed natural for Lu to direct a documentary about animals facing extinction in China. With China’s breakneck growth and its President talking about taking the lead in global warming prevention, what better time for a Chinese director to show the world that beyond the cities on its smog-choked coast resides an innocent China of vast natural beauty and splendor in need of protection? Read More

Chinese Films to Watch on Netflix Tonight

 /  Reviews  / 
For the Chinese film fan -- or for the film industry professional trying to bone up on the best of the recent oeuvre -- Netflix is a good resource, but it's not a great one. 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

Bérénice Reynaud on The Greatest Chinese Films

 /  Reprint  / 
Bérénice Reynaud is a pioneering explorer of Chinese film, someone who since the 1980s has led readers in the West to new discoveries and understanding about Chinese directors, their work and the system in which it is produced. 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
. 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 of China’s censors for portraying a little too much real life grit. Both Lost 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

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