What the Critics Think: Crosscurrent (2015)

Every day while CFI’s Hollywood readers take in the business of the Chinese film industry, the actual movies can sometimes seem exotic or remote. But in major US cities, mainstream Chinese films are increasingly available: thanks to Wanda’s purchase of AMC and distributors like China Lion, they get American theatrical releases practically simultaneous to their premieres at home. Though they receive virtually no publicity outside the non-Chinese community, these films are more than worth seeking out by anyone serious about engaging the Chinese industry, understanding the Chinese sensibility and familiarizing themselves with China’s talent pool. Periodically, CFI will review and point readers in the direction of noteworthy US releases of contemporary commercial and independent Chinese titles.

Chinese: 长江图 (Chang Jiang Tu) | Release:__ | Studio: Trend Cultural Investment Co., Ray Production, Just Show Production Beijing, Shandong Jiabo Culture Development Co
Producers: Wang Yu, Ha Bo | Director: Yang Chao | Cast: Qin Hao, Xin Zhilei, Wu Linpeng, Wang Hongwei, Jiang Hualin

Premiered at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival.

Variety — “Berlin Film Review: ‘Crosscurrent’,”  by Maggie Lee, February 17, 2016
“Yang Chao’s gorgeously shot meditation on the Yangtze River all but drowns in pretentious symbolism and philosophical musings.”

Twitchfilm—“Berlinale 2016 Review: CROSSCURRENT Channels The Poetry Of Confusion,”  by Thomas Humphrey, February 16, 2016
“This divisive film certainly falls into a similar Chinese New Wave groove thanks to its maddeningly riddle-like nature and strongly ambiguous atmosphere.”

One Room With a View—”‘Crosscurrent’ – Berlinale 2016 Review” by Eddie Falvvey, February 16, 2016
“Aided by some truly breathtaking cinematography, Yang Chao’s Crosscurrent is a hallucinatory experience that ultimately has far less to say than it thinks it does.”

The Hollywood Reporter — “‘Crosscurrent’ (‘Chang Jiang Tu’): Berlin Review,” by Deborah Young, February 15, 2016
“Beautiful romanticism in search of a narrative shore.”

Screen Daily — “‘Crosscurrent’: Berlin Review,” by Lee Marshall, February 15, 2016
“Crosscurrent pays back some of its viewer investment in the final quarter, when the battered hulk of a boat enters the Three Gorges Dam.”

Dog and Wolf — “Crosscurrent,”  by Mark Wilshin, February 15, 2016
“An ambitious portrait of modern China, Yang Chao’s Crosscurrent is a poetic knot of yearning, mourning and the shifting sands of time.”

WHAT DOES THE GRADE MEAN?

Here are some recent & modern-era vintage Chinese and Hong Kong films for comparison

  • A+
  • PLATFORM (2000, dir Jia Zhangke)
  • THE WORLD (2004, dir. Jia Zhangke)
  • DRUNKEN MASTER 2 (1994, dir. Lau Kar Leung & Jackie Chan)
  • KUNG FU HUSTLE (2004, dir. Stephen Chow)
  • A
  • LET THE BULLETS FLY (2010, dir Jiang Wen)
  • THE MERMAID (2016, dir. Stephen Chow)
  • A TOUCH OF SIN (2013, dir. Jia Zhangke)
  • STILL LIFE (2006, dir. Jia Zhangke)
  • MOUNTAINS MAY DEPART (2015, dir. Jia Zhangke)
  • LITTLE BIG SOLDIER (2010, dir. Ding Sheng)
  • MR SIX (2015, dir. Guan Hu)
  • A WORLD WITHOUT THIEVES (2004, dir. Feng Xiaogang)
  • SUZHOU RIVER (1999, dir. Lou Ye)
  • HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS (2004, dir Zhang Yimou)
  • RAISE THE RED LANTERN (1991, dir. Zhang Yimou)
  • A-
  • DUCKWEED (2017, dir. Han Han)
  • I BELONGED TO YOU (2016, dir. Zhang Yibai)
  • B+
  • OLD STONE (2016, dir. Johnny Ma)
  • CRAZY STONE (2006, dir. Ning Hao)
  • GO, LALA GO (2010, dir. Xu Jinglei)
  • B
  • KUNG FU YOGA (2017, dir. Stanley Tong)
  • RAILROAD TIGERS (2016, dir. Ding Sheng)
  • THE WASTED TIMES (2016, dir. Cheng Er)
  • CHONGQING HOT POT (2016, dir. Yang Qing)
  • MONSTER HUNT (2015, dir. Raman Hui)
  • B-
  • JOURNEY TO THE WEST: THE DEMONS STRIKE BACK (2017, dir. Tsui Hark)
  • SOME LIKE IT HOT (2017, dir. Song Xiaofei & Dong Xu)
  • C+
  • BUDDIES IN INDIA (2017, dir. Wang Baoqiang)
  • D-
  • TINY TIMES (2013, dir. Guo Jingming)