At the beginning of each month, CFI posts a comprehensive list of Chinese film screenings in NYC and LA. To help you better understand China through cinema, we include films that are made by Chinese filmmakers, set in China, or tell Chinese stories. Here is what to see in October.
Send Me to the Clouds 送我上青云 (Tian Congcong, 99 min, 2019)
Diagnosed with ovarian cancer, a 29-year-old journalist who longs for true love ends up writing the biography for an entrepreneur’s father, which leads her to embark on an existential journey. As deeply moving as it is luminously witty, writer-director Teng Congcong’s debut waltzes across the bitterness swallowed by her generation of women born under China’s One Child Policy, unprecedentedly burdened to “surpass men” while trying not to be “leftover women” at the same time. Click here to see more screening venues.
The Climbers 攀登者 (Daniel Lee, 125 min, 2019)
The Climbers is a cinematic retelling of the first Chinese climbers to summit Mount Everest – the first ever to do so from the North Ridge. Well-known as the most challenging side of the mountain, the perilous journey takes its toll on the mountaineers, physically and mentally, forcing them to make life or death decisions at every turn. Based on a true story from award-winning director Daniel Lee, featuring China’s biggest stars Wu Jing and Zhang Ziyi, and with a special guest appearance from superstar Jackie Chan. See it exclusively in IMAX theaters September 30. In theaters everywhere October 4.
My People, My Country 我和我的祖国 (multiple directors, 158 min, 2019)
The movie consists of 7 stories, which are based on 7 memorial moments since the foundation of People’s Republic of China. The stories are about what normal people do for the country and why they do that, showing the close relationship between citizens and the country – It seems that the concept of a country is so big while a citizen is too small, but they can’t exist without each other. Produced in 2019, the year of the 70th anniversary of China, the film is a gift to every Chinese living in the Country and overseas.
The Captain (The Chinese Pilot) 中国机长 (Andrew Lau Wai-Keung, 111 min, 2019)
Opens on 10/18
The Captain is based on a real-life incident in May 2018, when the cockpit windshield of a Sichuan Airlines flight shattered while the plane was flying 30,000 feet above the Tibetan Plateau. The co-pilot was sucked halfway out of the cockpit and passengers started losing consciousness due to low pressure, but the captain managed to land the plane safely.
Saturday Fiction 兰心大剧院 (Lou Ye, 125 min, 2019)
Screens on October 8, 9, 12 at Film at Lincoln Center
The incomparable Gong Li (Raise the Red Lantern) gives a mesmerizing, take-no-prisoners performance in Saturday Fiction, a slow-burn spy thriller set in Japanese-occupied Shanghai on the cusp of World War II. U.S. PREMIERE.
In A New York Minute (Ximan Li, 100 min, 2019)
Screens on October 6 at Syndicated Bar Theater Kitchen
Based on a Chinese short story, In A New York Minute takes a slice-of-life look at relationships highlighted by its Asian and Asian American led cast. Three strangers accidentally discover the solution to their problems may lie in a single pregnancy test. Amy is haunted by a past breakup. Angel is caught between a loveless marriage to an American businessman and a passionate affair with a Chinese writer. Nina moonlights as an escort to support herself.
Los Angeles Chinese Film Festival (LACFF) aims to uncover and promote outstanding Chinese language and Chinese culture-focused films, and to foster cultural exchange through screenings, industry panels, workshops and social events. Read the full schedule here. To purchase tickets, click here.
Use Code CFI2019 for 20% off!
CineCina Film Festival: The Road will showcase some of the 2019 best cinema from 17 countries and regions. Opens in Manhattan, from October 25 to November 3, 2019. Read the full line up here.
The Wild Goose Lake 南方车站的聚会 (Diao Yinan, 113 min, 2019)
Screens on October 31 at SVA Theatres
A formalist gangster thriller drenched in reds and blues, though imbued with a melancholic tone that speaks to contemporary China’s vast economic disparities, the elegantly down-and-dirty The Wild Goose Lake, set in the nooks and crannies of densely populated Wuhan, follows the desperate attempts of small-time mob boss Zhou Zenong (the charismatic Hu Ge) to stay alive after he mistakenly kills a cop and a dead-or-alive reward is put on his head. Also an NYFF selection.
Raining in the Mountain 空山灵雨 (King Hu, 120 min, 1979)
Screens on November 1 & 2 at AMC Lincoln Square 13
A general and an esquire employ martial artists to steal a scroll hidden in the monastery’s library. Newly restoration. 40th anniversary screening.
FILM SERIES & SPECIAL SCREENINGS
Master Z: Ip Man Legacy 叶问外传：张天志 (Yuen Woo-ping, 108 min, 2019)
Screens on October 4 at Museum of Moving Images
Following his defeat by Master Ip, Cheung Tin Chi (Zhang) tries to make a life with his young son in Hong Kong, waiting tables at a bar that caters to expats. But it is not long before the mix of foreigners, money, and triad leaders draws him once again to the fight. Part of film series Fist and Sword (2019)
An Elephant Sitting Still 大象席地而坐 (Hu Bo, 230 min, 2018)
Screens on October 19 at Metrograph
Screening followed by a Q&A with DP Fan Chao.
Under the gloomy sky of a small town in northern China, different protagonists’ lives are intertwined in this furious tale of nihilistic rage.
A director’s oeuvre may not always be “consistent,” but an auteur’s continuity of vision is often evident right from the beginning, and it is always thrilling to follow new, original cinematic voices. For over eight decades, MoMA’s Department of Film has sought out and supported emerging directors, and this series highlights statement-making first, second, and third features made since the 1950s by directors from six continents.
Ju Dou 菊豆 (Zhang Yimou & Yang Fengliang, 95 min, 1990)
October 23 at MoMA
The iconic Gong Li, in her third Zhang Yimou film, shines in the title role of a mill owner’s young wife who is subjected to daily abuse. Bonding with her husband’s unmarried nephew, Ju Dou finds a path to liberation.
Xiao Wu 小武 (Jia Zhangke, 110 min, 1997)
October 28 at MoMA
Small-town pickpocket Xiao Wu struggles to gain a foothold in a rapidly modernizing world. While his old gang buddies have found fortune as entrepreneurs in the new marketplace, Xiao Wu sticks to his old trade and gradually finds himself deserted by everyone he once knew.