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 December.
Two Tigers 两只老虎 (Li Fei, 93 min, 2019)
Bumbling young man Fang Nan kidnaps businessman Zhang Chenggong for ransom. However, the captor becomes the captive when Zhang turns the tables on Fang and forces him to complete three tasks. The two men soon find themselves sharing a journey filled with absurdity and deception until they are forced to make a final choice.
Wings Over Everest 冰峰暴 (Fay Yu, 110 min, 2019)
Opens on 11/29 at AMC theatres
When a plane carrying important documents crashes in the Death Zone of Mount Everest, two men claiming to work for India’s research and analysis department offer a large sum of money to Team Wings to take them up to recover them.
Opens on 12/06 at AMC theatres
Following a fatal accident, a Chinese expatriate working for a mining company in Australia discovers that new technology developed by the company may be a health risk, and investigates a web of conspiracies in his search for the truth. Starring Tang Wei and Lei Jiayin.
Little Q 小Q (Law Wing Cheong, 107 min, 2019)
Opens on 12.06 at AMC Empire 25 (NY)
A yellow lab with a curious birthmark named Little Q is training to become a guide dog for the blind. When his training is complete, he is sent to help a famous recently blinded chef, Lee Bo Ting. Irritable and bitter, Bo Ting is at first reluctant to rely on Little Q, trying to drive him away several times. But through his loyalty and protection, Little Q eventually teaches Bo Ting how to trust again and opens him up to a new life of wonderful possibilities.
Chinese Portrait 我的镜头 (Wang Xiaoshuai, 79 min, 2019)
From acclaimed director Wang Xiaoshuai (Beijing Bicycle; So Long, My Son) comes a personal snapshot of contemporary China in all its diversity. Shot over the course of ten years on both film and video, the film consists of a series of carefully composed tableaus of people and environments, each one more extraordinary than the last.
Only Cloud Knows 只有芸知道 (Feng Xiaogang, 2019)
Opens on 12/20 at AMC theatres
The romance revolves around a Chinese widower who returns to New Zealand after the death of his wife. There he discovers that she held secrets in her past. Retracing the journey of their courtship, he seeks to fulfill a dream she never had a chance to complete.
Ip Man 4: The Finale 叶问4 (Wilson Yip, 2019)
Ip Man’s life remains unchanged after his wife’s death, but he and his son are slowly drifting apart. To seek a better future for his son, Ip Man decides to travel to the U.S. only to find the stable, peaceful life abroad is only skin deep. Underneath lies a deep rooted racial discrimination that is far worse than he has expected. Ip Man re-examines his position and ponders on the reason he took up martial arts in the beginning.
Still in theatres:
Better Days 少年的你 (Derek Tsang, 135 min, 2019)
From the award-winning team of Soul Mate, comes a new Chinese drama movie by Derek Kwok-Cheung Tsang, starring Jackson Yee and Zhou Dongyu.
White Snake 白蛇缘起 (Amp Wong & Ji Zhao, 98 min)
FILM SERIES & SPECIAL SCREENINGS
Kung Fu League 功夫联盟 (Jeffrey Lau, 103 mins, 2019)
Screens on December 6
In this self-reflexive action comedy directed by Stephen Chow collaborator Jeffrey Lau (Kung Fu Hustle), a poor comic book artist Fei Ying Xiong summons four legendary kung fu masters to teach him the highest level of martial arts and grant him the means to defeat those standing in the way of getting the girl he loves
For this annual series, the Department of Film combs through major studio releases and the top film festivals in the world, selecting influential, innovative films made in the past 12 months that we believe will stand the test of time. Whether bound for awards glory or destined to become a cult classic, each of these films is a contender for lasting historical significance, and any true cinephile will want to catch them on the big screen.
One Child Nation (Nanfu Wang & Jialing Zhang, 88 min, 2019)
Screens on December 20
Directors Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang investigate this dark chapter in the nation’s history, interviewing individuals with varying degrees of complicity and uncovering chilling stories. What emerges is an ingeniously crafted, complex portrait of a traumatized nation.
Long Day’s Journey into Night 地球最后的夜晚 (Bi Gan, 139 min, 2018)
Screens on December 26
Bi Gan’s second feature is a neon-tinted, dreamy noir that slyly weaves through time and space. On the occasion of his father’s funeral, Luo Hongwu returns to his hometown of Kaili. Confronted with memories of a former lover, an old friend, and his distant childhood, Luo Hongwu embarks on a non-linear adventure to tie up loose ends.
The Windowed Witch 北方一片苍茫/小寡妇成仙记 (Cai Chengjie, 120 min, 2018)
Streams on MUBI
A resourcefully-made debut that won the Tiger Award at Rotterdam, this first feature written and directed by Cai Chengjie is a true marvel. Set in the stark winter of rural China, The Widowed Witch is as intriguing, unpredictable, and idiosyncratic as its protagonist: a newly self-reliant shaman.