December Screenings of Chinese-Language Films in NYC and Los Angeles

At 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.


New Releases:

People’s Republic of Desire (Hao Wu, 95 min, 2018)

Opens 11/30 in multiple cities 

In a digital universe where live streamers earn as much as $200K a month, can virtual relationships replace real-life human connection? PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF DESIRE tells the stories of two such online stars who’ve risen from isolation to fame and fortune in China. The film takes us on a vérité journey through their live streaming showrooms, which have become virtual gathering places for hundreds of millions – from the super rich who lavish performers with digital gifts, to poor migrant workers who worship them. The characters are brought together in a series of bizarre online idol competitions, where they discover that happiness in their virtual world may be as elusive as in the real one.

Tag Along: Devil Fish (David Chuang, 114 min, 2018)

Opens 12/7 at AMC Empire 25, New York

In summer, all kids are having school holiday. A mother (starring Vivian Hsu) prefers they enjoy and run around the natural instead of staying home watching television. One day, the kids gather altogether and decided to go fishing. They catch that demon fish in the river by coincidence. Since then, the spectres are released again and evildoing…

Dead Souls (Wang Bing, 495 min, 2018) 

Opens 12/14 at Anthology Film Archives, New York; 3 parts: ca. 165 min each

In making Dead SoulsWang interviewed over 100 survivors from almost all of China’s provinces, recording traumatic memories, melancholic recollections and sober reflections on political repression in the country prior to the Cultural Revolution of the late 1960s. As with all of Wang’s work, Dead Souls is both an engrossing epic and a profound moral act in and of itself. A Grasshopper Film and Icarus release. Watch trailer here

Kill Mobile (YU Miao, 90 min, 2018)

Opens 12/28

Seven friends get together for dinner, and decided to play a game where they must share all messages and calls of their cell phones. Throughout the evening, wechat messages, phone calls and APP notifications are coming out continuously. Remake of the Italian film PERFECT STRANGERS directed by Paolo Genovese.

Still in theatre:

A Cool Fish 无名之辈  (Xiaozhi Rao, 109 min, 2018)

Cop-turned-security guard Ma Xianyong finds himself in a criminal twilight zone when two unrelated events turn his world upside down. The mysterious disappearance of his boss has implications for his financial security. Even more perilous is the abduction of his paralyzed sister who, unknown to Ma, makes a morbid deal with her captors.

The Great Buddha + (Hsin-yao Huang,104 min, 2017))

Opens 11/30 Arena Cinelounge, Los Angeles; Director in person at 11/30 screening

Underlining the gap between have-nots’ lives and elites’ world by switching between black and white and glamorous colors, THE GREAT BUDDHA+ vividly illustrates a corrupted village in rural southern Taiwan with memorable style, heartfelt empathy, and whimsical humor. Security guard Pickle and his trash collector friend Belly Button kill time together in night shifts watching the American-educated boss’s dash-cam recordings of his various sexual encounters with women. Against the buddies’ will, something horrifying rather than erotic reveals. Watch the Trailer Here.




IFC Center Presents: Shaw Brothers Spectaculars: Presented in Glorious Shaw-scope

The Fall 2018 edition of our ongoing “Waverly Midnights” series presents 12 widescreen wonders from the legendary Hong Kong studio, in late-night screenings on Fridays and Saturdays, October 12-December 29.

Through 12/29

The Super Inframan (Hua Shan, 84 min, 1975)

11/30 – 12/1

A lazer-blasting, supernatural kung fu robot epic from legendary martial arts purveyors Shaw Brothers?  Wrap your brain in a diaper and tear off your eyelids!

Five Deadly Venoms (Chang Cheh, 98min, 1978)

12/7 – 12/8

The film that launched generations of kung fu acolytes, a popular film series and a few thousand rap songs, this iconic film will also have KILL BILLfans experiencing serious déjà vu.

Buddha’s Palm (Taylor Wong, 93 min, 1982)


A fun-filled ‘80s reboot of the classic ‘60s Shaw Brothers series, featuring super-extending legs delivering kicks from a distance, dwarfs that squirt ALIEN-like acid puss from their spots, and pet dragons.  There’s direct reference to Hollywood fantasy output of the time, particularly STAR WARS and SUPERMAN.

A Still from Holy Flame of the Martial World

Holy Flame of the Martial World (Lu Chin-Ku, 85 min, 1983)

12/21 – 12/23

The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter (Lau Kar-leung, 98 min, 1983)

12/28 – 12/29


CineCina Presents: December Screenings

Bishonen 美少年之恋 (Yonfan, 111 min, 1998)

12/02 at Anthology Film Archives

Jet is the star gigolo in Hong Kong. Arrogant, sexy, everyone falls in love with him, but he falls in love with no one… until one day he meets Sam, the hunkiest policeman to ever pound a beat on Hollywood Road. From then on, Jet changes himself into somebody he is not: innocent, sweet, clean, pure. It’s way of setting a trap to catch Sam. But unknowingly Jet falls into the trap himself. Things begin to get out of control when it turns out that Sam’s past is part of Jet’s present.

The Mission 枪火 (Johnnie To, 88 min, 1999)

12/11 at Anthology Film Archives

Triad boss Lung, who has just escaped being killed in an assassination, hires five killers for his protection. Their grown solidarity is under compulsion when Lung gives a special order.


Museum of Moving Images Presents: Fist and Sword series

The Thousand Faces of Dunjia (Yuen Wo Ping, 113 mins, 2017)

12/07 7:30 p.m. 

A blend of fantasy, comedy, and martial arts, the film also showcases the talents of director Yuen Wo Ping, who choreographed Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and writer Tsui Hark, the iconoclastic artist behind the Once Upon a Time in China series. View trailer here.


MoMA Presents: The Contenders 2018 series

Project Gutenberg (Felix Chong, 148 min, 2018)


When Lee Man (Aaron Kwok) is disparaged as a copycat artist, he finds his talent coveted for a very different kind of artistic work. Approached by a mysterious man called Painter (Chow Yun-fat), Lee reluctantly agrees to help produce the perfect counterfeit US banknote. Chow is at his suave best as a manipulative kingpin masterminding a criminal empire. Kwok shines as the grudging artist conflicted by his evolving identity. Best known for writing Infernal Affairs (2002) (remade in 2006 by Martin Scorsese as The Departed), Felix Chong wrote and directed this twist-filled crime thriller about a man fighting his own demons.



A still from Jia Zhang-ke, a Guy from Fenyang

MUBI Presents: Behind the Viewfinder series

A unique series featuring films from three renowned international directors, each one paired with a documentary examining the life and work of the filmmakers themselves. This thoughtful curation provides deeper insight into the remarkable art of Jia Zhangke, Béla Tarr and Hou Hsiao-Hsien. Hailing from China, Hungary, and Taiwan respectively, these visionary artists stand among the most influential figures in contemporary world cinema.

Each film runs 30 days on the site.

A Touch of Sin (Jia Zhangke, 13o min, 2013)

Opens 12/09

Described as a reflection of “an economic giant slowly being eroded by violence”, A Touch of Sin weaves together four strands, spanning the bustling southern metropolis of Guangzhou to rural townships.

Jia Zhang-ke, a Guy from Fenyang (Walter Salles, 98 min, 2014)

Opens 12/10

Salles accompanies his Chinese colleague as he returns to the locations of his films and also visits the places where he grew up. A twofold journey through time begins.

Three Times (Hou Hsiao-Hsien, 130 min, 2005)

Opens 12/28

In three separate segments, set respectively in 1966, 1911, and 2005, three love stories unfold between three sets of characters, under three different periods of Taiwanese history and governance.

Flowers of Taipei: Taiwan New Cinema (Hsieh Chinlin, 109 min, 2014)

Opens 12/29

A tribute from filmmakers and critics around the world to the Taiwan New Cinema movement in the 1980s.


Also: Red Amnesia 闯入者 (Wang Xiaoshuai, 106 min, 2014)

Opens 11/30

A retired widow has her daily routine derailed when she starts receiving mysterious, anonymous phone calls.