Tag Archives: Mandarin

Du bei dao / The One-Armed Swordsman (1967) Cheh Chang, Yu Wang, Chiao Chiao, Chung-Hsin Huang, Action, Drama

The One-Armed Swordsman (1967)
An evil gang attacks the Chi school of Golden Sword Kung Fu. One student sacrifices his life to save his teacher and his school, his dying wish is that his son be taken in as a student. Young Fang Kang grows up in the school and treasures his father’s broken sword and the memory of his father’s sacrifice. The other students (including the teacher’s daughter) resent him and try to drive him away. The teacher’s daughter challenges him to a fight and when he refuses she becomes enraged and recklessly chops off his arm! He retreats, broken and bloody, and is found by a young poor girl living alone who nurses him back to health. Meanwhile, the evil gang who originally attacked the Golden Sword school develops a weapon that renders the Golden Sword useless and starts killing off all of the schools students. Fang Kang eventually recovers with the girl’s help but must now face a life with only one arm. Will he be able to recover and live to defend the school as his father did?

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Xiao cheng zhi chun / Spring in a Small Town (1948) Mu Fei, Chaoming Cui, Wei Li, Yu Shi, Drama, Romance

Xiao cheng zhi chun AKA Spring in a Small Town (1948)
Following WWII and with China brought to it’s knees by the actions of the Japanese, prior to the rise of the Communists, led by Chairman Mao. This is the time during which Fei Mu’s film takes place. Wei Wei plays a woman who lives a lonely life, shackled by her care for her gentle, but ill husband (Shi Yu)- that is until her first love reappears into her life. This is Fei’s penultimate film as director, but is still enjoyed by many today as one of his best works. It has now been a firm favorite of many since it was restored in the 80’s by the China Film Archive and some rate it as one of the greatest Chinese movies in history.

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Zhantai / Platform (2000) Zhangke Jia, Hongwei Wang, Tao Zhao, Jing Dong Liang, Drama, History

Zhantai AKA Platform (2000)
Set in Fenyang, Shanxi Province, the film focuses on a group of amateur theatre troupe performers whose fate mirrors that of the general population in China as massive socio-economic changes sweep across the mainland. The film commences in 1979 with the troupe performing numbers idolizing Mao Zedong, ending in the ’80s when the shows reflect the strong Western influences pervading China, covering a decade in which China saw tremendous changes.

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Dong gong xi gong / East Palace, West Palace (1996) Yuan Zhang, Si Han, Jun Hu, Jing Ye, Drama

Dong gong xi gong AKA East Palace, West Palace (1996)
In China, homosexuality isn’t illegal, but homosexuals are routinely persecuted by police and arrested for “hooliganism”. The film focuses on a young gay writer A-Lan who, being attracted to a young policeman, manages to have himself interrogated for a whole night. His life-story which he tells during the interrogation reflects the general repression of the Chinese society. The policeman’s attitude shifts from the initial revulsion to fascination and, finally, to attraction.

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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon / Wo hu cang long (2000) Ang Lee, Yun-Fat Chow, Michelle Yeoh, Ziyi Zhang, Action, Drama, Romance

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon is a timeless story that takes place in QING China when miracles were credible and spirits and gods were present in man’s world. It is not unbelievable that zen warriors float through the air, skim the water and battle in trees and on rooftops. Pain, revenge and duty are the stuff that bind us in this world and are the main plot line of the movie, but in the afterlife love and faith linger on.

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Fu cheng mi shi / Mystery (2012) Ye Lou, Lei Hao, Hao Qin, Xi Qi, Feng Zu, Thriller, Crime, Drama

Mystery (2012)
China’s enfant terrible Lou Ye returns after a five-year government ban on filmmaking with Mystery (2012), a rain-soaked melodrama set against the disconsolate mist of Wuhan’s impetuously erected industrial landscape. Opening with an explosive car crash, Ye’s latest is a tangled wreck of moral impasses and social inspection. Slicing through a sheet of unrelenting rainfall, two modified sports cars – driven by a group of insufferably affluent kids – race through the streets of the Hubei province capital. Their recklessness is dramatically halted, however, when they fail to notice a young woman who has wandered into the road.

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