In 1924, young Cheng Dieyi (Leslie Cheung) begins training at the Beijing Opera House at the same time as Duan Xiaolou (Fengyi Zhang). Cheng specializes in playing female parts, often against Duan’s commanding male leads. While pretending to be in love with Duan onstage, Cheng begins to develop actual romantic feelings for his co-star, which are not reciprocated. Over the next 50 years, the two men maintain a complicated friendship as China undergoes turbulent changes.
Tag Archives: Mandarin
Du bei dao / The One-Armed Swordsman (1967) Cheh Chang, Yu Wang, Chiao Chiao, Chung-Hsin Huang, Action, Drama
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?
Chu Chi Kit returns to HK from Taiwan after many years in hiding, and immediately resumes his relationship with old flame May and rejoins his old friend Cramp in a drug operation. But times are different, and their big boss Lui now cares more about business than loyalty.
Du li shi dai / A Confucian Confusion (1994) Edward Yang, Li-Mei Chen, Shiang-chyi Chen, Yi-wen Chen, Comedy
Xiao cheng zhi chun / Spring in a Small Town (1948) Mu Fei, Chaoming Cui, Wei Li, Yu Shi, Drama, Romance
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.
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.
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.
Guang yin de gu shi / In Our Time (1982) Yi Chang, I-Chen Ko, Te-chen Tao, Edward Yang, Emily Y. Chang, Sylvia Chang, Chi Chen, Sheng-wen Lan, Drama
Xi yan / Garcon d’honneur / The Wedding Banquet (1993) Ang Lee, Winston Chao, May Chin, Ya-Lei Kuei, Comedy, Drama, Romance
A gay New Yorker stages a marriage of convenience with a young woman to satisfy his traditional Taiwanese family, but the wedding becomes a major inconvenience when his parents fly in for the ceremony…