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Film Friday

‘I Wish I Knew’: Jia Zhangke’s documentary is a rich collage of old Shanghai

A story of modern Shanghai, told with stories from the past.   Earlier this year, when movie theaters were still…

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An anti-bullying love story may be the best Chinese film of 2019

Better Days, winner of Best Film at the recent 39th Hong Kong Film Awards, is a coming-of-age drama about two…

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How ‘Yellow Earth’ revolutionized Chinese film

Chen Kaige’s 1984 debut film, Yellow Earth, defied the social realism of its day, revolutionizing the ways the Chinese watched and created…

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‘Us and Them’: The searing beauty of big dreams and big regrets

Now on Netflix: A story about love, struggle, big dreams in Beijing, regret, and the things which ultimately most matter.…

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The historical poet-painter behind Stephen Chow’s ‘Flirting Scholar’

April is National Poetry Month, and in honor of that, we present Flirting Scholar, a martial-arts comedy whose main character is…

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‘Chicken Poets’: Meng Jinghui’s absurdist comedy explores art in an artless world

April is National Poetry Month, and in honor of that, we present Chicken Poets, a film about a poet who…

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‘A Sun’: Golden Horse winner is a subtle drama about a broken family

Now available on Netflix, A Sun is a weighty Taiwanese crime-drama filled with shocking violence and repressed emotion. Ultimately, it’ll have…

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‘The Wild Goose Lake’: A grimy, neon-drenched noir from Wuhan

Set in Wuhan — a gritty, weird, flashing city that’s unlike the Wuhan you see in headlines today — The Wild…

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Love, captured: China’s billion-dollar pre-wedding photo industry

China Love, a documentary released last year by Australian filmmaker Olivia Martin-McGuire, takes a close look at China’s pre-wedding photo…

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‘So Long, My Son’ — A heartfelt examination of grief, stasis, and mass modernization

A beautiful, heart-aching film that will live alongside China’s classics for years to come.   The titular likeness that So…

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‘Send Me to the Clouds’: A woman’s desire to desire

“Feminism” and “women’s cinema” remain misunderstood and stigmatized terms in modern China, which brings us to the film Send Me…

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Till death brings us together: ‘Love Education’ review

Despite historical turmoil and social transformations, women believe in love, search for love, sustain the institutions of love, and pay…

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‘Mr. Vampire’: The definitive jiangshi movie

To wrap up our series on Chinese horror, we turn to the jiangshi, that most quintessential of Chinese monsters. Part-vampire,…

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‘Dangerous Encounters of the First Kind’: Hong Kong as alienated urban hell

Known as the “Steven Spielberg of Asia,” Tsui Hark began his career directing horror movies, and Dangerous Encounters of the First…

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‘The Enchanting Shadow’: A classic ghostly romance

We continue the countdown to Halloween with our series on Chinese horror. This week: The Enchanting Shadow, the first Hong Kong…

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