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Film Friday

‘Beijing Bastards’: An unsavory portrait of ’90s Beijing with legendary rock star Cui Jian

It can seem slapdash and aimless — it is not a great film, after all — but Beijing Bastards, with…

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‘Cities of Last Things’: A revenge story told backwards in a hodgepodge of genres

A three-part film told backwards, defying style and convention: Cities of Last Things is the first in our series of reviews…

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‘The Kid’: A childhood artifact from Bruce Lee’s pre-kung fu days

The 46th anniversary of Bruce Lee’s death is tomorrow. While fans fondly remember his late-career kung fu movies that made…

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1973: When kung fu ruled the American box office

In 1973, American movie-goers could not get enough of Hong Kong cinema, with the top three spots at the box…

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‘The Crossing’: A crime-tinged teen drama that explores the Hong Kong-mainland China divide

The Crossing, director Bai Xue’s impressive film debut, is a stirring coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of crime and…

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Remembering animator Hu Jinqing, father of the Calabash Brothers

Hu Jinqing, who passed away in Shanghai last month, was a legendary Chinese animator whose works include both the commercially…

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‘The New King of Comedy’: A remake that shouldn’t have been made

A remake of a 1999 Stephen Chow classic, The New King of Comedy has hijinks galore and even some humor, but flops…

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1990 documentary ‘Sunless Days’ is a rare snapshot of the post-June 4 Chinese community

A somewhat experimental piece from Hong Kong director Shu Kei, as free-wheeling as it is far-flung, Sunless Days combines archival footage…

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China’s greatest propaganda film: Zhou Enlai’s historical musical ‘The East is Red’

The story behind the Chinese Communist Party’s best propaganda musical.   Zhou Enlai 周恩来, the PRC’s first premier, is remembered…

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‘Iron Moon’: A beautiful portrait of China’s working-class poets

Is there room for poetry in contemporary society? Iron Moon, an award-winning documentary that splices together the working-class life of its subjects…

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‘Poet on a Business Trip’: An offbeat odyssey through Xinjiang with poetry

April is National Poetry Month, and we’re celebrating with a series of articles that looks at Chinese poetry, both past and present. Our…

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The brief and scandalous film career of Madame Mao

Before she became the most powerful woman in China and imposed her vision of art and culture on the country,…

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‘City on Fire’: Behind the story and influence of Ringo Lam’s classic

City of Fire, the film that inspired Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, is a masterclass in the Hong Kong crime genre.   Since…

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Film Friday: Humanity amid massacre: ‘City of Life and Death,’ reviewed

What filmmaker Lu Chuan does that his predecessors were unable or unwilling to do is bring multidimensionality to an unfathomable…

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The tragic end of Shi Hui, Maoist China’s most promising actor-director

Persecuted and misunderstood, Shi Hui was one of many individuals swept up and destroyed by the Anti-Rightist Movement. Chinese cinema…

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