Happy Halloween. To celebrate, I’m going to tell you about the history of horror films in mainland China. It’s true that there haven’t been as many horror classics produced in the People’s Republic, as in Hong Kong, due to closer control of more “sensationalist” content, but we should remember that it was the film talent from Shanghai, who migrated to Hong Kong in the early twentieth century that helped Hong Kong’s legendary cinema industry flourish.
Posted in Blog and tagged china, Chinese, cinema, culture, film, horror, mainland, Music at Midnight, noir, Phantom of the Opera
In honour of World Zombie Day, this week I am writing about Chinese zombies, which had existed for 900 years before the movies.
Posted in Blog and tagged china, Chinese, cinema, culture, film, horror, Jiang Shi, literature, movie, zombie
In 1967, Shaw Brothers Studios released The One-Armed Swordsman. This was the beginning of their “Steel Hero” martial arts genre, which would make them famous throughout the world. Female cinema-goers certainly weren’t complaining, but the studios started to receive letters from husbands, worried that their wives, would compare them, to Gordon Liu or Hua Yueh.
Posted in Blog and tagged china, Chinese, cinema, culture, film, Hong Kong, kung fu, movies, Run Run Shaw, Shaw Brothers Studios
This year’s Chinese Visual Festival is collaborating with the Chinese Independent Film Festival to bring to the UK their 10th anniversary animation selection, and I went to see it at King’s College in the middle of May.
Posted in Blog and tagged animation, china, CIFF, cinema, culture, CVF, festival, film, history of animation, indie, King's College, london
残废科幻 (“Can Fei Ke Huan”), quite crudely translated as “Deformity Sci-Fi”, is a peculiar, heady mix, shot in Shanxi, the hometown of up and coming Chinese indie director Jianqiang Xue (a.k.a. Kokoka). It follows the lives and misdemeanors of a gang of lowly thugs as they go about their daily business, arguing, fighting, drinking, collecting money and committing crimes against the backdrop of an imminent alien visitation.
Posted in Blog and tagged china, Chinese, cinema, culture, CVF, Deformity Sci-Fi, festival, film, indie, movie, Sci-Fi, Shanxi
“Undercover cops walking a line between triad loyalty and law and order” is practically the bread and butter of the Hong Kong film industry, from classics like City On Fire, to its imitation in games like Sleeping Dogs.
Here, it is Chan Chi-Lung, played by Donnie Yen, who penetrates the echelons of Hong Kong’s gangster world, after severe reprimanding, as a last ditch attempt at returning to the force . His partner and boss, Captain Cheung (Ronald Cheung) promises to give Chan his “big break”, only after he has helped in solving one last case that would allow Cheung to retire in glory.
Posted in Blog and tagged action, china, Chinese, cinema, City on Fire, cops, culture, Donnie Yen, film, gangster movie, Hong Kong, Hong Kong cinema, Special ID, Terracotta Festival
This week’s article is a little late, as I’m worse for wear, having attended the anime all-nighter at the Stratford Picture House. There were some really beautiful anime such Patema Inverted and really silly ones such Space Dandy. I had a great time and would love to extend my thanks to everyone at Sci-Fi London.
Posted in Blog and tagged anime, china, Chinese, cinema, culture, film, movie, Ping Pong, Sci-Fi
Director Feng Xiao Gang is London at the moment, promoting his new film, “Back to 1942”, probably one of the most high profile pieces he has created, certainly with the biggest budget.
Posted in Blog and tagged Big Shot's Funeral, black comedy, china, Chinese, cinema, culture, Feng Xiaogang, film, review, satire
Fairytale Killer, released in Asia in May last year, is the work of influential Hong Kong director Danny Pang (Bangkok Dangerous, The Eye), in collaboration with the excellent Thai director, Decha Srimantra (Ong Bak, Chocolate). It stars Sean Lau (Mad Detective, A Life Without Principle), Wang Bao Qiang (Blind Shaft) and star of Pang’s The Child’s Eye, Elanne Kwong.
Posted in Blog and tagged china, Chinese, cinema, culture, Danny Pang, Decha Srimantra, fairytale, film, Hong Kong cinema, horror, Thai cinema, thriller
When I first saw the trailer for Tai Chi Zero last year, I was incredibly impressed and couldn’t wait to see it. Tai Chi Hero, the sequel, was released a month later, October 2012. So far there has been no UK release. On May the 4th, I got to go a one-off showing of the two films in Stratford, courtesy of Terracotta Distribution cross promoting with Sci Fi London, the amazing people who brought the films for showcasing so that English film lovers got a chance to watch it. Tai Chi Zero blew me away. So as well as adding this review to my repertoire of Chinese pop culture articles, I also hope that it will in some way, help with films find a distributor in the UK.
Posted in Blog and tagged china, cinema, culture, film, kungfu, steampunk, tai chi