Last weekend I went to watch John Carpenter’s “Big Trouble in Little China” on the big screen, on the film’s 30th anniversary. The film, packed with great soundtrack composed by the director himself, punchy script and adventurous plot, has aged well with time. As an academic writer who focuses on Chinese pop culture, I often find myself dealing with subject matter my peers wouldn’t touch with a ten foot barge pole. John Carpenter’s “Big Trouble in Little China” is one such piece. Having just had a chance to see the 1986 film from a 70mm print, for its anniversary, I thought it was worth talking about, considering the impact this film has had on a whole generation of Western cinema goers, many of whom may have never seen the action adventures of the Chinese film industry which inspired this movie.
Posted in Blog and tagged anniversary, Big Trouble in Little China, china, Chinese culture, cinema, Daoism, film, John Carpenter, Lo Pan, mysticism by Xueting Ni
This year, the 35th Hong Kong Film Awards will honour Li Lihua with the Lifetime Achievement Award. As one of the “flowers of Shaw”, I first came across her as I researched “Shaw Sisters: the Fighting Women of Hong Kong Cinema”. I’m pleased that an actor who brought so much to Chinese cinema is being celebrated in this way. For those who may not be familiar with her, I present a short introduction on Li’s contributions to Chinese cinema.
Posted in Blog and tagged china, Chinese, culture, film, Hong Kong Film Awards, Li Lihua, Shaw Brothers Studios by Xueting Ni
My English partner once told me, that China should re-Christen themselves the East Pole, claim Father Christmas as one of their own, and tell the children of the world, that he’s just moved closer to where the toys are made.
As we hear sleigh bells on the horizon, I know a lot of you will be facing Christmas with a mixture of excitement and dread, with many of you still hunting for exactly the right gift to spoil your loved ones and friends. Interest in Chinese culture have grown in recent years, and I hope this gift guide may help inspire anyone shopping for a sinophile!
Posted in Blog and tagged Ben Chu, Big Trouble in Little China, book, Chinese, Chinese Fairly Tales, Chinese Whispers, christmas, classicist, culture, Donnie Yen, fantasy, film, Folio Society, Geek, Genjing Records, gift, ginger, indie record label, Ip Man, JING, John Carpenter, music, POP!, punk, review, Sci-Fi, sinophile, tea, Terracotta Distribution, urban adventurer, Victo Ngai, vinyl by Xueting Ni
The Chinese horror movie industry has really blossomed in the 21st century, especially mainland output. Here is an unlucky selection of Chinese horror movies for you to enjoy over the Halloween weekend.
Posted in Blog and tagged china, Chinese, culture, film, horror, movie by Xueting Ni
The Chinese Lunar calendar doesn’t always match up with ours, and our festivals hardly ever overlap. Whilst the West gets all its gruesome ghosts and ghouls taking centre stage at the end of October, the biggest festival of the dead in China takes place half way through the seventh lunar month. This friday saw the end of Zhong Yuan (or Ghost Month http://snowpavilion.co.uk/zhong-yuan-ghost-month/), and to celebrate, here’s a review of 2015’s big fantasy monster movie, released internationally (but not in the UK yet) in August.
Posted in Blog and tagged Attack on Titan, Bingbing Li, china, Chinese, cinema, culture, demon, demon slayer, DevilMan, fantasy, film, Frozen, Ghost Month, horror, Kun Chen, Labyrinth, Lord of the Rings, monster, Peter Pau, Shaw Brothers, Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal, Tsui Hark, Wuxia, Zhang Ji Zhong, Zhong Kui, Zhong Yuan by Xueting Ni
The Chinese Visual Festival is a mixed bag, documentaries, art films, first time projects and a few gems. It’s difficult for me to cover the whole festival, but I try and cover a couple of screenings each year. This year’s LGBT programme was most inviting, and having missed last year’s, it was one I was determined to attend.
Posted in Blog and tagged avant garde, Beijing, bisexuality, china, Chinese, Chinese Visual Festival, cosplay, culture, documentary, Fan Popo, feminism, film, gender, Guangzhou, homosexuality, LGBT, queer, Shanghai, Sun Yat-Sen University, transgender, VaChina Monologues, Vagina Monologues by Xueting Ni
This week is Spring Festival 2015. In London’s Chinatown, festive lanterns shine over frantic shoppers rushing about to prepare for the biggest annual feast and celebration, there will be lion dances in Gerrard Street and music performances in Trafalgar Square. Is the thought of pushing through the crowds again making your head spin? Are you an adventurous Sinophile wandering what else there is beyond the bounds of Soho? Here are some things you can enjoy in London outside Chinatown.
Posted in Blog and tagged Aardman, animation, Chang Er, china, Chinatown Artspace, Chinese, Chinese New Year, Chinese opera, Cinderella, film, flower market, jade rabbit, moon landing, music, Polka Theatre, puppetry, Rich Mix, Shanghai Animation Studios, Shaun the Sheep, Shikumen, Spring Festival, stop motion, theatre, Year of the Sheep, Yeh Shen, Yellow Earth Theatre by Xueting Ni
It’s been a big autumn for Shaolin in Britain, what with the European Shaolin Festival in October, followed by the re-release of 1984 kungfu classic Hero of Shaolin by Terracotta Distributions on the 10th of November.
Posted in Blog and tagged china, Chinese, cinema, culture, film, kung fu, movie, ninja, Shaolin, undead by Xueting Ni
Over the last month, I’ve delved a little into Chinese ideas of ghosts, and horror. The ultimate source however, is the work of Shandong scholar, Pu Song Ling, who gathered stories from common folk and rewrote them into 491 short stories collected as 聊斋志异 “Liao Zhai Zhi Yi”, or “Strange Tales from the Hearth” (or more commonly in the West, “Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio”).
Posted in Blog and tagged china, Chinese, Chinese Ghost Story, culture, film, ghost stories, Gordon Chan, horror, Liao Zhai Zhi Yi, Painted Skin, Pu Song Ling, pumpkin, Tsui Hark by Xueting Ni