As Chinese New Year draws close, it’s worth spotlighting a relatively recent tradition, the ‘Hesuipian’, literally, “film to celebrate the birth of a new year”, the New Year Movie, which has now become a tradition of four decades.
Posted in Culture and tagged action, black hmour, china, Chinese, Chinese New Year, Christmas movie, cinema, comedy, family, film, hesuipian, movie, new year movie, Scifi, Spring Festival
I did some work on Shang-chi for a project last year, which didn’t materialise due to the pandemic. The filming of the MCU movie was delayed, also due to COVID_19. Now that it’s finally in the can, I’m celebrating its shaqing by reworking the contents of that unfortunate project into an article that looks at the pitfalls and potential of Marvel’s cultural representation of a character whose origins were so problematic, and yet whose development through the decades of comics has been so interesting.
Posted in Commentary and tagged china, Chinese, cinema, comics, cultural appropriation, culture, diversity, film, kungfu, Marvel, MCU, movie, racism, representation, Shang-chi
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 Commentary and tagged china, Chinese, cinema, culture, film, kung fu, movie, ninja, Shaolin, undead
Continuing on with my series on Chinese Horror, I want to talk about Jiangshi (僵尸) films that have made them the overriding image of the Chinese Supernatural.
The beginning of the 1980s saw the release of a wave of Hong Kong zombie movies featuring those blue green doleful jiangshi that hop around in Qing Dynasty official uniforms. These pioneers and the plethora of imitators, were mostly inspired by the legend of the Xiangxi Corpse Handlers from Hunan.
Posted in Culture and tagged china, Chinese, film, HK cinema, horror film, Jiang Shi, movie, Mr Vampire, New Wave, Spooky Bunch, supernatural, zombie
In honour of World Zombie Day 2014, I wrote about the China’s traditional monster of the undead, which I have revised and updated for Ghost Month 2021. You might know these are the “hopping vampires” (a misnomer that I shall address in this article). The proper name for them is Jiangshi, and in fact, they had lived in the Chinese fictional imagination for 900 years before the movies.
Posted in Culture and tagged china, Chinese, cinema, culture, film, horror, Jiang Shi, literature, movie, zombie
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 Commentary and tagged china, Chinese, cinema, culture, CVF, Deformity Sci-Fi, festival, film, indie, movie, Sci-Fi, Shanxi
2013’s Chinese New Year movie, Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons is a kungfu fantasy film directed by Chi-kin Kwok and Stephen Chow. It’s based on one of the four cornerstones of Chinese classical literature, Xi You Ji or Journey to the West. Set in the Tang Dynasty, the novel tells the story of the monk Tripitaka and his perilous journey to India in search for Buddhist sutras, accompanied by his disciples and bodyguards, three reformed demons – a mischievous but super powerful monkey spirit, a fallen god turned pig demon and a fish demon.
Posted in Commentary and tagged china, Chinese, classic, demons, film, Journey to the West, kungfu, literature, Monkey King, movie, novel, Stephen Chow, wuxi a
Run Run Shaw passed away this week at the age of 106. He is known for the great his kung fu movies, and his contributions to the Hong Kong movie industry. However, to me, the impact of Run Run Shaw and his brothers were far wider even than this.
Posted in Commentary and tagged Bladerunner, china, Chinese, culture, film, kungfu, movie, obituary, Shaw Brothers Studios