As one of the major directors in Chinese cinema, any new work of Tsui Hark’s is exciting news, let alone any work released outside China and Chinese-speaking regions. As relatively more Chinese films make their way to Western cinemas, some top-bill Wuxia titles are now sharing the summer slot with Hollywood Blockbusters. This summer sees the global release of “Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings”, the third film in Judge Dee series (after “Mystery of the Phantom Flame” and “Rise of the Sea Dragon”), produced by renown and award-winning producer Nansun Shi (Infernal Affairs, Seven Swords, Chinese Ghost Story). Five years would have given this film considerable build-up, especially after the second one, which, despite the bold steps it took, was by far the weaker of the two.
Posted in Commentary and tagged china, Chinese, cinema, culture, Detective Dee, film, pop culture, review, Tsui Hark, Wuxia
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 Commentary 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
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 Culture 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