Chinese Films

Hi guys. I'm thinking of commissioning a Bald Movies podcast for a Chinese movie. If anyone else is intersted, we could crowd fund the podcast together - I earn minimum wage and can't afford to fund it entirely by myself, but I'd love to chip in with some shares if there's any interest!

Here are some candidates I'm thinking of:

1. In the Heat of the Sun (1994) by Jiang Wen

2. Raise the Red Lantern (1991) by Zhang Yimou

3. Farewell my Concubine (1993) by Chen Kaige

4. Keep Cool (1997) by Zhang Yimou

5. Chungking Express (1994) by Wong Kar-wai

If you have any other suggestions feel free to post them! Let's get this off the ground. Chinese cinema has a plethora of great movies waiting to get Jim and A.Ron's commentary on them. Who's in?

Comments

  • kingbee67kingbee67 Los Angeles Ca.
    Would Joy Luck Club qualify?
  • kingbee67 said:

    Would Joy Luck Club qualify?

    That's a good question. From what I understand, it's an American production with a Chinese director, and it's based on a novel by an Chinese-American author born in the states. If people choose that movie then I guess why not. Personally, I would prefer a Chinese production - not necessarily limited to the ones I put forward.

    I would also argue that by virtue of being Chinese productions, the "Chinese identity" theme is implicit, and does not play an explicit narrative or plot-related role, which means their stories are allowed to just be stories.

    The only "Chinese" thing about them is the setting (which, though important, is ultimately contingent and secondary to the story itself) not some grand question about Chinese identity per se. Ultimately, that's what interests me about these movies - their stories, their characters and yes, their cinematography. Although the distinctly Chinese aesthetic in most of them is a big part of what makes these movies beautiful to watch, I would say it isn't what makes them great.

    The Joy Luck Club, on the other hand, wrestles with the Chinese question as its central theme, which may be interesting in its own right, but it isn't what drives the movies I mentioned. What drives them is the same storytelling impulse of any person or culture, and it's that impulse which, when executed well, makes a movie worth watching - more so than the themes it grappled with. But that's just my opinion! Sorry if I went on a bit.

    Short answer: why not?
  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    Well, I'm a huge Wong Kar-wai fan (In the Mood for Love is my favorite film), so I would probably vote for Chungking Express, but I don't know how the guys feel about non-English language films. Most of the Asian films I've heard them reference are action and horror flicks. And while Chungking Express is energetic and quirky, it's still cerebral in the sense of Godard, and I could see the guys being a bit puzzled by it. Just my two cents.
  • I haven't seen the guys do any fully captioned movies and they may be up for it, but I'm not sure how in depth it would go. Since TJLC got booted, my choice of The Last Emperor would also get booted ;) you could always hit the guys up to gauge interest, I would say that FMC and CE are probably ones they may have seen or at least heard of.
  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
    Raise the Red Lantern is a wonderful film. I am not sure if I could see these guys being into it. They seem to be more into scifi, action, superhero etc genre films.

    There's a Chinese film I saw at SIFF some time ago called Getting Home that was pretty good. 
  • Well, I'm a huge Wong Kar-wai fan (In the Mood for Love is my favorite film), so I would probably vote for Chungking Express, but I don't know how the guys feel about non-English language films. Most of the Asian films I've heard them reference are action and horror flicks. And while Chungking Express is energetic and quirky, it's still cerebral in the sense of Godard, and I could see the guys being a bit puzzled by it. Just my two cents.

    Yeah, I love that movie. I take your points though. Is that one vote for Chunking Express then? (side note: I actually stayed in the Chongqing Mansions where the film was made several times. One word - intense).
  • KingKobra said:

    I haven't seen the guys do any fully captioned movies and they may be up for it, but I'm not sure how in depth it would go. Since TJLC got booted, my choice of The Last Emperor would also get booted ;) you could always hit the guys up to gauge interest, I would say that FMC and CE are probably ones they may have seen or at least heard of.

    I love The Last Emperor! To clarify, I didn't throw out TJLC - so long as people show interest in it, why not? Same goes for TLE. I personally would prefer a Chinese production, but ultimately it's up to everyone!
  • Raise the Red Lantern is a wonderful film. I am not sure if I could see these guys being into it. They seem to be more into scifi, action, superhero etc genre films.


    There's a Chinese film I saw at SIFF some time ago called Getting Home that was pretty good. 
    Raise the Red Lantern is probably my all-time favourite Chinese movie right after In the Heat of the Sun. I'd love to hear Jim and A.Ron talk about it. I know foreign language movies can be trying, and a lot of important cultural nuances/refernces may be lost on the viewer, but in my opinion the story, characters and cinematography more than make up for in this case (I mean just think what an international success Amelie or Life is Beautiful had).

    Haven't seen Getting Home yet - it's definitely on my list though. Great suggestion!
    akritenbrink
  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
    Joaquin said:

    Raise the Red Lantern is a wonderful film. I am not sure if I could see these guys being into it. They seem to be more into scifi, action, superhero etc genre films.


    There's a Chinese film I saw at SIFF some time ago called Getting Home that was pretty good. 
    Raise the Red Lantern is probably my all-time favourite Chinese movie right after In the Heat of the Sun. I'd love to hear Jim and A.Ron talk about it. I know foreign language movies can be trying, and a lot of important cultural nuances/refernces may be lost on the viewer, but in my opinion the story, characters and cinematography more than make up for in this case (I mean just think what an international success Amelie or Life is Beautiful had).

    Haven't seen Getting Home yet - it's definitely on my list though. Great suggestion!
    I wouldn't expect them to have an issue with foreign films, but if it's not a type of film they are into it might be a dud podcast? This is all just speculation on my part though lol. I just think their best work is the stuff they are passionate about (which is true of most content creators).
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