(You can see a Chinese version here.)
|The Tyneside Cinema Chinese Season will bring you six recent Chinese films, directed by the established names like Ang Lee, Zhang Yimou, Wong Kai-Wai and the acclaimed young generation. The films will provide an unique close-up view of a society that having glorious past, but have to cop with the rapid economic and social changes. When the ancient Chinese philosophy is still deeply rooted in Chinese culture (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), ordinary people at present have to face the reality that old tradition may have to give way to urban development (Shower). When the past in memory is remote and beautiful (The Road Home, In the Mood For Love), the reality is sometimes brutal for the pickpocket marginilized by the society (Xiao Wu). And unsurprisingly, the young generation have learned to look for their identity using their own eyes (Suzhou River).||
Zhou Xun in Suzhou River
|By Sino-Anglo Culture Exchange Association and Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle upon Tyne|
|Wednesday 21st - Friday 23rd March|
ShowerChina 1999, Color, 92 min, In Mandarin with English subtitles
Directed by Zhang Yang
An old style public bath house in Beijing is to be demolished to give way to urban development. The owner's oldest son, Daming, is called back by a misleading postcard sent by his retarded brother. Daming, now a successful business man in south of China, is uncomfortable being with his spunky father and quirky brother, and their regular clients who take the bath house as an extended community. But soon he accepts and appreciates the friendship and family value represented by that simple life style. This film portrays the confrontation between the modern China and its traditional past in a tender and funny way. It has many humourous moments; the imaginative opening sequence is particularly unmissable.
|Wednesday 28th - Thursday 29th March|
The Road HomeChina 1999, Color, 89 min, In Mandarin with English subtitle
Directed by Zhang Yimou
In The Road Home, Zhang Yimou (who also directed "Red Sorghum" and "Ju Dou"), tells a simple story of a young woman's unshakable love. The story involves a young man living in the city who returns to his beautiful but poor hometown to attend the funeral of his father, a local teacher. His mother insists that he receive an old style funeral which is rarely seen after Cultural Revolution. The love of his parents unfolds when the son is organising the funeral. The picture is lyrical, seductive, and extremely moving. The leading actress Zhang Ziyi (her debut film before "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"), is lovely and charming.
|Friday 23rd - Thursday 29th March|
Crouching Tiger, Hidden DragonChina/Hong Kong/Taiwan/USA 2000, Color, 119 min, In Mandarin with English subtitles
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon returns to Tyneside! This possible most successful foreign language film in UK has just received 14 BAFTA Awards nominations and 10 Oscar nominations. The result of Ang Lee's attempt to combine stylish fighting and twist love story is a beautiful piece of work.
|Tuesday 27th March|
In the Mood For LoveHong Kong 2000, Color, 98 min, In Cantonese with English subtitle
Directed by Wong Kai-Wai
Wong Kai-Wai's exquisitely fashioned melodrama about love and regret. Set in 60s Hong Kong before the local economy took-off, the film tells the story of the relationship of Chow (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai) and Su Li-zen (Maggie Cheung) in a very sedutive mood. Living next door, they realised that both of respective spouses are having an affair. Drawn closer together by their sense of abandonment, their relationship develops, but in the meantime, they determine to behave more chastely. The dreamy mood of the film is established by repeated scenes, slow motion, careful editing, and surprisingly, by Michael Galasso's latin music.
|Friday 30th March - Sunday 1st April|
Suzhou RiverChina/Germany 2000, Color, 83 min, Cert 12, In Mandarin with English subtitle
Directed by Lou Ye
Told by an unseen narrator as a videographer, this story of love and obsession happens along the winding waterway in present Shanghai (thus the title). The narrator is in deep love with MeiMei, who broke with him and disappeared. In talking with a young man, Marda, he starts to suspect that Marda's girlfriend Mudan is in reality MeiMei (both are played by Zhou Xun, the blind girl in "The Emperor and The Assassin"). Having the elements of Hitchcock's Vertigo, this second feature of the Six Generation director Lou Ye is refreshing with rich texture.
|Saturday 31st March - Monday 2nd April|
Xiao WuHong Kong/China 1997, Color, 113 min, In Mandarin with English subtitle
Directed by Jiang Zhangke
Xiao Wu is a pickpocket in a dusty small town in north of China. Being "betrayed" by his friend, abandoned by his lover, and kicked out by his family, all of his attempts to return to the society end up with failure. This director Jiang Zhangke's debut (which won him the Montgolfiere d'Or Awards for Best Film in Nantes) offers a brand new cinematic experience. The use of environment sound and the performance of the non-professional actors give the film an extra dimension.