Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Let the Bullets Fly Takes China’s Domestic Box Office Crown

The dirty three: Ge You, Chow Yun-Fat and Jiang Wen star in Jiang's new "Eastern Western" Let the Bullets Fly.

A quick news bite and reason to celebrate – Jiang Wen’s visually stunning Leone-influenced “Eastern Western” Let the Bullets Fly recently became China’s biggest domestically-produced box office hit according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

2010: Chinese Cinema in Review

Documentary maker Ai Xiaoming filming in the studio of painter Yan Zhengxue in Beijing, September 2008. Image Dan Edwards.

While 2010 is rapidly receding into the past, earlier this week dGenerate Films paused for a moment to look back over the past year with a compilation of comments and “best of” lists from a range of filmmakers, critics and academics. Although I was on holiday in Australia when they were compiling contributions, I managed to knock  together a quick entry comprising titles, moments and events that sprung to mind when I thought about the past twelve months. It's been a busy year!

Other contributors include the dGenerate team, academic Michael Berry, Beijing-based festival programmer Shelley Kraicer, and filmmakers Xu Tong, Hu Jie and Huang Weikai. My effort is reproduced below – you can click here for the complete entry on the dGenerate Films site.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fear, Loathing and HIV: Zhao Liang's Together

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a good Christmas break. I'm back in Beijing after a glorious couple of weeks back home in Australia. It was a warm 28 degrees when I left Sydney (that's Celsius for US readers - or 82 degrees Fahrenheit) and -11 when I touched down in Beijing (12 degrees Fahrenheit). All the more reason to stay inside watching films I suppose!

Towards the end of last year I published a short email exchange I had with documentary maker Zhao Liang about his new film Together. That exchange was background for an article I was writing for the January issue of the The Beijinger magazine, which came out while I was away. Readers in Beijing can pick up a copy from many cafes, galleries and bookshops around town – for everyone else I've reproduced the article below.