Chinese Movies

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Chinese cinematography is often associated by a number of foreigners merely with names of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, while simultaneously many foreigners can barely name one or two Chinese movies. This lack of recognition is in the eyes of multitude presented by Chinese cinematography rather startling and without a second thought

Why Chinese movies?

First of all, because as a rule they are unpredictable. Watching Western movies I can quite often tell the beginning after seeing the very first scene. That’s how a bulk of contemporary Western movies are constructed, while in Chinese movies, script and storytelling are as unpredictable as Chinese culture is still unknown in the West. Contrary to the common belief although, deeply permeated by
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China presented in them is majestic and splendid, often fictional, but at the same time deeply tied to the history. His movies, often portray personal dramas of characters, deeply placed within the historical background. There is not much place in his movies for frivolous and , since most of the time the main protagonists own lifes are at stake or rather at a point of a sword. Bending before the crude necessity of things and Fate even emperors are not safe.

As a rule his movies are enriched by a state of art music of Japanese composer Shigeru Umebayashi that aside from really astonishing set helps you to travel in time. I really encourage you to search for it in Baidu Music for instance.

Zhang Yimou’s muse in Gong Li 巩俐, who was featured in a plethora of roles, but most often plays strong characters, although confronted with almost hopelessly swift and vicious currents of events. A quotation attributed to him “People in misery is what is most important” in air also corresponds with content of his movies, especially with numerous roles of Gong
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His Yellow Earth is deemed a trendsetter in Chinese movie industry, but I decided to put him on the list , because of his notable work Farewell to a concubine, which is undoubtedly a must see for every foreigner interested in Chinese culture. The movie received great reception at the Cannes Festival of 1993, receiving the main prize and following the general trend of historically inspired movies of the times.

His characters are often confronted with a merciless hand of history that in blind fervor not only aims at sweeping them away from the existence, but often takes what is the most important in their lives as befits merciless and random power of

Apart from Gong Li who also often starred in Kaige’s movies the other star truly valued by director was Leslie Cheung张国荣, whose own life story somehow following in the footsteps of Farewell to a concubine scenario and ended to a great outcry of his fans.

Moreover, Chen Kaige’s The Promised enjoyed briefly a status of the most expensive Chinese movie ever made, with a gross budget close to 40 million USD.

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