It’s certainly the season for festivals — another that almost slipped under our radar is the International Chinese Film Festival, which opens this weekend (15 September) in Sydney with their opening film Dangerous Liaisons and powers through their line-up of twenty-two (!!) feature films over the rest of the month at Event Cinemas on George Street.
On the 30th of September, they pack it all up and run the festival again in Melbourne, at the Cinema Nova in Carlton!
Here’s a brief roundup of films screening, all recent releases from China. I’ve noted the films that are screening in Sydney only, and linked reviews where we’ve already got ’em. For screening times, trailers and more info, see the ICFF website!
2012, directed by Wang Yuelun. Stars Ning Jing, Jiang Wu, Meng Tongdi, Yao Lu, Huang Ziqi.
A black comedy about a group of people staying in a hotel by the sea.
33 Postcards (Sydney only)
2011, directed by Pauline Chan. Stars Zhu Lin and Guy Pearce.
A Chinese-Australian co-production. Tells of the story of two penpals, a 16-year-old Chinese orphan and an Australian convict in prison for manslaughter.
The Butcher, the Chef and the Swordsman
2010, directed by Wuershan. Stars Kitty Zhang, Masanobu Ando, You Benchang, Liu Xiaoye, Ashton Xu.
A frenetic action-comedy film in three interlocking parts, each following one of the titular characters.
Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale
2011, directed by Wei Te-Sheng. Stars Umin Boya, Masanobu Ando, Landy Wen.
A Taiwanese historical drama, and the most expensive film ever made in Taiwan, about the Wushe Incident (1930) in which the indigenous Seediq people rose up against the colonialist Japanese occupation.
Wu Xia (a.k.a. Swordsman)
2011, directed by Peter Chan. Stars Donnie Yen, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Tang Wei.
Part period martial-arts film, part detective story, all great fun. Bonus cameos from old-school Shaws action stars Jimmy Wang Yu and Kara Hui.
A Beautiful Life
2011, directed by Andrew Lau. Stars Shu Qi, Liu Ye.
A romance film about the love affair between a beautiful real-estate agent (that’d be Shu Qi) and a a righteous lonely cop (Liu Ye) from HK stalwart director Andrew Lau.
Decrepit Dream (Sydney only)
2011, directed by Yang Ziting. Stars Sun Wenting, Huo Zhengyan, Zheng Hao.
Drama following the story of two orphaned young women in 1920s Shanghai.
Love (Sydney only)
2012, directed by Doze Niu. Stars Zhao Wei, Shu Qi, Mark Chao, Ethan Juan, Eddie Peng, Doze Niu.
Ensemble cast romantic comedy.
The Bullet Vanishes (Sydney only)
2012, directed by Lo Chi Leung. Stars Lau Ching Wan, Nicholas Tse, Jiang Yiyan.
Stylish 1930s Shanghai detective thriller starring HC favourite Lau Ching Wan. I’m looking forward to this one!
Love on Credit (Sydney only)
2011, directed by Leste Chen. Stars Lin Chi-ling, Chen Kun, Fan Liao, Tony Yang, Jiayi Zhang.
Contemporary romantic drama with what looks like a strong materialist theme.
2011, directed by Daniel Lee. Stars Leon Lai, Feng Shaofeng, Liu Yifei.
Period historical drama (think generals and strategists facing off) set around the famous Banquet of Hongmen.
The Allure of Tears (Sydney only)
2011, directed by Barbara Wong. Stars Zhou Dongyu, Aarif Lee, Gigi Leung Wing-Kei, Richie Ren, Joe Chen Qiao-En, Shawn Dou.
An omnibus film presenting three intertwined tragic love stories.
Be A Mother
2012, directed by Yue Chung. Stars Alex Fong, Qin Lan, Wang Pei.
A contemporary drama about surrogate motherhood in China.
Vulgaria (Sydney only)
2012, directed by Pang Ho-Cheung. Stars Chapman To, Dada Chen, Ronald Cheng.
Comedy parodying (and celebrating) the Hong Kong film industry from Pang Ho-Cheung.
My Yan Ming’s Days (Sydney only)
2012, directed by Hai Zhong. Stars Aisin-Gioro Qixing.
Guns N’ Roses
2012, directed by Ning Hao. Stars Lei Jia-yin, Huang Bo, Guo Tao, Liu Hua, Yue Xiaojun.
Action-adventure heist film set in 1930s Japanese-occupied Manchuria, from the writer-director of Crazy Stone.
The Mask of Love
2012, directed by Chen Jian. Stars Cherrie Ying, Duo Zhang, Zizi Wang.
A horror film about a mystery novelist who moves in with her boyfriend, only to discover that there’s a locked door she’s forbidden to open…
Jia Wu Da Hai Zhan
2012, directed by Feng Xiaoning. Stars Yi Lu, LiXin Yang, Yu Xia.
Naval warfare epic about a group of friends that fight in the Sino-Japanese War (the Jiawu War) in the late 19th century.
Painted Skin: The Resurrection (Sydney only)
2012, directed by Wuershan. Stars Chen Kun, Zhao Wei, Zhou Xun, Yang Mi, Feng Shaofeng, Fei Xiang, Chen Tingjia.
China’s top film at the box office so far this year (by a long shot) is this sequel to 2008’s Painted Skin. It’s a fantasy/action film filled with demons, princes and sorcery.
Starry Starry Night
2011, directed by Tom Lin Shu Yu. Stars Eric Lin, Harlem Yu, Josie Xu, Kenneth Tsang, Rene Liu.
A coming-of-age film based on a children’s picture book that comes very highly recommended by our own John Snadden — see his review!