Chinese-language Cinema – Week 52

Not One Less

My favorite Chinese movies to date have been Hero, Journey to the West, and Wu Xia (Dragon), but Shower, House of Flying Daggers, and Not One Less (pictured above), among others, are also of the highest cinematic quality. Films are a fantastic way to improve your listening comprehension if you are a student of Mandarin and constitute an integral part of the experiment I began exactly one year ago today. My updated Chinese films table is a great resource.

But even if you’ve never studied Mandarin and do not intend to, you should definitely expand your cultural horizons and watch these masterpieces. The cinema of China alone (without counting Taiwan and Hong Kong) is the third largest film industry in the world.

In this light, I wrote my first ever film review about my current favorite, Wu Xia (Dragon), which I think you will enjoy. I’ve watched it no less than five times since I first downloaded the movie in October.

I intend to write other Chinese film reviews in coming months.

In January, as I enjoyed my remaining vacation days, I watched six new movies. The best by far was Not One Less, another Zhang Yimou masterwork, but Aftershock is a worthwhile tear jerker. Havoc in Heaven (also known as Uproar in Heaven or The Monkey King) is an 1965 animation that is apparently as important to the Chinese as Wizard of Oz is to Americans.

aftershock       havoc_heaven

Rounding out the list are Mulan: Rise of a Warrior, 14 Blades, and Getting Home, all of which are undoubtedly worthwhile for students of Mandarin or Chinese cinephiles.

mulan_rise_warriorr  14_blades  getting_home

6 thoughts on “Chinese-language Cinema – Week 52

    • Indeed! I almost cried at the end, which would have been only the second time for me (Hotel Rwanda was the first, but I lived in neighboring Burundi before the massacres and it was like watching real life for me). I told my wife that when she feels like a good cry, she should definitely watch it – haha.

      • Yeah, it was a real tearjerker…and knowing that the earthquake depicted really did happen — I’m sure there must have been families torn apart similar to the fictitious family that the movie depicts.

      • I couldn’t believe it – 240,000 dead. But a lot more shocking was when I looked up the Taiping Rebellion after watching The Warlords. 20 million dead. And I didn’t even know what the Taiping Rebellion was before seeing the movie.

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