NYC to host the CineCina Film Festival for Chinese art house films

Director Qingyi Lu brings her acclaimed documentary “Four Springs”, which had a budget of 1500 RMB but has a douban score of 8.9 with sixty thousand votes.

With a focus on Chinese art-house films,  the inaugural  CineCina Film Festival will take place from April 5th to 19th in 2019.  Twenty-two films, including a series of films by director Lou Ye ( Suzhou River, Blind Massage)  and recent favorites like Four Springs 四个春天 will be aired with many directors present for Q&A.

See the scheduled screenings here. I haven’t even heard of any of the films other than Four Springs and the Lou Ye ones, so I have no recommendations. Many of them sound super interesting, though.

Four Springs theme song by Chen Chusheng:

Round-up of upcoming Jin Yong projects to warily anticipate

I didn’t zoom like XDramasX told us to when she posted this, but this poster for the upcoming Return of the Condor Heroes series is like a hundred stabs to the heart of Guo Xiang fans.

Wuxia lord and savior Jin Yong, may he rest in peace, is finally getting a big screen revival recently, with at least eight mostly Hong Kong films in pre-production right now.  In addition, at least seven upcoming dramas are currently or will soon be filmed. Hey producers, I’m still waiting for someone to pick-up the cyberpunk wuxia version of Laughing in the Wind.cc: Wu Dun

Films

  • Legend of the Condor Heroes, a film directed by Gordon Chan (Painted Skin) that may be in pre-production limbo.  source
  • Return of the Condor Heroes, a trilogy directed by Hark Tsui ( Swordsman) to begin production June 2019.  source
  • Legend Of The Heaven Sword And Dragon Saber, a film directed and produced by Wong Jing (Royal Tramp) to begin production late 2019. source
  • Deer and the Cauldron,  a trilogy directed by Pang Ho-Cheung (Love in a Puff ) to begin production mid-2019. source
  • The Book and the Sword , written by James Yuen (The Warlords) and directed by Jacob Cheung (Cageman).     source
  • undisclosed projects – 835 films.    source
  • Flying Fox of Snowy Mountain, to be produced by veteran Jin Yong drama director Zhang Jizhong – source
  • Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils, to be produced by  Fan Xinman.  source

Dramas

  • Return of the Condor Heroes , finished filming with Tong Mengshi, Mao Xiaohui
  • Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils, currently filming with Tony Yang, Bai Shu, Zhang Tianyang
  • Deer and the Cauldron, set to begin filming this month. Rumored to star Zhang Yishan
  • Heavenly Sword and Dragon Slaying Saber, currently airing and recommended for the big fight scene on Guangming Peak.
  • Flying Fox of Snowy Mountain,  produced by Zhang Jizhong and written by Bai Yicong – source
  • Sword Stained with Royal Blood, produced by KZ. Galaxy – source
  • A Deadly Secret,  produced by  Fan Xinman and written by Wang Hailin.  source
  • Another Legend of the Condor Heroes drama focusing on Huang Yaoshi and Ouyang Feng, produced by Cathay Media (Yu Zheng’s Swordsman and RoCH).  source

Will sci-fi disaster Warriors of the Future be Hong Kong’s Wandering Earth?

With giant mechas, alien invasions, and a planet to save, will Warriors of Future be a milestone for Hong Kong sci-fi?

When a meteor strikes the Earth in 2055, an alien biological plant is rapidly growing,  killing all other life along with its spread. The fate of the Earth depends on a team of elite forces who must battle both alien and homegrown attacks.

An ambitious launch for Hong Kong-based special effects firm  天下一 One Cool,  science-fiction disaster film Warriors of Future 明日战记 released its first official trailer (on top of a previous teaser trailer) recently.  Directed by award-winning visual efects supervisor Ng Yuen Fai (Tai Chi Zero, Painted Skin), the film stars Louis Koo, Sean Lau,   Carina Lau, Nick Cheung Ka-fai, and Tse Kwan-ho.

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Suddenly Seventeen is now free on YouTube legally w/ English subs

One of my favorite chick flicks, Suddenly Seventeen 28岁未成年, is now available with English subtitles for free on YouTube legally.  The directorial debut of Zhang Mo stars Ni Ni, Wallace Huo, Wang Ta-lu, and Ma Su in a charming tale of finding yourself.

The Crossing to get U.S., Canada, Australia, Auckland release on Mar. 15

Photoshoot for the film by Zhong Ling

Coming-of-age story about “a schoolgirl’s rite of passage as a rookie smuggler”, The Crossing 过春天 will be screening in the usual overseas spots this week.

The directorial debut of  Bai Xue  is the produced by veteran director Tian Zhuanzhuang.  I don’t know what it is, but the trailer  looks very different from all the other Chinese films.   It reminds me a bit of the best Thai coming-of-age films. Newcomers Huang Yao, Sun Yang join Carmen Soup to star in the film.

Reviews: Hollywood Reporter ; Screen Daily

Theme songs by Tan Weiwei and Liu Xijun. Trailer below:

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The Wandering Earth releases art posters, brought by Netflix

Director Frant Gwo will be on a mini-US tour on the 22nd in LA and 24th in NY. Tickets have already been raffled off, but you might try and look for scalpers if you’re interested.

Sci-fi blockbuster The Wandering Earth 流浪地球, which now has China’s second highest box office second only to Wolf Warrior 2 , released a set of Chinese-styled art posters probably to just spend some of all their profits. I think their carved book poster is still the best poster by far, though.   

The film is still screening in select AMC theaters in U.S., Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. It will be streamable on Netflix after some unannounced time.  . 

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Review: The Wandering Earth is an imaginative spectacle that launches Chinese films into the space age.

The Wandering Earth is the historical breakthrough Chinese sci-fi has been waiting for a long time.

Faced with the threat of the sun swallowing up the Earth, humans chose to embark on a 2500 year journey to find a new place in the universe for their home, Earth. The ambitious plan involves three hundred years of scientists around the world building ten thousand propellers around the Earth, stopping the  Earth’s rotation, and then finally propelling the Earth into its long journey into the dark night. But first, they must get out of the solar system by escaping Jupiter’s gravitational pull.

The almost as ambitious film The Wandering Earth 流浪地球 is half disaster film, half space thriller,  and a full classic holiday film about the importance of going home for the holidays. While not nearly as polished as Hollywood blockbusters (and with a fraction of the budget), the film offers uniquely Chinese visions of the future that makes it stand-out.  Despite its clear flaws,  the Frant Gwo-direct film has a solid plot, suspenseful and well-shot action scenes for both its earth disaster and space scenes, plenty of scenes that appeals to your inner holiday spirit,  and solid CGI combined with imaginative setups that makes this the historical breakthrough Chinese sci-fi has been waiting for a long time.

imax trailer for the film: 

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The Wandering Earth releases final trailer, to screen overseas

With the impending destruction of the sun, humans must build a giant propeller on Earth itself to seek a new home. To prepare for the 2500 year journey to their new home, they must mobilize all resources to move everyone underground while setting up the mechanisms for the Earth to leave the solar system before the sun destroys them all.

Based on the short story of the same name by Liu Cixin (The Three Body Problem), The Wandering Earth 流浪地球 stars Qu Chuxiao, Li Guangjie, Ng Man-tat, and Zhao Jinmai as a team set to build the propeller, while Wu Jing guest stars as an astronaut. The Frant Gwo-directed film is set for a Chinese New Year release in 2019 in China, the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.  Overseas release info below the cut.

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