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Rock Huang's Personal favorite Films in Chinese
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A. Shanghai Animation Film Studio
(I have to put this in the very begining otherwise these masterpiece get so easy to be ignored)
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DirectorNameIMDB linkYearStoryMemoName in ChineseJust watch
Other ways to watch
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1. Wan Laiming, Tang ChengHavoc in Heaventt00598551963A monkey's revolution against the gods
An enlightment of Eastern Aesthetics for me
大闹天宫
https://www.justwatch.com/us/movie/the-monkey-king-1964
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2. Yan Dingxian, Wang Shuchen,
Xu Jingda
Nezha Conquers the
Dragon King
tt03547701979Young warrior Nezha who takes on a group of evil dragons under the sea.A challenge to tradition confucian ideology哪吒闹海-YouTube
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3. Xu Jingda, Ma KexuanThree Monkstt01331911980Tale of three monks living in a hilltop monastery.A cute and healing story三个和尚-bilibili
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4. Te Wei, Qian Jiajun, Tang ChengBaby Tadpoles Look for
Their Mother
tt13310151960A group of lost tadpoles search for their mother.Very cute. First animation in ink and wash.小蝌蚪找妈妈-DailyMotion
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B. Taiwanese New Wave Cinema
(Best way to take a bite at Chinese Culture)
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DirectorNameIMDB linkYearStoryMemoName in Chinese
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1. Edward Yang
(My favorite Chinese Director, went to
the U.S. for grad school,
know both
culture well; famous for his insights on
Taiwanese society.)
A Brighter Summer Daytt01019851991With the pressure from both inside and outside, a boy
at 14 killed his lover.
Wrote this as my senior film analysis essay牯岭街少年杀人事件
https://www.justwatch.com/us/movie/a-brighter-summer-day
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Yi yitt02443162000People in different ages try to reconcile with
themselves in a family
Good for rewatching at different ages一一
https://www.justwatch.com/us/movie/yi-yi
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2. Hou Hsiao-Hsien
(Master of Eastern Aesthetics, Chinese
Akira Kurosawa)
A City of Sadnesstt00969081989
A beautiful, historical film based upon the complex lives
of four brothers
Just amazing.悲情城市-YouTube
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The Puppetmastertt01071571993Puppeteer Li Tian-lu tells his life story, and through it,
the story of Taiwan in the first half of the 20th century.
Epic but subtle.戏梦人生-DVD
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Dust in the Windtt00914061986
A young couple leave their mining town home for Taipei
where they struggle to eke out a living in an industrial
wasteland.
Sad and extremely beautiful恋恋风尘
https://www.justwatch.com/us/movie/dust-in-the-wind
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Flowers of Shanghaitt01565871998
In the "flower houses" (upscale brothels) of Shanghai,
various interweaving stories of love, loyalty, and deceit
play out subtly.
spy war and romance海上花-DVD
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3. Ang Lee
(Went to NYU Tisch and well known for
not only his nuance approach to subtle
human interactions in culture collision,
family drama or social trauma, but also
his broader yet successful approaches in
different genres)
Eat Drink Man Womantt01117971994
A senior chef lives with his three grown daughters and
find it getting harder to express himself as they have
their different plans for the future.
If you feel bored watching the beginning, wait
till the end
饮食男女
https://www.justwatch.com/us/movie/eat-drink-man-woman
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Lust, Cautiontt08083572007A girl tries to assasinate a top spy through seducing.Prepare yourself well before watching it色,戒
https://www.justwatch.com/us/movie/lust-caution
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The Wedding Banquettt01071561993A homosexual man want to get away with his parents
through a fake marriage with his female friend
Queer+Family Drama+Cultural Shock喜宴
https://www.justwatch.com/us/movie/the-wedding-banquet
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Crouching Tiger,
Hidden Dragon
tt01903322000
A young warrior steals a sword from a famed swordsman,
followed by some mess and a romantic encounter.
One of the best martial arts movies.卧虎藏龙
https://www.justwatch.com/us/movie/crouching-tiger-hidden-dragon
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Pushing Handstt01056521991
A retired Tai-Chi Master Chu tries to find his place in the
foreign American world with his immigrant family.
Comedy+Family drama+Cultural Shock推手
https://www.justwatch.com/us/movie/pushing-hands
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C. Hong Kong Genre Films
(Best Chinese Industry level films ever)
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Genre and Representative Director
NameIMDB linkYearStoryMemoName in Chinese
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1. Action- Jackie Chan
(The most live risk Action Comedian )
Police Storytt00893741985Cop vs. top drug headSimply feeling good after watching it警察故事
https://www.justwatch.com/us/movie/police-story
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Project Att00851271983Agent from Navy vs. piratesSimply feeling good after watching itA计划
https://www.justwatch.com/us/movie/jackie-chans-project-a
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2. Gangster - Andrew Lau, Alan Mak
Infernal Affairstt03385642002A young police officer has been sent undercover as a
mole in the local mafia, while a young mafia member
infiltrates the police force.
Best Gangster drama无间道
https://www.justwatch.com/us/movie/infernal-affairs
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Infernal Affairs IItt03690602003无间道II
https://www.justwatch.com/us/movie/infernal-affairs-ii
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3. Comedy - Stephen ChowKung Fu Hustlett03730742004
A young punk’s road towards Kungfu master in a chaotic
world.
My favorite Action Ganster Comedy功夫
https://www.justwatch.com/us/movie/kung-fu-hustle
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4. Romance - Peter Ho-Sun ChanComrades, Almost
a Love Story
tt01179051996
Two Chinese-mainlanders living in Hong Kong form a
close friendship, though one of them plans to go abroad.
Simply feeling good after watching it甜蜜蜜-DVD
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5. Biography - Stanley KwanCenter Stagett01028161991
Biography of China's first real movie star, a woman who
lived a "colorful" life and was dead before she was 30.
A kaleidoscope of emotion and tragedy.阮玲玉-DVD
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6. Drama - Ann HuiThe Way We Arett12334992008
A hardworking single mother and her teenage son living in
the troubled housing estate of a suburb regularly featured
in the news for all the wrong reasons.
Real and touching-- actually most of Ann Hui's
films are based on true stories
天水围的日与夜-DVD
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7. Wong Kar-wai
(This guy opens his own genre. Not
everybody likes it, but everyone
respects it)
The Grandmastertt14629002013
The career and romance of martial-arts master Ip Man,
the man who trained Bruce Lee.
Best Romantic Martial Arts一代宗师
https://www.justwatch.com/us/movie/the-grandmaster
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Chungking Expresstt01094241994Two cops each experiences a mysterious relationshipRespect重庆森林
https://www.justwatch.com/us/movie/chungking-express
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In The Mood for Lovett01186942000
Two neighbors, a woman and a man, both married, form
a platonic bond.
⬆️花样年华
https://www.justwatch.com/us/movie/hua-yang-nian-hua
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Fallen Angelstt01129131995
A hitman hopes to get out of the business, and his elusive
female partner.
⬆️堕落天使
https://www.justwatch.com/us/movie/fallen-angels
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Happy Togethertt01188451997
A couple take a trip to Argentina but both men find their
lives drifting apart in opposite directions.
Best Queer Film in Hong Kong春光乍泄
https://www.justwatch.com/us/movie/happy-together
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D. Mainland 4-5th Generation Directors
(First generations of directors making author films after the birth of new China. The only difference
between the 4th and 5th is the 4th are educated before The Cultural Revolution, while the 5th is after)
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DirectorName
IMDB link
YearStoryMemoName in Chinese
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1.Wu YigongMy Memories of Old Beijingtt00853261983
The society and life in Beijing in 1920s through the eyes
of a 6 year old girl.
Best prose film in China城南旧事--
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2. Zhang Yimou
(Most Well known still active Director
from mainland. Famous for astonishingly
stunning cinematography and set design.
Another signature figure of Eastern
Aesthetics besides Hou Hsiao-Hsien)
Red Sorghumtt00932061988
A young widow is forced to run the winery to make a living
while contending with bandits, her drunkard lover, and the
invading Japanese army in 1930 .
A representative film of rural China红高粱-YouTube
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Herott02999772002
Ancient China, an assasin went on a task to kill the most
powerful king who unified China
A Film that opens up the new era of Chinese
commercial epic film
英雄
https://www.justwatch.com/us/movie/hero-2002
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Raise the Red Lanterntt01016401991
An American finds refuge during the 1937 Japanese
invasion of Nanking in a church with a group of women.
Fantastic Psycho- horror; One of the best
combination of cinmatography and set design
in the film history
大红灯笼高高挂
https://www.justwatch.com/us/movie/raise-the-red-lantern
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The Flowers Of Wartt14100632011
An American priest finds refuge during the 1937 Japanese
invasion of Nanjing in a church with a group of women.
Caution: Violence and Rape scene金陵十三钗
https://www.justwatch.com/us/movie/the-flowers-of-war
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3. Chen KaigeFarewell My Concubinett01063321993
The story of two performers in the Beijing Opera, stage
brothers, and the woman who comes between them.
Best Queer Film in mainland China霸王别姬-YouTube
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4. Huo JianqiPostmen In The Mountainstt02109161999A young man finally understands his father, a retiring
mailman in the mountains, after taking over his job.
A powerful and touching film. Good for
watching when relaxed.
那山那人那狗-YouTube
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5. Huang JianxinBack to Back, Face to Facett01092351994
A very talented man, the vice director of a local Cultural
Centre waits to be appointed as the new director while
another guy was appointed to be the director...
Hillarious drama yet very in-depth criticism
on bureaucracy.
背靠背,脸对脸-YouTube
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E. Mainland 6th Generation Directors and their fellows
(Mostly underground liberals, doing reflections on nationalism, authoritarianism, or social issues
through different approaches. Winning awards all over the world yet banned from China.)
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DirectorName
IMDB link
YearStoryMemoName in Chinese
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1. Lou Ye
(The most well known idependent
filmmaker from mainland China)
Blind Massagett34699642014
A drama centered around the employees of a Nanjing
massage parlor who share a common trait: they are all
blind.
Watch it curious, finish it touched推拿-
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2djl5e
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2. Jia ZhangkeThe Pickpockettt01440202013A love story between a pocket thief and a hooker.Unexpected humane depiction小武
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmN33TQz9WQ&ab_channel=GunTop
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3. Zhang YuanLittle Red Flowerstt04924732006
A 4 years old boy fights against the evaluation system in
his kindergarten.
Critics with great humor看上去很美
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4. Jiang wen
(his works are unique and nuance in a
brutal and hilarious way. My favorite
director from mainland China.)
In the Heat of the Suntt01117861994The sexual enlightening of four priviledged teenagers
during the Cultural Revolution in Beijing.
Trainspotting+American Pie?阳光灿烂的日子
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Devils on the Doorsteptt02459292000
During the Japanese invasion, a peasant are asked by the
guerrilla to keep 2 caught Japanese solders for few days,
but the guerrilla never shows up after then
Very very special war comedy Im not sure is
there any other films are like this
鬼子来了
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Let The Bullets Flytt15331172010
In 1920s China, a bandit arrives in a remote provincial
town posing as its new mayor, where he faces off against
a tyrannical local nobleman.
Amazing fable comedy as a reflection on the
Chinese revolution history. Hilarious+ if you
speak Mandarin
让子弹飞
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F. Other Great Films in the new century
(Less political comparing to the 6th generation, more independent works, in chronological order. )
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DirectorName
IMDB link
YearStoryMemoName in Chinese
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1. Feng Xiaogang
(Master of dark humor)
Big Shot's Funeraltt02879342001
A famous Hollywood director anticipates his death during
shooting in China and asked his young Chinese
documentarist to make a happy funeral for him, which
ends up becoming a crazy commercial competition.
The best dark humor comedy on reverse
culture shock and extreme Capitalism
大腕
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A World Without Thievestt04398842004
A shoplifters couple protects a naive peasant with his life
-savings from being stolen by other thieves on a train ride.
Just amazing.天下无贼
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2. Lu ChuanMountain Patroltt03866512004
A breathtaking race between cops, mountain patrol, and
poachers.
Catch Me If You Can Tibet version, but a lot
more savage and serious.
可可西里
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3. Ning HaoCrazy Stonett08432702006
Both an internationally known master thief and a group of
local thrifters try to steal a valuable jade that is tightly
guarded by a security chief, the protagonist.
Masterpeice of structure. A fantastic homage
to Guy Ritchie's Lock, Stock and Two Smoking
Barrels.
疯狂的石头
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4. Wilson YipIp Mantt12207192008
During the Japanese invasion, a wealthy martial artist is
forced to leave his home when his city is occupied.
A very nice nationalist approach to the
biography of Bruce Lee's trainer, the
protagonist of The Grandmaster.
叶问
YouTube Movies
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5. Doze NiuMongatt16049002010In 1980s Taiwan, after the end of military dictatorship,
Monga centers around the troubled lives of five boys
coming of age together.
A touching movie with brilliant rhythm that
successfully combines the elements of youth,
crime, gangster, and romance together.
艋舺
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6. Zhang MengThe Piano in a Factorytt17231182010
To fight for custody of his daughter who loves playing the
piano, a steel factory worker decides to forge a piano
from scratch.
A great story taken place in Northeastern
China, which is rarely seen in the cinema.
钢的琴
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7. Wei Te-ShengSeediq Bale: The Sun Flagtt20079932011An anti colonial war against Japanese invasion from
indigenous clan-based people in Taiwan.
Has a lot of things to share with Braveheart by
Mel Gibson and The Last of the Mohicans by
Michael Mann.
赛德克巴莱:太阳旗
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Seediq Bale: The Rainbow
Bridge
tt41644682011赛德克巴莱:彩虹桥
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8. Lu YangBrotherhood of Bladestt40194262014
Being bribed by their target once, 3 elite guards for the
emperor are facing series of life-threatening troubles.
Best Action Romance these years.绣春刀
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9. Yang Ya-cheThe Bold, the Corrupt,
and the Beautiful
tt74797842017
Madame Tang colludes and mediates between the
government and the private businesses for the benefits of
her all-female family. One case does not go according to
plan, and an entire family close to Madame Tang fall
victim to a cruel murder.
Crazy spy war in an all-female family. Top
level psycho horror.
血观音
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10. Chih-Yen Hsu, Mag HsuDear Extt84437042018
A teenage boy and his mother are further driven apart
when they find out that his father's life insurance policy is
to be received by his male lover.
The direct translation of the title in Mandarin is
"Who fell in love with him first".
谁先爱上他的
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11. Bai XueThe Crossingtt88753662018
Studying in Hong Kong but living in Shenzhen, Mainland
China, a young girl joins a smuggling gang and uses her
student identity to smuggle iPhones from Hong Kong to
Mainland.
Just amazing.过春天