Sleepless Fashion (a.k.a. Yu Shi Shang Tong Ju)
This is a fun comedy influenced by the likes of "Devil Wears Prada" It's set in Beijing, three years after being hired as a shy university graduate by Alex (Alan Tam), the editor-in-chief of leading fashion magazine, Zhou Xiaohui (Vic Chou) has become associate editor, and even had taken on the English name Patrick, he has transformed into an arrogant, pretentious young control freak. However, after a minor gaffe happened that threatened the company's future IPO, he was sacked by Alex. Proclaiming he'll set up a rival publication, Xiaohui is joined by only two of his staff; Fatty (Tong Lei) and Yinghong (Vivian Hsu), an editorial assistant he had recently promoted. He also persuaded his college friend Wu Yang (Kimi Qiao), the son of a wealthy businessman, to come in as an investor and the four set up a modest backstreet office, hiring wedding photographer Wang (Wang Taili) and middle-aged traditional artist Zheng (Shu Yaoxuan). The first issue of their magazine flops, and Xiaohui is urged to try to be different rather than remain obsessed with taking on Alex and his magazine. Inspired by Yinghong's appearance, Xiaohui has the idea of going for a more natural fashion look and pitches Qi Xi (Yu Nan), a legendary singer making a comeback concert, to be their next cover model. Qi Xi, who dislikes Alex's magazine, agrees. But at the last moment, she allows her manager to change her mind, with disastrous consequences for Xiaohui and his team. Directed by Lichuan Yin, the film stars Vic Chow, Vivian Hsu, and 80s Hong Kong pop singer Alan Tam.
[June 9, Tuesday. 3:30 PM | June 12, Friday. 1:30 PM]
This film is adapted from the real experience of Liu Jiada (Vera), an 8-year-old Italian girl who becomes addicted to Beijing opera after visiting China with her mother. She later makes friends with female martial arts actress Yu Xiaoqi and students from an arts school, including Koko (Guoguo), Kubi, and others. With the encouragement from her friends, this determined young girl braves many difficulties, and gains entrance to the school, finally realizing her dream, and also helping her friend and her teachers to attain their dreams. In her performance, Vera stages a great opera performance as a normal student from the school and satisfies her ambition to become a Beijing opera performer.
[June 9, Tuesday. 5:30 PM]
Full Circle (a.k.a. Fei Yue Lao Ren Yuan)
A moving road movie about two retired bus drivers. Lao Ge enters a retirement home with a suitcase, a picture of his wife and a potted plant. He's had a difficult 20 years with his estranged son, who has recently married. Lao Ge leaves his son with 200,000 yuan to pay the downpayment on an apartment. At the retirement home, Lao Ge's friend Lao Zhou, who has bladder cancer, prepares for a concert in Tienjin. Lao Zhou and Lao Ge, decide to escape the retirement home for one final escapade with a gang of other senior citizens. This film won the Asian Film Award, and a Special Mention for its star Yang Zhang at the Tokyo International Film Festival in 2012, and was nominated on various film festival awards as well.
[June 10, Wednesday. 3:30 PM]
The Piano in a Factory (a.k.a. Gang De Qin)
This drama film directed by Zhang Meng, and stars Qin Hailu and Wang Qianyuan tells the story of a father, Chen Guilin, who works very hard to realize his daughter's dream of owning a piano. Set in the 1990s, laid-off Steelworker Chen Guilin was betrayed by his wife, who remarried a rich business man who has much more money than him. When his estranged wife returns one day after years of absence, she demands a divorce and sole custody of their daughter. Chen is at a loss. He doesn't mind divorcing a woman who has become a stranger, but he can't bear to part with his daughter. Chen has worked hard to give her a respectable life and has taught her his love of music. When asked if she'd rather stay with her father or go with her mother, the girl gives a practical, devastating answer: she'll go with whomever can provide her with a piano. Chen cannot afford such a luxury item, but the piano becomes his last hope to save what little is left of his family. With the help of his loyal friends and the support of his lover - the singer in his band - Chen concocts several plans to fulfill his daughter's wish. Despite the challenges, Chen always maintains an optimistic outlook. Finally, he decides to produce a piano with his friends. The group eventually produce a piano which is made of steel. He also organizes a band to make a living and use his wisdom to create a life which is full of sound and color.
This film won the Golden Angel Award and the Best Actor award for Qianyuan Wang at the Chinese American Film Festival (C.A.F.F.) in 2011. It also won the FIPRESCI Prize at the Golden Horse Film Festival in 2011. It won the New Talent Award - Special Mention for its actress Meng Zhang at the Hong Kong Asian Film Festival in 2010. It won Film of Merit at the Shanghai Film Critics Awards in 2012, won the Best Actor Award for Qianyuan Wang at the Tokyo International Film Festival in 2010. It was also nominated for numerous awards internationally, including the Lino Brocka Award in the International Competition during the Cinemanila International Film Festival in 2010.
[June 11, Thursday. 3:30 PM | June 13, Saturday. 3:30 PM]
This film was adapted from Su Tong's novel called "Funü Shenghuo" which means Women's Lives. It is directed by Hou Yong, formerly a well known cinematographer. Zhang Ziyi plays the youngest of three generations of women who lead lives in Shanghai. Joan Chen plays the great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother. The film recounts this family, the mistakes they make, and a cycle that the granddaughter breaks out of. The film was well received by critics and was praised for its use of color and the performances of Zhang Ziyi and Joan Chen. The Chinese name of the movie, Mo li hua kai, is based on a popular Chinese song Mo Li Hua, which means "jasmine flower blossom." The names of the characters in the movie are also based on this song. Generational family saga set in Shanghai in the thirties, sixties and eighties.
It won the Grand Jury Prize and was nominated for the Golden Goblet at the 7th Shanghai International Film Festival in 2004. At the 13th Golden Rooster Awards of China in 2004, it won the Best Actress prize for Zhang Ziyi. Reviewing the film at the Tokyo International Film Festival, Russell Edwards of Variety described Jasmine Women as a "tearjerker of the first order" and a "visual feast" and writes the film is "an impressive showcase" for actress Zhang Ziyi and Joan Chen "in multiple roles as daughters and mothers across three generations." The review further states the film is "a picture postcard, with the scenes set in pre-WWII Shanghai particularly impressive for their art direction."
[June 13, Saturday. 5:30 PM]
This Chinese romantic comedy film which sets its background in the financial industry represents how bankers conduct the act of mergers and acquisitions. During this process, a pair of lovers, serving for two warring investment banks and having broken up half a year ago, get back together. Derek (Stanley Huang), a managing director of an investment bank, is a little bit anxious recently. The A corporation he serves for is now planning to merge B corporation. The problem is, however, his ex-girlfriend Amy (Xu Jinglei) works as a financial consultant in B. Half a year ago, after falling in love with each other about seven years, a serious crisis broke out. Derek devoted himself into work too much. As a result, Amy couldn't bear this after being ignored for too long and did breaking up impulsively. She even jobhopped to another investment bank. "Being together for no more than 28 days in a year, 365 days. Even so, he is also working and calling." When meeting again, they competes fiercely and both tries to defeat the other. They are persons who know the other one best, thus the most troublesome opponents to each. At the same time, they begin to open their hearts to each other again gradually. One night in Chengdu, China, they finally pour out their love and face it sincerely.
[June 12, Friday. 3:30 PM]
[RETURN TO MAIN PAGE]