Chinese movies float not the western boat


I was reading an article the other day which claimed that despite the robust growth of the movie industry in China, Chinese movies were still somewhat unpopular in the West. In a way, they haven’t ‘cracked’ the market like some other countries have – though what those countries are, I cannot actually guess. While we see a variety of movies from places like France, Germany, Japan and the like, they’re still usually only as part of film festivals – certainly not mainstream.

The problem with Chinese movies is that there are just plain and simple too many damned period martial arts epics! Now don’t get me wrong, I like a good martial arts epic as much as the next guy, but they all become a bit of a dime a dozen. If I see another movie with the word ‘Assassin’ in the title coming out of China…I’ll spit. Reign of Assassin’s, Empire of Assassin’s, Assassin’s Assassins Assassin’s!!

I have a keen interest in Mandarin movies. Not only are they a terrific study aid, but it also gives me a buzz whenever I recognize familiar words. It’s a challenge and a half finding Mandarin movies as is, considering so many of the international releases are coming from Hong Kong – which of course is Cantonese, to which I have absolutely zero interest. The biggest problem with most Mandarin movies; the big ones that are actually subtitled, is that they’re all period epics! While I loved the movie Red Cliff, I’d rather be watching current day dramas such as Beijing Bicycle.

I regularly check the Xin Hua bookstore in town, looking for new release Mandarin dramas, but unfortunately, many of them simply aren’t subtitled – or as I said previously, are Hong Kong cop movies in Cantonese.

I am also a big fan of these movie documentaries, such as Last Train Home. These are always depressing, but always offer a very familiar look into China, and always have me craving to return. These will pop up on the television from time to time, and always seem to be based around a migrant worker girl whose headed to the city to follow her dreams, and has instead ended up in a jeans factory.

Any other Mandarin movie fans out there want to share some title names?


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6 Responses to “Chinese movies float not the western boat”

  1. Austin Guidry Says:

    Battle of the Warriors was one I watched not too long ago – it had Jet Li and Andy Lau in it….it was a ‘period piece’ though. I also watched this movie called 风声, which is about an underground resistance group trying to subvert the Japanese authority in China during WWII. Both are excellent and in Mandarin with English subtitles. Beyond those two….not much I’ve seen lately

  2. Michael Kavanagh Says:

    I would love to make friends with people in China and to learn about the country and its people. Recently the Chinese Vice-President Xi visited Ireland and was well received.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    A Tale of Two Donkeys
    To Live
    The Road Home
    (those are other movies on my computer along with Beijing Bicycle and Last Train Home that I think are similar dramas – haven’t watched the first yet so don’t quote me on it)

    I’ve watched a few funny comedies as well… (I have the recent Chinese remake of ‘What women want’ on the hard drive now which I watched last year I think… there are some other good ones, and a lot of crazy one’s (‘One night at supermarket’, for example) out there).

  4. Marcus Says:

    Nice one, I’ll have to chase down those comedies. There’s an interesting looking movie coming out soon called ‘Love’, which looks to be a sort of romantic comedy and/or drama, but looks interesting.

    I have seen Last Train Home and Beijing Bicyle, both great movies. I particularly like movies like Last Train Home how they’re more like a movie documtentary. THere was also a good one by that same director based on the Three Gorges project – or moreso, a family affected by the river rising – I’ve gone absolutely blank on the name though.

  5. yan loong legend 3 Says:

    yan loong legend 3…

    […]Chinese movies float not the western boat « Life After China[…]…

  6. Jason Says:

    All Hong Kong movies are dubbed in Mandarin

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