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PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 12:49 pm 
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Location: East of Shanghai
There's a whole series of recent Chinese films which has just come out in China.
Each disc contains two films, almost all from the last decade.
Only problem is that they only have Chinese subtitles.

I only found one so far which lists English subs:
Too Much Rice & Red Dawn on one disc.
And I haven't checked that one to make sure English subs are indeed attached and are comprehensible.

No luck on a quick internet search for these titles, though I have no idea how standard the title translations are -- that's just what was on the front cover.
Edit: just found a link for Too Much Rice, Hao duo da mi (2005).
I could list some of the other titles in the series, but those are only going to work for Chinese speakers.

If I find this series listed on the web somewhere I'll add a link.
I would think these DVDs would start turning up on yesasia or other such places sooner or later. They've only been out a few weeks in China.
Seems to be about a dozen of these discs, each with two films (and fairly generic looking covers). A lot of titles are from the past few years and the series seems to focus on young Chinese filmmakers.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 8:44 pm 
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I finally got hold of CN Entertainment's HK release of Jia Zhangke's last movie "24 City".

It's a DVD5 (RC3) with English subtitles and features, apart from the movie itself, a trailer and a short (about 10 minutes) 'Making of' which is as impressionistic as uninteresting. The picture quality is, well, okay (but a friend of mine told me he considers it to be really good), though I expect the French MK2 disc to be far superior. The subtitles are, as far as I can say (I don't speak Chinese and I am no native English speaker), intelligible but they are too fast sometimes. So it may be better to wait for an English or American release if you are not a diehard Jia fan or into Chinese movies/history/politics ...

I have seen the movie itself once now and don't know whether I like it or not but I think that it would be great if any future (English or American) release would add an audio commentary either by the director itself or by some social historian familiar with national (Chinese) as well as local history; I personally don't think a Rayns commentary would be of much help ...

But I think it would be quite rewarding to compare Jia's last movie with Wang Bing's "West of the Tracks", which in about two weeks (11/23) will be released by the Dutch company 'Filmfreak Distributie' with English subtitles.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 8:44 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 3:29 pm
Location: OOP is the only answer
Can you provide me with a list of Chinese classics and contemporary movies only available in China and have English subtitles? (even if they are available in other territories the price point makes a big difference).


Last edited by perkizitore on Sun Nov 15, 2009 9:12 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 9:01 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:26 am
Location: East of Shanghai
In China, the (unauthorized) MK2 edition of 24 City lists English subs.
I keep seeing the MK2 Wang Bing around without English subs.
Looking forward to an English friendly edition.

I spotted one more English subbed DVd in the two-fer series of modern Chinese films:
A Sigh aka (2000) Yi sheng tan xi
&
The Spring Festival (1991) aka Guo Nian.

Btw, Spring Festival = Chinese New Year's, and is the biggest holiday of the year for Chinese. It's a family holiday which runs a week or so long, so is very much equivalent to Western Christmas and New Year's combined (+ 4th of July fireworks).

Feng Xiao Gang, the director of A Sigh, also wrote and directed the well known Big Shot's Funeral and A World Without Thieves.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 4:59 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 4:31 pm
perkizitore wrote:
Can you provide me with a list of Chinese classics and contemporary movies only available in China and have English subtitles?


Well, perkizitore, if anybody would try to do this, it would take him/her hours though I admit that it would be great if there was a kind of list of "Chinese movies and Chinese DVD" with comments on the quality of its transfers and subtitles which could be consulted by anybody looking for those informations. I could take part in such a project but I am more interested in minor and marginalised films than in masterpieces, in reception studies than in aesthetics and interpretations and prefer directors of the second, third and sixth generation to those of the fifth so I might not be of help that much.

Anyway, I consider this thread to be one of the most reliable, if not the most reliable source on English-subtitled Chinese discs on the internet; I think you find a whole lot of information on those five pages, especially in Lemmy Caution's and the Norwegian's posts. Apart from that, I recommend you to check GzBeauty's "Follow me in Chinese" line. As far as I know, all of those discs have English subtitles.

But to hint at some problems of your project: I doubt that it is a good idea to grab Chinese discs in many cases. You have to be aware, that the quality of the transfer is often substandard or much worse than the American or European discs. Even worse, the English subtitles are often incomplete, hard to understand or run a bit too fast. So you might prefer to rent a European/American disc in most cases. Btw, as not many people are interested in Chinese movies or don't know any directors beyond Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige, you often find American or European discs relatively cheap on ebay.

I think it would be more effective to check first which movies/topics/directors you are interested in and ask for specific directors or films. I recommend the following books:

Paul Clark: Chinese Cinema. Culture and Politics since 1949. Cambridge 1987.
It's a rather old book, but Clark doesn't delve in anticommunism but rather offers lots of information on the directors and films which were produced in mainland China between 1930 and the end of the cultural revolution in 1978.

Paul Clark: The Chinese Cultural Revolution. A History. Cambridge 2008.
Essential reading when dealing with the Chinese film culture 1966/78 or looking through Gz Beauty's catalogue. Clark deconstructs the common view that Chinese culture was put on hold or simply destroyed in the 1966-1976 period.

Yingjin Zhang: Chinese National Cinema. 2004
Zhang offers an overview of the film cultures of mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan and lots of information on the development of film studios and film economies.

Zhang Zhen (ed.): The Urban Generation. Chinese Cinema and Societys at the Turn of the Twenty-first Century. Durham 2007.
Anthology of articles dealing with the film politics and film production in China since the early nineties focusing on the directors of the so called sixth generation portraying a postsocialist China in transformation.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 5:14 pm 
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Lemmy Caution wrote:
I spotted one more English subbed DVd ...


I have a short question, Lemmy. I am looking for "Sentries under Neon Lights" (Wang Ping, Ge Xing 1964 - btw, you have to scroll down to rank 12) but can't find no DVD. Have you ever spotted this one on DVD east of Shanghai? Or do you know whether this film is available under another international title?

I have been looking for "Breaking with Old Ideas" (1975) for months until I realized that GzBeauty created a new international title: "Pupture" ... :shock: ... that is 'rupture misspelled'. Rofl ...


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:39 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:26 am
Location: East of Shanghai
I'll give a look for that next time I stop by the DVd/Cd store at the Shanghai Grand Theater. It's not easy to track down legitimate releases here.
It almost sounds like the kind of thing that they still sell on VCD, though that's just a guess.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:07 am 
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Cinema Guild has released their U.S. edition of 24 City -- notably this version includes the short Cry Me a River, which isn't on any of the three previous releases (France/Hong Kong/mainland China) I'm aware of. I don't have a copy as I just learned it exists in the first place, but the runtime is 112 minutes which suggests a native NTSC transfer (the PAL mk2 is 107 minutes). As an aside, it seems the mainland disc has been cut somewhat (103 minutes PAL), although without English subs it's not an option for most of us anyway.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 5:26 pm 
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The Fanciful Norwegian wrote:
Cinema Guild has released their U.S. edition of 24 City ...

A very positive review is to be found on dvdbeaver now. I assume the R1 disc exceeds CN's Hong Kong disc in many ways. (Edit: I posted this back in January 2010. I have no idea why the original post disappeared/re-appeared here)

Short question: Looking for new releases of older Chinese films on DVD last night, I got the impression, that GzBeauty might have re-released Xie's 'Women Basketball Team Member No. 5'. At least Yesasia is offering two different DVDs at the moment, a new one from 2010 and an older, slightly cheaper version dating back to 2004. Does anyone of you know, whether there's any difference between those two editions - given that there actually are two different editions?


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:44 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 4:46 pm
Not sure if this is the right thread, but Farewell My Cocubine and Raise the Red Lantern will be released in France on blu-ray this autumn (9/23).


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 12:08 pm 
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Location: Edinburgh, UK
Anyone know if this company has released English-friendly Blu-Rays in the past? I'd love to get FAREWELL MY CONCUBINE.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:58 am 
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Location: Reading, UK
I saw Xiaoshuai Wang's Chongqing Blues (aka Rizhao Chongqing) at the London Film Festival in 2010 and would love to have it on DVD, but my Googling hasn't turned up an edition with English subtitles. Does anyone know anything about this film or of an edition with English subs?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:04 am 
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YesAsia are carrying the new Chinese Blu-Ray of FAREWELL MY CONCUBINE for $25. Placed my order just now and will report back when I have the disc.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:01 am 
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It's probably the same 1080i transfer as the French blu-ray.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:06 am 
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Finally had a chance to watch Farewell My Concubine and I was satisfied with the A/V on the Chinese BD. It's a BD50 (I'm led to believe the French and German discs are both single-layered) and I spotted no interlacing. Occasionally, when the characters are standing against brightly lit backgrounds, I wondered if edge enhancement has been applied but these were only few instances. The BD loses the yellow-green tint of the Korean DVD and reproduces detail and colour accurately (saw Concubine three times theatrically in 1993) and they've not applied any DNR as far as I can see (nice grain). If the film looks soft, well, that's how it was shot (diffuse lighting etc). The subtitles were mostly free of errors and by and large good though I thought a more formal translation would have been more appropriate for a few passages. Solid disc all round in my opinion.


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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 1:14 am 
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Location: East of Shanghai
The Shanghai Int'l Film Festival site reports that they are restoring 15 classic Chinese films over the next 4 years.
3 of them are ready and will be shown next month during the SIFF.
Spring River Flows East, 8,000 Miles of Cloud and Moon, and Crossroads
Hopefully this means we can expect to get good quality DVDs of classic Chinese films.

Here's the full Chinglishy announcement (there's really no excuse not to run an English spell-check, and "Madam Tang" made me laugh):

Quote:
SIFF unveiled the repaired print with Jaeger-Lecoultre

In 2011, the SIFF together with watch maker Jaeger-Lecoultre launched the “Classic Movie Restoring and Screening” program. Currently, three clasic Chinese movies “Spring River Flows East”, "8,000 of Cloud and Moon”, and “Crossroads” are undergoing restoratopm. They are expected to be screened at the 15th Shanghai International Film Festival in June. The movies represent the highest level of Chinese film production in the 1930s and 40s.

During the three-year-coorperation between the SIFF and Jaeger, more than 10 Chinese classic movie will be restored and they will be screened as part of SIFF's panorama in 2012. Three movies “Spring River Flows East”, "8,000 of Cloud and Moon”, and “Crossroads” will be the first to undergo restoration.

When the last SIFF closed, the organizing committee immediately began the restoration project and communicated with the most experienced and professional authorities in the field. Finally, the China Film Archive took the "8,000 of Cloud and Moon”, while the other two movies were taken over by Laser S. Films, a world famous restoring organization.

The CEO of Laser S. Films, Andrea Di Nardo says restoring old films is a very complex job, which needs many procedures to complete. A feature-length movie will need two months for restoring. The two films they will restore will be ready at the end of May.

The president of China Film Archive, Sun Xianghui, says the Archive has over 30,000 Chinese movies which were produced since 1922, and the number of copies is over 600,000. From 2006 to 2011, the government invested 265 million yuan (approx. US $40M) for the protection and digitalization of the film archive.

The manager director of SIFF, Madam Tang, says it is important to preserve the old films to protect the history of China’s film industry. After this year’s restoration work, the SIFF committee will hold a non-profit screening during the 15th SIFF. Also, these movies will be taken to other international film festivals. Besides,the committee will try to broadcast these pictures using new media. Also Madam Tang points out that the cooperation of the SIFF and Jaeger opens the door of the social support for the preservation of old Chinese movies. But it is just a beginning. She wants more organizations to take part in the preservation of China’s film history.


"broadcast using new media" = streaming (?)


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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 8:23 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 12:56 am
We can only hope that the person who wrote that press release is not responsible for subtitling the DVDs.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 7:33 am
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Fei Mu’s Confucius (1940) finally available on DVD, restored by the Hong Kong Film Archive.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:52 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:49 pm
L.A. wrote:
Fei Mu’s Confucius (1940) finally available on DVD, restored by the Hong Kong Film Archive.

And a bargain at only $105.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:05 pm 
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Location: Helsinki, Finland
Perkins Cobb wrote:
L.A. wrote:
Fei Mu’s Confucius (1940) finally available on DVD, restored by the Hong Kong Film Archive.
And a bargain at only $105.
Hopefully that's in Hong Kong dollars.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:24 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:49 pm
Ha, I didn't know the currency there was also dollars. I'm an American ignoramus!

(xe.com tells us that $105 HKD = a much more reasonable $13.54 USD.)


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:28 pm 
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David Bordwell on Confucius


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:41 am 
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So how and where can you buy it from?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:12 am 
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manicsounds wrote:
So how and where can you buy it from?

I ordered my copy (hasn't arrived yet though) from ShopThruPost.hk but for some reason it's not listed at their site anymore.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:51 pm 
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L.A. wrote:
Fei Mu’s Confucius (1940) finally available on DVD, restored by the Hong Kong Film Archive.

Received my copy today and checked this much that the DVD indeed has English subtitles. Also the disc is region free and not R3 as stated on the back cover.


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