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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:07 am 

Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:31 am
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Tommaso wrote:
Wu's "The Goddess":
What a discovery (for me). It really cries out at least for Eclipse treatment.

This may have been mentioned earlier in the thread, but you can still buy The Goddess on DVD from The San Francisco Silent Film Festival Shop. It comes with a book about the film and its star (so arguably better than "Eclipse treatment"!)

Also available is The Peach Girl (1931).


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:04 am 
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Thanks, I wasn't aware that it's released on disc. Looks like a must-have (both films).


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 1:56 pm 
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I think it's more that I'm horrible at reviewing than anything else :D I since then looked for a few more Chinese silents, watched most of the available Sun Yu film and The Peach Girl, but nothing ever topped The Goddess. My second favorite would be Loving Blood of the Volcano, even with it's surreal ending
[Reveal] Spoiler:
were the two characters are fighting on the top of a very fake looking volcano!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:27 pm 
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Tommaso wrote:
Thanks, I wasn't aware that it's released on disc. Looks like a must-have (both films).

You could have seen the whole thing online in a pretty decent presentation on the internet Archive (we were just talking about Goddess above). Lots of good Shanghai silents and early sond films (like Street Angel) are up there, and should help scratch your itch. Save yourself the funds from buying the Epoch line.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 5:01 pm 
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All the same, it is a good thing for people to buy the Hong Kong University Press version of Goddess (from the San Franciso silent film site -- or elsewhere) -- as it does have the book -- and might spur proper DVD releases of more old (and important) Chinese films.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 5:15 pm 
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Most films available on Internet Archive don't have any decent subs, such as Dalu. The only subs I've ever found for it aren't compatible at all with the file, not even after messing with it with Subtitlesworkshop. Some prints are directly translated though.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 2:58 pm 
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The Goddess is a great film and the book in the HKUP package is most worthwhile, but The Peach Girl is its equal in nearly every respect. The direction by Bu Wancang (a.k.a. Richard Poh) is subtle, empathetic and technically masterful, making one wish that more of this prolific director's work (in addition to A Spray of Plum Blossoms, from Cinema Epoch) was available on dvd. The cinematography by Wong Siao Fen is especially notable, understated and very beautiful, and the film contains some of the most radiant images of Ruan Lingyu ever lensed. I don't know how the other editions compare, but the one from the San Francisco Silent Film Festival is several cuts above the Cinema Epoch releases image-wise, even if it does appear to omit some information from the left side of the screen.

Too bad that prewar Chinese cinema seems permanently consigned to commercial marginalization, as there is so much of it that merits better presentation than it currently receives in the marketplace.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:24 am 
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Cinema Epoch also released Bu's postwar Dream of the Red Chamber. Additionally, this Chinese DVD of Ningwu Pass is purportedly English-subbed.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:38 pm 
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Thanks for that link to Ningwu Pass, I think I'll take a chance on that one, even if it turns out to be unsubbed.

I somehow hadn't registered that Dream of the Red Chamber is a Bu film. As the book on which it's based is a strong favorite, in the translations by David Hawkes and John Minford, as The Story of the Stone, I shudder to think that anyone ever attempted to film it, although I know that others besides Bu have also tried to do so. It's often said that a given book defies translation to the screen, but this one truly does. One could film it in its entirety, resulting in a running time amounting to weeks (the translation runs something like 3000 pages), but its essence would be lost. Stroheim managed this kind of cinematic replication with Greed, but McTeague is an entirely different kind of book. The Story of the Stone isn't just immense, it's labyrinthine, inscrutible and brimming with pleasure that is only accessible in the act of reading.

Perhaps the only successful way to approach The Story of the Stone as cinema would be as Hou did The Sing-Song Girls of Shanghai, lovingly rendering a few fragments that suggest the flavor of the source without attempting to deliver it whole.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 10:58 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 8:33 am
Tonight I viewed a DVD of an incredible, powerful and moving film, "City of Life and Death," directed by Lu Chuan.
The DVD can be obtained at YesAsia.

The print is beautiful, anamorphic. Only slight hitch is a logo which briefly pops up every 30 minutes. But that shouldn't be enough to dissuade anyone from seeing this extraordinary film. Great script and acting, gorgeous black and white cinematography, a film that will stay with you.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 5:21 pm 
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I was just looking for a decent dvd of that old Chinese animated classic "Uproar in Heaven" aka "Havoc in Heaven" with English subtitles. I vaguely remember that somebody told me some time ago there was one, but i couldn't find it. Nevertheless searching yesasia i stumbled across a new release. Gull Multimedia, a Taiwanese publishing company, released the movie in Juli 2009 with English subtitles. Can anyone of you comment on this dvd or on Gull in general or recommend me another version?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:19 pm 
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I have just seen that an internet company called sensasian.com is claiming that Zhang Ke Jia's new movie "24 City" is to be released today (25.9.) with optional English subtitles in Hong Kong. I can't find nothing on Yesasia so I doubt this but can anyone comment on this?
And does anyone know whether or when the movie will be released (edit: on dvd) in the US or in Britain? I am dying to see this film and it would be nice to watch it these days because of the 60th anniversary. The trailers you find at youtube look very promising.


Last edited by Wu.Qinghua on Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:21 pm 
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24 City has had a limited release in the US. I saw it here in Boston (not at a festival). Liked it quite a bit. Still watching for a subbed DVD to appear.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:52 am 

Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:47 pm
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24 City is available for preorder (due on 9/30) from DDDHouse.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:42 am 
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For Francophones, mk2 have just released their own version.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:10 am 
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Oh ... and CN postponed the Hong Kong release again ... It's now due on 10/15 ... I have preordered it ...


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 7:40 pm 
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I've just read about this year's New York Film Festival and that marvelous "(Re)Inventing China" programme where they've screened 20 films produced between 1949 and 1965. Wonderful ... I wish I'd live in New York and could have attended those screenings ...

Does anyone know if any American (or 'Western') company will jump on the bandwagon and release one of those movies on DVD? It's quite unlikely that Criterion will do it isn't it? Do they ever have released a Chinese movie?? I doubt that but I'll have a look ...

I have found two short video essays by Kevin Lee dealing with those films.
Well, I don't agree with some of Lee's statements and assessments (especially regarding the Cultural Revolution), but it's a fascinating essay. Have a look at it:

Part 1:
http://www.movingimagesource.us/article ... 1-20090924

Part 2:
http://www.movingimagesource.us/article ... 2-20090928


Edit: Oh, I had to edit that post ...


Last edited by Wu.Qinghua on Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 11:24 pm 
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Most of the better-known titles have subbed Chinese editions distributed in the U.S., which might prevent domestic outfits from picking up the rights themselves -- not quite sure how that works. Of course half the series is still unavailable in the States, but Criterion have never released anything from mainland China, so I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for them. Cinema Epoch, maybe?

The available titles:

Five Golden Flowers
Li Shuangshuang
Living Forever in Burning Flames
New Year Sacrifice
The Red Detachment of Women (I see you're already aware of this one)
This Life of Mine (also on archive.org)
Two Stage Sisters
Visitors on the Icy Mountain (note that the NYFF are using the wrong Chinese title -- it should be Bingshan shang de laike)
Woman Basketball Player No. 5

From what I've seen of these, the PQ leaves much to be desired, but god knows what shape the elements are in. (Did anyone see them at NYFF? How did the prints look?) Before the New Director Arrives and Bridge have subbed releases in China; the missing titles have unsubbed releases, except for Platoon Commander Guan which seems to be totally unavailable.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 4:37 am 
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I bought quite a lot of Gzbeauty's "Follow me Chinese" DVDs. But, as you have indicated, the transfer quality ranges from tolerable to terrible and the subtitles are funny in a way at times. Colours are often washed out, characters vanish in the dark and so on. One of the worst transfers is to be found on "Two Actresses" (Stage Sisters): Black became red, so everybody has red hair and red eyes and stuff. And I remember well when seeing "Dragon Beard Ditch" I started to question my English reading comprehension skills until I realized that the subtitles simply weren't intelligible.

Btw, Amazon charges much too much for those DVDs. Yesasia sells them for 7-10$ each but they are out of stock at the moment. Some of those DVDs (like Red Detachment of Women, Horse Thief, Legend of Tianyun Mountain, Black Cannon Incident, Pioneers ...) are, well, acceptable though in no way worth 20 bucks.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 7:28 am 
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I just linked to Amazon for convenience (I would've gone with YesAsia, but as you said, a lot of them are out of stock there). You can find them much cheaper by Googling. Amazon.cn has them for around two bucks each, but I don't think that's of much help for most people here.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 9:16 am 
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The Fanciful Norwegian wrote:
I just linked to Amazon for convenience (I would've gone with YesAsia, but as you said, a lot of them are out of stock there). You can find them much cheaper by Googling. Amazon.cn has them for around two bucks each, but I don't think that's of much help for most people here.

Why, don't they ship outside of China?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 10:40 am 
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Quote:
Why, don't they ship outside of China?


I guess you have to be able to read Chinese. And there may be some minor problems with credit cards. Am I right?

That's why I stuck to Yesasia, although in one case it took them up to 3 1/2 months to get hold of some mainland discs and ship them to Europe.

Can you recommend any other retailers in case of those Chinese discs, Fanciful Norwegian?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 12:00 pm 
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You could check www.buyoyo.com (lower prices, but higher postage than YesAsia).


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 6:52 pm 
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Wu.Qinghua wrote:
Quote:
Why, don't they ship outside of China?


I guess you have to be able to read Chinese. And there may be some minor problems with credit cards. Am I right?


Last time I checked they weren't set up to take international credit cards, but it looks like they now do through a third-party payment service (PayEase). I think shipping to North America and Europe is about $3 per disc, so it might be worth looking into (using Babelfish or whatever to figure out the interface, if need be).

Quote:
Can you recommend any other retailers in case of those Chinese discs, Fanciful Norwegian?


Not really, I just buy them in B&M shops here. While I was googling I saw some other U.S. retailers that had them for lower prices ($10-15), but I didn't check them out.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 6:57 pm 
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What about Ebay or half.com?


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