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Asian "Art House" Movie Suggestions

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Asian "Art House" Movie Suggestions

Old 10-25-01, 03:43 AM
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Asian "Art House" Movie Suggestions

Being an avid fan of Wong-Kar Wai's movies, does anyone suggest any similar artsy HK, or artsy Asian movies? Basically, films that are not of the slapstick comedy, tear-jerker romance, or Woo-type action movies.
Old 10-25-01, 04:08 AM
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Have you seen Zhang Yimou's films starring Gong Li? I love them! Especially "Raise the Red Lantern"! "Ju Dou" and "Red Sorghum" are really good also.
Old 10-25-01, 09:37 AM
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...for instance...

...from Japan: Nagisa Oshima's Gohatto...

...from China: Wu Tian Ming's The King Of Masks...

...from Thailand: Yongyoot Thongkongtoon's The Iron Ladies...

...from Korea: Bae Yong-kyun's Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left For The East?...

...from Hong Kong: Stanley Kwan's Rouge...

. . . . . .

Last edited by Hendrik; 10-25-01 at 09:39 AM.
Old 10-25-01, 12:34 PM
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Yet more...

- The Road Home, d. Zhang Yimou, starring Zhang Ziyi
- Yi Yi, d. Edward Yang
- A Brighter Summer Day, d. Edward Yang
- Farewell, My Concubine, d. Chen Kaige, with Leslie Cheung, Gong Li, Zhang Fengyi
- any of Hou Hsiao Hsien's films
- Shadow Magic, d. Ann Hu
- Postmen in the Mountain, d.Huo Jianqi
- Going To School With Father On My Back, d.Chow Yau Chiu
- Mystery of Rampo, d.Kazuyoshi Okuyama
- Shall We Dance?, d. Masayuki Suo
- Welcome Back, Mr McDonald, d.Koki Mitano
Old 10-25-01, 01:11 PM
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Ang Lee's "Eat Drink Man Woman". I love this film - unfortunately, there is no DVD of the film as of now. You'll have to rent the VHS from Blockbuster or something.
Old 10-25-01, 02:34 PM
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1. Eureka - Shinji Aoyama (Japan)
2. A City of Sadness - Hou Hsiao-Hsien (Taiwan)
3. The Blue Kite - Tian Zhuangzhuang (China)
4. Peppermint Candy - Lee Chang-Dong (South Korea)
5. Made in Hong Kong - Fruit Chan (Hong Kong)
6. Cure - Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Japan)
7. Vive L'Amour - Tsai Ming-Liang (Taiwan)
8. Suzhou River - Ye Liu (China)
9. Not Forgotten - Makoto Shinozaki (Japan)
10. Maborosi - Hirokazu Kore-Eda (Japan)

If you like Wong Kar-Wai, I'd especially recommend "Suzhou River" and "Made in Hong Kong". They are slightly similar to Wong's style, but are really excellent in their own right. In fact, check out Fruit Chan's other films as well, "Little Cheung" and "Durian, Durian". He is probably the most acclaimed art director in Hong Kong after Wong.
Old 10-25-01, 02:36 PM
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I'd assume you've seen all of Wong Kar-Wai's films as well?
Old 10-25-01, 05:19 PM
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Grimfarrow:
No, but I've seen, and own, Chungking Express, In the Mood for Love, Fallen Angels, Days of Being Wild, and Ashes of Time, basically his newer stuff.

Do you think that some of his older stuff are of similar style, too? I think that I saw one of his older ones (I only remember the Korean title: either 아비정전 or 영웅본색) about two brothers in '70s or '80s HK, but didn't keep me interested, while this newer stuff did.

I've read somewhere that some of his older stuff are not that great.
I'll take your suggestions on the other HK/Chinese flicks.

As an aside, I saw Peppermint Candy, too, but I enjoyed the director's earlier Green Fish better, although I've read that PC is better than GF.

Thanks for your (and others, too!) suggestions.

http://www.dvdaficionado.com/dvds.ht...&id=stuartlee#

Last edited by gopeglegs!; 10-25-01 at 05:23 PM.
Old 10-25-01, 05:50 PM
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Originally posted by gopeglegs!
Grimfarrow:
No, but I've seen, and own, Chungking Express, In the Mood for Love, Fallen Angels, Days of Being Wild, and Ashes of Time, basically his newer stuff.

Do you think that some of his older stuff are of similar style, too? I think that I saw one of his older ones (I only remember the Korean title: either 아비정전 or 영웅본색) about two brothers in '70s or '80s HK, but didn't keep me interested, while this newer stuff did.

I've read somewhere that some of his older stuff are not that great.
I'll take your suggestions on the other HK/Chinese flicks.
Actually, he has only made 7 films so far:

As Tears Go By (1988)
Days of Being Wild (1992)
Ashes of Time (1994)
Chungking Express (1994)
Fallen Angels (1995)
Happy Together (1997)
In the Mood for Love (2000)

So are you talking about As Tears Go By? I also thought the movie was sub-par. But I definitely like (or love) every film of his apart from his first.


As an aside, I saw Peppermint Candy, too, but I enjoyed the director's earlier Green Fish better, although I've read that PC is better than GF.


Peppermint Candy was very, very disturbing. The genius of it is that it uses the "reverse time" aspect *before* Memento, and that the way in which it is used chronicles the tumultuous recent history of South Korea, as well as the man's own life. Plus, I really hated the character at the beginning, but at the end I felt really terrible for him. And usually it is very, very hard to make one like a character you hate in a film.

From what you have said, I think that you will really like Suzhou River and Made in Hong Kong. Check out A City of Sadness, Cure and Eureka as well. The Blue Kite, Vive L'Amour and Maborosi will probably be too slow for your taste....
Old 10-25-01, 06:44 PM
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Not 100% sure what you mean by artsy, but the following is a list of what I would consider to be Asian art-house films:

Hana-bi - has moments of extreme violence, but the overall tone of the film is definitely what could be termed as artistic.

After Life - a wonderfully gentle film about, for wont of a better description, heaven's waiting room.

Gohatto - gay samurai tale... with a soundtrack by my favourite musician Riyuichi Sakamoto

Tampopo - the late Juzoh Itami's superb and extremely funny look at the Japanese (generally speaking) obsession with food and formality (can draw some parallells with Ang Lee's Eat Drink Man Woman)

The Funeral - another Itami film which again picks at the social fabric of the Japanese (in fact, I would recommend any Itami film)

I would also include a number of Kurosawa films and in particular High and Low

I agree with a lot of the other suggestions such as Yi Yi, Shall We Dance (in a Strictly Ballroom kind of a way), Raise the Red Lantern, Eat Drink Man Woman (also recommend Ang Lee's The Wedding Banquet), and In the Mood For Love... but make sure you get the superior French release of this. You could also add Farewell my Concubine, The Emperor's Shadow, The Long Road Home, and Red Sourgum to that list.

A couple of other films that are maybe verging on action films, but to me do a balancing act between action and art are:

Shark Skin Man, Peach Hip Girl
Naked Killer
Tokyo Fist

That will do for now.

regards, Tim...
Old 10-25-01, 07:27 PM
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Originally posted by Grimfarrow


Actually, he has only made 7 films so far:
He's only Directed 7 films so far...
from HKMDB:

Wong Kar-Wai

Cantonese: Wong Ga Wai
Mandarin: Wang2 Gu1 Wei4

Filmography

Producer
Eagle Shooting Heroes, The (1993)
Fallen Angels (1995)
Happy Together (1997)
First Love: the Litter on the Breeze (1997)
In the Mood for Love (2000)

Story
Saviour of the Soul (1991)

Director
As Tears Go By (1988)
Days of Being Wild (1990)
Chungking Express (1994)
Ashes of Time (1994)
Fallen Angels (1995)
Happy Together (1997)
In the Mood for Love (2000)

Actor
Haunted Cop Shop II (1988)
Chaos by Design (1988)

Writer
Just for Fun (1983)
Silent Romance (1984)
Chase a Fortune (1985)
Intellectual Trio, The (1985)
Unforgettable Fantasy (1985)
Sweet Surrender (1986)
Rosa (1986)
Goodbye My Hero (1986)
Final Victory (1987)
Flaming Brothers (1987)
Haunted Cop Shop, The (1987)
As Tears Go By (1988)
Walk On Fire (1988)
Return Engagement (1990)
Days of Being Wild (1990)
Chungking Express (1994)
Ashes of Time (1994)
Fallen Angels (1995)
Happy Together (1997)
In the Mood for Love (2000)
Old 10-25-01, 09:59 PM
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Originally posted by Grimfarrow

2. A City of Sadness - Hou Hsiao-Hsien (Taiwan)
3. The Blue Kite - Tian Zhuangzhuang (China)
Are these two movies available on DVD (or VCD) with English subtitles?
Old 10-26-01, 02:01 AM
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I've only seen a few of the suggestions listed above. Tampopo and Eat Drink Man Woman are two of my favorites, Tampopo being one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. I also really liked Yi Yi and Ju Dou. They're all highly recommended but have little to do with Wong Kar-Wai.

Not a perfect film, but I recommend you check out Cyclo. It shares some of the...dreamlike feel of Wong, contains some stunning visuals (sometimes involving paint &/or fish), has Tony Leung in a role, & even has a sort of Radiohead music video somewhere in the middle. It's a Vietnamese film, but there is a Hong Kong dvd & I think another from France.

Hiroshi Teshigahara's Woman in the Dunes is one of the greatest movies I've ever seen. It's released by Image & more people should definitely be checking it out.

Hong Kong's The Odd One Dies is very quirky & stylish. It stars Takeshi Kaneshiro (from Chungking Express & Fallen Angels). There seems to be very little dialogue in this movie. Nice colors. Memorable soundtrack. Lots of fun. Very cool.

Even though it didn't seem to be what you were asking for, I was going to list Comrades - Almost a Love Story just because it is so good. Then I looked at your list & saw that you have it.

Last edited by Lokimok; 10-26-01 at 04:03 PM.
Old 10-26-01, 03:30 AM
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According to the venerable Merriam-Webster's:

Main Entry: art house
Function: noun
Date: 1951
: ART THEATER

Main Entry: art theater
Function: noun
Date: 1923
: a theater that specializes in the presentation of art films

Main Entry: art film
Function: noun
Date: 1926
: a motion picture produced as an artistic effort

gopeglegs!

PS Frankly, I was surprised that there was a dictionary entry . . . I didn't even know what it really meant until a few mintues ago. It seems that it can be fuzzy distinction between movies produced as an artistic effort and what is made for maximizing box office returns. Afterall, directors seem to be under the gun by financial backers to make the movie more profitable, without compromising their vision.

I actually got the term from Amazon.com's categories, but it appears that they take a more expansive definition (for HK, at least). I mean, you can say that all those white doves, or the long-cut, graceful rooftop fight scenes show the highly refined "artistic effort" of filmmaking in The Killer and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but I wonder if there some elements of commercialism in these films with possible origins or genesis or influence from comic book serials.

It seems that movies made with serious consideration for artistic effort may exclude movies with time-tested market researched formulaic themes/plots, like tear-jerkers, martial-arts, and action movies. Then again, I could be wrong.

PSS Yikes! Gotta get some zzzs for a round of golf tomorrow morning...
Old 10-26-01, 03:34 AM
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...re: Tran Anh Hung's Cyclo... this is a Vietnamese movie (a Canadian/French co-production, I think)... I have it and the same director's The Scent Of Green Papaya plus two short films on a two-disc French DVD...

http://www.dvdfr.com/dvd/fiche.php3?id=394

. . . . . .
Old 10-26-01, 03:51 AM
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Originally posted by Trigger


He's only Directed 7 films so far...
from HKMDB:
It's very common knowledge that he was a scriptwriter for tons of films before becoming a director. But when I said he MADE 7 films, I mean *made*. HK screenwriters have as much power as a production assistant (ie., none). So obviously I only include those he actively directed, and not those he wrote or produced.
Old 10-26-01, 03:52 AM
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Originally posted by cine


Are these two movies available on DVD (or VCD) with English subtitles?
No idea about VCD, but definitely no DVDs.
Old 10-26-01, 04:05 AM
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Try Chris Doyle's "Away With Words". I preferred "Scent Of A Green Papaya" to "Cyclo" which I felt was too bleak. Try also Fruit Chan stuff:

Made In Hong Kong
The Longest Summer
Little Cheung
Durian Durian

Not really that arty but something I'd really liked is "Comrades, Almost A Love Story".

I find Hou Hsiao Hsen stuff a bit bleak.

Happy trails
Old 10-26-01, 04:18 AM
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Welcome to the forum Monika.
Old 10-26-01, 01:59 PM
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Originally posted by Monika
Try Chris Doyle's "Away With Words". I preferred "Scent Of A Green Papaya" to "Cyclo" which I felt was too bleak. Try also Fruit Chan stuff:

Made In Hong Kong
The Longest Summer
Little Cheung
Durian Durian

Not really that arty but something I'd really liked is "Comrades, Almost A Love Story".

I find Hou Hsiao Hsen stuff a bit bleak.

Happy trails
Fruit Chan is also somewhat bleak though, wouldn't you say? (not to spoil anything, but Made in Hong Kong was pretty darn tragic). But Fruit Chan is IMO severely underrated - his films very much deserve the acclaim that they have received.

In terms of bleakness, Tsai Ming-liang has this covered to a tee
Old 10-26-01, 02:47 PM
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I would recommend CYF's Hong Kong 1941 as fitting this category. Ordinary Heroes would be another really good arthouse film. Don't know if you consider The First Time Is The Last Time to be arthouse, but it's also a good movie.

Others not on DVD that are good and somewhat considered arthouse would be movies like Cageman, Illegal Immigrant, Painted Faces, Homecoming, and Ah Ying. All are movies from the 80's though so it might be hard to find.

There are two new ones out this year from HK available on DVD which deserves a bit of mention. Midnight Fly is an average movie with some disturbing scenes near the end. From the Queen to the Chief Executive is a outstanding movie that probably will be nominated for HKFA Best Picture I predict.
Old 10-26-01, 04:08 PM
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Oops - yes, Cyclo is Vietnamese. I don't know how I typed Taiwanese. I had even looked it up before posting to double check. Over-tired maybe. It has been corrected. I loved Cyclo when I saw it in a theater, but didn't think it was so great when I saw it a couple of years later on Cinemax. Still worth a look.

Now go see Woman in the Dunes - especially if it ever plays on a big screen near you.
Old 10-27-01, 08:35 AM
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Hi,

I'd like to second Yellow Hammers recommendation for 'From the Queen to the Cheif Executive' which I personally rate as the best Hong Kong film of the year. The DVD from 'China Star' is also very good, being cheap at around HK $65 and coming with an anamorphic transfer which is rare for Hong Kong DVD's.

However, I really enjoyed 'Midnight Fly' and thought it was certainly a cut above most other Hong Kong films I've seen from this year. Some of the cinematography is wonderful, with excellent use of various differnet locations. Yet, athough it wasn't long after the film had finished its theatrical run when it was released on DVD, the DVD has a terrible transfer which looks to have been taken from a theatrical print which was extremely badly worn, and is very badly mastered by 'Universe' (with numorous distracting artifacts).

Again though, both films are very bleak and often disturbing.

Damian.
Old 10-28-01, 07:34 PM
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Go for some Koji Wakamatsu! Arty to the extreme, political and subversive. Image has released Go Go Second Time Virgin and Ecstasy of the Angels.

Also try some Indian cinema, not every one is Bollywood-ish. Santosh Sivan's The Terrorist and Shekhar Kapur's Bandit Queen are both excellent.

Plus, try the Thai ghost story Nang-nak directed by Nonzee Nimbutr. It was a major hit with the festival crowd.

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