Sunday, December 4, 2011


The cause of the dearth of posts here recently is that Qian and I just bought and moved into our first house. Anyone who's gone down that road before knows that the preparation and execution of finding the right house, moving out of the old apartment, and getting into the new place is all-consuming. Between my job and all of that house stuff, blogging has fallen by the wayside.

Although I've been busy with life, I'm still engaged with China and still have things to write. I'm hoping things will settle down soon and I'll get some posts up soon.

In the mean time, I have a couple Chinese movies upon which I want to comment quickly.

First, Raise the Red Lantern大红灯笼高高挂》directed by Zhang Yimou is incredible. I found it to be just as good as the other Zhang movie I saw recently, To Live. It's the story of a concubine in the early twentieth century. The story is laid out very delicately and is executed with great passion. The cinematography and setting of the movie are still etched into my mind a couple weeks after watching it. I highly recommend it.

And then second, In the Heat of the Sun阳光灿烂的日子》is one of the most bizarre movies I've ever seen. Qian and I watched since it was one of the only movies she hadn't seen from the list that was recommended in the comments section of this blog a few weeks ago. It's about a group of rebellious youths during the Cultural Revolution. It is very avant-garde. I appreciated watching this more than my wife did (she hated it), but I'd have a hard time recommending this one.


Ramesh said...

Congratulations Mark and Qian. Best wishes for much happiness in your first house.

Nicholas said...

well, for those who grow up in the 60's or early 70's, 阳光灿烂的日子is a reminiscent of their childhood. I guess you and qian will not have the same appreciation for an time that was long gone.

anyway, there's a new movie called 失恋33天 you may find it better to your taste.

Mark said...

Thanks, Ramesh!

Nicholas, my problem with In the Heat of the Sun 《阳光灿烂的日子》 has more to do with the style than the substance. It's just too avant-garde for my tastes.

I'm fascinated by the Cultural Revolution. I've done a lot of reading about it. My favorite book on that time period is Son of the Revolution.

The stories in that book are similar to several scenes in the movie. I just think the book is more pulled together and more linear than the movie.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the house.

Interesting that In the Heat of the Sun is a bit nostalgic for Chinese who grew up in the 60's and 70's, haven't seen that one yet. I just recently watched a film called Platform (站台), which basically is a nostalgic journey for Chinese who grew up in the 80's.

Would be interested to hear if Qian has seen this and what she thought, it's probably a decade before her time as I guess she probably grew up in the 90's, but it was interesting for me to get a glimpse of what life was like in the formative years for Chinese growing up in the same period I did. Lots of period cultural references peppered throughout (i.e. Teresa Teng songs on the radio, etc).

Having said all that, it's not a movie I would actually recommend. It's long, a tad on the avant-garde, and probably a total bore to anyone who cannot relate in some form. It won a ton of awards, but again, I would give it a thumbs down, but might be of interest to some sinophiles who swing by here.

global investing said...

I've seen Raise the Red Lantern. Its fantastic. But I thin k I'd probably take a pass on the second one!