Chinese Cinema on DVD/BD

Discuss internationally-released DVDs and Blu-rays or other international DVD and Blu-ray-related topics.
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Luke M
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 9:21 pm

Re: Chinese Cinema on DVD/BD

#151 Post by Luke M » Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:46 pm

L.A. wrote:Hong Kong Film Archive released their first Blu-ray in January, Ann Hui’s directorial debut The Secret (1979). HK Book City is probably the only place to order it :-k.
Is it common for blu-rays from Hong Kong to cost $135?

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L.A.
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Re: Chinese Cinema on DVD/BD

#152 Post by L.A. » Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:05 pm

HONG KONG DOLLARS!!!!

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Luke M
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Re: Chinese Cinema on DVD/BD

#153 Post by Luke M » Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:43 pm

L.A. wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:05 pm
HONG KONG DOLLARS!!!!
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swo17
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Re: Chinese Cinema on DVD/BD

#154 Post by swo17 » Wed May 08, 2019 3:04 pm

Discussion of Diskino releases moved here

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andyli
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 4:46 pm

Re: Chinese Cinema on DVD/BD

#155 Post by andyli » Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:20 am

YIM Ho's Red Dust (1990) starring Brigitte Lin, Maggie Cheung and Han Chin is getting a digitally remastered blu-ray in Taiwan. Also coming next month is a 25th Anniversary Edition of Farewell, My Concubine.

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htdm
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 3:46 am

Re: Chinese Cinema on DVD/BD

#156 Post by htdm » Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:47 pm

Thanks, I will definitely pick Red Dust up.

Also, CN Entertainment's English-friendly BD of Ann Hui's The Story of Woo Viet drops today. I'll be interested to see how the PQ compares to that of the French disc.

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Lemmy Caution
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:26 am
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Re: Chinese Cinema on DVD/BD

#157 Post by Lemmy Caution » Thu Jun 20, 2019 3:32 pm

Surface mail -- the cheapest mailing option from China -- usually takes 10-12 weeks to the US East Coast and 8-10 weeks to the West Coast. And if they delayed shipping things out for whatever reason -- out of stock or whatnot -- it obviously could take longer. 6 months is a little absurd though.
China surface mail is roughly 1/4 the price of airmail, with SAL (Sea-Air-Land) a 3 week delivery option priced in between the two.

The USPS stopped offering surface mail over a decade ago (canceled circa 2007, I think).

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The Fanciful Norwegian
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Re: Chinese Cinema on DVD/BD

#158 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Thu Sep 19, 2019 5:52 pm

Zhang Yongning (one of the producers of Stanley Kwan's Lan Yu) did a Q&A after a recent screening and said a restoration of the film⁠—derived from the original negative recently found in Thailand⁠—will be out on Blu-ray soon, possibly as early as November.

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L.A.
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Re: Chinese Cinema on DVD/BD

#159 Post by L.A. » Wed Apr 15, 2020 1:39 pm

南洋三部曲 Nanyang Trilogy (2-disc Blu-ray edition) is a series of three Cantonese-language films produced by the Kong Ngee Company in 1957. Shot in Singapore and Malaysia, the films are 血染相思谷 (Blood Stains the Valley of Love), 唐山阿嫂 (China Wife) and 椰林月 (Moon Over Malaya). The films introduced urban perspectives and youthful idols of the time, led by 谢贤 (Patrick Tse Yin), 嘉玲 (Patsy Kar Ling) and 南红 (Nam Hung) that appealed to its younger postwar audiences.
Anyone seen these?

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L.A.
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Re: Chinese Cinema on DVD/BD

#160 Post by L.A. » Sat Sep 05, 2020 5:13 am

Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute has produced a DVD collection including five films from ”Taiwan’s Lost Commercial Cinema” including The Fantasy of the Deer Warrior (1961), The Best Secret Agent (1964), Vengeance of the Phoenix Sisters (1968), Dangerous Youth (1969) and Back to Anping Harbor (1972) with English subtitles.

TFotDW sounds a little bit intriquing, Die, Danger, Die, Die, Kill! and easternKicks.com have something to say about it.

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The Elegant Dandy Fop
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 3:25 am
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Re: Chinese Cinema on DVD/BD

#161 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Sat Sep 05, 2020 2:11 pm

The Fantasy of the Deer Warrior is quite fun and its use of costumes is quite imaginative. The Vengeance of the Phoenix Sisters is excellent too. Do they ship this to the US?

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The Fanciful Norwegian
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Re: Chinese Cinema on DVD/BD

#162 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Sat Sep 05, 2020 3:46 pm

Not through their store interface, there's a notice somewhere on the site that you can email them at service@mail.tfi.org.tw to talk about an international order. They also have English-subtitled releases of restored Taiwanese-language films by Lin Tuan-chiu and a new release of the city symphonies Taipei Morning and The Man Who Has a Camera (no subtitles needed on those). Their King Hu set is hard to recommend when all of the features are readily available on Blu-ray elsewhere, but AFAIK it's still the only way to get the restored Anger on disc.

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L.A.
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Re: Chinese Cinema on DVD/BD

#163 Post by L.A. » Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:05 pm

Is this Blu-ray for The Winter of Three Hairs (1949) supposed to be a joke?

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htdm
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Re: Chinese Cinema on DVD/BD

#164 Post by htdm » Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:04 pm

Image

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lzx
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Re: Chinese Cinema on DVD/BD

#165 Post by lzx » Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:45 pm

Directed by Mel Gibson, with cinematography by Christopher Doyle... Brilliant

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whaleallright
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 12:56 am

Re: Chinese Cinema on DVD/BD

#166 Post by whaleallright » Sun Sep 20, 2020 6:34 pm

L.A. wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:05 pm
Is this Blu-ray for The Winter of Three Hairs (1949) supposed to be a joke?
Somewhat dubious attribution aside (the pirated Kino logo is a nice touch), I imagine this is an upconvert from a 60p MPEG, ripped from a VCD, that someone posted to a Geocities website ca. 1998?

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The Fanciful Norwegian
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Re: Chinese Cinema on DVD/BD

#167 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Mon Sep 21, 2020 1:22 pm

It got restored in 4K last year and 1080p copies of that restoration are circulating online; most likely the Blu-ray was converted from one of those. You can actually watch it legally on CCTV-6's YouTube channel, at least if you don't require subtitles.

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L.A.
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Re: Chinese Cinema on DVD/BD

#168 Post by L.A. » Fri Jan 15, 2021 4:23 pm

The Bride with White Hair Collection coming from Nova Media on Jan. 22nd. Cover B also available. Both limited to 1000 copies.

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L.A.
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Re: Chinese Cinema on DVD/BD

#169 Post by L.A. » Mon Feb 01, 2021 9:26 am

New Dragon Inn (1992) from Nova Media in February.

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The Elegant Dandy Fop
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Re: Chinese Cinema on DVD/BD

#170 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Tue Feb 02, 2021 1:46 am

Great news! If I recall, forum user feihong told me that the previous (and incredibly limited) Hong Kong release of this film was true HD and not an upres. It's part of that golden period of Tsui Hark's cinema where even the films produced by him bare all his trademarks. I own this on laserdisc and actually rewatched it last Fall, so I'm curious to see how it looks in proper HD.

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L.A.
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Re: Chinese Cinema on DVD/BD

#171 Post by L.A. » Fri Apr 09, 2021 2:18 pm

Ah Kam (Ann Hui, 1996) coming to Blu-ray on April 16th.

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feihong
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Re: Chinese Cinema on DVD/BD

#172 Post by feihong » Sat Apr 10, 2021 1:05 am

I watched Lou Ye's 2018 film, Saturday Fiction, which I managed to track down after a lot of searching. It's one of the better films I've seen recently; a WWII-era thriller, like his previous Purple Butterfly, but this time set in the world of theater, and starring Gong Li, Joe Odagiri and Pascal Greggory. The film is done in lovely, rain-soaked black-and-white, with Lou Ye's signature mix of hand–held, roaming camerawork and elliptical editing. It's an unusual movie by modern standards, in that it seems to slightly shift genres with each act of the film. The third act is an almost 30-minute protracted shootout backstage at a theater, which I did not expect from Lou Ye. It's filled with suspense. The film is deliberately very ambiguous in its mis-en-scene, and there is a kind of surreal play between what is in the stage play and what is being played out backstage and in the nearby hotel, between spies and agents and counterspies. Characters resemble one another, take one another's places, suffer one another's fates. It takes an actor of superb skill in the lead to keep all this cogent, and Gong Li works magic with her role, and all its subterfuges. She is as abstract a presence as woman in a Bunuel film, handling the shifts from one kind of acting to another with aplomb. She also has a few lines in English, and appears to have improved her ability to deliver that language consistently since Miami Vice (I still contend she plays the role in Miami Vice to perfection; but the language demands of that film were just unfair to her). When it comes time to walk from one movie into another––say from the meandering romances of the second act into the John Woo-inspired third act (much more suspenseful than in any John Woo movie), you don't notice the shift, and it only dawns upon you that the mis en scene has changed after a few minutes spent in this new reality. The film is full of little twists and turns, identities blurring and people's allegiances floating in eternal question; all in all it's a surprising roundelay of intrigues, which ties itself up with a quote from Nietzsche that makes a hilarious capper to the story.

As far as I can tell, this film isn't on any physical media yet. It looks like Strand Releasing are planning a...a DVD of the film? Not a blu ray? This would be of a piece with their disappointing handling of Suzhou River decades ago. They also say it'll be on iTunes, so, hooray? But really, a blu ray ought to be in the cards for this gorgeous film.

Apparently Lou Ye had a movie out the previous year as well, called The Shadow Play (could have been the title for this movie, as well), and I've struggled––unsuccessfully so far––to track that film down.

yoshimori
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Re: Chinese Cinema on DVD/BD

#173 Post by yoshimori » Sat Apr 10, 2021 12:05 pm

Yep. As far as I can tell, that 2018 film, Shadow Play [Clouds in the Wind], hasn't received any kind of home video release. Saw it at a festival in 2019. It had a lot of energy, but felt forced, storywise. Still, it's a crime that these two recent films and the amazing Spring Fever and Blind Massage, along all his earlier films, aren't available in quality formats.

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The Fanciful Norwegian
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Re: Chinese Cinema on DVD/BD

#174 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Sat Apr 10, 2021 3:59 pm

There are high-quality, English-subbed sources for The Shadow Play circulating online, including a 4K version (though with its low bitrate the actual quality is more like a good 1080p WEB-DL). That movie got an unusually limited festival run (only five altogether) and zero international distribution, and given its subject matter and history with the censors, I hypothesized that a decision had been made to limit its exposure, perhaps as a compromise to get the film out at all. I have no way to confirm that, but someone who was in a position to know intimated I was at least on the right track. There was also a feature-length making-of doc that was said to be an outstanding warts-and-all look which Lou wanted shown alongside the film, but it disappeared after two festival outings in 2018. I agree with yoshimori's take and would add that, although it's not a major device the way Saturday Fiction plays with its two levels of narrative, The Shadow Play does some similar things with the timeline, seamlessly transitioning into flashbacks in a way that I didn't realize was happening until after the fact (and in one case well after the scene was over). It was only after a second viewing that I had a decent grasp of the plot, which I don't think is all that complicated, really; it's more that the film proceeds in such a breathless manner that there aren't a lot of opportunities to get one's bearings. Saturday Fiction felt much easier to get my head around despite its own ambiguities.

And on the subject of Saturday Fiction, release plans from Strand or anyone else should be treated as extremely tentative, since regulations that came in a couple of years ago mean a Chinese film can't be commercially distributed abroad until it opens in China and there's no sign that will happen anytime soon. It was scheduled for December 7th, 2019 (yes, Pearl Harbor Day), but that was quietly canceled shortly after the film was pulled from a major domestic film festival. Unlike The Shadow Play, I can't really pinpoint anything the censors might object to, other than a generally nontriumphal if not "irreverent" treatment of history that's still more mature and serious-minded than any number of mainstream Chinese thrillers and action movies set during the war. It's still getting festival bookings so it hasn't been buried, but with the general atmosphere in China this year and theaters being ordered to host year-round screenings of patriotic historical films that nobody actually wants to see, I would be surprised if it comes out in 2021.

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