Holiday Shopping Guide: 6 Amazing Movies (including trailers) about China and one new book!

-This looks like a great book and very creative.

Roots, Fruits, Shoots and Leaves: A Guide to Shopping at Chinese Fresh Food Markets

Have you ever wondered about that wacky-looking fruit staring back at you in the market? Or did you want to know how to prepare a seasonal Chinese vegetable, but don’t have the language or culinary skills? This pocket-sized guidebook to fresh produce – with photographs, pronunciation guides, Chinese characters and advice on cooking – will help tourists, foodies and adventurous shoppers navigate the colorful markets of China, Hong Kong and Chinatowns around the world.

 

 -This whole series of “Scenic Musical Journeys” looks really good!  But we’re biased to Shanghai!  Watch the Trailer here.


Naxos Scenic Musical Journeys Shanghai A Cultural Tour with Traditional Chinese Music

The city of Shanghai, China’s most important port, owes some of its prosperity to the so-called unequal treatises forced on China during the 19th century. The place had its origin as a settlement during the Tang dynasty (618-906 C.E.), but the Treaty of Nanking in 1842 ceded Hong Kong to the British and made possible the development of foreign trade through the five ‘treaty ports’, of which Shanghai became the most important. The growth of Shanghai into an international trading centre and the concessions made to various foreign countries explain the interesting mixture of architectural styles, continued today with the high-rise buildings of recent years. The music chosen for this tour of Shanghai is played on traditional Chinese instruments. Performing the music are the wind and string ensembles known as ‘silk and bamboo’, from their silk strings and bamboo pipes, and ensembles that also include percussion. Instruments given prominence include the dizi, heard first in Moonlight Autumn Night by the Lake, a transverse bamboo flute, and the yangqin, a Chinese dulcimer whose strings are struck with two bamboo sticks. Traditional Chinese music, like Chinese painting, is largely representational, its character indicated in its titles, although these may sometimes be drawn from opera or from poems.

 

-Huge game in China, relatively unknown in the west… until now?  Watch the trailer here. 
Weiqi Wonders: Conversations About the Game of Go in China

Known as “Go” in English, Weiqi is a Chinese board game that has cultural associations ranging from Confucian nobility to military strategies. In talking about this game people reveal themselves, their society, and their views of other cultures.

Explore a different side of China through interviews with teachers, university students, senior citizens, amateurs and professionals.

 

-Haunting… watch the trailer here. 

Aftershock by Feng Xiaogang

Tangshan, 1976. Two seven-year-old twins are buried under the rubble of the deadliest earthquake of the 20th century. The rescue team explains to their mother that freeing either child will almost certainly result in the death of the other. Forced to make the most difficult decision of her life, she finally chooses to save her son. Though left behind as dead, the little girl miraculously survives, unbeknownst to her brother and mother. AFTERSHOCK follows the family on their separate journeys over the course of the next 32 years, as they build lives forever shadowed by the traumatic experience of the earthquake, and eventually face each other and the decisions of the past.

The acclaimed epic that broke all box-office records in China, AFTERSHOCK Featuring an all-star cast including Jingchu Zhang (Rush Hour 3) and Daoming Chen (Hero), AFTERSHOCK shines with its powerful exploration of how one moment can change a family s life forever.

 

-Oh no they didn’t…  find the trailer here.
Disney World Cinema High School Musical: China

From the Disney World Cinema Collection, High School Musical China captures all the excitement, drama, music and dance of the original U.S. film with unique Chinese characters and extraordinary adventures. A new student at an international college in Shanghai meets a gifted young man, with whom she shares a secret passion for singing. Without her parents’ support, she and her new group of friends enter an inter-school singing competition and discover their true calling and the value of friendship. Anything is possible when you follow your dreams!

 

-Looks low budget. See the trailer here. 

An American in China

It’s time I chose a direction and the Far East is as good as any,” shrugs David Braddock (James Snyder, Sheís the Man), exactly the kind of aimlessness that has his parents worried about their newly minted college grad. Pressured to travel to Shanghai on behalf of the troubled family business, the party’s over and David is reluctantly thrust into a country strangely unaltered by the modern world. His translator (popular Chinese actress Fei Fei Sun), a beautiful young girl as directed as he is directionless, attempts to help the struggling David. Problem is no one seems to take him seriously there either! But ñ despite the language barrier, cultural differences, culinary shock and a near international incident – romance blossoms. David returns a changed man, but the family business is in worse jeopardy than before. Determined, David returns to Chinato see things through both professionally and personally. Will this fish-out-of-water finally find his way?
-I’ve seen it and it’s AWESOME!  See the video and trailer here. 

Last Train Home

Every spring, China’s cities are plunged into chaos as an astonishing 130 million migrant workers journey to their home villages for the New Year’s holiday. This mass exodus is the largest human migration on the planet – an epic spectacle that reveals a country tragically caught between its rural past and industrial future.

Working over several years in classic verité style Chinese-Canadian filmmaker Lixin Fan (with the producers of the hit documentary Up the Yangtze) travels with one couple who have embarked on this annual trek for almost two decades. Like so many of China s rural poor, Zhang Changhua and Chen Suqin left behind their two infant children for grueling factory jobs. Their daughter Qin – now a restless teenager – both bitterly resents their absence and longs for her own freedom away from school, much to the utter devastation of her parents.

Emotionally powerful and starkly beautiful, the multi-award-winning Last Train Home‘s intimate observation of one fractured family sheds unprecedented light on the human cost of China’s economic ‘miracle’.

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