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China Arts & Entertainment

Must-See Movies: The 5 Winners of The China Film Director’s Guild Awards

The 7th edition of the China Film Director’s Guild Awards (2015) has got China’s netizens talking. The five winners are the must-see movies from 2015.

Manya Koetse

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The 7th edition of the China Film Director’s Guild Awards (2015) has got China’s netizens talking. The five winners are the must-see movies made in China in 2015.

Made in China films were the focus of attention at the annual China Film Director’s Guild Awards, that were held in Beijing on April 10, and were broadcasted live on TV by CCTV and online by Youku. The event became one of top trending topics on Sina Weibo today (#中国电影导演协会2015#), with netizens discussing the evening’s biggest winners (and what they were wearing).

LiKun One of the winners on the right: actress Bai Baihe (aka ‘Xiao Bai’), looking pretty in a Victoria Beckham dress from the 2016 spring collection. On the left is actress Li Kun.

Beijing movie Mr. Six (老炮儿) was the major winner of the night, getting the awards for best film, best director and best male actor. The Assassin (刺客聂隐娘) was the other winner for best original screenplay, and Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien (侯孝贤) winning the award for best director from Hong Kong/Taiwan.

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The China Film Director’s Guild Awards are all about domestically produced films. This year the jury’s selection came from a total of 686 films. Here’s a list of the main awards, followed by a top 5 of China’s winning movies.

The Awards

• Best director: Guan Hu (管虎) for Mr. Six
• Best film: Mr. Six (‘老炮儿’)
• Best actor: Feng Xiaogang (冯小刚) for Mr. Six
• Best actress: Bai Baihe for Go Away Mr. Tumor (‘滚蛋吧!肿瘤君’)
• Best young director: Bi Gan (毕赣) for Kaili Blues (‘路边野餐’)
• Best screenplay: Ah Cheng (阿城) for The Assassin (‘刺客聂隐娘’)
• Jury’s Special Choice: Zhang Yang (张杨) for Paths of the Soul (‘冈仁波齐’)
• Best Outstanding Director: Huang Shuqin (黄蜀芹)
• Best Director from Hong Kong and Taiwan: Hou Hsiao-Hsien (侯孝贤)

The 5 Winning Movies

#1: Mr. Six (‘老炮儿’)

Crime drama revolving around “Mr. Six” (“Lao Pao Er”, Feng Xiaogang), an older Beijinger once known as the leading gangster of the neighbourhood. When his son gets into trouble, Mr. Six is confronted with the differences between the city’s modern underworld and his own gangster past. See the trailer:

According to Cinemasia: “Impeccably played by director-turned-actor Feng Xiaogang, MR. SIX’s stoic titular character eloquently encapsulates China’s struggle to uphold traditions in an era dominated by economical growth.”

#2: The Assassin (‘刺客聂隐娘’)

A drama and martial arts film about a female assassin who accepts a dangerous mission to kill a political leader in seventh-century China. This job puts the assassin in a conundrum, as the man she is supposed to kill is a love from her past. See the trailer:

According to The Telegraph, this is one of the “prettiest films you’ll ever see”.

#3: Go Away Mr Tumor (‘滚蛋吧!肿瘤君’)

Go Away Mr Tumor is a comedy and drama film based on the life of comic book artist Xiong Dun. She was the author of a popular web comic that focused on her battle with cancer.

goawaymrtumor

Xiong died in 2012 at the age of 30. According to Variety, the film is “a slick, glossy but emotionally compelling and humorous portrait of a woman’s losing battle with cancer”.

#4: Kaili Blues (‘路边野餐’)

In the subtropical province of Guizhou, doctor Chen Sheng embarks on a journey to take care of his neglected nephew. The films has already won multiple awards abroad.

kailiblues2

According to Hollywood Reporter, this film is “dreamy, poetry-filled and prone to veering off on tangents, the picture teases viewers with such self-assurance it’s difficult to believe the twentysomething director is a first-timer.”

#5: Paths of the Soul (‘冈仁波齐’)

Paths of the Soul could be called “docufiction” about Tibetans travelling 1,200 kilometers to the holy city of Lhasa. During their pilgrimage, they throw themselves to the ground every few metres.

paths of the soul

“One of the most gripping and thought-provoking pilgrimages in the history of film”, says IFFR. Director Zhang Yang is known for his previous films, including the 1999 much-praised Shower (洗澡) (-if you have never seen that one, make sure to also put it on your to-watch list!).

– By Manya Koetse

Featured image: promotion photo for Kaili Blues.

©2016 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, popular culture, and gender issues. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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3 Comments

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  1. Avatar

    Ed Sander

    April 11, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    Recommendation for ‘Shower’ seconded!

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China Arts & Entertainment

‘First Lady of Hong Kong TV’ Lily Leung Passes Away at Age 90

Chinese netizens pay their respects to veteran actress Lily Leung Shun-Yin (1929-2019), who passed away on August 13.

Manya Koetse

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Lily in 1996, image via Sing Tao Daily.

While the Hong Kong protests are dominating the headlines, the death of Hong Kong veteran actress Lily Leung Shun-Yin (梁舜燕) has become a top trending topic on social media site Sina Weibo under the hashtag “Hong Kong Actress Liang Shunyan Dies from Illness” (#香港演员梁舜燕病逝#).

Lily Leung, image via http://www.sohu.com/a/333418087_161795.

The actress was born in Hong Kong in 1929. She starred in dozens of television series, including the first TV drama to be locally broadcasted. She became known as “the first lady of Hong Kong TV.”

Leung acted for TVB and other broadcasters. Some of her more well-known roles were those in Kindred Spirit (真情) and Heart of Greed (溏心风暴).

Leung, also nicknamed ‘Sister Lily’ (Lily姐), passed away on August 13. According to various Chinese media reports, the actress passed peacefully surrounded by family after enduring illness. She was 90 years old.

“I’ve seen so much of her work,” many Weibo netizens say, sharing the favorite roles played by Leung. “I always watched her on TVB while growing up, and will cherish her memory,” one commenter wrote.

Another well-known Hong Kong actress, Teresa Ha Ping (夏萍), also passed away this month. She was 81 years old when she died. Her passing away also attracted a lot of attention on Chinese social media (
#演员夏萍去世#).

Many people express their sadness over the fact that not one but two grand ladies from Hong Kong’s 20th-century entertainment era have passed away this month.

“Those people from our memories pass away one by one, and it represents the passing of an era,” one Weibo user wrote.

“Two familiar faces and old troupers of Hong Kong drama – I hope they rest in peace.”

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. Please note that your comment below will need to be manually approved if you’re a first-time poster here.

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China Fashion & Beauty

The Mulan Makeup Challenge: Traditional Chinese Makeup Goes Trending

Recreating the Mulan make-up look was the biggest beauty challenge on Chinese social media this July.

Manya Koetse

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Will traditional Chinese make-up make a comeback because of Disney’s Mulan?

Since Disney released the official trailer for its live-action Mulan movie earlier this month, Mulan is recurringly appearing in the top trending lists on Chinese social media.

Among all the different topics relating to the upcoming Mulan movie, the Mulan make-up challenge is one that jumps out this month.

The Disney live-action trailer showed a scene in which Mulan, played by Chinese American actress Crystal Liu Fei (刘亦菲), has a full face of betrothal makeup. The original animated Disney movie also features a full makeup Mulan.

Although there was also online criticism of the ‘exaggerated’ makeup, there are many people who appreciate Mulan’s colorful makeup look.

On Weibo, many showed off their skills in copying Mulan’s makeup look this month.

By now, the hashtags “Mulan Makeup Imitation” (#花木兰仿妆#) and “Mulan Makeup Imitation Contest” (#花木兰仿妆大赛#) have attracted over 300 million views.

Makeup such as lipstick has been used in China as far back as two or three thousand years ago.

Makeup vlogger Emma Zhou explains more about Tang Dynasty (618-907) makeup customs here; the skin would be whitened with rice flower, followed by the application of ‘blush’ (pigment of strong-colored flowers) to the cheeks and eyes in a round shape, to emphasize the roundness of the face.

A floral-like decoration would be placed in between the eyebrows.

The yellow forehead, as can be seen in the live-action Mulan, is also known as “Buddha’s makeup,” and was especially popular among ladies during the Tang Dynasty. A yellow aura on the forehead was believed to be auspicious (Schafer 1956, 419).

Although contemporary Chinese makeup trends are much different than those depicted in Mulan, traditional makeup seems to make somewhat of a come-back because of the Disney movie, with hundreds of Chinese netizens imitating the look.

Beauty bloggers such as Nico (@黎千千Nico, image below) receive much praise from Weibo users for their makeup look. Nico wrote: “I even opened the door for the delivery guy this way!”

It is not just girls imitating the look; there are also some boys showing off their Mulan makeup.

Although many still find the Mulan makeup look exaggerated and even “laughable,” there are also those who think it looks really “cool” – of course, depending on whether or not the application is successful.

Want to try it out for yourself? There are various amateur tutorials available on Youtube (in Chinese), such as here, here, or here.

The Mulan make-up hype will probably continue in 2020; the Mulan movie will come out in late March.

To read more about Mulan, please see our latest feature article on Mulan here.

By Manya Koetse

References

Schafer, Edward H. 1956. “The Early History of Lead Pigments and Cosmetics in China.” T’oung Pao, Second Series, 44, no. 4/5: 413-38. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4527434.

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. Please note that your comment below will need to be manually approved if you’re a first-time poster here.

©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com

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