Thursday, January 31, 2013

Chinese movies!

When I was younger, Sundays usually meant a family trip to Chinatown, a movie at either King's Theater, East Cinema or Capitol Theater, watching a Chinese film with English subtitles while eating a package of cow label and drinking a glass of sugarcane juice.  And maybe snacks at New Ongpin Manosa.  Now, while we can still find cow label and sugarcane juice and Manosa branches have sprung up, the old theaters which used to show only Chinese films have ceased to operate.

Those films have helped me understand Chinese history and also helped me learn the Mandarin Language.  Watching Chinese movies is like a crash course in its culture and history.  Although my family observes Chinese traditions and beliefs, it is still somewhat modernized and the boundaries of what is culturally Chinese and what is not is somehow blurred.

The theaters were long gone.  In most households, these were replaced by movies on, initially Betamax, then VHS, laser discs, then finally DVDs.  I do believe that the latest Chinese film I've watched on the big screen was Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, and that was already back in year 2000.

I finally got the chance to watch a Chinese movie, Piano in a Factory, at Shangri-La Plaza.  For FREE!  And YOU can do so too!  Click here for the schedule of the film screenings. 

From the press kit:

Shangri-La Plaza presents the Spring Film Festival at the Shang Cineplex, in partnership with the Ateneo de Manila University’s Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies, Ateneo Celadon, and the Confucius Institute at the Ateneo de Manila University and Credit Suisse. 
Now on its seventh year, the Spring Film Festival aims to promote Chinese culture in mainstream Filipino society, particularly to the younger generation. There will be six featured films for this year’s roster. 

2 Become 1 opens the film fest on February 1. Here, advertising executive Bingo Leung finds new meaning in her once carefree life after discovering a lump in her breast and begins a close relationship with Doctor V and teenage friend, Sing. 

What I was able to watch so far was Piano in a Factory, a multi-awarded family drama on a father’s struggle in going through divorce and fighting for custody of his daughter, while trying to pursue his passion in the low-paying music industry.

Storm Warriors, special effects-laden, Hong Kong fantasy action film that chronicles the war between Lord Nameless and his battle against his nemesis Lord Godless, who imprisoned his soldiers, raided and took over his land. Award-winning film Jasmine Women, starring Zhang Ziyi and directed by Hou Young. The film tells the story of a family’s struggle to overcome its tragic history, as each daughter repeats the mistakes of her mother.

Space Dream, follows the story of Zhang Tiancong, a veteran member of the first generation of Chinese astronauts, who—despite now being in his 40s—has never been given a space mission yet. Golden Times, a touching story about teacher Fang and police officer Sun Dayang, who put up “Home for the Left-Behind children”, to care for those whose parents have migrated to find work in the cities.  
All the screenings are free admission and seats are on a first come-first served basis.

Simultaneous with the film fest is the launch of Chinese Painting in the Philippines, a 180-page art book featuring the works of notable Chinese-Filipino artists. The compilation celebrates the past and present generations of painters who have passionately devoted themselves to enrich the practice of Chinese painting in the Philippines.
Finally, happening at the same time at the Grand Atrium is the 2013 Spring Festival Chinese Painting Exhibit, which aims to promote Filipino-made Chinese paintings and encourage the emergence of new talents that will continue the rich legacy of the ancient art in the country. Meanwhile, the On the Wings of Culture Chinese Photo Exhibit at the Shang’s 4th level, features images and scenes that depict the new wave of cultural reform now taking place in China.

For inquiries, contact 633-7851 loc.113 or log on to Add Shangri-La Plaza on Facebook: shangrilaplazaofficialfanpage.
Click here for the schedule of the film screenings.