3 Best Movies to Watch From China Film Co-Production Corporation

Staff & contributors
Thirty years after its release, the first ever Chinese language Palme d’Or winner has finally been made more accessible through Criterion Channel through its uncut 4K restoration. Farewell My Concubine is one of those classical epics that is considered essential viewing, but even with its near 3 hour runtime, the film still holds up all these decades later with its startlingly heartrending love story and depiction of the tumultuous shifts of 20th century China. Director Chen Kaige masterfully balances both sides, tapping into the pain Dieyi (Leslie Chung) chooses as he clings to the classical opera, the very art form that allows him a sliver of his unrequited love to be realized, but that is also limited depending on whichever government is in charge at the moment. It’s possibly one of the most beautiful and most miserable films ever made.

Genre: Drama

Actor: Dan Li, David Wu, Fei Zhenxiang, Ge You, Gong Li, Huang Lei, Jiang Wenli, Lei Han, Leslie Cheung, Li Dan, Lu Qi, Shen Huifen, Yang Lixin, Yin Zhi, Ying Da, Zhang Fengyi, Zhi Yitong

Director: Chen Kaige

Rating: R

If there’s one thing to say about House of Flying Daggers, it’s that it’s absolutely, absurdly, downright beautiful. The sets are lavishly designed, the landscapes are gorgeous, the colorful costumes are elaborately embroidered, the fight and dance choreography are breathtaking, every shot is colorful, and even the three leads in the love triangle are some of the most beautiful Chinese actors of the time (maybe, perhaps, of all time). That being said, some viewers might find that the beauty of each scene isn’t enough to carry through the film’s fairly convoluted plot, with everyone lying to each other all the time. There’s a thread here about being ordered into actions that would later be used to condemn you, and the way love intersects with that is fairly romantic stuff, but House of Flying Daggers doesn’t quite reach the emotional heights it could have had with a more streamlined script.

Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama

Actor: Andy Lau, Chengyuan Li, Dandan Song, Hao Bojie, Hongfei Zhao, Jiusheng Wang, Jun Guo, Li Qiang, Shu Zhang, Song Dandan, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Yongxin Wang, Zhang Shu, Zhang Ziyi, Zheng Xiao-Dong, Zhengyong Zhang, Ziyi Zhang

Director: Yimou Zhang, Zhang Yimou

Rating: PG-13

Written, directed and starring the auteur Stephan Chow, Kung Fu Hustle is a distillation of decades of Hong-Kong Cinema's greatest export : the martial arts comedy. Full of numerous allusions and witty nods to other greats in the genre, this film is nonetheless entirely fresh and new. Equal parts hilarious and breathtakingly action-packed, Kung Fu Hustle showcases an enormous amount of raw talent, cinema magic and ass-kicking for any true cinema connoisseur.

Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime, Fantasy

Actor: Alex Lam Chi Sin, Bruce Leung, Bruce Leung Siu-Lung, Bruce Siu-Lung Leung, Charlie Yuen Cheung-Yan, Cheung-Yan Yuen, Chi Ling Chiu, Chi-Sing Lam, Chiu Chi-Ling, Danny Chan, Danny Chan Kwok-Kwan, Dong Zhi Hua, Dung Chi-Wa, Eva Huang, Fan Tiantian, Feng Xiaogang, Fung Hak-On, Hark-On Fung, He Wenhui, Huang Shengyi, Jazz Lam, Jia Kangxi, Kai Shi Chen, Kang Xi Jia, Kwok Kuen Chan, Lam Chi Chung, Lam Suet, Lam Tze-chung, Leung Siu Lung, Oliver Wong Yui-Man, Qiu Yuen, Shengyi Huang, Siu-Lung Leung, Stephen Chow, Steven Fung Min-Hang, Suet Lam, Tenky Tin Kai-Man, Wah Yuen, Wellson Chin Sing-Wai, Xiaogang Feng, Xing Yu, Yang Neng, Yuen Cheung-Yan, Yuen Qiu, Yuen Wah, Zhang Mingming, Zhang Yibai, Zhi Hua Dong, Zhihua Dong, 释彦能

Director: Stephen Chow

Rating: R