China Now, Britain's largest ever festival of Chinese culture, has launched the widest ranging tour of Chinese films ever seen in Britain with the first screening Tuesday.
Bringing Chinese mainstream films to British cinemas, the tour features premieres of box office hits such as Luxury Car, Crazy Stone and Delamu.
Chinese cinema has recently been popularized in the West by films including Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, House of Flying Daggers and Curse of the Golden Flower. Laying down an important foundation and introduction to the mass British audience, some critics have outlined that these Chinese films, backed by Western investment, have been somewhat tailored to Western audiences.
The China Now British tour aims to expose the British audience to mainstream Chinese box office hits and popular films, offering a unique look into the social changes that have taken place in China over the past 20 years.
Both Luxury Car and Still Life deal with the social dislocation caused by the rapid economic change in recent years as sons, husbands and wives leave their communities in search of work. The Birthday compares the traditional values held by the older generation with the increasingly westernized ideals held by their children and the tension that arises between the two. Sunflower is a Chinese family saga that unfolds over 25 years combining personal memories and salient moments of recent history to reveal the impact on one family of the momentous social changes that have produced a new China.
The tour will visit 17 film houses across Britain and will show 10 films including Sunflower, A Battle of Wits, The Birthday, Isabella, Still Life, Farewell My Concubine and Horse Thief.
China Now is a six-month nationwide festival of over 800 Chinese events including exhibitions, performances and activities spanning Chinese film, cuisine, comics, art, literature, music, design, science, technology, business, education and sport across Britain.
(Xinhua News Agency April 1, 2008)