Chinese Films


DVDs in Chinese

Director: Wong Kar-Wai
He was a writer. He thought he wrote about the future but it really was the past. In his novel, a mysterious train left for 2046 every once in a while. Everyone who went there had the same intention… recapture their lost memories. 128 min. In Cantonese with optional English subtitles.
Call number: DVD 2046

As Tears Go By / Wangjiao Kamen
Director: Wong Kar-Wai
2000 (1988)
Stretched to breaking in a loyalty tug of war between Triad bosses and a loose cannon partner, a rising film star in the HK underworld finds himself saddled with his beautiful cousin. The fascination is his last chance to escape a violent past. In Cantonese with optional English subtitles.
Call number: DVD aste

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress / Xiao Cai Feng
Director: Dai Sijie
In 1971 China, in the lingering grip of the cultural revolution, two university students, Luo and Ma, are sent to a mountain mining village as part of their reeducation duty to purge them of their classical western oriented education. Amid the backbreaking work and stifling ignorance of the community, the two boys find that music, and the presence of the beautiful local young women are the only pleasant things in their miserable life. However, none compare to the young seamstress granddaughter of the local tailor. Stealing a departing student’s secret cache of forbidden books of classic western literature such as the works of Honore de Balzac, they set about to woo her and teach her things she had never imagined. In doing so, they start a journey that would profoundly change her perspective on her world and teach the boys about the power of literature and their own ability to change their world in truly revolutionary ways.
Mandarin Chinese dialogue with English subtitles.
Call number: DVD balz

A Better Tomorrow
Director: John Woo
2001 (1986)
A gangster is caught between loyalty to his down-and-out partner and to his rookie-cop younger brother. 94 min.
Mandarin Chinese dialogue with English subtitles.
Call number: DVD bett

Boys from Fengkuei
Director: Hou Hsiao Hsien
Ah-Ching and his friends have just finished school in their island fishing village, and now spend most of their time drinking and fighting. Three of them decide to go to the port city of Kaohsiung to look for work. They find an apartment through relatives, and Ah-Ching is attracted to the girlfriend of a neighbor. There they face the harsh realities of the big city. In Taiwanese with Chinese subtitles. 104 min.
Call number: DVD houh p.1

Chungking Express / Chong Qing Sen Lin
Director: Wong Kar-Wai
Two intertwined romantic tales take place inside the Chung-ching high-rise shopping center in downtown Hong Kong. A policeman falls in love with a snack bar waitress while a house detective gets involved with a female drug dealer. DVD. In Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese with optional English subtitles. 102 min.
Call number: DVD chun

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon / Wo Hu Cang Long
Director: Ang Lee
Two warriors in pursuit of a stolen sword and a notorious fugitive are led to an impetuous, physically-skilled, teenage nobleman’s daughter, who is at a crossroad in her life.
In English with Chinese, Korean, Thai and English subtitles or Chinese (Cantonese or Mandarin).
Plot summary from
Call number: DVD crou

Days of Being Wild / A fei cheng chuan
Director: Wong Kar-Wai
2004 (1990)
Interweaving love-hate relationships and passion, tells the story of six young people living in the 1960s in Hong Kong and their individual quests for intimate connections. In Cantonese with optional English subtitles. 89 min.
Call number: DVD days

Dr. Sun Yat-sen
Director: Ding Yinnan
This movie narrates the glorious struggling life of Sun Yat-sen. At his young age Sun plants to overthrow the Qing Dynasty. He often gets together with the revolutionary pioneers such as Song Yaoru discussing his ideals. He dies in 1925 and over more than thirty years he leads one revolution after another and this movie reveals his unconquerable determination and the magnificent wars and frustrations in his revolutionary career. In Mandarin with Chinese and English subtitles.149 min.
Call number: DVD drsu

Dream of Red Mansions
Director: Wang Fulen
2009 (1987)
Set during the late Qing period in China, Jia Baoyu is the only son in a very wealthy family. His father wants him to become a state official; however, Jia Baoyu only wishes to write poetry and flirt with women. After accidentally marrying a woman he does not love, he leaves home to become an itinerant monk. In Chinese (Mandarin or dubbed into Cantonese) with optional traditional Chinese, simplified Chinese or English subtitles. 36 episodes in 12 videodiscs (ca. 40 min. for each episode).
Call number: DVD drea p.1-6

Dust in the Wind
Director: Hou Hsiao Hsien
A love story about a young couple from a village in the southern part of Taiwan. The boy goes to Taipei to work after graduating from junior high to earn money to send home. The girl follows him the next year and they work hard to earn enough money to marry. Then the young man spends three years in the military and the girl marries someone else. Although the young man regrets what happened he does not blame the girl. In Taiwanese with Chinese subtitles. 100 min.
Call number: DVD houh p.4

Early Spring
Director: Xie Tieli
2005 (1963)
In the late 1920s, a confusing young man Xiao Jianqiu comes to Furong Town and works as a teacher. He shows great concern and compassion for a widow but he loves a landlord’s daughter more. Later the widow’s son dies so Xiao decides to marry the widow so as to help her and her young daughter. His noble action brings about a lot of gossip and the widow eventually committs suicide of shame and guilt. Xiao leaves the town indignantly and throws himself into the reforming current of the revolution. In Mandarin Chinese with English subtitles. 98 min.
Call number: DVD earl

Eat Drink Man Woman / Yin Shi Nan Nu
Director: Ang Lee
A retired master chef and widower is worried about the future of his three unmarried daughters who are skeptical about marriage. Yet he himself surprises them with his secret love affair with a young woman many years his junior. In Mandarin Chinese with English Subtitles. 124 min.
Call number: DVD eatd

The Emperor and the Assassin / Jing Ke ci Qin Wang
Director: Chen Kaige
Ying Zheng, the King of Qin, has one driving ambition: to unify China’s seven kingdoms into one magnificent empire. Impressed by her lover’s convictions, Lady Zhao helps Ying Zheng concoct an assassination plot that would justify the conquest of Qin’s most powerful enemy. In Mandarin Chinese with English Subtitles. 161 min.
Call number: DVD empe

Director: Johnnie To
2007 (2006)
The time is 1998. The setting is Macau. Every living soul jumps at every chance to make quick money before the Portuguese colony ushers in a new era under the Chinese rule. A relationship is formed between an ex-gangster trying to turn over a new leaf with his wife and newborn baby and two groups of hitmen – those who want to protect him and those who were sent to kill him. In Cantonese or English with optional subtitles in English or Spanish. 109 min.
Call number: DVD exil

Fallen Angles / Duo Luo Tian Shi
Director: Wong Kar-Wai
In the garishly lit late-night world of Hong Kong, the lives of four lonely people briefly intersect: Wong Chi-Ming, a jaded hit man who wants out of his dangerous, solitary business but is leery of emotional involvement; the Agent, the beautiful partner-in-crime he’s never met, but who’s fallen in love with Chi-Ming anyway; Baby, a bleached-blonde, nightcrawling cookie who’s looking for love but will settle for being remembered by Chi-Ming; and He Zhiwu, a mute, overgrown child who, in the wee hours, breaks into closed-up shops, opens them for business and forces customers to shop against their will. In Cantonese with optional English subtitles. 96 min.
Call number: DVD fall

Farewell My Concubine
Director: Chen Kaige
1999 (1993)
Story that spans more than 50 years in the lives of two men at the Peking Opera, friends since childhood, and the woman who comes between them. Also an absorbing drama of the period in Chinese history from the warlord era through the Cultural Revolution.
In Chinese with English subtitles.
Call number: DVD fare

Director: Wu Ming
Provides a rare look at the avant-garde art world of Beijing. A young performance artist decides to make his own suicide his ast work of art. On the longest day of the year, he plans to melt a huge block of ice with his own body heat and die of hypothermia. His “Ice Burial” is a chilling expression of post Tiananmen Square ennui in China.
Call number: DVD froz

Happy Times / Xingfu Shiguang
Director: Zhang Yimou
In an attempt to impress a portly divorcée that has caught his eye, an unemployed factory worker poses as the wealthy manager of a non-existent hotel. Hoping that his fabricated success will lead to holy matrimony, he instead finds himself the guardian of the woman’s blind stepdaughter. Now, as the lies get more complicated and the deception more difficult to sustain, the sweet young blind girl and the crazy middle-aged man find themselves forming an emotional friendship that is as touching as it is unlikely.
In Mandarin, English or French subtitles.
Call number: DVD happ

Happy Together / Cheun gwong tsa sit
Director: Wong Kar-Wai
Yiu Fai and Po Wing left Hong Kong for a great waterfall in South America, but in the end are stuck on the streets of Buenos Aires. Yiu Fai’s life takes on a new spin, while Po Wing’s life shatters continually. In Cantonese with optional English subtitles. 97 min.
Call number: DVD happ

Hard Boiled
Director: John Woo
2007 (1992)
Tequila is a die-hard cop, hell-bent on bringing down the gun smugglers responsible for his partner’s death. To avenge his partner’s murder, Tequila joins forces with a rebel cop, and then the body count soars. 247 min.
Mandarin Chinese dialogue with English subtitles.
Call number: DVD hard

Heroic Sons and Daughters
Director: Wu Zhaoti
2003 (1964)
This is a love story about how a Chinese military adviser finds his missing daughter in Korea during Korean War. Mandarin Chinese. 109 min.
Call number: DVD hero

House of Flying Daggers /Shi Mian Mai Fu
Director: Zhang Yimou
During the reign of the Tang dynasty in China, a secret organization called “The House of the Flying Daggers” rises and opposes the government. Leo is a police officer who sends officer Jin to investigate a young dancer named Mei, claiming that she has ties to the “Flying Daggers” organization. Leo ends up arresting Mei, only to have Jin break her free in a plot to gain her trust and lead the police to the new leader of the secret organization. But things are far more complicated than they seem.
Mandarin, dubbed English or dubbed French dialogue, English or French subtitles. 115 min.
Call number: DVD hous

In the Mood For Love / Hua yang nian hua
Director: Kar-Wai Wong
2002 (2000)
The story of two lonely people who discover in each other the intimacy they have lost in their marriages. In Cantonese & Shanghainese with English subtitles. 98 min.
Call number: DVD inth

The Killer / Die Xue Shuang Xiong
Director: John Woo
2000 (1991)
Jeffrey is the killer hired by the mob for one last job. Lee is a relentless cop whose mission is to stop Jeffrey at all cost. The two enemies form a strange bond that blurs the line between good and evil. When Jeffrey is double-crossed by the mob in a shootout, Lee picks up his trail in a church while Jeffrey’s mistress is caught in a crossfire. 110 min.
Call number: DVD kill

Director: Wu Tianming
2003 (1984)
A young man abandoned his girl friend in order to seek for a better life in the city. However, he ended up getting nothing and when he was sent back to the village, his girl friend was already married to someone else.
125 min.
Call number: DVD life

Lust, Caution / Se, Jie
Director: Ang Lee
2008 (2007)
Set Japanese-occupied Shanghai, a young woman finds herself swept up in a radical plot to assassinate a ruthless and secretive intelligence agent. As she immerses herself in her role as a cosmopolitan seductress, she becomes entangled in a dangerous game of emotional intrigue, love and betrayal. 159 min.
Call number: DVD lust

New Year Sacrifice / Zhu fu
Director: Hu Sang
2004 (1956)
The story of a young woman, widowed twice, who is seen as a bearer of bad luck and becomes a social outcast. Based on the short story by the Chinese author Lu Xun and named one of the top 100 Chinese films of all time by Asia Weekly. In Mandarin with English subtitles. 100 min.
Call number: DVD newy / DVD new

Not One Less / Yi Ge Dou Bu Neng Shao
Director: Zhan
A young woman is ordered to a remote Chinese village to be a substitute teacher. Barely older than her students, the shy girl is charged with keeping the class intact for one month or she won’t be paid. When one of her students disappears into the city to find work, the stubborn teacher is determined to follow the boy and bring him back to school. Once in the city, her simple peasant pleas fall on deaf ears, and only when the local television sympathizes does her search bear fruit.
Call number: DVD noto

The Puppetmaster / Xi Meng Ren Sheng
Director: Hou Hsiao-Hsien
2001 (1993)
Based on the memoirs of Li Tien-lu, Taiwan’s most celebrated puppeteer, this story covers the years from Li’s birth in 1909 to the end of Japan’s fifty-year occupation of Taiwan in 1945. In Mandarin and Taiwanese with English subtitles.142 min.
Call number: DVD pupp

Purple Butterfly / Zi Hudie
Director: Lou Yi
2005 (2003)
Cynthia is a young Chinese woman in love with Itami, a Japanese man about to be sent home for military service. A devasted Cynthia moves back to Shanghai only to witness the death of her elder brother during an attack by the Japanese extreme right. She changes her name to Ding Hui and joins a secret resistance group code-named Purple Butterfly. This will be the same group that, years later, will plot to assassinate Itami. 123 min.
Call number: DVD purp

The Rickshaw Boy / Luo tuo Xiang Zi
Director: Zifeng Ling
2004 (1982)
Based on the famous novel by Lao She, Rickshaw Boy tells of a hard-working peasant who tries to make his way in the city. He works hard, struggles to establish a business, and falls in love. In Mandarin with English subtitles. 120 min.
Call number: DVD rick

The Sent Down Girl / Xiu Xiu
Director: Joan Chen
Between 1967 and 1976, nearly 8 million Chinese youths were “sent down” for specialized training to the remotest corners of the country. The young and beautiful Xiu Xiu dreamt of becoming a horse trainer in Tibet, far away from her busy city home. Her training begins in the isolated plains of Tibet but slowly Xiu Xiu discovers that she is unlikely to ever see her home again without a wealthy sponsor. Her world becomes a horrifying cage, where “patrons” promise her escape in exchange for her sexual compromise.
Mandarin Chinese.
Call number: DVD xiux

Stolen Life / Sheng Si Jie
Director: Li Shaohong
2007 (2005)
Yan’ni starts college, but once there she immediately falls in love with Muyu. Muyu begins an intricate deception that will take Yan’ni’s child and the belief in any future she has. 90 mins.
Mandarin Chinese.
Call number: DVD stol

Temptress Moon / Feng Yue
Director: Chen Kaige
2002 (1996)
This is a captivating story of a beautiful young woman, her seductive lover and their struggle for power, passion and revenge. With English subtitles. 127 min.
Call number: DVD temp

Time to Live and the Time to Die
Director: Hou Hsiao Hsien
The film depicts a family transplanted from mainland China to Taiwan in the early 1950s. The father dies of illness and the elder sister marries. A-ha, the protagonist, struggles to deal with adolescence.. In Taiwanese with Chinese subtitles. 85 min.
Call number: DVD houh p.3

Shower / Xi Zao
Director: Zhang Yang
Mistakenly believing his father has passed away, a bathhouse master’s son returns home and soon discovers the magic of the family business and its importance to the community.
Call number: DVD show

The Soong Sisters / Song Jia Juang Chao
Director: Cheung Yuen Ting
2004 (1996)
The end of Qing dynasty, the Soong sisters–Ai-ling, Ching-ling and May-ling became legends in their own time. One loved money, one loved power, and one loved her country. Their lives were interwoven into the turbulent history of modern China. Ching-ling married to Dr. Sun who led the 1911 revolution and she embarked on a long journey of vagrant life. In Mandarin with Chinese and English subtitles. 145 min.
Call number: DVD soon

Summer at Grandpa’s
Director: Hou Hsiao Hsien
After their mother becomes hospitalized, two city children find themselves spending the summer in the country with their grandfather. In Taiwanese with Chinese subtitles. 93 min.
Call number: DVD houh p.2

Summer Palace
Director: Lou Ye
Yu Hong is a rebellious young woman from a small Chinese town transplanted to a politically charge Beijing University in the late 1980s. The country’s social turmoil is witnessed through its disaffected youth, whose newfound sexuality and activism culminated in violent suppression. Spanning nearly 20 years of Chinese history, projects the country’s struggle for definition through the eyes and heart of a young woman ill-equipped to handle it. While drifting between the arms of two different men, her love fervent for both, Yu Hong’s existential crisis mirrors that of her nation. In Mandarin and German with optional English subtitles. 140 min.
Call number: DVD summ

Suzhou River / Suzhou He
Director: Ye Lou
An exciting, action-filled mystery suspense movie, director Lou Ye’s Suzhou River shares many thematic and stylistic elements with Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo.
Mandarin Chinese with English subtitles.
Call number: DVD suzh

Temptation of a Monk / You Zeng
Set in 7th century China, it tells the story of a young general who is betrayed and forced to take refuge in a Buddhist temple in order to confront his mistakes.
Call number: DVD temp

Three Times / Zui Hao de Shi Guang
Director: Hou Hsiao Hsien
A rapturous and beautiful love story set in three different eras – a pool hall in 1966, a 1911 brothel, and present-day Taipei. The director brings to life the culture of each period as the tales unfold. 135 min.
Call number: DVD thre

VHS Tapes in Chinese

Blush / Hong Fen
Director: Li Shaohong
Charts the fortunes of two prostitutes who loved each other as sisters, but whose paths diverge when the Revolution brings an end to their old way of life in the brothel. 119 min. In Cantonese with English subtitles.
Call number: VHS PN1997 .B587 1995

Divorce / Li Hun
Director: Haowei Wang
A story about civil servants in Peking in the 30′s: the turmoils of family life occur during a time when Western thoughts have started to influence the old society.
Call number: VHS PN1997 .L45643 1990

Hibiscus Town / Furong Zhen
Director: Jin Xie
1989 (1984)
The film tells the story of a couple who sells rice beancurd for a living. During the “four clean-ups” movement of 1964, they are classified as new rich peasants: their house is confiscated and the husband is driven to suicide. After the Cultural Revolution, the wife falls in love with a rightist and almost dies when having a difficult delivery of their baby.
Call number: VHS PL2874.U1 F8 1989

New Year Sacrifice / Chu Fu
Director: Hu Sang
1990 (1956)
Story of a young peasant widow who is sold into marriage, who eventually falls in love with her husband, and who is beset by tragedy for the rest of her life.
Call number: VHS PN1997 .C58

Old Well / Lao Jing
Director: Tian-Ming Wu
The story of the centuries old search for water in a Chinese mountain village and the love between a married man and another woman trapped together in a well.
Call number: VHS PN 1997 .L36 1987

Raise the Red Lantern / Da Hong Deng Long Gao Gao Qua
Director: Zhang Yimou
Mandarin Chinese
Call number: VHS PN 1997 .R35

Shower / Xi zao
Director: Zhang Yang
A son learns to appreciate his father’s way of life in a gentle, engaging story.
Call number: DVD PN 1997 .X5 2000

Spring Festival / Guo Nian
Director: Jian-zhong Huang
A retired revolutionary living in suburban Beijing intends to spend the New Year Holiday peacefully with his aging wife, but the unexpected visits from his four grown children and their families and friends brings excitement, conflict, and melodrama.
Call number: VHS PN 1997 .G86 1997

The Story of Qiu Ju / Qiuju da guan si
Director: Zhang Yimou
A stoic peasant woman demands an apology when her husband is kicked in the groin by the village Chief. But the Chief is a proud man who refuses to apologize, sending Qiu Ju on a futile trek therough the complicated court system.
Mandarin Chinese
Call number: VHS PN 1997 .S855

To Live / Huozhe
Director: Yimou Zhang
1998 (1994)
In a smoky gambling den in 1940′s China, a drunken young man runs through his family’s fortune, losing their ancestral home and all their possessions. This staggering loss proves to be their salvation, and the first step in an odyssey of survival that will take them through war and revolution love and loss, tragedy … and triumph.
Call number: VHS PN1997 .T5937 1998

Yellow Earth / Huang tu di
Director: Chen Kaige
The year is 1939. The life of a young peasant girl in Northern Shaanxi province is changed forever by a Communist soldier sent out to collect folk songs for the use of revolutionary armies. Mandarin Chinese.
Call number: VHS PN 1995.9 .C47 H836

VHS Tapes in English with Chinese Cultural Content

Heart of the Dragon
A.S.H. Films
Martial arts and a sensitive Jackie Chan as the brother of a mentally handicapped man. (Sammo Hung).
Call number: VHS DS 721 .H4

Morning Sun / Ba jiu Dian Zhong de tai Yang
Director: Carma Hinton and Richard Gordon
This film attempts in the space of a two-hour documentary film to create an inner history of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (c.1964-1976). It provides a multi-perspective view of a tumultuous period as seen through the eyes–and reflected in the hearts and minds–of members of the high-school generation that was born around the time of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, and that came of age in the 1960s. Others join them in creating in the film’s conversation about the period and the psycho-emotional topography of high-Maoist China, as well as the enduring legacy of that period. English and Chinese with English voice-over or English subtitles. 2 videocassettes, 116 min.
Call number: VHS DS778.7 .M675x 2003

Nu Shu – A Hidden Language of Women in China
Director: Yue-Qing Yang
Nu shu is a secret written language used only by women in the Hunan Province of China. Passed down from generation to generation, it was “discovered” in the 1960s and nearly destroyed during the Cultural Revolution and finally was given serious study in the late 1980s. English and Chinese with English subtitles. 59 min.
Call number: VHS HQ 1767 .N88 Y25 1988