Asian Film Ratings & Reviews  •  Photo Galleries  •  Movie Trailers
This site was created to help people select Asian films to see. 498 films are listed alphabetically within 9 rating categories.
Use the category list below to navigate the site. Click once to go to that page, on the page click again to go to that category.

       Page 1: My All-Time Favorites
      Page 1: Films I Love
     Page 1: Films I Like Very Much
    Page 2: Films I Like
   Page 3: Films I Like Some Aspect Of
   Page 4: Bad Films
    Page 4: Films I Dislike
     Page 4: Films I Hate
      Page 4: Films I Despise
     Page 5: New & Upcoming Theatrical/DVD Releases
    Page 5: Films I Want to See
   Page 5: Films I Haven't Seen
      Page 6: Favorite Films by Genre
      Page 7: Favorite Films by Country
      Page 8: Favorite Films by Actress
      Page 9: Favorite Chinese Pop Singers & Songs
    Alphabetical Index of All Films on this Site
    Asian Film Trailers and Photos

Drama
 Blue Gate Crossing
(Lanse da men) with Kwai Lun-Mei (photo), Liang Shu-hui, Taiwan & France 2002 Drama 1:25 DVD
A very beautiful film about adolescence. A teenage girl, her best friend and a boy they like try to understand their relationships and feelings for one another at a Taiwanese high school. Very sweet, very realistic, very touching. Kwai Lun-Mei gives an incredible performance. In Asian Film Trailers below.
 Slumdog Millionaire
with Freida Pinto (photo), UK 2008 Drama 2:00
An impoverished young man, who grew up a homeless orphan in the slums of Mumbai, becomes a contestant on the Indian version of the TV show, "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" Funny, romantic, inspirational and uplifting. An absolute masterpiece; brilliant screenplay, exceptional direction, cinematography, editing, performances and music. I will never forget this film. Very highly recommended. I predict (24 Nov 08) this film will win Academy Awards for Best Picture, Directing and Adapted Screenplay.
Academy Awards: Best Picture, Directing, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Film Editing, Sound Mixing, Original Score, Original Song. Golden Globe Awards: Best Motion Picture - Drama, Director, Screenplay, Original Score. British Academy Film Awards: Best Film, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Music, Cinematography, Editing and Sound; Freida Pinto was nominated for Best Supporting Actress. Critics Choice Awards: Best Picture, Director, Writer, Young Actor, Composer. National Board of Review Awards: Best Film, Breakthrough Performance by an Actor, Adapted Screenplay. Producers Guild of America Award: Best Feature Film. Directors Guild of America Award: Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film. Screen Actors Guild Award: Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. Palm Springs International Film Festival Award: Breakthrough Performance - Freida Pinto.
 Charlotte Sometimes
with Eugenia Yuan (photo), Jacqueline Kim, USA 2002 Drama 1:25 DVD
A film about the complicated relationships among an auto mechanic, his drop dead gorgeous tenant and best friend, her sleep-over boyfriend and a beautiful and mysterious stranger that shows interest first in the mechanic, then the boyfriend. Minimal lighting, brief exchanges, quiet moments, unexpressed emotions and sexual tension create believable relationships and an intriguing story. A special film. In Asian Film Trailers below.
 Interview
(Intyebyu) with Shim Eun-ha (photo), South Korea 2000 Drama 2:05 DVD
A film director interviews a woman for his film. At first she lies, but gradually she begins to reveal the truth about herself and the director can't help falling in love with her. Neither could I. A very touching film with a sensitive portrayal by the breathtakingly lovely Shim Eun-ha. I wish she had made more films before retiring. Oh, Sang-mi!
 Beauty Remains, The
(Mei ren yi jiu / Fei) with Zhou Xun (photo), Vivian Wu, China 2004 Drama 1:30 VCD
In 1949 China, the communist army is advancing. In Qing Dao, 15 years after being abandoned, a poor, illegitimate schoolgirl is pressured by her spoiled older half-sister to help her collect the inheritance after their wealthy father dies. A casino owner-boxing promoter pursues them. Desire, passion, greed and the dilemma of holding on or letting go. Sets, costumes and hairstyles recreate the era beautifully. Zhou Xun and Vivian Wu are excellent.
 Joy Luck Club, The
with Ming-Na Wen, Tamlyn Tomita, Lauren Tom, Rosalind Chao, USA 1993 Drama 2:19 DVD
The lives of four women who were born in 1930-40s China and later came to America, and of their daughters in present-day San Francisco. “This feather may look worthless, but it comes from afar and it carries with it all my good intentions.” Based on the Amy Tan novel. Engrossing, touching. Outstanding performances by the entire cast which also includes Vivian Wu, Yu Feihong, Irene Ng, Melanie Chang, Yi Ding, Vu Mai and France Nuyen.
 2046
with Faye Wong (photo), Zhang Ziyi, Gong Li, Dong Jie, Hong Kong 2004 Drama 2:09 DVD
A gloriously photographed, randomly edited, incredibly beautiful movie about a total slimeball and the beautiful women who fall in love with him in 1960s Hong Kong. (Why do women do that? Is it because these movies are made by men?) The cinematography by Christopher Doyle is breathtaking. My favorite Wong Kar-wai film. In Asian Film Trailers below.
 Saving Face
with Michelle Krusiec (photo), Lynn Chen, Joan Chen, USA 2004 Drama 1:31 DVD
A young Chinese-American surgeon, living in Manhattan, is just starting a lesbian relationship with a beautiful Chinese-American ballerina when her single mother shows up on her doorstep pregnant and won't tell who the father is. Then the ballerina is offered a job in Paris. An exploration of the conservative Chinese community in New York. Very touching, often funny, great script, first rate acting and direction. Michelle Krusiec is wonderful. In Asian Film Trailers below.
 Nobody Knows
(Dare mo shiranai) with Hanae Kan (photo), Ayu Kitaura, Momoko Shimizu, Japan 2004 Drama 2:21 DVD
A woman abandons her four young children, all by different fathers, in a small apartment in Tokyo. They have never been to school. No one knows they are there, not even the landlord. The oldest boy takes care of the others and they all bravely do their best to survive. Director Hirokazu Koreeda's camera just unobtrusively observes the children which were an absolute joy to watch. A beautiful, touching film I will never forget. In Asian Film Trailers below.
 Eat Drink Man Woman
(Yin shi nan nu) with Wu Chien-lien, Taiwan 1994 Drama 2:03 DVD
The romantic relationships and family conflicts of a father and his three daughters in present-day Taipei. I grew to care about every member of this family. Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards.
 Samaritan Girl
(Samaria) with Han Yeo-reum as Seo Min-jung, Kwak Ji-min, South Korea 2004 Drama 1:35 DVD
To raise money for a trip to Europe, a schoolgirl decides to prostitute herself with older men and makes her best friend set up the meetings and keep watch. Trying to avoid being caught by the police, she jumps out of a window and dies. The best friend is devastated. This film is about the dangers and consequences of prostitution, male immorality, guilt, religious faith, atonement, anger, revenge and helplessness. Riveting, intense, devastating.
 Red Corner
with Bai Ling (photo), Jessey Meng, USA 1997 Drama 2:02 DVD
American lawyer in China takes a beautiful model to his hotel room for the night. The next morning he's hung over, she's dead and the police arrest him for murder. The Chinese court dislikes his moral depravity and self-righteous attitude. They encourage a guilty plea followed by a speedy execution. He complains to his court-appointed lawyer about the civil and human rights abuses of China's legal system. She defends them. Bai Ling is wonderful.
 Vertical Ray of the Sun, The
(Mua he chieu thang dung / À la verticale de l'été) with Tran Nu Yên-Khê, Viet Nam 2000 Drama 1:52 DVD
A leisurely, close examination of the lives and relationships of three sisters during a month in present-day Hanoi. Everything is so real, you feel like you are living there and sharing these experiences with them. A wonderful experience. Beautifully filmed. In Asian Film Trailers below.
 Scent of Green Papaya, The
(Mui du du xanh / L'Odeur de la papaye verte) with Tran Nu Yên-Khê, France & Viet Nam 1993 Drama 1:44 DVD
The beautiful, peaceful story of a 10-year-old peasant girl who goes to be a house servant in 1951 Saigon and finds true love ten years later. The movie shows her relationships with all the members of the household, but more importantly, in long lingering shots, her observation of the natural world around her. A gentle film of quiet beauty. Absolutely wonderful. Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards.
 Foliage, The
(Mei ren cao) with Shu Qi (photo), China 2003 Drama 1:39 DVD
During the Cultural Revolution in China, young intellectuals from the cities are drafted into the People's Army for manual labor in rural areas. A platoon leader considers a childhood friend there his girlfriend. But she likes a rebellious young man from another platoon. When tensions rise between the two platoons, she becomes a pawn in the conflict. Strong characters, weak story. Excellent performance by Shu Qi who was nominated for Best Actress at the 1st China Movie Directors' Association Awards.
 Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
(Balzac et la petite tailleuse chinoise) with Zhou Xun (photo), China & France 2002 Drama 1:50 DVD
In 1971 China, during the Cultural Revolution, two university students are sent to a remote mountain mining village as part of their reeducation to purge them of their western-oriented education. They meet a beautiful young seamstress. To woo her, they read to her forbidden books including those by Balzac. In the process, she learns about a world she had never imagined. Beautiful scenery, a moving story and touching relationships. In Asian Film Trailers below.
 Suzhou River
(Suzhou he) with Zhou Xun (photo), China 2000 Drama 1:23 DVD
In present-day Shanghai, a teenage girl takes a motorcycle courier for her boyfriend. He kidnaps her for the ransom money. She runs away, jumps off a bridge into the Suzhou River and disappears. He goes to jail for three years. When he gets out, he goes looking for her. He finds a woman that looks exactly like her in a sleazy bar swimming in a large glass tank dressed as a blond mermaid. Is she the one he's looking for? Zhou Xun is wonderful.
 Three Seasons
with Nguyen Ngoc Hiep, Bui Diep (Zoe Bui), Viet Nam 1999 Drama 1:54 n/a
Three delicately interwoven stories about six people in present-day Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). A lotus seller and a poet who has leprosy. A homeless cyclo driver and an ambitious prostitute. An American returning to look for the daughter he fathered during the war and a homeless shoeshine boy. Touching stories, beautifully filmed. Directed by Tony Bui.
 Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl
(Tian yu) with Lu Lu, China & Hong Kong 1998 Drama 1:40 DVD
During Mao's Cultural Revolution in the early 1970s, millions of Chinese teenagers were sent from the cities to remote rural areas for training. This is the tragic story of a 16-year-old girl from Chengdu, Sichuan, who was sent to the Tibetan steppes and then left there, forgotten. An upsetting, angry film, but I loved it. Directed by Joan Chen.
 Samsara
with Christy Chung, China & France 2001 Drama 2:18 DVD
A young monk from a monastery in Ladakh, in the Himalayas, meets a beautiful young woman in a local village and falls in love. For the first time, he questions his spiritual values and monastic existence. Deciding he must experience worldly existence in order to renounce it, he quits the monastery and gets married. At first, his new life is joyful; but then he discovers the outside world is far more complex than he ever imagined. Absolutely beautiful. In Asian Film Trailers below.
 Together
(He ni zai yi qi) with Chen Hong (photo), China 2002 Drama 1:56 DVD
A talented young violinist and his father, an ordinary cook, move from their small, provincial southern town to Beijing so the young boy can audition for a prestigious music academy in the hopes of pursuing a career as a concert performer. They meet eccentric violin teachers and a party girl. Good script. Interesting characters. Excellent performances. Beautiful music. Rampant emotions.
 Quiet American, The
with Do Thi Hai Yen (photo), USA 2001 Drama 1:58 DVD
In 1952 Indochina, during the Vietnamese war for liberation from French rule, a cynical, opium-addicted London Times correspondent and a naïve American CIA agent vie for a beautiful young Vietnamese woman. Each person is symbolic of their country. Intellectually interesting, emotionally uninvolving; but I liked it anyway. Based upon the Graham Greene novel. Do Thi Hai Yen is a 19-year-old ballet dancer from Bac Ninh, Viet Nam.
 Smile
with Yi Ding (photo), USA 2005 Drama 1:47 DVD
A self-involved high school girl in California learns about the “Doctor's Gift” program which provides corrective surgery for children with facial deformities. She volunteers and goes to China where she meets a rural Chinese girl, the same age as her, who has a very different life because her family is poor and she has a severe facial deformity. I loved the relationship between the Chinese father and his daughter. Touching and compassionate. In Asian Film Trailers below.
Period Drama
 Raise the Red Lantern
(Da hong deng long gao gao gua) with Gong Li (poster), China 1991 Period Drama 2:05 DVD
In northern China in the 1920s, four wives compete to spend the night with their wealthy husband, not because they care about him but for the status and privileges it brings. Masterful performances, especially by Gong Li who won the Hundred Flowers Award for Best Actress. Brilliant direction by Zhang Yimou. An exceptional script. Awesome art direction, beautiful sets and costumes. Wonderful music. A masterpiece, perfect in every way. My favorite film. Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards.
 Fleeing by Night
(Ye ben) with René Liu (photo), Taiwan 2000 Period Drama 2:03 DVD
In 1930s China, the daughter of a wealthy businessman has been engaged to a man she had never met. He returns home after many years of studying music in America. Both become friends with the star of an opera troupe. She feels affection for both men, but they are more attracted to one another. The opera singer is also pursued by a man from wealthy, opium-addicted family. The three remain good friends their entire lives. Beautifully filmed, deeply moving. A masterpiece.
 Ju Dou
with Gong Li (photo), China 1989 Period Drama 1:38 DVD
In 1920s China, a beautiful young woman, forced into marriage by poverty, becomes the third wife of a wealthy, old, impotent silk dyer. He cruelly beats her for failing to bear him an heir. Her suffering attracts the sympathy of his nephew and the two begin a secret affair. Intriguing story with unforgettable characters. A visually sumptuous masterpiece. A wonderful, sensual performance by Gong Li. Directed by Zhang Yimou. Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards.
 Temptress Moon
(Feng yue) with Gong Li (photo), China 1995 Period Drama 2:12 DVD
In 1911 China, the patriarch of a very wealthy, powerful family and his son are addicted to opium. The young brother of his son's wife is forced to work as a servant. When he grows up, he flees to Shanghai, joins a triad, seduces women, steals their valuables and blackmails their husbands. After the old master dies and his son becomes brain dead, his daughter is proclaimed head of the family. The gigolo returns to seduce her and steal the family fortune. A visually spectacular masterpiece with Gong Li who was nominated for Best Actress at the Hong Kong Film Awards. In Asian Film Trailers below.
 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
(Wo hu cang long) with Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, Taiwan 2000 Period Martial Arts Drama 2:00 DVD
In early 19th century China, an aristocrat's daughter falls in love with a thief. A martial arts master wants to retire and live a life of meditation, after he avenges the death of his master. He and a female martial arts master have loved each other for years, but never expressed it. Great story, spectacular fights, gorgeous photography, beautiful music, wonderful performances by Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi. A masterpiece. Four Academy Awards including Best Foreign Language Film. In Asian Film Trailers below.
 Banquet, The
(Legend of the Black Scorpion, The / Ye yan) with Zhang Ziyi (photo), Zhou Xun, China 2006 Action Drama 2:11 DVD
In 907 AD China during the Tang Dynasty, the new Emperor has usurped the throne by murdering his brother and then marrying his widow. The Empress asks the Crown Prince to help kill him. When the Prince hesitates, she seeks the throne for herself. A loose adaptation of Hamlet. The screenplay, performances, action scenes, art direction, cinematography, music and Feng Xiaogang's direction are superb. A gorgeous and suspenseful masterpiece. One of the greatest films ever made. Zhou Xun won Best Supporting Actress in the 2007 Hong Kong Film Awards. In Asian Film Trailers below.
 Memoirs of a Geisha
with Gong Li, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi (poster), Suzuka Ohgo, Eugenia Yuan, USA 2005 Drama 2:25 DVD
In 1929 Japan, a 9-year-old girl from a poor family in a remote fishing village is sold to a geisha house in Kyoto. While the spiteful Hatsumomo mistreats her, the kind Mameha helps her become a renowned geisha. An excellent, beautiful film. Zhang Ziyi is very good, but my favorite performances were given by Gong Li who was awarded Best Supporting actress by the National Board of Review, Michelle Yeoh and Suzuka Ohgo. I wish Eugenia Yuan had played “Pumpkin.” In Asian Film Trailers below.
 Lover, The
(L'Amant) with Jane March, France 1992 Period Drama 1:55 DVD
In 1929 Saigon, when Viet Nam was still a French colony, a poor French teenager from a troubled family has an illicit affair with a 32-year-old Chinese man from a wealthy family. They meet regularly in his “bachelor room” for sex even though they both realize their love is doomed. Based on the autobiographical novel by French author Marguerite Duras. A beautiful film that recreates the feeling of Viet Nam before the war. The music is wonderful. The story is unforgettable. A masterpiece.
 Jasmine Women
(Mo li hua kai) with Zhang Ziyi (photo), Joan Chen, China 2004 Drama Romance 2:10 DVD
The love lives of a woman, her daughter and granddaughter spanning 50 years of tumultuous change in Shanghai. In the 1930s Mo, wanting to become an actress, becomes the mistress of a film investor and has a daughter, Li. In the 1950s Li and her working-class husband adopt an orphan girl, Hua. In the 1970s Hua marries a university graduate and has a baby girl. Three touching stories, beautifully acted. Zhang Ziyi's best performance by far. In Asian Film Trailers below.
 Shogun
with Yoko Shimada, USA 1980 Period Drama 9:07 DVD
In the 17th century, a British sea pilot shipwrecked off the coast of Japan is saved from execution by a warlord who values his knowledge of the outside world. Absolutely fascinating portrait of Japanese society during this period of history. Yoko Shimada's performance is unforgettable.
 Curse of the Golden Flower
(Man cheng jin dai huang jin jia) with Gong Li (photo), Chen Jin, Li Man, Hong Kong & China 2006 Period Drama 1:54
In 928 AD China, a dysfunctional royal family engages in betrayal, incest and vengeance. A Shakespearean melodrama presented as a grand spectacle directed by Cecil B. DeMille, action scenes choreographed by Busby Berkeley, sets and costumes designed by Liberace. The garishly psychedelic palace decor and corseted voluptuous women revealing lots of cleavage aren't historically accurate, but a joy to behold. Overwhelming. Gong Li was awarded Best Actress at both the Hong Kong Film Awards and the Hong Kong Film Critics Awards. Read full review. In Asian Film Trailers below.
 Heat and Dust
with Julie Christie, Greta Scacchi, UK & India 1982 Period Drama 2:10 DVD
In 1920s colonial India, the bored wife of an English civil servant has an affair with the romantic Nawab of Khatm. And in the 1980s, her grand niece comes to investigate the life of her great aunt, has an affair with her Indian landlord and finds herself in the same predicament as her ancestress two generations earlier. Fascinating story, unforgettable characters, beautiful photography, a masterpiece. Based on the novel by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.
 Shanghai Triad
(Yao a yao yao dao waipo qiao) with Gong Li (photo), China 1994 Period Drama 1:47 DVD
Unhappy people trapped in the criminal underworld of Shanghai during the 1930s. Fascinating story. Excellent performances. Beautiful visuals. Gong Li sings! An exceptional production directed by Zhang Yimou.
 Jan Dara
with Christy Chung (photo), Thailand 2001 Drama 2:00 DVD
In 1930s Thailand, Jan Dara's mother dies giving birth to him. His step-father blames the child for her death and abuses him. He has sex regularly with every young woman in the household, including servants, his dead wife's sister and his own daughter. Jan Dara grows up to become just like his step-father. A disgusting story about the impact of a selfish, cruel man on his family. But it's very beautifully filmed and captures the feeling of that era.
 Dragon Town Story
(Long cheng zheng yue / Lung sing jing yuet) with Wu Chien-lien (photo), Hong Kong 1997 Drama 1:36 DVD
In 1910s China, a warlord slaughters a rival clan during a wedding ceremony. The only person to survive is the bride who goes into hiding and plots revenge for the murder of her entire family. Nine years later she hires an assassin and the two go to the warlord's town. After the first assassination attempts fails, the warlord suspects them and invites them to his home. The director wisely includes many close-ups of the stunning Wu Chien-lien.
 Untold Scandal
(Joseon namnyeo sangyeoljisa) with Lee Mi-suk, Jeon Do-yeon, South Korea 2003 Drama 2:04 DVD
In aristocratic 18th-century Korea at the end of the Chosun Dynasty, a conniving woman asks her younger cousin, a notorious playboy, to deflower the innocent young girl who is to become her husband's concubine. But he becomes obsessed with seducing a chaste young widow who has remained celibate for the nine years since her husband's death. Based on Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Powerful performances. Breath-taking photography. Just perfect.
 Black Narcissus
UK 1947 Period Drama 1:41 DVD
In the 1940s Himalayas, a nun at an Anglican school and hospital is driven to sex-starved insanity by a handsome British government agent. A native girl is seduced by a young Indian general. The young head nun, with a romantic past of her own, futilely tries to keep the women under control. A masterpiece. Adapted from the Rumer Godden novel by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger with beautiful Oscar-winning photography.
 Springtime in a Small Town
(Xiao cheng zhi chun) China 2002 Drama 1:56 DVD
In China after World War II, a childless couple has a loveless marriage and sleep in separate rooms. Unexpectedly, the husband's boyhood friend, a physician, arrives from the big city. The physician discovers that his friend's wife is his own teenage sweetheart. Possibilities abound, but emotions are stifled. The pace is slow and deliberate but the film is absorbing and mesmerising. A remake of a 1948 film.
 Sand Pebbles, The
with Marayat Andriane (photo), USA 1966 Period Drama 3:02 DVD
American sailor on China's Yangtze River in 1926 just wants to be left alone, but is continually forced to get involved with, first, the bilge coolies, then the other sailors, his captain and, eventually, the political situation in China at that time. I identified very strongly with this character. Very moving. Nominated for Best Picture of the year at the Academy Awards.
 Twilight Samurai, The
(Tasogare Seibei) with Miyazawa Rie (photo), Japan 2002 Period Drama 2:09 DVD
In mid-19th century Japan, a poor low-ranking samurai struggles to support his two beautiful daughters, whom he adores, and his senile mother. He declines the opportunity to marry his long-time love because he doesn't want to impose his poverty on her. But then, his superior orders him to kill another samurai, a vicious swordsman. A beautifully filmed masterpiece. Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards.
 Letter, The
USA 1940 Film-Noir Drama B&W 1:35 DVD
Wife of a rubber plantation owner in Malaysia murders her lover in a jealous rage then claims it was self-defense because he tried to molest her. During her trial, the murdered man's half-caste widow comes forward with an incriminating letter she is willing to sell. But it will cost the plantation owner his life's savings to get it. A masterpiece, absolutely perfect. Based on the W. Somerset Maugham play. Nominated for Best Picture of the year.
Historical Drama
 Heaven & Earth
with Hiep Thi Le, USA 1993 War Drama 2:20 DVD
The most realistic film ever made about how the Viet Nam war affected the people of Viet Nam and American soldiers. The story is told from the perspective of a Vietnamese village woman making the transition from Viet Nam in the 1950s to the U.S. in the 1970s. A masterpiece. An exceptional performance by Hiep Thi Le. This film and Platoon, show what it was really like in Viet Nam during the war, not Apocalypse Now or The Deer Hunter.
 Soong Sisters, The
(Song jia huang chao) with Michelle Khan (Yeoh), Maggie Cheung, Vivian Wu, Hong Kong 1996 Historical Drama 2:24 DVD
Fifty years of Chinese history seen through the lives of the Soong sisters. Ai-ling (Khan) married Kung Hsiang-hsi, who established the first banks in China and became finance minister of Hong Kong. Ching-ling (Cheung) married Dr. Sun Yat-sen, who overthrew the Manchu dynasty to establish a republic in China. And May-ling (Wu) married Chiang Kai-shek, leader of the Nationalist government in China, and later Taiwan. Fascinating.
 Peintre, La
(Hua hun / Pan Yu Liang, a Woman Painter / Soul of a Painter) with Gong Li (photo), China 1993 Biography 1:28 / 2:10 DVD
Born in 1899 to a poor family in Yangzhou, Pan Yuliang was sold to a brothel when only 12 years old after the death of her parents. She became the concubine of a customer, moved to Shanghai and studied painting. Awarded a government scholarship to study in France. Her self-portrait Bathing Woman won a French prize; but traditional China refused to acknowledge her work. After teaching in China, she returned to France for the rest of her life. Interesting.
 Farewell, My Concubine
(Ba wang bie ji) with Gong Li (photo), China 1993 Historical Drama 2:37 / 2:52dc DVD
A history of China from the 1920s to the 1970s told through the 52-year relationship between performers in the Beijing Opera. A fascinating story, exceptional performances, beautiful visuals. A masterpiece. Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. Gong Li won the NYFCC Award for Best Supporting Actress for this role. In 2006, Premiere magazine ranked this role as the 89th greatest performance of all time. In Asian Film Trailers below.
 To Live
(Huozhe) with Gong Li, China 1994 Historical Drama 1:55 / 2:12 DVD
The tumultuous history of China from the 1940s to the 1970s told through one family's experiences. Helps you understand what happened in China this century. Gong Li was nominated for Best Actress at the Chlotrudis Awards for this role. An exceptional production directed by Zhang Yimou.
 Emperor and the Assassin, The
(Jing ke ci qin wang) with Gong Li, China 1999 Historical Drama 2:41 DVD
China's first emperor Ying Zheng, king of Qin province during the late 3rd century B.C., unites the country's six warring kingdoms under his rule. It asks an intriguing question: Did Ying Zheng conquer the other kingdoms for greater personal power, or did fate assign him the responsibility of uniting China to stop the constant wars? Best version of this story. A Gong Li film. Directed by Chen Kaige.
 Last Emperor, The
with Joan Chen, Vivian Wu, Italy 1987 Historical Drama 2:44 / 3:38dc DVD
The true story of Aisin-Gioro Pu Yi, the last emperor of China's Qing Dynasty. At only three, he's summoned to the Forbidden City by the dying dowager Empress Tzu-hsi. Isolated from the outside world by corrupt eunuchs until World War II, then a political pawn of the Japanese in Manchuria. After the war, he's imprisoned by the Communists until 1959. Stunning, fascinating. Best Picture of the year at the Academy Awards.
 Gandhi
with Candice Bergen, India 1982 Historical Drama 3:10 DVD
Biography of Mahatma Gandhi during the first half of the 20th century. The incredible achievements of one of the most influential people of the last century. Tells the story of how the English were forced to give up India and the conflicts between Hindus and Muslims that followed. A masterpiece. Best Picture of the year at the Academy Awards.
 Jewel in the Crown, The
UK 1984 Historical Drama 12:30 DVD
Emmy award-winning, 14-part tv mini-series is based on Paul Scott's four books known as The Raj Quartet. Multi-generational tale about the lives of the several families, British and Indian, during the last two decades of British rule in India. The first two episodes are tedious; but the rest is fascinating, entertaining and unforgettable. One of the best shows ever made for television; as good as Shogun and I, Claudius.
Romance
 Il Mare
(Si wol ae / Siworae / Love Beyond Time) with Jeon Ji-hyun, South Korea 2000 Romance 1:35 DVD
Two lonely young people, separated by time, share their thoughts and feelings with one another by sending letters through a magical mailbox. Gradually, they fall in love with one another. A unique, touching and unforgettable love story. Exceptionally beautiful in every way. Jeon Ji-hyun is charming. Directed with gentle sensitivity by Lee Hyun-seung. I love this film!
 City of Glass
(Boli zhi cheng / Po lei chi shing) with Shu Qi (photo), Hong Kong 1998 Romance 1:55 DVD
In the late 60s, two Hong Kong University students fall in love. He is arrested while demonstrating for the Diaoyutai Movement during the “Red Hot Era.” After his release, he goes to France to finish his studies. She graduates and starts her career. Both marry and have children. Twenty years later, their love is rekindled. A very touching love story. The film received a record 12 nominations at the 18th Hong Kong Film Awards including Best Actress for Shu Qi.
 Secret
(Bu neng shuo de. mi mi) with Kwai Lun-Mei (photo), Tseng Kai-Xuan, Taiwan 2007 Romance 1:41 DVD
A new student at the Tanjiang Art School meets an attractive and charming girl in an old music room. She immediately steals his heart and the two begin a romance. But she has secrets; things about her life she won't tell him. Interesting story. A touching romance. Beautiful music. A moving performance by the adorable Taiwanese actress Kwai Lun-Mei. I love this film!
 West Lake Moment, A
(Yuan yang hu die) with Zhou Xun, Zhang Yue, China 2004 Romance 1:52 VCD
In present-day Hangzhou, a young woman who owns a swank teahouse near picturesque West Lake falls for an immature, commitment-challenged screenwriter with a girlfriend. Complicating her own life are a fiancé, a best friend who loves her, and her inner child whom she calls “Zazabo.” This film started out cute, charming and funny then it grabbed my heart and never let go. Zhou Xun is adorable. Zhang Yue is very special.
 Wanee and Junah
(Wanee wa Junah) with Kim Hee-sun, South Korea 2001 Drama 1:55 DVD
Wanee, an animator, and Junah, a scriptwriter, are lovers leading a peaceful life together until one day, an old friend of Wanee's comes to visit and reminds Wanee of her first love, her stepbrother. Memories and reality create a romantic triangle that Wanee must resolve. Very realistic relationships between all the characters. The watercolor sequence at the end is the most beautiful animation I have ever seen. A very touching film.
 Perhaps Love
(Ruguo ai / Yu guo oi) with Zhou Xun (photo), Hong Kong 2005 Musical Romance 1:47 DVD
In present-day Shanghai, an ambitious actress, a respected director – her mentor and lover, and her former boyfriend – now also a film star are making a 1930s musical film, ironically, about a love triangle. Beautiful, breathtaking, enchanting, exciting, inventive, magical, spectacular and touching. The stunning Zhou Xun has never been better and won the Best Actress Award at both the Golden Horse and Hong Kong Film Awards in 2006. In Asian Film Trailers below.
 Happy Birthday
(Sun yat fai lok) with René Liu (photo), China / Hong Kong 2007 Romance 1:47 DVD
Touching story about the friendship and love between two people over a period of several years. Based on a short story by René Liu. Screenplay by Sylvia Chang. Directed by Jingle Ma. Perfect.
 Christmas in August
(Palwol ui Christmas) with Shim Eun-ha, South Korea 1998 Romance 1:37 DVD
The proprietor of a small photo shop is terminally ill. He's told his father and sister but no one else. He is spending his few remaining days just working in the store as usual. But then, a beautiful meter maid is attracted to him becomes a regular customer. He appreciates her very forward advances and finds comfort in her company but painfully withholds the truth about his condition and his love for her. A very touching film which won many awards.
 Silk
with Sei Ashina (poster), Miki Nakatani, Naoko Watanabe, Keira Knightley, Canada / Japan 2007 Period Romance 1:56 DVD
In 1862 France, a small town mayor's son marries an exquisite young woman. Soon after, he travels thousands of miles to buy silkworm eggs in a remote mountain village in Japan. Although he has a loving wife awaiting his return, he becomes obsessed with the lovely young concubine of a powerful Japanese warlord. Each time he returns from Japan, his wife senses his greater emotional distance. A visually beautiful and wise masterpiece about love, desire and karma. Based on the international bestseller. In Asian Film Trailers below.
 Ditto
(Donggam) with Kim Ha-neul (photo), South Korea 2000 Romance 1:50 DVD
A college girl, playing around with a ham radio, makes contact with a guy who attends the same university. When the two try to meet, they discover that they exist 21 years apart. She lives in the year 1979, while he lives in 2000. Even though they are unable to see one another, they form a deep friendship and affect each other's lives. A very touching, beautiful film. Very much like the even better film, Il Mare, which also explores love across time.
 20 : 30 : 40
with René Liu, Sylvia Chang, Angelica Lee “Sinjie,” Kate Yeung, Hong Kong & Taiwan 2004 Romance Drama Comedy 1:53 DVD
A twenty-something Malaysian girl goes to Taiwan in the hope of becoming a pop singer. A thirty-something flight attendant juggles liaisons with two men; neither committing to nor fully cutting ties with either. A forty-something owner of a florist shop discovers her husband has a second family, gets a divorce and plunges into the singles scene. All four women are terrific. Brilliantly written and directed by Sylvia Chang. Involving, entertaining and funny.
 Sky of Love
(Oi duen liu sin) with Gigi Leung (photo), Hong Kong 2003 Romance 1:31 DVD
A college girl, playing around with a ham radio, makes contact with a guy who attends the same university. When the two try to meet, they discover that they exist 23 years apart. Even though they are unable to see one another, they form a deep friendship and affect each other's lives. Sound familiar? It's a remake of the Korean film, Ditto, which was better. Gigi Leung is wonderful.
 Leaving Me, Loving You
(Dai sing siu si) with Faye Wong (photo), China 2004 Romance 1:34 DVD
In Shanghai, a doctor breaks up with his event planner girlfriend but soon regrets his decision. He had his reasons but, in my opinion, any guy who breaks up with Faye Wong is brain damaged. Very little happens. Very little is said. They just look at each other a lot. He's remorseful. She's frustrated. The music is nice. The photography is beautiful. Anyone who has been separated from someone they love will be touched by this film.
 Tiramisu
(Lian ai hang xing / Luen oi hang sing) with Karena Lam Kar Yan, Hong Kong 2002 Romance 1:51 DVD
A nice, beautiful dancer in a contemporary dance company in Hong Kong has several chance encounters with a deaf delivery boy/janitor with an annoyingly narcissistic hairstyle. Before their relationship can start, she is killed by a runaway bus. Not to worry, this is only the beginning of their romance. Ultra romantic. Karena Lam is delightful. On camera, Eason Chan goes number two. Disgusting.
 Floating Landscape, The
(Lian zhi feng jing) with Karena Lam Kar Yan, Hong Kong 2003 Romance 1:40 DVD
In China, a young woman's lover has just died of an incurable disease. Before his death, he painted a beautiful landscape from the days when he was a boy in Qingdao. She goes to Qingdao to find this place and learn more about him. A local postman offers to help her. A relationship grows between them, but she still loves her boyfriend. Touching.
 Green Tea
(Lü cha) with Vicki Zhao Wei, China 2003 Romance 1:23 DVD
A conservative graduate student is looking for a husband. She never talks about herself, but only of a girl friend's bizarre family life. A man takes a serious interest in her but is confused by her mysterious behavior. Then he meets another woman playing piano in a nightclub. She is identical in appearance to the first, but with an opposite personality. Naturally, the man pursues both women. Ingenious story, inspired cinematography. Absolutely fascinating.
 Man Who Went to Mars, The
(Hwaseongeuro gan sanai) with Kim Hee-sun (photo), South Korea 2003 Romance 1:47 DVD
After her father dies, a little girl writes letters to him believing he has gone to Mars instead of Heaven. Her closest friend feels sorry for her and writes back pretending to be her dad. Twenty years later, she's beautiful, smart, sophisticated and has a successful business career in the city. He is a goofy, not-very-bright postman in a remote country village, but he's always loved her and dreams of the day when they will be together. Very touching.
 Road Home, The
(Wode fuqin muqin) with Zhang Ziyi (photo), China 1999 Romance DVD
An old woman in rural Hebei province recalls how she met her husband 40 years earlier and the difficulties they had to overcome. Highly romantic. Zhang Ziyi is radiant in her first film. Directed by Zhang Yimou.
 Calla
with Kim Hyun-joo (photo), Kim Hee-sun, South Korea 1999 Romance 1:38 DVD
A young man finds a bouquet of flowers on his desk every morning. To find out who his secret admirer is, he goes to a nearby florist shop and at first sight falls in love with the young woman he meets there, thinking she is the one who is sending him flowers. He arranges to meet her for dinner. But just as he arrives, a crazed drug addict kills her right before his eyes. A touching romance ruined by scenes of violence. Kim Hyun-joo is lovely.
 C'est La Vie, Mon Chéri
(Endless Love / Xin Buliao Qing) with Anita Yuen, Hong Kong 1993 Romance 1:45 DVD
A touching romance between a charismatic young woman from a street-singing family and an aspiring songwriter. A very popular film that swept the 1993 Hong Kong Film Awards. You just can't help falling in love with Anita Yuen.
 Zhou Yu's Train
(Zhou Yu de huoche) with Gong Li (photo), China 2002 Romance 1:36 DVD
A beautiful porcelain painter from Sanming takes the long train ride to Chongyang twice a week for consummations of her passionate affair with a shy poet. She raises money to publish his first book and organizes a poetry reading. The poet, feeling smothered by all her attention, transfers to a new job in Tibet to get away from her. Continuing to make the now pointless twice-weekly train trips, she is pursued by a veterinarian. Perplexing.
 Lovers' Concerto
(Yeonae sosheol) with Lee Eun-joo, Son Ye-jin, South Korea 2002 Romance 1:46 DVD
A young man meets two beautiful young women who are close friends. He immediately falls in love with one of them but she's not interested. The three become good friends and spend a lot of time together. Eventually, both women fall in love with him and he falls in love with the other woman. The two women leave town. He goes to look for them and uncovers a secret they had hidden from him. A touching film about love and friendship.
Romantic Comedy
 My Sassy Girl
(Yeopgijeogin geunyeo) with Jeon Ji-hyun (photo), South Korea 2001 Romantic Comedy 2:03 / 2:17dc DVD
In present-day Korea, a young man takes responsibility for helping a troubled young woman who constantly abuses him. Without a doubt, the best romantic comedy ever made. Jeon Ji-hyun is beautiful, enchanting, charming, funny and plays this role brilliantly; no actress could have done a better job. The scenes with her parents are priceless. I have watched this film many times and have laughed, cried and loved seeing it every time. Jeon Ji-hyun won Best Actress at the 2002 Grand Bell Awards for this role.
 Love Me, Love My Money
(You qing yin shui bao / Yau ching yam shui baau) with Shu Qi, Hong Kong 2001 Romantic Comedy 1:38 DVD
A filthy rich, but absurdly stingy, businessman is made temporarily penniless by his vengeful ex-girlfriend. His house is looted, his credit cards are frozen and his wallet is empty. He meets a struggling financial analyst and pretends to be poor to determine if she likes him for himself or just his money. Because Shu Qi is so beautiful, charming and delightful to watch, I thoroughly enjoyed this film.
 Gorgeous
(Bolei cheun / Bor lei jun) with Shu Qi (photo), Hong Kong 1999 Romantic Comedy 1:39 DVD
Beautiful young Taiwanese woman goes to Hong Kong to find her true love. The first guy she meets is a gay cosmetologist who lets her stay with him. Next she meets a lonely, multi-millionaire trash recycler who gets beat up by a white guy smaller than he is. Guess whom she chooses? A feel good romantic comedy with non-life-threatening martial arts contests. Shu Qi is charming and “Gorgeous.”
 Love on the Rocks
(Luen ching go gup) with Gigi Leung (photo), Kathy Chow, Hong Kong 2004 Romantic Comedy 1:43 DVD
A beautiful young woman breaks up with her dorky boyfriend, because he isn't romantic, and dates other guys. He hires a 19-year old self-proclaimed love advisor, who has never been in a relationship, to give him lessons. She tells him to revisit all his ex-girlfriends to find out what he has been doing wrong. Amusing story with five beautiful women: Gigi Leung (adorable), Kathy Chow (breathtaking), Rain Li, Gillian Chung and Charlene Choi.
 Perfect Match, A
(Joheun saram isseumyeon sogae shikeojwo) with Shin Eun-kyung (photo), South Korea 2002 Romantic Comedy 1:45 DVD
Because Korean society places tremendous pressure on its people to get married at the proper age, from 27-30, young men and women seek out match making agencies to introduce them to prospective spouses and to help them make the best impression. An unattached “couple manager” is attracted to one of her clients and, obviously, complications ensue. Because of the wonderful performance by Shin Eun-kyung, I enjoyed it.
 Windstruck
(Nae yeojachingureul sogae habnida) with Jeon Ji-hyun (photo), South Korea 2004 Romantic Comedy 2:04 DVD
The touching and beautifully told love story between a ravishing young female no-fear kick-ass police officer and a meek high school teacher is ruined during the scenes of police pursuit and bloody violence. I wish I could have deleted those parts. A wonderful, surprise ending. Jeon Ji-hyun, probably the most gifted young actress in the world today, shines especially when expressing her sassy persona and over-the-top antics.
 Migratory Bird
(Hou niao) with René Liu (photo), Taiwan 2001 Romantic Comedy 1:51 DVD
A Taiwanese couple has relocated to Canada but the husband frequently travels to China for business. While apart both experience sexual temptations. Teenagers living in their home have a hate-love relationship. Realistic situations and emotions. Frequently funny. René Liu is delightful.
 Chinese Odyssey 2002
(Tian xia wu shuang) with Faye Wong (photo), Vicki Zhao, Hong Kong 2002 Romantic Comedy 1:37 DVD
In Ming Dynasty China, the young Emperor and his sister are both confined to the Imperial Palace by their mother, the Empress Dowager. After sneaking out, they meet and fall in love with commoners, also a brother and sister. He's a wanderer, she's runs a restaurant. It's silly, goofy and very funny. I loved it. Especially the song.
 Chungking Express
(Chongqing senlin) with Faye Wong, Valerie Chow, Hong Kong 1994 Comedy Drama 1:44 DVD
In 1990s Hong Kong two lovelorn cops have been dumped by their girlfriends. One tries to track down a female drug dealer who wears a blond wig. The other meets a girl at an all night snack bar. She secretly breaks in and cleans his apartment when he's not there. More style than story or character development. Quirky, funny and engaging. Faye Wong is wonderful! Directed by Wong Kar Wai.
 Too Beautiful to Lie
(Don't Believe Her Lies / Geunyeoreul midji maseyo) with Kim Ha-neul (photo), South Korea 2004 Romantic Comedy 1:55 DVD
Soon after her parole, a lovable ex-con retrieves a family heirloom engagement ring from a pickpocket. When she goes to the owner's home to return it, his family assumes that she's their son's fiancée and that he's gotten her pregnant. Amusing comedy of misunderstandings with buckets of happy tears at the end – the perfect Korean romantic comedy. Kim Ha-neul is absolutely wonderful.
 Turn Left, Turn Right
(Xiang zuo zou xiang you zou / Heung joh chow heung yau chow) with Gigi Leung (photo), Hong Kong 2003 Romantic Comedy 1:42 VCD
A translator and a classical violinist live in the same apartment building but never meet until finally one day in the park. It's love at first sight but then they lose contact with one another. Will fate allow them to meet again? This could have been a touching love story because the two leads are likable and their romance was believable and very touching. But the director's dismal attempt at humor ruined what could have been a wonderful film.
 He's a Woman, She's a Man
(Jin qi yu she / Gum gee yuk yip) with Anita Yuen, Hong Kong 1994 Romantic Comedy 1:47 DVD
A fanatic Hong Kong music fan idolizes a female singer. In an attempt to meet the singer, the fan poses as an amateur male singer, gets a contract with the singer's producer/boyfriend and moves in with him! The fan gets a big crush on the producer and he starts to have feelings for him (her) also. This causes complications with his girlfriend and discomfort about his own sexuality. Silly, but funny. Anita Yuen is irresistibly charming.
 Who's the Woman, Who's the Man
(Jin qi yu she 2 / Gum gee yuk yip 2) with Anita Yuen (photo), Hong Kong 1996 Romantic Comedy 1:47 DVD
This sequel to the immensely popular He's a Woman, She's a Man begins where the first one left off. The producer and his female-disguised-as-a-male protégé move in together causing the public to assume they are gay. He (she) becomes a pop star. Both question their sexuality. Entertaining, but not as good as the original.
 Wedding Banquet, The
(Hsi yen) with May Chin, Taiwan 1993 Romantic Comedy 1:49 DVD
A comedy of errors about a gay man's marriage of convenience to satisfy his traditional Taiwanese parents. Amusing and fun. Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards.
Comedy
 My Wife is a Gangster
(Jopog manura) with Shin Eun-kyung (photo), South Korea 2001 Action Comedy 1:47 DVD
A beautiful young woman, who kicks serious ass, is second in command and the only woman in an underworld gang. One day, her dying sister guilts her into promising to get married and have a baby before she dies. She reluctantly marries a naïve civil servant who is unaware of her role as a ruthless gang leader. I thoroughly enjoyed the romantic comedy and disliked the violence. Shin Eun-kyung is incredible and performs many of her own stunts.
 Personals, The
(Zheng hun qi shi) with René Liu (photo), Taiwan 1998 Comedy 1:44 DVD
An attractive 30-ish woman becomes dissatisfied with her life and quits her job as a eye doctor in a Taipei hospital to search full-time for a husband. She takes out a newspaper ad hoping to find someone suitable. About 100 men respond to the ad. She meets them one by one in a quiet tearoom. Each one seemingly worse than the one before. At night, she pours her heart out to the answering machine of her former married lover. Entertaining.
Action / Adventure
 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
(Wo hu cang long) with Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, Taiwan 2000 Period Martial Arts Drama 2:00 DVD
In early 19th century China, an aristocrat's daughter falls in love with a thief. A martial arts master wants to retire and live a life of meditation, after he avenges the death of his master. He and a female martial arts master have loved each other for years, but never expressed it. Great story, spectacular fights, gorgeous photography, beautiful music, wonderful performances by Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi. A masterpiece. Four Academy Awards including Best Foreign Language Film. In Asian Film Trailers below.
 Banquet, The
(Legend of the Black Scorpion, The / Ye yan) with Zhang Ziyi (photo), Zhou Xun, China 2006 Action Drama 2:11 DVD
In 907 AD China during the Tang Dynasty, the new Emperor has usurped the throne by murdering his brother and then marrying his widow. The Empress asks the Crown Prince to help kill him. When the Prince hesitates, she seeks the throne for herself. A loose adaptation of Hamlet. The screenplay, performances, action scenes, art direction, cinematography, music and Feng Xiaogang's direction are superb. A gorgeous and suspenseful masterpiece. One of the greatest films ever made. Zhou Xun won Best Supporting Actress in the 2007 Hong Kong Film Awards. In Asian Film Trailers below.
 So Close
(Xi yang tian shi / Chik yeung tin sai) with Shu Qi (photo), Vicki Zhao Wei, Karen Mok, Hong Kong 2002 Action Comedy Thriller 1:50 DVD
When a wealthy Shanghai computer mogul is murdered, an ambitious young female undercover detective is assigned to the case. During her investigation, she encounters two beautiful sisters who are criminal masterminds with mental and kung fu skills equal to her own. Awesome eye candy with terrific fight choreography and gorgeous ladies in chic outfits. Not to be missed! In Asian Film Trailers below.
 Thief of Bagdad, The
with June Duprez, UK & USA 1940 Fantasy 2:00 DVD
I know, Baghdad is a little west of the other countries represented here. But I've loved this movie all my life. An evil vizier plans to usurp the throne of Baghdad by marrying the childlike king's breathtakingly lovely daughter and then dispose of him afterward. A prince and a street thief try to save her. A masterpiece. The best of all pre-computer era fantasy films, including The Wizard of Oz; and it won three Academy Awards.
 Curse of the Golden Flower
(Man cheng jin dai huang jin jia) with Gong Li (photo), Chen Jin, Li Man, Hong Kong & China 2006 Period Drama 1:54 DVD
In 928 AD China, a dysfunctional royal family engages in betrayal, incest and vengeance. A Shakespearean melodrama presented as a grand spectacle directed by Cecil B. DeMille, action scenes choreographed by Busby Berkeley, sets and costumes designed by Liberace. The garishly psychedelic palace decor and corseted voluptuous women revealing lots of cleavage aren't historically accurate, but a joy to behold. Overwhelming. Gong Li was awarded Best Actress at both the Hong Kong Film Awards and the Hong Kong Film Critics Awards. Read full review. In Asian Film Trailers below.
 Promise, The
(Wu ji / Mo gik) with Cecilia Cheung, Chen Hong, Guan Xiaotong (photo), China 2005 Action Fantasy 2:02 Asia / 1:42 USA DVD
An epic romantic action fantasy about a beautiful princess, goofy general, evil duke, brave slave, cowardly assassin, flying goddess and effeminate king in ancient China. A $35 million fairy tale that would be too scary for little children, possibly entertaining for older children, but too silly for teenagers and adults. I love the breathtaking visuals. The Weinstein Co. butchered the US version and then dumped it!
 Hero
(Ying xiong) with Zhang Ziyi, Maggie Cheung (photo), China & Hong Kong 2002 Historical Action 1:36 DVD
During the Warring States period (475-221 BCE), seven feudal states are continually at war. King Zheng of Qin believes the only way to achieve peace is for him to conquer the other states. Four legendary assassins, who believe that non-violence is the precondition for peace, vie to stop the king's brutality. Stunning cinematography. Directed by Zhang Yimou. Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards.
 House of Flying Daggers
(Shi mian mai fu) with Zhang Ziyi (photo), China & Hong Kong 2004 Action Romance 1:59 DVD
During the Tang dynasty in China, a secret organization called “The House of the Flying Daggers” opposes the government. Two police officers go to a brothel to check out a blind dancer. (What better place to start an investigation?) Things are never what they seem. Visually spectacular, but the fight scenes eventualy became tedious. Tragically, Anita Mui died before her scenes could be shot; she was only 40. Directed by Zhang Yimou.
 Transporter, The
(Transporteur, Le) with Shu Qi (photo), France 2002 Action 1:32 DVD
An ex-special forces soldier now lives in a villa on the French Mediterranean and has a lucrative business as an underworld “transporter” for hire. He will deliver anything anywhere, no questions asked. His 3 rules: never change the agreement, no names, never open the package. Well, he opens the package, finds Shu Qi inside, and all hell breaks loose. The fight scenes are exciting except for the interminable ending. Shu Qi is gorgeous. In Asian Film Trailers below.
 Tomorrow Never Dies
with Michelle Yeoh (photo), UK & USA 1997 Action Thriller 1:59 DVD
A powerful megalomaniac media mogul intends to start a war between England and China to promote his news business. (Just like William Randolph Hearst and the Spanish-American War of 1898.) England sends James Bond to investigate. China sends the stunning Wai Lin. He doesn't want to work with her but changes his mind when he realizes that she can kick ass too. Michelle Yeoh is breath-taking. My favorite “Bond. James Bond.” film.
 Wing Chun
(Yong Chun) with Michelle Yeoh, Catherine Hung Yan, Hong Kong 1994 Martial Arts 1:33 DVD
Michelle Yeoh kicks ass with beauty, grace and finesse in a martial-arts film inspired by a real person in 19th century China. Entertaining and fun.
 Painted Skin
(Hua pi, Wa pei) with Zhou Xun (photo), Vicki Zhao Wei, Betty Sun Li, Hong Kong 2008 Fantasy Action Romance Comedy 1:41 / 1:58dc DVD
A big-budget supernatural spectacle about an evil immortal female demon who eats human hearts to stay young and beautiful, and falls in love with a married general. Also, a close friend is still in love with the general's wife; a tomboy demon buster is in love with the close friend; and a fly-eating lizard in human form is in love with the seductive demon and supplies her with fresh hearts. The women, cinematography, sets and costumes are spectacular. The acting, martial arts, special effects and subtitles are funny. Surprisingly enjoyable.
Mystery / Thriller
 Mystery of Rampo, The
(Rampo) with Michiko Hada, Japan 1994 Period Drama 1:41 DVD
In 1930s Japan, a novelist sees a newspaper article about a woman being investigated for her husband's murder. The writer attends the funeral and is consumed with passion for the beautiful but mysterious widow. He pursues her in real life while writing a new story in which she is the lover of a debauched aristocrat being investigated by a detective for murder. A very inventive story that blurs the line between reality and fantasy. Beautiful. Stunning visual effects. A masterpiece.
 Scarlet Letter, The
(Juhong geulshi) with Lee Eun-joo (photo), South Korea 2004 Mystery 1:55 DVD
A police captain is simultaneously involved in a complicated murder investigation and an extra-marital affair with a sultry nightclub singer. Surprising revelations occur one after another until the shocking conclusion. Like Hitchcock, only better. I was on the edge of my seat. Tragically, on 22 February 05, not long after this film was released, the beautiful and talented young actress, Lee Eun-joo, committed suicide. She was only 24.
 Isle, The
(Seom) with Seo Jeong (photo), South Korea 2000 Erotic Thriller 1:29 DVD
On a foggy lake surrounded by trees, an attractive, young mute woman manages a few vacation houseboats where men go to fish and have sex with local prostitutes. She becomes obsessed with an ex-cop who goes there to commit suicide after killing his unfaithful girlfriend. In this eerie, yet beautiful, isolated place, lonely, unhappy people do unthinkable things to ease their pain. A highly disturbing, but very beautiful film.
 Dream
(Bi-mong) with Lee Na-Young (photo), South Korea 2008 Thriller 1:35 DVD
A stone craftsman's nightly dreams causes a young costume designer to rise from her bed and act them out while sleepwalking. His dreams become increasingly more elaborate and her experiences become increasingly more intimate and dangerous. A dream specialist proposes an unconventional solution to solve their problem. Acts one and two are fascinating and suspenseful. In act three, director Kim Ki-Duk gets too weird.
Musical
 Perhaps Love
(Ruguo ai / Yu guo oi) with Zhou Xun (photo), Hong Kong 2005 Musical Romance 1:47 DVD
In present-day Shanghai, an ambitious actress, a respected director – her mentor and lover, and her former boyfriend – now also a film star are making a 1930s musical film, ironically, about a love triangle. Beautiful, breathtaking, enchanting, exciting, inventive, magical, spectacular and touching. The stunning Zhou Xun has never been better and won the Best Actress Award at both the Golden Horse and Hong Kong Film Awards in 2006. In Asian Film Trailers below.
 Madame Butterfly
with Ying Huang, France 1995 Opera 2:15 DVD
In 1904 Japan, an American naval officer, looking for sex while his ship is anchored at Nagasaki, thoughtlessly takes advantage of a naïve 15-year-old Japanese girl who loves him with all her heart. A heartbreaking story. Exceptional adaptation of the Puccini opera for the screen. Ying Huang has a beautiful voice. Beautiful music, sets and costumes.
 South Pacific
with France Nuyen, USA 1958 Musical 2:31 DVD
In 1943 on a US Navy base in the Soloman Islands, a young American nurse falls in love with a wealthy, middle-aged French planter. A marine lieutenant falls for a beautiful native teenager. This Rodgers and Hammerstein musical has wonderful songs and breathtaking scenery but is tarnished by bad acting, dubbed singing and color filters used during the musical numbers. With all its flaws, I like it anyway. France Nuyen's first film.
 Flower Drum Song
with Nancy Kwan, Reiko Sato, Miyoshi Umeki, USA 1961 Musical 2:13 DVD
A Chinese woman illegally enters the U.S. to honor an arranged marriage with a San Francisco Chinatown nightclub owner who is in love with a sexy cabaret entertainer who is pursuing the son of a wealthy merchant who falls for the illegal immigrant at the beginning of this sentence. Politically incorrect stereotyping of the Chinese by a couple of white guys, Rogers and Hammerstein; but it was the late 50s and they wrote beautiful music. Wonderful.
 Devdas
with Aishwarya Rai (photo), India 2002 Romance Drama Musical 3:02 DVD
In 1920s India, childhood friends grow up and fall in love, but their parents won't allow them to marry. She marries a wealthy, much older man she doesn't love. He chooses alcohol, a prostitute and a life of vice. Aishwarya Rai, the sets, costumes and photography are gorgeous. The dance sequences are terrific. The most strikingly beautiful Hindi film I have ever seen. The only bad thing about this film is Shahrukh Khan; I cannot tolerate him. In Asian Film Trailers below.
 Straight from the Heart
(Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam) with Aishwarya Rai (photo), India 1999 Romantic Musical 3:08 DVD
In India, a gorgeous young woman is heartbroken because her father forces her to marry a nice man when she is in love with an annoying, arrogant, narcissistic jerk. A strong argument in favor of arranged marriages. Everyone acts like they overdosed on caffein, but the love story and musical numbers are wonderful. Aishwarya Rai (below), the sets and saris are breathtaking. “Love isn't selfish. It lies, not in your own happiness, but in thge happingess of the one you love.”
 Turandot at the Forbidden City of Beijing
China & Italy & UK 1998 Opera 2:06 DVD
Giacomo Puccini's opera staged by Chinese movie director, Zhang Yimou. Performed by an Italian opera company. Orchestra directed by Zubin Mehta. The music is beautiful, the voices OK, the staging and costumes are opulent.
Documentary
 Gate of Heavenly Peace, The
with Chai Ling (photo), USA 1994 Documentary 3:00 n/a
An examination of the student-led pro-democracy demonstration in Tiananmen Square in 1989. For seven weeks, a million people protested peacefully in the square. Frustrated, the government sent in army troops that brutally killed 1,000 unarmed civilians in the “Beijing Massacre” of June 4th. Ironically, Tiananmen means “Gate of Heavenly Peace.” Student leader, Chai Ling has been twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Incredible.
 Moving the Mountain
with Chai Ling, UK & Canada 1994 Documentary 1:23 DVD
The student-led pro-democracy demonstration in Tiananmen Square in 1989 as described by the student leaders. For seven weeks, a million people protested peacefully in the square. Frustrated, the government sent in army troops that brutally killed 1,000 unarmed civilians in the “Beijing Massacre” of June 4th. Student leader, Chai Ling has been twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Not as moving as The Gate of Heavenly Peace.
 China: Beyond the Clouds
USA 1994 Documentary 4:00 VHS
Wonderful documentary about people you grow to care about in the old section of Lijiang, a lovely town in Yunnan Province. It shows the wooden homes with courtyards and tile roofs and people living their everyday lives. My favorite people are a teacher whose young daughter, Little Swallow, has cerebral palsy and an acupuncturist, Dr. Tang. I loved being a part of their lives. I was sad to see it end.
 Citizen Hong Kong
with Qi Ke Jia (photo), USA 1999 Documentary 1:30 VHS
After the handover to China, five young people in Hong Kong let us see their lives. Qi Ke Jia, a recent immigrant from China and high school senior, works three jobs and studies hard to attend prestigious Hong Kong University. Louise Wong returns to HK from Australia to rediscover what it means to be Chinese. Ed Wu struggles with his career goals. Brothers Edward and Edwin Chan perform in a theater for the deaf. Qi Ke Jia touched my heart.
 China 21
with Zhong Qiu (photo), USA 2001 Documentary 1:00 n/a
An examination of four ordinary families in contemporary China. Zhong Qiu, a quiet 6-year-old girl from a peasant farming village in Hunan, walks two hours each way to school. Zhang Yu, 15 from a small farm near Shanghai, hopes to attend college. Terry Han, 23, and his girlfriend Vivian Chen apply to a graduate school. Tang Enliang, 19, has been accepted into Shanghai's top law school. Very moving. I will never forget Zhong Qiu.
 China - China in Revolution: 1911-1949
USA 1989 Documentary 2:00 DVD
Part I of an epic six-hour, award-winning documentary about China. This segment covers the fall of the last emperor in 1911. The Long March and bloody civil war between the Chinese Communist Party led by Mao Zedong and the Nationalist Party led by Chiang Kai-shek. And the “Rape of Nanking” during which Japanese troops killed an estimated 50,000 Chinese and raped tens of thousands of women. Exceptional.
 China - The Mao Years: 1949-1976
USA 1994 Documentary 2:00 DVD
Part II. China under the rule of Mao Zedong. Mao's disastrous Great Leap Forward caused the worst famine in world history killing more than 30 million people. Mao's self-serving Cultural Revolution killed or ruined the lives of even more innocent people. President Nixon's visit. When Mao died in 1976, China's economy was weak and the people were exhausted from decades of political turmoil and longed for stability. Exceptional.
 China - Born under the Red Flag: 1976-1997
USA 1997 Documentary 2:00 DVD
Part III. China's remarkable transformation from a relatively undeveloped and isolated nation into a world economic and military power under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping. This hybrid of communism and capitalism has brought unprecedented prosperity, but for many Chinese, it has also raised troubling questions of national identity and social inequality. Exceptional.
 Dynasty: The Nehru-Gandhi Story, The
UK 1997 Historical Documentary 3:00 VHS
BBC television documentary profiles three generations of India's Prime Ministers: Jawaharlal Nehru, his daughter, Indira Gandhi, and her son, Rajiv Gandhi, plus Jawaharlal's father, Motilal Nehru, and Mahatma Gandhi. It also explains the complicated politics surrounding the cessation of British rule and the split between India and Pakistan. A fascinating account of Indian history from 1946 to 1991. An exceptional production.
 Lord Mountbatten: The Last Viceroy
UK 1985 Historical Drama 2:30 VHS
In 1946, war hero Lord Mountbatten is sent to India to oversee the transition of power after the British government grant independence to India. Shows the conflict between the Hindus and Muslims; plus Winston Churchill did not want England to give up India. A fascinating account of that complex situation. An exceptional production.
 Hearts and Minds
USA 1974 Documentary Color/B&W 1:52 DVD
Academy Award winning documentary recounts the history and attitudes of the opposing sides of the Viet Nam War. It shows how American racism and self-righteous militarism helped start and prolong the war. It shows the basic humanity of the Vietnamese people which US propaganda tried to dismiss. Vietnamese explain how the war has affected them and why they fought the United States. Unforgettable.

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Lee Eun-joo


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Taipei, Taiwan
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