2012's top 10 cinematic sensations
Updated: 2013-01-04 09:59
By Liu Wei (China Daily)
Beijing has been featured in many contemporary domestic films, usually as a modern metropolis. But within the postcard-like scenery and skyscrapers live vendors, small-restaurant owners, pickpockets, conmen and beggars. Director Gao Qunshu seems more interested in the grassroots and pictures their lives through the eyes of a plainclothes cop.
Gao boldly cast 30 celebrities on Sina Weibo, China's answer to Twitter, for the major roles. Publisher Zhang Lixian plays the title character - a cop who fights criminals in his community while grappling with health problems. The film won Best Feature Film, Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing at this year's Golden Horse Film Awards, known as "the Academy Awards of Taiwan".
Design of Death
Director Guan Hu's inventive narration and lead actor Huang Bo's boisterous acting make the film a thought-provoking black comedy, featuring a special character rarely seen in domestic films. Protagonist Niu Jieshi is a nuisance, who does not fit into a community's social and cultural structure and is consequently shunned, even by people in the community.
The film reminds Chinese viewers of Lu Xun's A Madman's Diary, in which an idiot is destroyed when he violates a community's code of conduct.
The film may seem like a village farce but is rich with metaphor and ideas about one's relationship with established social customs.