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Your Top Ten

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Clay Dube
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Your Top Ten

The end of the year typically brings a flood of lists. Magazines and newspapers frequently run their editors' picks. Here at Asia Pacific Arts, we'd like you to let us know what you think the top films, cds, books, television shows, and so on were in 2003.

You can just reply to this message and change the subject (for example, choose something such as "Clay's Top 5 Chinese Films"). You could just list titles, but just like the best critics, it would be nice if you told us why you thought your choices were the best the year had to offer. Feel free to insert links to related websites.

To get started, why not come up with your list of "The Three Best APA Articles" or "The Three Best APA Interviews?"

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Message from pdobkin

Do you know of any films I can see, this week, that you recommend? Do you know where they are playing? How do I find a listing for Asian films? Thanx, Pennie

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Message from zarooum

Being rather new to Asian films, only one magnificent masterpiece comes to mind. I would recommend that everyone see, "Farewell My Concubine." Originally banned in China, Farewell My Concubine spans fifty-three years, presenting the lives of two men against the historical backdrop of a country in upheaval. The movie is neatly divided into eight chapters, including a 1977 prologue and epilogue that bookend the story. Each section represents a different era in Chinese history and the lives of the characters. The historical background from the time of the Warlords through the Cultural Revolution, including the Japanese invasion of 1937 and the Communist takeover, is integral to the plot. I found the film to be very moving and educational. There is a review of the film on the website, http://movie-reviews.colossus.net/movies/f/farewell_conc.html.

Linda Zarou

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Message from lmoakes

For fans of action film John Woo, Ang Lee and Tsui Hark are amazing. The gangster genre is superb in Hong Kong action films and if Chow YTun Fat is in them, they are quite elegant. Chow Yun Fat made several movies with Woo (A Better Tomorrow 1 & 2, Killer-1989, Bullet in the Head-1990, Hard Boiled-1992). If you get a chance to see any of them at a revival theatre,like Nu Art-go. They are available for rental.
Interview with Woo: http://www.brightlightsfilm.com/31/hk_johnwoo.html

Jet Li is wonderful in Once Upon a Time in China- good reminder.
Linda Moakes

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Message from kllewellyn

Thanks for the information, I am going to try and watch the movie this week.. If you, or anyone else, can recommend other movies to see I would appeciate it.

Thanks
Karen

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Message from gmzarou

While not anything resembling an expert on Asian cinema, I have seen many films, and so have come across many famous Asian movies. There's of course the Kurosawa classics (Rashomon, Ran, Seven Samurai, etc.) and the John Woo action blockbusters (The Killer, Hard Target, etc.) but if you have a good video store, you should ask them if they have a movie called Happiness of the Katakuris.

Ostensibly the story of a family running a remote inn in the Japanese countryside, the movie is equal parts gory horror, magical realism, and musical. You read that right, in between grisly deaths and impossible scenes of beauty, the characters will break into song and dance numbers.

While naming all the influences is beyond my knowledge of Japan, it's a very entertaining ride and it's enjoyable just trying to figure out what this movie says about Japanese culture.

Anyways, go see it and let's discuss!

m@x

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Message from eamador

I remember this film received great acclaim. Does it help illuminate the transition to the period of the Cultural Revolution? I am going to try and find it this week. Thanks.