I guess it's up to me to christen the Chinese Reviews
section. Why not start with something a bit obscure...
Pirated Copy (2004)
Zhu Ri Kun
Yu Bo, Wang Ya Mei, Hu Xiaoguang, Qimuge Naren, Zi Qi, Wan Chang
A portrait of contemporary Chinese society based on the ubiquitous illegal trade in pirated DVDs.
Art-house darling He Jianjun went digital in 2004 to tell his story about the DVD piracy market in China. The film follows several characters all involved with piracy in some capacity. Everyone from publishers, distributors, and customers are represented. Having said all of that this film isn't an expose on the topic, but rather uses it as a backdrop to tell the story about the lives of these people. It is at once harsh and sympathetic about the market and in a deeper sense is a commentary on modern-day China's infatuation with Western culture. The film itself is non-linear and doesn't conform to glossy filmmaking. It's gritty and shot with a sort of reckless abandon that the digital form lends itself perfectly for.
Everything is shot handheld which can be a bit nauseating during scenes with lots of camera movement (especially the chase scenes). The use of digital as opposed to film also serves an expressive function in that the film deals with digital piracy and the grainy digital look mirrors the prominence of bootlegs being watched on TV's in the film itself. The homage to many films is enjoyable (especially the Pulp Fiction
and wkw references). It's a film lover's dream but it isn't bogged down with being referential. An interesting and entertaining film that walks the fine line of impartiality on a very hot topic.