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Chinese Voices Project: Arts & Culture

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Lust, Caution (1.0 / 523)
Joanna Hsu
    The award-winning new blockbuster by Ang Lee is an espionnage thriller set in wartime Shanghai. The film's much-vaunted eroticism aside, it represents an artistic triumph for the director and his two stars.


Four Popular Writers (1.0 / 484)
Joanna Hsu
     The most talked-about writers in Beijing these days include a child prodigy, a fan of Japanese cartoons, and a famous beauty. They might not be producing great literature, but they've all got colorful stories to tell.


There's No Talk Like Crosstalk (1.1 / 357)
Joanna Hsu
     The fast-paced comic dialogs of crosstalk, a popular form of verbal folk art in China, fell out of favor in the '90s due to tighter political control. It has recently made a comeback thanks to a star performer whose live performances draw eager fans--and angry lawyers--to his new club in Beijing.


Punning Cabbage (1.1 / 262)
Joanna Hsu
    The humble cabbage, or bai cai, is more than a ubiquitous winter vegetable. It's also a visual pun suggesting good fortune--of the kind, for example, that might allow you to eat something besides cabbage for dinner every day.


Following the Beijing Dream (1.1 / 376)
Joanna Hsu
     The latest Kung Fu movie star sensation to hit the silver screen in China has an extraordinary story behind him.


The Spring Festival TV Show (1.1 / 387)
Joanna Hsu
    Watching the annual four-hour extravaganza on New Year's Eve is a traditional part of the holiday ritual for millions of Chinese families. The quality of the performances, however, is not always what they'd hope for.


The Fate of Classical Chinese Literature (1.3 / 530)
Joanna Hsu
     In the new money economy, the classics no longer have the status they once did, but they still turn up in some interesting places.


If You Love Me... (1.3 / 281)
Joanna Hsu
     One of the oldest rhetorical ploys in the manipulative lover's playbook is the advertising slogan for a new film playing in Beijing.


Yuanmingyuan: The Film (1.4 / 262)
Chun Juan
     The author's reactions to the recent 'documentary' about the Old Summer Palace in Beijing and its destruction during the Opium Wars.


Confucius Hits Prime Time (1.4 / 334)
Chun Juan
     A Beijing professor has caused a stir with her popular televised lectures on the teachings of Confucius. Many praise her saying that popularizing Chinese classics helps people appreciate the richness of China's intellectual heritage. Some, however, condemn her interpretations for a lack of depth and accuracy.


Chinese Idol (1.4 / 295)
Chun Juan
     The most popular TV show in China over the past couple of years, a loose spin-off of American Idol called Super Girl, has prompted calls for regulation on the grounds that dreams of the limelight are distracting young girls from their studies.


Fame, Fortune, and Fojiao (1.5 / 508)
Joanna Hsu
     When celebrated Chinese actress and businesswoman Chen Xiaoxu took the tonsure and became a Buddhist nun, she prompted reflections on how life imitates art--and on how worldly success can fall short in fulfilling spiritual needs.


Lust, Caution, Politics (1.5 / 247)
Emily Fang
     Film-making in China is always bound up with politics. In the case of Ang Lee's blockbuster Lust, Caution, however, the political denunciations have come from the Oscar committee, rather than the Chinese government..


Zhang Yimou and 'The Curse of the Golden Flower' (1.5 / 530)
Joanna Hsu
     Zhang Yimou's most recent collaboration with Gong Li has generated megabucks at the box office but decidedly mixed reviews, many of which accuse the filmmaker of giving far too prominent a role to his heroine's ample bust. Are the criticisms fair?


An Ancient Religion for a Modern Age (1.6 / 252)
Joanna Hsu
     Buddhism is blossoming anew in urban centers throughout China. What place does a religion of renunciation have in a consumerist society?


Beijing Opera Artists (1.6 / 514)
Joanna Hsu
     A review of a recent biography of eight Beijing opera singers that casts their art in a new light.