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    By Raymond Zhou

    BEIJING Ziggy Ansah Shirt , Dec. 28 (Xinhuanet) -- A roundup of the year's "best" domestic films will set you on a collision course with those with different tastes and yardsticks. This is especially true when the year's best vary widely from the year's best-selling. In other words, a cinephile's picks are bound to diverge from one who focuses on the bottom line.

    So, here are some of the Chinese-language movies that I feel represent 2015's height of artistic achievement.

    Hou Hsiao-hsien's Assassin is the only one that made it into some prestigious international lists. Yet it was very polarizing on the domestic front. Its elliptical narrative left many audience members scratching their heads.

    For me, it is ambitious but falls short of the standard of Shanghai Flowers, an early work by the master with a similar stylistic approach. The dense plot distracts from the texture of the visuals, where the brilliance definitely lies.

    Jia Zhangke's Mountains May Depart is neatly divided into three time periods. The first two Barry Sanders Jersey , set in 1999 and 2014, find him in familiar territory, but it is the last one, set in 2025 Australia, that is jaw-dropping in both positive and negative ways.

    The twist is audaciously conceived, but testifies to a fundamental lack of understanding of the Chinese diaspora Graham Glasgow Jersey , and the May-December relationship is shallow in its Freudian implication.

    The year's most satisfying work belongs to Deep in the Heart, the directorial debut of Xin Yukun. It was titled The Coffin in the Mountain when it first ran on the festival circuit in 2014.

    Made with a paltry budget of 1.7 million yuan ($269,800), the dark drama takes on crime and punishment with a verve and aplomb befitting a veteran.

    As a matter of fact, one of its early champions was Cao Baoping, whose film The Dead End has an overlapping theme yet leaves several narrative holes in the story.

    Cao's crime story has a stronger drive Michael Roberts Jersey , and at its heart it attempts to plumb the depths of the human psyche. More significantly, it broke several taboos, including a passionate male-on-male kiss.

    The Dead End won an acting award for its male ensemble at the Shanghai International Film Festival, but the year's most eye-opening male performance belongs to a renowned director.

    Feng Xiaogang's cameo appearances have been so memorable he ranks among the best character actors in the nation.

    In Mr. Six, he turns his formidable acting chops into a character study so immersive it blew me away when I first saw the film. This is a portrayal that goes beyond technique and into the innermost part of his soul.

    Ostensibly about a former good-for-nothing, it is imbued with a quiet heroism and evokes a way of life that is fast receding-echoing the somewhat cruel generational shift that is happening in today's film industry.

    Not since Zhang Yimou played the male lead in 1986's Old Well has an ace director trumped actors of his profession with such on-screen and off-screen poignancy.

    Xu Haofeng's The Master seems to be a scaled-down version of The Grandmaster Kenny Golladay Jersey , which he co-wrote. It is certainly different from the norm, but his familiarity with the material could be holding him back from a full filmic vision.

    While I applaud his innovation, I was not emotionally involved or thematically curious.

    12 Citizens, a Chinese remake of 12 Angry Men, resolved the biggest conundrum-that China does not employ a jury system-with a stroke of genius. But it was marred by several clumsy touches, such as the eventual certainty of the suspect's innocence and the secret identity of the Henry Fonda character Jarrad Davis Jersey , here played by stage veteran He Bing.

    The moral of the story, in my opinion, should be: There is not enough evidence to convict the guy, not that he was the wrong target.

    Other art-house offerings that I have missed but may be worthy of mentioning include: Wang Xiaoshuai's Red Amnesia, a revisit to the "cultural revolution" (1966-76), Li Ruijun's River Road Kerryon Johnson Jersey , Tibetan filmmaker Pema Tseden's Tharlo, and the work of a possible whiz kid, 26-year-old Bi Gai's Kaili Blues, which won several cineaste-circle awards.

    Not a single one of the aforementioned output grossed more than 100 million yuan at the box office. Their cumulative takings may not have reached this figure either. Which makes this year's blockbusters all the more astounding.

    Monster Hunt, a family film in the fantasy genre, set a new box-office record at 2.4 billion yuan. It was bankrolled by Bill Kong Frank Ragnow Jersey , of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fame, and directed by first-timer Raman Hui, who has Hollywood experience.

    Monkey King: Hero Is Back was the sleeper hit of the year when it became the best-selling animated film in the Middle Kingdom.

    Although the subject matter was from the classical novel, which has always been a treasure trove for adaptations, the treatment was more inspired by Hollywood.

    Pancake Man and Goodbye Marvin Jones Jr Jersey , Mr. Loser are the twin winners with Internet genetics. The screwball comedies feature newcomers who are more plugged into the sensibilities of the millennials than the practices of the film community.

    Their boffo success (1.16 billion and 1.44 billion yuan respectively) marks the emergence of the new filmmaker generation, who may hail from anywhere but the film academy.

    Lost in Thailand, at 1.62 billion yuan, was about the only franchise movie that climbed over the billion-yuan bench. That, of course, is not counting Mojin: The Lost Legend Golden Tate III Jersey , directed by Wuershan, which is hot in release and has just exceeded the billion-yuan benchmark by the time this article goes to print.

    Mojin is adapted from the eight-volume Internet best-seller, which has a huge built-in fan base. The first four volumes were sold to another director, Lu Chuan, whose Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe debuted just three months earlier to 680 million yuan and general critical pann"

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