China’s great leap forward: The Flowers of War is the country’s most expensive film ever and – starring Christian Bale – it proves Beijing can give Hollywood a run for its money

By CHRIS TOOKEY

Verdict: Stunning, moving epic

The flowers of war film

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Chukka for love

SCMP

By Paul Mooney

 

With historical evidence that the ancient Persians and Chinese played versions of the sport centuries ago, there are competing claims for the title of cradle of polo. One compelling theory traces its origins to the nomads of Central Asia who spread it from the Mongolian steppes in the east to the shores of the Caspian Sea in the west. Yet it wasn’t until recently that polo found a footing in modern-day Mongolia.

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Rubble in paradise

SCMP

By Paul Mooney

 

Architects’ training often instils them with a strong conservationist streak. Hwang Eu-fung, however, has taken hers to an extreme. Eight years ago, she abandoned her flat, BMW and job with an architectural firm in San Francisco to move into a dilapidated house in the remote Yunnan town of Zhongdian.

 

‘People here never destroyed or sold their houses because they felt they had been given to them by their ancestors,’ Hwang says. Click here to read more »

Darkness at noon

SCMP

By Paul Mooney

 

Ni Yulan sits on her bed tapping away at her laptop as her husband Dong Jiqin skitters about the dingy hotel room lighting candles before the last rays of the sun fade on a recent grey, cold day in Beijing. It is the 37th day since Beijing police cut off the electricity to the couple’s room, and the 16th day without water. The disconnections are an attempt to drive the couple from the dilapidated hotel that police once confined them to. Click here to read more »

阿乙:我只是个写作者

南方人物周刊

[导读]我不想改变现实,不考虑小说对别人是有好处还是坏处,我把它当成一个艺术品来完成,而不是道德说教或者某某主义的证据。

“我不想改变现实,不考虑小说对别人是有好处还是坏处,我把它当成一个艺术品来完成,而不是道德说教或者某某主义的证据。”他和他笔下的人物总是用同样的腔调说话:“我在这个社会里生活,又觉得和它没有特别紧密的关系。” Click here to read more »

Jang Jin-sung, North Korean Poet, Writes Of Hunger, Brutality In The Country

Huffington Post

By SYLVIA HUI

 

LONDON — He says he was one of late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il’s favorite propaganda artists, singing the praises of the Dear Leader in dozens of poems. But these days Jang Jin-sung says he prefers to tell the truth about North Korea. Click here to read more »