'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon', 2000 'Kung Fu Hustle', 2004

TLW's Chinese Cinemascope™ (Chinese Cinema Historyscope)

By T.L. Winslow (TLW), the Historyscoper™

© Copyright by T.L. Winslow. All Rights Reserved.

Original Pub. Date: Dec. 3, 2016. Last Update: Apr. 29, 2018.

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What Is A Historyscope?

Westerners are not only known as history ignoramuses, but double dumbass history ignoramuses when it comes to Chinese cinema history. Since I'm the one-and-only Historyscoper (tm), let me quickly bring you up to speed before you dive into my Master Historyscope.

In July 2000 the Four Dan Actresses are coined by the Guangzhou Daily, the four most bankable mainland Chinese actresses, incl. Xu Jinglei (1974-), Zhou Xun (1974-), Zhao Wei (1976-), and Zhang Ziyi (1979).

'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon', 2000

On July 6, 2000 Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Wo Hu Cang Long) (Production Asia) (Sony Pictures) debuts, starring Yun-Fat Chow (Taiwan) and Michelle Yeoh (Malaysia), and introducing Beijing-born Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi (1979-) on wires; it goes on to become the top-grossing foreign language film to date ($213.5M on a $17M budget); Zhang later approaches Steven Spielberg about starring in his "Memoirs of a Geisha", giving him the only line in English she knew: "Hire me!"

'Shaolin Soccer', 2001

On July 12, 2001 Stephen Chow's Shaolin Soccer (Star Overseas) (Universe Entertainment) debuts, starring Chow as Shaolin Kung Fu master Sing, and Ng Man-tat as Hong Kong soccer star Golden Foot Fung; does $42.8M box office on a $10M budget.

'Kung Fu Hustle', 2004

On Sept 14, 2004 Stephen Chow's Kung Fu Hustle (China Film Group) (Columbia Pictures) (Sony Pictures Classics) debuts, starring Chow as Sing, specialist in the Fut Gar Buddhist Palm technique, who joins the Axe Gang, led by Brother Sum (Danny Chan Kwok-kwan); does $102M box office incl. $17M in North Am. on a $20M budget, becoming the highest-grossing film in Hong Kong history until "You Are the Apple of My Eye" (2011).

'Curse of the Golden Flower', 2006

On Dec. 21, 2006 Zhang Yimou's Curse of the Golden Flower (A Whole City Clothed in Golden Armor) (Sony Pictures) debuts, set in 928 C.E. Tang China, starring Chow Yun-fat as Chinese Tang emperor Ping, and Gong Li as his empress, whom he's slowly poisoning with a Persian fungus, causing her to plot a coup, steeped in lushly colorful opulence and back-stabbing; most expensive Chinese film to date ($45M); does $78.5M box office.

List of highest-grossing films in China

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© Copyright by T.L. Winslow. All Rights Reserved.