NEW ROCK RELEASES
Facing an outpouring of punk plague and the creeping invasion of techno-tweaked
break beats, China's longhaired rockers have retreated to the studio
to crunch out a new wave of modern metal. Leading the way are seasoned
high-energy heavies Shou Ren (Thin Man) who plan a double-barreled blast
of phreak frenzy by cross-marketing their debut album with an outsized
glossy book documenting the rise of Chinese rock.
Greater China grunge kings The Fly are also polishing their second album,
which will highlight the guzheng-esque guitar work of newcomer Hu Zi
and feature more of frontman Feng Jiangzhou's manic musings on urban
Trance-rockers Mu Ma and the thrash-metal Cold Blooded Animals are lending
their support to the epic battle for the ears of China's youth. Both
are in the studio and on track for a pre-millennium-party album release.
UNDERGROUND FILM CONCLAVE
China's mainstream moviemakers were charged with the murder of modern
mainland cinema at a secret conclave of underground writers and film
directors in Chengdu this month.
Organized by a local literary magazine and leading female poet Zhai
Yongming, the two-day conference found the country's leading directors
guilty of pandering to foreign fancy and focusing solely on churning
out picturesque, award-winning films.
Nanjing prose prophets Han Dong and Zhu Wen joined auteur Wu Wenguang
and others for the lashing, which caught VIP invite Chen Kaige unawares
and in the crossfire.
Although Chen defended his career and emphasized the bureaucratic
constraints on all cultural activity in the mainland, the spunky underground
crowd shouted him down, demanding an end to epic historical dramas and
a sharper focus on the realities of modern life.
IN THE SHOWER AND ON THE ROAD
Mainland moviegoers will be taken to the cleaners later this year by
the kind folks at China's hottest production house: Imar Film Co. After
dissecting the timeless themes of love and longing in surprise hits
'Spicy Love Soup' (Aiqing Malatang) and 'Beautiful New World' (Meili
Xin Shijie), Imar's team of young hipsters have turned their quirky
gaze on the backrooms of Beijing's public bathhouses.
Slated for year-end release, 'Shower' will lure viewers into the steamy
realm of communal bathing for an introspective look at society stripped
naked and scrubbed clean. Following a thorough stripping down, Imar
will take film fans on the road for the mainland's first-ever road movie
'The End of the Line', slated to begin shooting in October.
RHINO IN LOVE
China's avant-garde stage king Meng Jinghui has cut nearly 30 minutes
of tedious dialogue from his newest foray into post-modern theater after
angry audiences complained the marathon musical left them spent.
Although the play packed in the masses and fueled speculation about
a theater renaissance in China's capital, 'Rhinoceros in Love' was widely
criticized for its lethargic script-a joint effort by Meng and playwright
Meng responded by slashing pages of dialogue, retaining the audience-friendly
musical interludes and his creative pop-culture pisstakes. The new-and-improved
play won immediate praise from the thespian elite as well as relieved
theatergoers who raved it was the best Chinese modern drama they had
STEAL THIS BOOK
And finally, audio iconoclast cum beat poet Zu Zhou will release his
first novel later this summer, casting a Beijing sneer on the growing
body of slick sex and drug-inspired prose seeping out of Shanghai.
Zu Zhou features prominently in sultry scribe Mian Mian's tell-all sexpose
'La La La'. Harking back to the Cultural Revolution (1966-76) samizdat
mode of literary dissemination, Zu Zhou plans a xerox-only release of
his work Rabid Howling Grave. Bootlegging is encouraged.