This is the story in Crying Woman (2002), which will be presented by ArtPower! in UCSD's Price Theater at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2, with director Liu Bingjian in attendance. It's worth noting that although you can see Crying Woman on Thursday, one place it's never been seen is in the country where it was made; Crying Woman has been banned in China.
“Since China has a very complicated film-rating system, every film must be suitable for all,” Rebecca Webb, the curator of ArtPower! Film, tells CityBeat via email. “When the material under review addresses topics and images in ways that the governmental committee finds to be out of sync with the cultural ideals that they want their citizens to believe and support, this committee has the power to completely shut down public consumption of said film.”
Crying Woman is the second of three banned films presented this season by Webb and UCSD professor Paul Pickowicz, who'll lead a post-screening discussion with Bingjian.
“Films are the mirror of a society,” Webb says. “This series of films from China helps us understand a culture very different from ours which has restricted any freedom of expression to masquerade as public order.”
Big Miracle: John Krasinski and Drew Barrymore save the whales. No, really, that's what it's about.
Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity: Liam Neeson narrates this IMAX film, which opens Saturday, Feb. 4, at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
Chronicle: Three Seattle high-schoolers discover that in order to enjoy their newfound superpowers, they have to face the dark side.
Declaration of War: A French couple take up arms against their young child's cancer diagnosis.
The Woman in Black: Daniel Radcliffe tries to break out of the Harry Potter mold with this PG-13 horror movie.
One Time Only
Groundhog Day: See it again. And again. And again. And again. At 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma. Free.
Kevin Smith: Live From Behind: The indie filmmaker presents a live screening of Jay and Silent Bob Get Old, along with his commentary, simulcast in several area theaters at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2. Check ak27productions.com for locations.
Bicycle Dreams: This documentary about the Race Across America is being presented as a benefit for the San Diego Bicycle Coalition, so peddle over to see it at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2, at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park.
Rashomon: The Public Library kicks off its month-long Akira Kurosawa series with what might be the master's best, a psychological drama about a horrible crime from the perspective of everyone who might have been involved. Screens at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, at the Central Library, Downtown. Free.
Midnight in Paris: Woody Allen's best film in years. Owen Wilson is a modern-day writer who yearns for Paris' golden age, but when he finds himself suddenly kicking it with F. Scott Fitzgerald and ernest Hemingway, he sees that nostalgia isn't always as good as it gets. It screens at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, at the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park.
The Theatre Bizarre: A young woman sneaks into an abandoned theater only to watch six seriously disturbing stories. Screens, appropriately, at midnight, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 3 and 4, at the Ken Cinema.
Funny Face: Fred Astaire! Audrey hepburn! Modeling! What more could you want? Screens at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, and Tuesday, Feb. 7, at Reading Gaslamp Cinemas.
Only Human: Spanish screwball comedy about a young Jewish woman who introduces her Palestinian fiancé to her family. Screens at 6:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 6, at the Central Library, downtown. Free.
Waterboy: Adam Sandler tackles people at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma. Free.
Agneepath: Bollywood action thriller otherwise known as Path of Fire. Hooray for Bollywood!
Addiction Incorporated: This documentary about Victor DeNoble, the tobacco-industry whistleblower, will both inspire and depress. Ends Feb. 2 at the Ken Cinema.
Albert Nobbs: Glenn Close plays a 19th-century Irishwoman masquerading as a male butler. It's a great idea that isn't well executed.
The Grey: Liam Neeson, who somehow became an action star in the last few years, is the lead in Joe Carnahan's film about a group of Alaskan oil workers trying to survive a pack of wolves after a plane crash.
Man on a Ledge: The man in question is an ex-con played by Sam Worthington. The ledge is played by a ledge.
One for the Money: This year's Katherine Heigl romantic comedy.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: Stephen Daldry's new film about an awkward little boy whose father, Tom Hanks, died in the World Trade Center on 9/11, will polarize audiences, who'll either experience an intense emotional connection or find it sentimental and exploitative.
Haywire: Steven Soderberg goes all Quentin Tarantino with an action film starring former American Gladiator Gina Carano as a Black Ops soldier who goes all medieval after she's betrayed.
Red Tails: George Lucas produced this film, which may be the biggest action film ever with a primarily black cast. Set during WWII, a group of Tuskegee Airmen finds itself oversees, fighting the enemy.
A Separation: Lovely Iranian movie about a couple going through a divorce who have to endure that country's labyrinthine legal system when their housekeeper is injured. Just won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.
Underworld Awakening: The vampire / werewolf conflict continues in 3-D!
The Iron Lady: Not even Meryl Streep can solve the problems faced by this ham-handed biopic.
Beauty and the Beast 3D: This 1991 Disney film was the first animated movie to be nominated for Best Picture.
Carnage: Roman Polanski directs the adaptation of a Tony Award-winning play about two couples who get together to discuss a conflict between their children. It stars Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, John C. Reilly and Christoph Waltz and takes place entirely in one New York apartment.
Contraband: This year's Mark Wahlberg action movie.
Joyful Noise: Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah are rivals who decide to work together to win a choir competition. For the American Idol set.
Rescue: This IMAX movie looks at first-responders across the globe and includes footage shot during the 2010 Haiti earthquake. It screens at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
The Adventures of Tin-Tin: Most Americans are unfamiliar with Tin-Tin, the series of Belgian graphic novels about a boy reporter and his heroic dog Snowy. Spielberg's kid-friendly adaptation has some amazing motion capture, but it doesn't truly capture the series.
The Artist: This silent film about a silent-film star (Jean Dujardin) whose world begins to collapse as the talkies take over is a fully realized vision and a legitimate Best Picture contender.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Now with more English! David Fincher's reboot is far slicker than the Swedish original, but not, perhaps, particularly necessary.
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol: Believe it or not, No. 4 is the best of the bunch, probably because it's the first live-action film from director Brad Bird, the guy behind The Incredibles.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: Gary Oldman is great as George Smiley, the semi-retired British spy brought back in to unmask a traitor during the Cold War, but the entire exercise is probably too slow for American audiences.
War Horse: Spielberg's other big holiday film is about a horse that's taken from the boy who raised him, serves as an officer's mount in WWI and ends up seeing action from opposite trenches.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows: The sequel is certainly entertaining, as Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and Watson (Jude Law) take on the detective's legendary enemy, Professor Moriarty. But there's really no mystery to solve.
Young Adult: Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody re-teams with director Jason Reitman for this story about a former homecoming queen (Charlize Theron) who returns to her small hometown in Minnesota after a divorce and a mental breakdown of sorts, intending to steal her high-school beau (Patrick Wilson) away from his wife and family.
Shame: Michael Fassbender bares body and soul as a sex addict in Steve McQueen's NC-17 drama. It's graphic, emotionally and sexually, but it's also well-made.
Hugo: Hell hath apparently frozen over—Martin Scorsese has made a 3-D PG family film.
The Muppets: Jason Segal reboots the franchise. It's time to play the music and light the lights one more time.
My Week with Marilyn: Eddie Redmayne is Colin Clark, an assistant to Sir Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh), who has to manage his boss' relationship with Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams) during a production of The Prince and the Showgirl.
The Descendants: Alexander Payne's first film since Sideways is more straightforward than his previous work, but just as rewarding. George Clooney's terrific as Matt King, a father trying to reconnect with his daughters after his wife's injured in an accident.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1: You know how Bella and Edward spent the last three movies not getting it on? Well, now they do.
Under the Sea: Go underwater and see some of the planet's most gorgeous ecosystems, before it's too late, since we're gradually destroying pretty much everything. Screening at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
Moneyball: Brad Pitt stars as Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A's who shook up baseball by reinventing the way players are valued. Sounds like dry stuff, but the last time someone adapted a Michael Lewis sports-business book for the big screen was The Blind Side, which earned Sandra Bullock an Oscar.
Midnight in Paris: Woody Allen's most charming film in years stars Owen Wilson as a Jazz Age-infatuated screenwriter and aspiring novelist who ends up hanging with the likes of Hemingway and Fitzgerald.
Boto be Wild 3-D: Despite sounding like yet another animated animal movie, this is an IMAX film about baby elephants and orangutans and the people who love them. Oh, and it's narrated by Morgan Freeman. Collective sigh for the baby monkeys, please.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show: The camp classic continues its ongoing run, Fridays at midnight at La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas.