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The Weird History of A Chinese Ghost Story Franchise: Horror Comedy at its Wildest

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A Chinese Ghost Story was produced by Tsui Hark, who spearheaded FantAsia along with his Zu: Warriors From The Magic Mountain 4 years previous to A Chinese Ghost Story, and adopted with many different FantAsia classics like The Swordsman, Once Upon a Time in China and Green Snake. Ching Sui-tung directed all three A Chinese Ghost Story movies and continues to ship FantAsia movies like The Sorcerer and the White Snake, however Tsui is the undisputed father of the style. 

The Chinese Twilight Zone from the 1800s

A Chinese Ghost Story retells a beloved Chinese story of star-crossed romance. All these Chinese Ghost Story movies are titled Qian Nu You Hun in Chinese, which interprets into “stunning girl darkish spirit.” This is the story of Nie Xiaoqian, drawn from a 1740 quick story compilation titled Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio by Pu Songling. These have been tales of the supernatural world with covert social commentary, akin to The Twilight Zone right now.

Tales from Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio have been depicted in numerous Chinese movies and TV reveals, most not too long ago in final yr’s CGI-drenched FantAsia flick The Knight of Shadows: Between Yin and Yang the place Jackie Chan performed Pu Songling. Nie Xiaoqian’s story is a favourite having been retold in over a dozen TV reveals and the movies talked about right here.  

In the unique story, Nie is a fantastic ghost, doomed to hang-out an deserted temple and hunt for souls for a demon that has enslaved her. She tries to seize a milquetoast travelling scholar, Ning Caichen, who manages to free her from her curse and takes her dwelling to assist his sickly spouse. After Ning’s spouse dies, he marries Nie and redeems her. In Chinese folktales, supernatural beings typically attempt to change into human. It’s a tool to investigate what being human means, akin to the journeys of Data, Seven of Nine, and T’Pol in Star Trek

There was a notable adaptation of Nie’s story in 1960. For that movie, Qian Nu You Hun was translated as The Enchanting Shadow and was Hong Kong’s submission for Cannes and the Academy Awards. In the lead roles have been two of the preferred actors of their era. Nie was Betty Loh Ti, who died tragically to an overdose at simply 31. Betty was a basic magnificence, good for Nie, and this was her most celebrated function. Ning was Zhao Lei who loved an extended profession of over 100 movies from the early 50s to the late 80s.

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