In our inaugural episode of the Popup Chinese movie show, opinions split over Let the Bullets Fly, the Chinese western directed by Jiang Wen and starring train-robbing, gun-shooting and horse-riding versions of himself and Chow Yun-Fat. This is the film that broke the Chinese box-office record shortly after its release, but considering that its competition that year included possibly the worst Chinese film ever made, we thought it about time for a discussion of whether the film is actually any good.

Learning Chinese? We're pitching this show at the intermediate to upper-intermediate level and aiming for a discussion that splits half-and-half between English and Chinese. The English is there to help weaker listeners follow the discussion, but there is a lot of Chinese-only material here too, especially as the show goes on. And if you're having trouble following it? We've added a vocabulary list with some of the more difficult words, along with a number of sample sentences to illustrate usage.
 said on
February 23, 2012
It would be good to hear a bit more Chinese in the first half, but I enjoyed the show once everyone got into it.
 said on
February 23, 2012
My supplications to the court of the Popup emperor have been heard! I suggested doing a show on 让子弹飞 a while back; now I'm listening to it! Thanks guys!

Now, for an HOUR of heated discussion about the Confucius movie.
 said on
February 24, 2012
A show on movies! Yes! Fantastic work, guys.

Any chance to get Brendan's subtitles?
 said on
February 24, 2012
Since 张艺谋 seems to come up in this space regularly, a show on his contended legacy would be cool. Also, a vote for a 张国荣 flick.
 said on
February 24, 2012
@zjv5002,

Talking about 张艺谋 is a good idea, maybe we can have a show about his work since 金陵十三钗 is pretty popular these days and his other movies in last 2 years were quite wired.

Amber

amber@popupchinese.com

 said on
February 24, 2012
@zjv5002,

Haha, you know we never let our fans down :)

Confucius? Oh, dear! I heard the movie was REALLY bad...but we can probably give it a try just for you, haha.

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
February 24, 2012
@giullina,

谢谢! Let's ask Brendan!

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
February 24, 2012
@giulina -- I'd thought about putting together a 'Translator's Cut' of the movie using my subtitles, but since the producers did eventually pay me for the work I did, I can't really distribute the subtitles in good conscience. If you've got any questions about specific lines or scenes, though, I'd be happy to answer them!

Re: Confucius -- somehow I neglected to see the movie, but that didn't stop me from writing a blog post about SARFT's handling of the movie: http://bokane.org/2010/01/20/interesting-times-i-confucius-on-sarft/
 said on
February 24, 2012
@Brendan: I thought there could be existing arrangements to prevent distribution. That's too bad! Anyway, I'll be watching the movie soon, though I doubt my abysmal command of Chinese will let me sense the missed nuances... But if I do, I'll be sure to come back with questions.
 said on
February 25, 2012
@ Brendan. I like how you subliminally slipped in a "flacid" during the recording. 加十分

@trevelyan think about a film friday of 碟中谍4. Saw the dubbed version in theaters and was way more entertaining than the english version ever could be.

@Echo 注意!Jeremy Renner is the next Bradley Cooper hehe
 said on
March 5, 2012
Thanks guys. Enjoyed this. I need to download the movie to my ipod before my next long flight.'
 said on
March 6, 2012
I enjoyed this one a lot! Loved the varying opinions and language usage XD My only suggestion is to include more text in the transcript, i.e. add more of those sentences that you used in the podcast. I know it's only a partial transcript, with key sentences, but there were a few sentences I wasn't sure of.
 said on
March 10, 2012
算逑是什么意思?
 said on
March 11, 2012
@lai1en -- 算逑 is a regional usage meaning something like "knock it the hell off." It's similar to 算了, but rather ruder.
 said on
March 12, 2012
@lai1en&Brendan,

It also has the meaning "what the hell are you?",in Chinese it will be 你算什么东西?

This is a saying in Sichuan dialect always used to depreciate other people.

--Amber

amber@popupchinese.com
 said on
March 13, 2012
@amber - Yeah, 逑 (it should really be 毬, no?) is sweet. In the context of the scene from 让子弹飞, though, 算毬 is "knock it off" -- Chow Yun-fat is yelling it at his double, who keeps repeating everything that he says.

It's not just 四川话, right? I'm pretty sure I've heard 毬 being used rudely by Mandarin speakers from all over the place. (陕北 in particular, if I recall correctly.)
 said on
March 13, 2012
Brendan I think the character you're looking for is:

㞗 (if it displays!)

; )
 said on
March 13, 2012
@MoNigeria - Awwwwwwwww yeah. Once again, Unihan saves the day!
 said on
March 13, 2012
㞗 is very versatile, although slightly vulgar...

around these parts we have things like "糟㞗!" aswell...

when people ask if I understand chinese i like to reply:

听㞗不懂
 said on
March 25, 2012
请举例用‘比硬,又翻译成英语
 said on
March 26, 2012
@benchannevy,

例子:在《让子弹飞》里面,小六子就是因为和人比硬死了。

Translation: In the movie Let the Bullet Fly, the Sixth died because he wanted to show that he was tougher than others.

--Amber

amber@popupchinese.com
 said on
March 27, 2012
@amber

明白了,谢谢。
 said on
March 27, 2012
@benchannevy,

不客气。

--Amber

amber@popupchinese.com

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