On the season finale, we talk with Carl Zha, host of the podcast Silk and Steel, about the joys and wonders of Wolf Warrior 2. Then, we have two interviews that probably constitute the most comprehensive source in English on the making of the film. First, we talk about the making of the film’s score with composer, Joseph Trapanese, whose work has previously appeared in Tron: Legacy, Oblivion, and The Greatest Showman. After, we talk with action director Sam Hargrave, whose stunt coordinating can also be seen in the Avengers films and Atomic Blonde, about working with Wu Jing and flipping a tank.
First, we talk about the state of Chinese Sci-fi before Wandering Earth with writer Anna Wu, whose work has appeared in English translation in the Chinese sci-fi anthology Broken Stars. Then, Lauren Teixeira, a Chengdu based journalist whose work has appeared in Vice, Foreign Policy and the Economist, joins our conversation about the variety of Wandering Earth viewing experiences. Finally, we’re joined by Mike Sui, one of the stars of The Wandering Earth. He told us more than we ever imagined there was to know about the mechanics of celebrity in China and about the massive machine that director Frant Gwo mobilized to get the movie made.
We talk about Operation Red Sea and learn about China’s foreign policy in the Middle East from James Dorsey, senior fellow at Singapore’s Rajaratnam School of International Studies and Middle East Institute.
We talk about Detective Chinatown 2 with our first returning guest, poet Yi Wu, and speak with Larson Di Fiori, a visiting assistant professor in the religious studies department at Brown University, about the philosophical, religious, and folk traditions that play into the plot of the film.
We talk about Stephen Chow’s The Mermaid and interview Bill Borden, a producer on The Mermaid, and a long time Chow collaborator, going back to their work on Kung Fu Hustle. He’s also the producer of the High School Musical series.
We’re joined by Mitch Moxley, author of numerous articles on Chinese film in the New York Times and the Atavist, and of Apologies to My Censor, about his six years reporting in China, to talk about Dying to Survive. Then, Hao Zhang, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard’s China Health Partnership who’s worked on provider payment reform in Henan, tells us about the healthcare realities the film dramatizes.
Poet Yi Wu talks about the mysteries and excesses of Hello Mr. Billionaire. Actor Michael Gralapp — a Hawaiian businessman who fell into the Chinese film world and became “basically China’s Winston Churchill,” — tells us about playing Warren Luffett in Hello Mr. Billionaire and about his adventures on Propaganda Department sets. Marc Blecher, author of China Against the Tides, talks about the ideology beneath the film’s surface.