Stand up, don't grovel!

  • 115'
  • China
  • 1993
Portrait of the 'discreet charm of the bourgeoisie' in Communist China. Without a line and without a plot, the film gives us a glimpse of the lives of several people who happen to live in the same block. A quarrel between neighbours is settled by the police, a young girl leaves a suicide note...A writer and his wife move into a flat in search of peace and privacy. They are however immediately drawn into the conflict in the block between a communist official and a rebellious 'common man'. Tensions rise when the common man starts a busi¡ness in his flat involving fish. Soon afterwards, long strange shapes start appearing on the damp walls.Tony Rayns called Stand Up, Don't Grovel 'the only new Chinese film that tackles the hot issues of 1993: the fading of the virtue and authority of the Communist Party, the weak attitude of the "intellectual" class and the striking growth of young, hard-working and get-rich-quick entrepreneurs who feel relea¡sed from responsibilities towards the State. The result is not just sharp satire, but also very funny comedy.'
Huang Jian-xin
Country of production
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 1994
International title
Zhanzhiluo, bie paxia!
Zhang Lu

Programme IFFR 1994

Films from China/Hong Kong/Taiwan

Read more about this programme
All corners of the world

All corners of the world

Before Tsai acquired international recognition with Rebels of the Neon God he made television films, of which the best two are being screened in Rotterdam. They may not be as subtle as Rebels, but both films are impressive and moving. The show Tsai's great empathy with the poor and criminal sub¡culture of Taipei. On Taiwanese television, where most pictu¡res are spotless and convincingly 'positive', these films must have made an overwhelming impression.All Corners of the World tells of the vicissitudes of the Chang family, which lives in the red-light district of Taipei. The parents work as cleaners in a love hotel and send their two teenage children out to earn something on the side. They buy up all the cinema tickets of films that are popular at the time - such as A City of Sadness - and sell them at a large profit. The film takes a dramatic turn then the daughter plays with the idea of becoming a prostitute. However Tsai is more interested in his son, a latent literary talent who will never flourish.

Tsai Ming-liang
  • 50'

  • Taiwan

IFFR 1994

European premiere