Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.


Last night, I saw Lian ai zhong de Bao Bei, or "Baober in Love" directed by Shaohong Li. It was a shocking, emotional and amazing love story set in Beijing. The movie captures the stark contrast of the rich and ultra-modern with the poor and traditional parts of the city. Having just spent a few days wandering from ultra-modern buildings to streets with bombed out buildings and meeting some of the young and rich in Beijing, the movie seemed to capture the strange cultural situation that people must be facing in China right now with the explosive growth in the economy. The love story is extremely painful and I think many of my peers had a hard time with it, but I thought the intensity set a tone that I think represents the whiplash the culture must be going through.

The movie reminded me a bit of one of my other favorite films, Swallowtail Butterfly, which is also a story of a young girl raised by hookers in a multicultural/chanpon underground part of Tokyo.

If you liked either one of these films, I would recommend the other.


Hmm, the title’s English translation, “Baober in love”, sounds a bit too literal and clumsy.
Squinting at the tiny Chinese ideograms on the movie poster, I can perhaps make out “恋愛中的宝貝”. One gets the impression that “宝貝” is a transliteration/sinicization of “Babe” or “Baby”, and that the original Chinese title might thus have meant “Babe in love”, suggesting an attractive young gal who doesn’t have much more than her looks and wits to see her through life’s difficulties...

Maybe I’m reading too much into it (I haven’t seen the movie yet).

Thanks for plugging these provocative-looking films Joi. I went searching for a copy of Swallowtail Butterfly on DVD, and I found a copy for sale on Poker Industries, with English Subtitles, for US$50. It's region 2, but I think we can find a way around that.

intriguing movie very enlightening to the realities facing a modernist city central to the human angst of relationship and intimacy!!!

Ahem, that was the wrong URL I posted. Here's Swallowtail Butterfly on Poker Industries.

CDJapan has it too, for less:

I've known of (and really like) chara's Swallowtail Butterfly Song, but had no clue that this was from a movie she was in. Didn't have a TV and was working my @ss off in the mid-90s.

It was really a wonderful movie that I had the chance to see in Montreal recently, the poetry of the movie, the colors, the images, the tones, the madness. I like very much the actress which has played also in Zushou River.


I agree with MostlyVowels. Baobei in chinses means "baby" or "sweat heart". Actually the movie was not that popular in China, I'd think it's kind of superrealism.

I am a big fan of tetsuya komuro who did some of the music in this movie. i wonder if anyone can tell me how i might be able to find this movie online. bittorrent maybe?

“恋愛中的宝貝” is equal to "恋爱中的宝贝"。 The first one is Traditional Chinese and the second one is Simple Chinese. MostlyVowels is right.
to :J
If you havn't find the movie online, maybe I can help you. I think I know a list of URL:) I also have the movie in my PC--but I have enough time to see it.
Contact me via email is OK. My pleasure.