Friday, March 26, 2010

Farewell, My Concubine

aka Ba Wang Bie Ji
Chen Kaige, 1993, China (8.2*)
A lengthy Chinese epic of three hours that covers 50 years in the lives of two Chinese opera singing stage brothers, and their romantic entanglement with the same woman. This ambitious epic weaves these stories around the history of China and its tumultuous changes over the entire 20th century. Perhaps a bit slow overall, this is nevertheless a huge scale accomplishment with a traditional epic look that is well worth seeing, featuring some classic scenes of war with thousands of extras.

Another epic of Kaige's worth seeing is The Emperor and the Assassin (1998), which won a technical jury prize at Cannes for production design. A royal courtroom where visitors approach the king by nearly walking on water is unlike anything else in cinema.


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Artist, photographer, composer, author, blogger, metaphysician, herbalist

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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