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In 1930s China a young woman is sent by her father to marry the leprous owner of a winery. In the nearby red sorghum fields she falls for one of his servants. When the master dies she finds herself inheriting the isolated business. Written by
Brian Rawnsley <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Red Sorghum will delight those that enjoy the art of cinematography. This visually stunning film truly deserves its international acclaim simply because of the way it presents the tale through its remarkable use of imagery, lighting, and filters.
Until I saw this film, I would have never thought that one could say so much about character, setting, mood and plot simply through the use of layout and image composition. This controversial film set in the 1920's - 1930's, by the rebellious Zhang Yimou, follows the life of sorghum wine farmers from Northern China.
If you follow the history of Chinese film, you will see how nicely this film combines motif's of many of its precursor films. Chinese history and culture has been vastly explored through many Chinese films, however I believe that this is a good film for the average American film goer to get a taste of the Chinese film industry and culture through their perspective. I say this for a variety of reasons, the pacing of this drama is quicker and faster moving compared to other related Chinese films before its time. Generally Chinese film have a tendency to be slow, when set aside the general American preferred standards.
It presents to us some of the Northern Chinese cultural traditions. Its display of the Japanese brutality could not have been better presented. The Japanese have been quite swinish during this period in Chinese history. All I can say is it says it all as it really was, very well indeed.
This is the last but most important reason to watch this film... look at its cinematography. It has to be among the best I have ever seen. It amazed me to see how resourceful a cinematographer can be when working for a film of little budget. Yimou showed me how simple things can be filmed to be works of art. Unfortunately I have not been able to see the film in its original cinematic scope however, even in full screen it is still quite visually stunning. The aperture, f-stop and lens settings were set just perfectly giving the film a very rich vibrant look making Yimou my favorite Chinese film cinematographer/director of all time to date. Oh, it is a film that you just have to see for yourself! Hope you enjoy it! Happy Viewing!
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