An Interesting depiction of life of an actress in the bygone days
I stumbled on a DVD copy of the film from the local library, but before that I never heard of this film. Stanley Kwan also directed Rouge, a film I enjoyed and liked very much, and that prompted my decision to make the time investment to watch it.
Center Stage, aka Yuen Ling-Yuk (Cantonese pronunciation of the main character) or Ruan Ling-Yu (the mandarin equivalent) is a slow film, a period piece focused on the life and premature death of an actress in the 30's in China. As a kid growing up in Asia several decades ago I never watched B/W silent films, so Yuen was never known to me, until now.
It was a slow film, but well acted and researched. I enjoyed the depiction of Shanghai in the 30's and the personification of various people in the entertainment circle. This film is obviously not for everyone. For the selected few with the interest or the cultural background, it is a film worth watching. If nothing else, it is a cultural lesson on the filming business and a snapshot of the Chinese society in 1930. Seeing some big name actors in it, doing what they do best, is a bonus.
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