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Kar Wai Wong
Tony Chiu Wai Leung,
"Farewell, My Concubine" is a movie with two parallel, intertwined stories. It is the story of two performers in the Beijing Opera, stage brothers, and the woman who comes between them. At the same time, it attempts to do no less than squeeze the entire political history of China in the twentieth century into a three-hour time-frame. Written by
Michael Kim <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Miramax Filmsmogul "Harvey Weinstein" purchased the distribution rights and removed ten minutes. This is the version seen in U.S. theaters (and also in the U.K.) According to Peter Biskind's book, "Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance and the Rise of Independent Film", Louis Malle, who was president of the Cannes jury that year, said: "The film was admired so much in Cannes is not the film seen in this country (referring to the U.S.), which is twenty minutes shorter - but seems longer because it doesn't make any sense. It was better before those guys made cuts." The uncut version of the film was released on DVD by Miramax and Disney, and is the original 171-minute version. See more »
When Douzi is first examined by the owner of the opera troupe, his extra finger is on his right hand below the thumb. When he withdraws the hand from the opera troupe owner, he pulls back his left arm. When his mother cuts the extra finger off a few moments later, it is now on his left hand, next to his pinkie. See more »
quote by tedg: "Opening scenes are seductions, promises. They transport one to the world of the story and establish who you as viewer can expect to be. Done right, they are an art to themselves. This film's opening is among the best I've seen, establishing the world of performance: politics as theater and love as both. It lets you know the perspective is centered on a stylized stage and concerns loss, sexually ambiguous brotherhood and betrayal. All in a couple minutes."
Well put. Also noteworthy is that at the end of the movie the opening scene is being mirrored (the two actors on stage being lit by a spot light), the film thus coming full circle. Quite ingenious.
What is good about the movie is that we (Westerners that is) learn a lot about recent Chinese history, which cannot be a bad thing considering the direction in which China is heading.
Oh, and Leslie Cheung's - may he rest in peace - performance is simply outstanding. But then, the acting is first rate all round.
This is one hell of a movie.
And, off topic, I have once again realised that the problem with sub-titled films is that one misses so much/too much of the actual acting, making it really necessary to view movies twice. Still, (a lot) better than viewing dubbed films though.
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