2 items from 2015
Once upon a time, the filmmaker Zhang Yimou and his then-muse Gong Li collaborated on some of the most momentous works of new Chinese cinema. The films they made were diverse. They included lush, ruthless period dramas like Ju Dou and Raise the Red Lantern, as well as a neo-neorealist tale of bureaucracy gone haywire, The Story of Qiu Ju. Though ostensibly apolitical, these films nevertheless painted vivid portraits of a society where the status quo — whether it consisted of the traditionalist mores of the past, or the state machinery of the present — was forever stifling. (Their masterful 1994 collaboration To Live actually got Zhang banned from filmmaking for two years by China’s state censors.) The pair — also romantically linked for a while — eventually went their separate ways, though both continued to grow in stature. Zhang became a state-approved filmmaker of (admittedly still pretty great) historical epics like Hero and The House of Flying Daggers, »
- Bilge Ebiri
Lu Yanshi (Chen Daoming) and Feng Wanyu (Gong Li) are a devoted couple forced to separate when Lu is arrested and sent to a labor camp as a political prisoner, just as his wife is injured in an accident. Released during the last days of the Cultural Revolution, he finally returns home only to find that his beloved wife has amnesia and remembers little of her past. Unable to recognize Lu, she patiently waits for her husband’s return.
A stranger alone in the heart of his broken family, Lu Yanshi determines to resurrect their past
together and reawaken his wife’s memory
The film was an official selection at the Cannes Film Festival 2014 and the Toronto International Film Festival 2014.
One of the most important and influential filmmakers in China, »
- Michelle McCue
2 items from 2015
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