IMDb > The King of Masks (1996)
Bian Lian
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The King of Masks (1996) More at IMDbPro »Bian Lian (original title)

Videos
The King of Masks -- US Theatrical Trailer from Columbia Tristar

Overview

User Rating:
7.6/10   2,649 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Minglun Wei (screenplay)
Wengui Chen (story)
Contact:
View company contact information for The King of Masks on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 April 1999 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Wang Bianlian is an aging street performer known as the King of Mask for his mastery of Sichuan Change Art in a true story... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
19 wins & 2 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
Filmhouse, Cousins to tour childhood films
 (From ScreenDaily. 4 February 2014, 3:05 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
A Beautiful Film See more (54 total) »

Cast

 
Zhigang Zhang ... Sulan, Luo
Zhigang Zhao ... Liang Sao Lang
Renying Zhou ... Gou Wa ("Doggie")
Xu Zhu ... Bianlian Wang

Directed by
Tian-Ming Wu 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Wengui Chen  story
Minglun Wei  screenplay

Produced by
Mona Fong .... executive producer
Mona Fong .... producer
Titus Ho .... producer
 
Original Music by
Jiping Zhao 
 
Cinematography by
Da-Yuan Mu 
 
Art Direction by
Xujing Wu 
 
Other crew
Susan Jacobs .... publicist
François Vila .... press agent
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Bian Lian" - China (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
91 min | Spain:96 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Goofs:
Continuity: When Wang (The Mask King) is performing for the soldiers who insist on having his secret, his missing front tooth is there in one scene, then gone in the next.See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

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12 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
A Beautiful Film, 22 March 2005
Author: Wulfstan10 from United States

This is a beautiful, rich, and very well-executed film with a rich and meaningful story. Basically, it tells how an old master story teller needs to find a (male) heir to carry on his craft, but ends up not getting what he expected in his very male-dominated world. The characters must then deal with their situation and the old master must grapple with the conflict between his desire for a companion and heir and his and society's traditional notions.

The story is fun, emotional, and complex. The exploration of the characters, their lives, and emotions, is rich and compelling the character development is strong while the characters are complex and not one dimensional at all. The film expertly conveys the old man's emotions and his desire to find an heir, and compellingly shows how he and the kid handle the situation. There is also humour, sometimes quite subtle, at appropriate points. The film also examines the good and bad of traditional Chinese culture, creating further interest and depth to the film.

The directing, acting, and scenery are all outstanding. Added to the other strengths, this creates rich and convincing visual images and compelling, real characters. As a result, the film evokes strong empathy for, and feelings about, the characters.

Some have claimed that the ending weakens the film, but I do not necessarily agree. Perhaps it could have been stronger with a different ending, but any improvement in the overall film would have been rather small.

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