Lu and Feng are a devoted couple forced to separate when Lu is arrested and sent to a labor camp as a political prisoner during the Cultural Revolution. He finally returns home only to find that his beloved wife no longer remembers him.
During China's Tang dynasty the emperor has taken the princess of a neighboring province as wife. She has borne him two sons and raised his eldest. Now his control over his dominion is complete, including the royal family itself.
"Dragon Town Story" is such a simple title but what lies beneath is a wonderful story about love and life. The film is filled with terrifically real performances, memorable music, and can best be described as sheer visual poetry. Sometimes, subtitles can be a bit distracting, especially if they come up so quick that you need an Evelyn Wood diploma to keep up with the dialogue, but this WASN'T the case here. I think that the subtitles might have actually enhanced the film for me.
The movie is in Cantonese, a language that I am not familiar with, yet even the sound of the words had a rich, lyrical quality to them. Maybe this added to the mystique...
Don't know if it was the lighting, make-up, directing expertise, or his lead actress' natural beauty, but director Fengliang Yang captured a moment in time as the silver screen has arguably never seen a more angelically beautiful face than that of Chien-lien Wu in this film. Those eyes...those lips!!! Any man with a pulse could not help but be infatuated with her stunning screen presence..
Mr.Yang has not directed another film since making this masterpiece. It is unbelievably SAD that "Dragon Town Story" has not found its way to video or DVD, especially since Chinese heavyweight director Zhang Yimou was the executive producer of the project.
I knew nothing about this film upon entering the theater so had no idea of what to expect. This made it only that much sweeter. Just soaked it all in, and was simply mesmerized...so, I will provide NO plot outlines, NO specifics...PLEASE experience this movie as I did!
This film is only one of four that have ever merited a "10" in my book (80+films rated on IMDb with two id's plus thousands of films that I never bothered to cast official votes for) I feel incredibly fortunate to have experienced this magnificent piece of work at the 2005 San Francisco Asian Film Festival. I sincerely hope that one day, you will be afforded the same opportunity.
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