Shy, chain-smoking, insomniac Peter McGowan is an L.A. playwright with a string of hits that preceded his current ten years of failed productions. His mother-in-law is sinking into senility... See full summary »
Beijing, 1902: an enterprising young portrait photographer named Liu Jinglun, keen on new technology, befriends a newly-arrived Englishman who's brought projector, camera, and Lumière-brothers' shorts to open the Shadow Magic theater. Liu's work with Wallace brings him conflict with tradition and his father's authority, complicated by his falling in love with Ling, daughter of Lord Tan, star of Beijing's traditional opera. Liu sees movies as his chance to become wealthy and worthy of Ling. When the Shadow Magic pair are invited to show the films to the Empress Dowager, things look good. But, is disaster in the script? And, can movies preserve tradition even as they bring change? Written by
This is good movie for historical drama mood. The movies is about the introduction of cinematograph to people who never saw unique from one point of view as it's tracking also the mixture of cultures, however many small things you've seen million of times (people are afraid of train on the screen). It's not boring, but it's not a masterpiece. It has good cinematography as well as interesting plot.
From historical point of view it is interesting to watch the mixing of Asian and European cultures, while cinematographic part of the movie involve a lot Chinese refinements. So, if you have time, grab the DVD, it won't disappoint you.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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