Set in Fenyang, Shanxi Province, the film focuses on a group of amateur theatre troupe performers whose fate mirrors that of the general population in China as massive socio-economic ...
See full summary »
Little pocket thief Wu never got away from the streets like his friends did. He realises that he is alone, as his old buddy doesn't invite him for his wedding. When he falls in love with a ... See full summary »
A town in Fengjie county is gradually being demolished and flooded to make way for the Three Gorges Dam. A man and woman visit the town to locate their estranged spouses, and become witness to the societal changes.
Change and a city in China. In Chengdu, factory 420 is being pulled down to make way for multi-story buildings with luxury flats. Scenes of factory operations, of the workforce, and of ... See full summary »
A cook living in Beijing, whose employment is coming to an end, plans to return home to his rural village for the New Year. He approaches several of his old friends, also working in the ... See full summary »
Vikram is a hardworking farmer who lives in a village with his mother and younger brother, Rajoo. Vikram utilizes all his efforts and money to educate Rajoo; when their mother passes away ... See full summary »
Set in Fenyang, Shanxi Province, the film focuses on a group of amateur theatre troupe performers whose fate mirrors that of the general population in China as massive socio-economic changes sweep across the mainland. The film commences in 1979 with the troupe performing numbers idolizing Mao Zedong, ending in the '80s when the shows reflect the strong Western influences pervading China, covering a decade in which China saw tremendous changes. Written by
L.H. Wong <email@example.com>
brilliant chronicle of two decades of economic liberalization
Platform ("Stage" might be a better translation)shows us the lives of a troupe of actors as China went from Maoism to markets, from 1980 to the 1990s. The treatment is sardonic and distant; we rarely see anyone in a closeup, and the point of view is as critical of liberalization (embodied in bad rock and go-go dancing) as it is of the cult of Mao (performed in the hilarious socialist-patriotic opera at the beginning of the movie). As Fassbinder said of the movies of Douglas Sirk, material objects--a brick wall, a pile of boards, a marketful of cheap clothing, bowls of noodles, embroidered slipcovers, copies of bellbottom pants, a truck, etc.--are at the center of the mise en scene, appropriately so, since the story is indeed about material changes. In fact the movie bears a lot of resemblance to Fassbinder's Marriage of Maria Braun, as both trace growing prosperity, consumerism, and personal alienation through a sequence of rooms, houses, relationships, and home furnishings. Provincial China moves from dirt, scarcity, and collectivism to a modest supply of consumer goods and more individual freedom/insecurity. This historical movement is intertwined with the characters' aging from their teens to middle age. There is no appreciable increase in human joy and happiness, nor a marked decrease either. This cold, distant treatment will not please some viewers.
9 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?