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Lan Yu (2001)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  22 November 2001 (Hong Kong)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,627 users   Metascore: 60/100
Reviews: 30 user | 25 critic | 18 from Metacritic.com

Beijing, 1988. On the cusp of middle-age, Chen Handong has known little but success all his life. The eldest son of a senior government bureaucrat, he heads a fast-growing trading company ... See full summary »

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Title: Lan Yu (2001)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Lan Yu
...
Chen Handong
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bin Li
Huatong Li ...
Liu Zheng
Shuang Li ...
Weidong
Fang Lu ...
Yonghong
Jin Su ...
Lin Jingping
Shaohua Zhang ...
Niu Ma
Yongning Zhang ...
Daning
Minfen Zhao ...
Handong's mother
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Storyline

Beijing, 1988. On the cusp of middle-age, Chen Handong has known little but success all his life. The eldest son of a senior government bureaucrat, he heads a fast-growing trading company and plays as hard as he works. Few know that Handong's tastes run more to boys than girls. Lan Yu is a country boy, newly arrived in Beijing to study architecture. More than most students, he is short of money and willing to try anything to earn some. He has run into Liu Zheng, who pragmatically suggests that he could prostitute himself for one night to a gay pool-hall and bar owner. But Handong happens to be in the pool hall that evening, and he nixes the deal. He takes Lan Yu home himself and gives the young man what turns out to be a life-changing sexual initiation. Handong and Lan Yu meet often, and the boy is soon very secure in his love for the man. But Handong insists that he wants a play-mate, not a lifelong companion, and warns Lan Yu that they will eventually break up. Meanwhile, he showers... Written by Strand Releasing <strand@strandreleasing.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity and some language | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

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Release Date:

22 November 2001 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Histoire d'hommes à Pékin  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$1,838 (USA) (12 July 2002)

Gross:

$116,192 (USA) (13 June 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema)

Sound Mix:

Color:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Stanley Kwan auditioned more than 100 actors in both China and Hong Kong for two months, finally deciding on Ye Liu based on a photo given by Liu's assistant director from his debut _Postmen in the Mountains (1999)_. See more »

Goofs

When Chen Handong takes Lan Yu home for the first time, an American television show is playing in the background, and the announcer says "not only is Los Angeles the largest city in California, but it is also the state capitol." This is wrong, Sacramento is the state capitol of California. See more »

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User Reviews

 
It has a strong emotional impact
14 July 2003 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Basically, this is the story about a well-to-do Beijing businessman with questionable business principles who enjoys the company of young male students whom he treats as his play thing and pays them for their sexual participation.

Lan Yu a somewhat shy architectural student attending a University in Beijing is enticed into the businessman's home where he is subsequently seduced.

In the ensuing months the relationship deepens and they become lovers meeting at every opportunity. The emotions are subtly portrayed by the two actors. We hang on every word spoken and get caught up in their feelings. "We must never become too close", says the businessman. "It is right and proper for a man to have a wife and children". Such are his thoughts....

Secretive though their relationship may be, it is never sordid. They feel so relaxed in each other's company. The tiny rooms and narrow passageways are almost claustrophobic. Note the device of photographing reflections in mirrors so often throughout the film. An interesting technique which is constantly repeated. In a mirror you see a person lying in bed. Beyond the camera you hear a door closing. You know that some one has left the room, though you do not see it. And note the frequent use of close-ups so important in emotional scenes. A hug, a kiss, a sob, a tear....so meaningful...and each emotion tugs at your heart.

Shakespeare said "Parting is such sweet sorrow". Here we have such sorrow, but then the joy of re-uniting, followed alas! by a new tragedy that parts them once more.

The final scene when the businessman stops his car at the building site and then speeds on ever so quickly with the concrete pillars flashing by is a fitting ending in itself. I think the song detracts from the mood and would be better omitted.


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