Two Chinese coal miners have hit upon the perfect scam: murder one of their fellow mine workers, make the death look like an accident, and extort money from the boss to keep the incident ... See full summary »
Country girl Yu Hong leaves her village, her family and her lover to study in Beijing. At university, she discovers an intense world of sexual freedom and forbidden pleasure. Enraptured, ... See full summary »
On Dry Well Lane in Beijing in 1953, Chen Shujuan and Lin Shaolong marry. A year later their son, nicknamed Tietou (Iron Head), is born. The Party is everywhere: Mao's photograph, ... 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 »
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 »
For no apparent reason, a mute young woman assaults a youth who delivers water on his bicycle, injuring him and ruining his bike. Surprisingly, she asks him to feed her fish while she is in... See full summary »
During the Japanese occupation of China, two prisoners are dumped in a peasant's home in a small town. The owner is bullied into keeping the prisoners until the next New Year, at which time... See full summary »
Two Chinese coal miners have hit upon the perfect scam: murder one of their fellow mine workers, make the death look like an accident, and extort money from the boss to keep the incident hushed up. For their latest "mark," they choose a naive teenager from a small village, and as they prepare to carry out their newest plan, things start to get complicated... Written by
I just saw this at the Pan African Film Festival where it was curated in conjunction with Visual Communications in a cross-cultural viewing. Bravo for that foresight.
And bravo for selecting BLIND SHAFT. Is it a masterpiece? No. What it is is a very solid piece of film-making. In basketball terms, it isn't Magic Johnson, it's James Worthy.
Rather than go into the plot, which everyone seems wont to do on these boards, I think it's much more helpful to talk about films in terms of their elements. Plot you can get anywhere, such as Ebert.
The story is a simple morality tale. Nuff said. What's standout about this movie is the ACTING - some of the best, particularly by the youngster that plays the young boy. He is super. The two principles and extended cast are solid as well.
Which points toward director Li Yang who flexes assured muscles throughout. Nothing fancy - no super montages or MTV fancy shmancy technique. In fact, the lighting is uniformly flat throughout, with a decidedly blue cast to connote the frigid brisk air. That's it.
It's also marked by the absence of a soundtrack.
BLIND SHAFT is a return to film-making of a Bressonian order, but with actors, not "models" as Bresson called them. It is a simple tale, but told in such a straight-ahead honest manner, it stands in stark contrast to the contrived machinations of the Hollywood puke machine that spews out "packages" like clockwork.
See this movie if you want bare-knuckle, honest film-making. Skip it if you want Brett Ratner window dressing from Hollywood - it's not for you then.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?