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 »
The river Suzhou that flows through Shanghai is a reservoir of filth, chaos and poverty, but also a meeting place for memories and secrets. Lou Ye, who spent his youth on the banks of the ... See full summary »
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Daily life in an impossibly cramped Beijing apartment takes on epic proportions in this, intimate portrait, with unprecedented access, of a working-class Chinese family. Boldly transforming... 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.
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