Ding Hui is a member of Purple Butterfly, a powerful resistance group in Japanese occupied Shanghai. An unexpected encounter reunites her with Itami, an ex-lover... and officer with a ...
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Yu Hong leaves her home village and starts university in Beijing, where she develops a consuming and compulsive relationship with another student. The student riots from 1989 then ensue and take a toll on their lives.
A loose adaptation of Hamlet, "The Night Banquet" is set in an empire in chaos. The Emperor, the Empress, the Crown Prince, the Minister and the General all have their own enemies they would like to finish off at a night banquet.
Lu Jie is having coffee with her desperate friend Sang Qi, who believes her husband is cheating on her. At the same time at a hotel across the road from the coffee shop, Lu Jie sees her ... See full summary »
Hired to spy on a philandering husband, Luo Haitao soon becomes entangled in a clandestine affair with the other man. Along with Luo's girlfriend, they succumb to the delirium of drunken nights, but how long can their tryst last?
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 »
Liyan and Yuwen live in post-war torpor, childless but with Liyan's school-aged sister. He coughs, imagining he has TB; Yuwan embroiders; they sleep in separate rooms. A surprise visit from... See full summary »
Ding Hui is a member of Purple Butterfly, a powerful resistance group in Japanese occupied Shanghai. An unexpected encounter reunites her with Itami, an ex-lover... and officer with a secret police unit tasked with dismantling Purple Butterfly. Written by
Purple Butterfly began in silence, a risky one at that. It relied on the gestures of the actors/actresses, the jumpcuts, and the hand-held camera-work, reminiscent of early Italian Neo-Realism and/or Cassevettes, to begin the story. I have to admit that I dozed off somewhere within the first 30 min., but that was mainly due to my lack of sleep. Nevertheless, I was anxious for the ending of the film.
I enjoyed the cinematography, the acting style, the editing, the music, and the mixing of genres. It's like an epic espionage war love story, the likes of a collaboration between Hitchcock and Truffuat. There was some poetic scenes, and suspenseful ones as well. The main problem I had was the narrative structure which seemed confusing to me. It also didn't flow well together. Somewhere during the middle of the film, it becomes non-linear without warning me.
In conclusion, I give the movie a B-. It is definitely worth seeing and may will be a very historic film in regards to its film language in years to come.
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