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 »
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 custody. Her tiny apartment, he discovers, is a shrine to his favorite escape, the movies. He finds her diary - a screenplay of her life built around scenes from favorite films - and it sets off his imagination. Maybe they have more in common than a love of the movies. Written by
Lingling was locked inside the house because her mother wanted her to stay at home and study. She was in her bed looking at a picture, in the first shot, you can see the word "China" on her pillow. When the camera switched the position, the word "china" disappeared on her pillow. She clearly moved her position even though she was supposed to be in the same spot. See more »
ELECTRIC SHADOWS is such a little treasure that I want to plug it in to every film lover I know. The comparison to Italy's "Cinema Paradiso" is apt in the most important way because it's all about how movies enrich the life of a child. In other ways, the film is so vastly different from writer/director Giuseppi Tornatore's lovely work, which is quintessentially Italian: big with emotions, architecture, color, performance, length and budget. In this short and seemingly simple Chinese film, lack is everywhere, from the missing father to the lives these characters lead: where they live and work, what they have to eat and how they get around (the bus in which sister escorts her baby brother is a perfect case in point).
Yet thanks to a style that is warm, honest, rich and--especially--gentle, a story full of quite awful happenings is told in such a way that whatever director/co-writer Jiang Xiao offers us, including some pretty heavy coincidence, we gratefully accept because all of it works beautifully toward her goal of celebrating film, family and friendship. Her achievement is all the more surprising because the movie--her first, and filmed, it would appear, on an awfully small budget--starts out simply and charmingly then quietly builds until it reaches a conclusion that ties everything together without a whiff of heavy-handed melodrama or overkill. In the Special Features, the director explains her purpose, how she came to film-making, and her hope to do something worthy for the major anniversary of Chinese film. I can't imagine a better gift to the country, its growing film industry, or the widening world of international film lovers. Enjoy!
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