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Asian Cinema Scene: Zhang Ziyi as Peking Opera Star

10 December 2008 6:02 PM, PST | Cinematical | See recent Cinematical news »

Eight years ago, Zhang Ziyi soared into public consciousness as the tempestuous heroine in Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. She's continued to score in sumptuous epics like Hero, House of Flying Daggers, and The Banquet, as well as off-beat pleasures such as Seijun Suzuki's Princess Raccoon. (Let's all try to forget Memoirs of a Geisha, shall we?) In her latest film, which opened in China last week, she plays a Peking Opera singer.

Forever Enthralled is the English title of Mei Lanfang; the name of a real-life, internationally-recognized opera star well-known for playing female roles over the course of a career that lasted more than 50 years. Leon Lai, a veteran Hong Kong actor and pop singer, takes on the challenging assignment to play the legendary character, while Zhang plays fellow performer Meng Xiaodong, who was known for playing bearded men (?!). The two singers met, married, became parents, and divorced, »

- Peter Martin

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