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Notebook Reviews: Tsui Hark's "The Taking of Tiger Mountain"

  • MUBI
The opening title card improbably, surprisingly reads “New York 2015,” and within seconds we are immersed in a expatriate Chinese holiday party for a friend about to leave for a new job. The images come fast and contextless; CGI renderings of New York, quick interiors, and critically, a glimmer of analogue past. An old Chinese film starts accidentally on the group’s karaoke machine, prompting groans and rolling eyes. Quickly (inevitably), the same footage is played on a cell phone, in the back of a cab. A lone man, pulled by nostalgia and memory, is lured into the image and an impromptu journey to his home town.

Tsui Hark’s The Taking of Tiger Mountain 3D is the latest in the director’s career-long exploration/re-interpretation of key Chinese myths, events, narratives and texts, and we find our subject here as young party guests accidentally cue up Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy,
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