6.9/10
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16 user 21 critic

Shadow Magic (2000)

Trailer
1:57 | Trailer
Beijing, 1902: an enterprising young portrait photographer named Liu Jinglun, keen on new technology, befriends a newly-arrived Englishman who's brought projector, camera, and ... See full summary »

Director:

Ann Hu

Writers:

Zhang-Lun Chen (as Yixiong Chen), Ann Hu | 6 more credits »
6 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Jared Harris ... Raymond Wallace
Yu Xia ... Liu Jinglun (Liu Zhonglun)
Yufei Xing Yufei Xing ... Ling
Peiqi Liu ... Master Ren (Ren JingFeng)
Liping Lü ... Madame Ren
Jingming Wang Jingming Wang ... Old Liu
Yusheng Li Yusheng Li ... Lord Tan (Tan Xinpei)
Yukui Zhang Yukui Zhang ... Lao Chang
Chuang Cheng Chuang Cheng ... Mi Hu
Zhongwei Zheng Zhongwei Zheng ... Fu Guan
Qi Mu Qi Mu ... Jewelry Tower
Qingzhuo Fang Qingzhuo Fang ... Widow Jiang
Bin Li Bin Li ... Empress Ci Xi
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Storyline

Beijing, 1902: an enterprising young portrait photographer named Liu Jinglun, keen on new technology, befriends a newly-arrived Englishman who's brought projector, camera, and Lumière-brothers' shorts to open the Shadow Magic theater. Liu's work with Wallace brings him conflict with tradition and his father's authority, complicated by his falling in love with Ling, daughter of Lord Tan, star of Beijing's traditional opera. Liu sees movies as his chance to become wealthy and worthy of Ling. When the Shadow Magic pair are invited to show the films to the Empress Dowager, things look good. But, is disaster in the script? And, can movies preserve tradition even as they bring change? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for brief mild language | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Jewelry Tower: We can't escape what drives us.
See more »

Connections

References Dingjunshan (1905) See more »

User Reviews

 
Unpretentious, warmly human, and quite fascinating portrait of how the introduction of cinema opened new worlds to the people of China in 1902.

Gentle and genial film seems to have been overlooked as a triviality...and to be fair the narrative is a bit tenuous and lightweight as drama....but I feel the simple wonder and joy of the scenes depicting the first impact of a new art on an alien and sceptical society have a radiance and naturalness which capture the century long romance between cinema and audience better than any film in years. Immensely sympathetic performance from Jared Harriss (who seems to have inherited all of his fathers charisma...hopefully without poor Richards penchant for hellraising and haminess)....and charming offbeat cuteness from costar Yu Xia combine to make this a real heartwarmer. Radiant location photography (including glowingly beautiful scenes at the great wall) and sensitive direction by Ann Hu give film added impact. In short a must for anyone ever enchanted by a shadow flickering to life...and making magic in the dark.


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Details

Official Sites:

Sony [United States]

Country:

China | Germany | Taiwan | USA

Language:

English | Mandarin

Release Date:

22 November 2001 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Shadow Magic See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,772, 8 April 2001

Gross USA:

$149,258
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)
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