Beijing, 1988. On the cusp of middle-age, Chen Handong has known little but success all his life. The eldest son of a senior government bureaucrat, he heads a fast-growing trading company ...
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Two boyhood friends are separated due to the disappearance of the sister of one of them, then later meet again as teenagers, when one of them has become a pop singer, and they discover feelings that they did not know they had.
Fleur is the blue angel in one of Hong Kong's "flower houses" - bordellos and night clubs of the 1930's. A detached and beautiful performer, she falls in love with Twelfth Master Chan, heir... See full summary »
Sumin is an orphan trying to balance work in a factory with study at an art college and an evening job. One night, a rich young businessman makes an advance on him during one of his driving... See full summary »
Jet is the star gigolo in Hong Kong. Arrogant, sexy, everyone falls in love with him, but he falls in love with no one... until one day he meets Sam, the hunkiest policeman to ever pound a ... See full summary »
On the first day of Shima's new job he met a man with a hangover in the elevator. That was his first meeting with his new boss, Togawa. Though Togawa seemed rude and cross, Shima was drawn ... See full summary »
Three teenage boys Yong-ju, Gi-Woong and Gi-Taek, were once best friends in middle school, but they become estranged from each other once they enter high school. While Yong-ju and Gi-Taek ... See full summary »
When Shu Nian was 12-year-old, he was adopted by Xie Yan from an orphanage. Nian was five years older than Xie and he worked as a page boy for him until Xie Yan went abroad to study. The ... See full summary »
Two clowns living in Korea's Chosun Dynasty get arrested for staging a play that satirizes the king. They are dragged to the palace and threatened with execution but are given a chance to save their lives if they can make the king laugh.
"Hold Me Tight". A man comes to Hong Kong and becomes deeply in love with a girl. He watches when this girl has a passionate relationship with her boyfriend. As he approaches her life, he ... See full summary »
A person's life is destined to be shorter than that of a city. Having spent her whole life in Shanghai, Qiyao has her moments of prosperity and her fair share of loneliness. She finally ... See full summary »
Beijing, 1988. On the cusp of middle-age, Chen Handong has known little but success all his life. The eldest son of a senior government bureaucrat, he heads a fast-growing trading company and plays as hard as he works. Few know that Handong's tastes run more to boys than girls. Lan Yu is a country boy, newly arrived in Beijing to study architecture. More than most students, he is short of money and willing to try anything to earn some. He has run into Liu Zheng, who pragmatically suggests that he could prostitute himself for one night to a gay pool-hall and bar owner. But Handong happens to be in the pool hall that evening, and he nixes the deal. He takes Lan Yu home himself and gives the young man what turns out to be a life-changing sexual initiation. Handong and Lan Yu meet often, and the boy is soon very secure in his love for the man. But Handong insists that he wants a play-mate, not a lifelong companion, and warns Lan Yu that they will eventually break up. Meanwhile, he showers...Written by
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When Chen Handong takes Lan Yu home for the first time, an American television show is playing in the background, and the announcer says "not only is Los Angeles the largest city in California, but it is also the state capitol." This is wrong, Sacramento is the state capitol of California. See more »
Generally I'm not a big fan of melodrama, and LAN YU is a classic, Sirk-league piece of melodrama, so I can't say I loved this film. But it is impressive in a number of ways - the depiction of intimacy, and of a slowly-developing relationship is very well done, and this film is very obviously the work of a thoughtful and talented filmmaker. I also liked the cinematography - very un-flashy, which serves the material well: a dry, slice-of-life look which stands apart from the dramatics of the plot, and definitely underscores the normality (or validity) of gay relationships, perhaps in a culture that is still coming to terms with such relationships. The dinner scenes - which are beautifully shot and staged - stand out.
It should be noted that director Stanley Kwan has a handful of other artistically notable films to his credit, with ROUGE and ACTRESS generating acclaim around the globe. Kwan claims Hollywood melodramatist Douglas Sirk and Japanese contemporary dramatist Yasujiro Ozu as major influences, and both of those influences are apparent here - the studied, careful mis-en-scene of Ozu; and a story balanced between social critique and three-hanky melodrama, in the fashion of Sirk. Kwan is also one of a small (but growing) number of out Asian filmmakers, and noting this (and his artistic influences) helps to understand the overall importance of this film.
If some of the most creative and engaging gay film being made today is coming from Asia, Europe and Latin America - which I believe to be true - then this film is definitely among the best of that wave. Worth a look.
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