Wang Tong

Wang Tong

Wang Tong Quick Links

Film RSS

So Close To Paradise Review


Excellent
When the country of China is mentioned in conversation, it is usually in conjunction with the Great Wall, not its citizens. This film embarks on a remarkable journey through working class China in the late 1980's, as three characters struggle to help each other in a nation still trying to get to its feet.

The plot is simple, allowing the characters the attention they deserve. Dong Zi (Shi Yu) comes to the city from the countryside because of the opportunity to make money. He earns an honest living as a petty "shoulder pole" on the docks and is permitted to crash with Gao Ping (Guo Tao), an older gentleman and self-proclaimed businessman who tries to show him the ropes because they are from the same town. But Gao has a vendetta against a man who cheated him out of money. Though he dresses better and lives a fuller life than Dong, he is none the happier for doing so.

Continue reading: So Close To Paradise Review

Quitting Review


Good
Director Zhang Yang's Quitting, which chronicles the rise and fall of Chinese actor Jia Hongsheng, is a difficult film in several respects. It's not an easy chore to watch a person's life crumble, and here the task is made even more taxing by virtue of the fact that this movie is based on a true story and, amazingly, its cast is comprised entirely by real people portraying themselves. In addition to traditional narrative filmmaking, Yang mixes documentary-like interview footage with several scenes where the camera pulls back to reveal the actors performing the material on the set of a play. Yang's inventiveness is commendable, but his daring causes the film to become derailed on several occasions. Add to that a pace which makes the second half of the film crawl to the finish, and ultimately Qutting can feel a bit too unnecessarily weighed down and excessive.

Jia Hongsheng was on the cusp of stardom in the 1980s, having gained fame playing the roles of villains in several Chinese B-movies. The actor, however, suffered from extreme emotional instability and his experimentation with drugs led to a quick fall from grace. As his mental state continued to fracture, Jia's parents -- fellow actors who were long-time members of a theater troupe in Northern China -- packed up all of their belongings and moved in with their son, who was sharing an apartment with his sister. The road to recovery was, of course, beset by a multitude of pitfalls, eventually leading Jia's family to institutionalize the man.

Continue reading: Quitting Review

Wang Tong

Wang Tong Quick Links

Film RSS
Advertisement

Suggested

Helena Deans is wearing her heart on her sleeve for her upcoming live album

Helena Deans is wearing her heart on her sleeve for her upcoming live album

Listen to her new song 'I'll See This As A Blessing'.

Songs to play when you feel like there's no way out [Playlist]

Songs to play when you feel like there's no way out [Playlist]

This article is dedicated to Caroline Flack.

Hattie Webb - The Gulbenkian Theatre, Canterbury 12.02.2020 Live Review

Hattie Webb - The Gulbenkian Theatre, Canterbury 12.02.2020 Live Review

Hattie Webb not only brought a couple of harps but also Andrea Resce, her brother and a collection of cold remedies to the cathedral city of...

Advertisement
Ten underrated rock albums by iconic artists

Ten underrated rock albums by iconic artists

These albums are not nearly as appreciated as they should be.

Every Papa Roach Album Ranked

Every Papa Roach Album Ranked

We list all the nu metal titans' albums from worst to best.

King Zebra on writing music as a modern rock band

King Zebra on writing music as a modern rock band

They might sound like they're from the 70s, but they way they roll is very 2020.

Advertisement

Wang Tong Movies

So Close to Paradise Movie Review

So Close to Paradise Movie Review

When the country of China is mentioned in conversation, it is usually in conjunction with...

Quitting Movie Review

Quitting Movie Review

Director Zhang Yang's Quitting, which chronicles the rise and fall of Chinese actor Jia Hongsheng,...

Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.