Xun Zhou Thursday 28th April 2011 IWC Schaffhausen presents Peter Lindbergh's A Night In Portofino held at Culver Studios Culver City, California
Abandoned by her parents and raised grudgingly by a collection of disinterested relatives, the pretty Yan'ni (Jun Wu), who hides her beauty under a black knit wool hat, grows up alone and miserable. It's a miracle when she's accepted at a university in Beijing, and away she goes, hoping for some kind of new life.
Continue reading: Stolen Life Review
Set amid lush mountains in an isolated region in China in the early 1970s, Dai gives us a gently paced semi-autobiographical account of two teenage boys, Ma (Ye Liu) and Luo (Kun Chen) who arrive at a Maoist camp for "re-education." Because they are the offspring of the "reactionary" elite -- the very class that Mao sought to purge during his Cultural Revolution -- the boys are prescribed a daily regimen of lugging buckets of shit to fertilize the local rice fields alternated with tedious shifts in a copper mine. Through Dai's eyes, though, what ordinarily might be a rather bleak portrayal of suffering is viewed through rose-tinted lenses. The Communist Committee chief of their village (Shuangbao Wang) is, true to fashion, a by-the-book ideologue. He wants to come off as a hardliner, but he's won over easily enough by Ma's claim that the Mozart lieder he plays on his violin is, in fact, a tribute to Mao. This would be fine if it led to a more complex dynamic between the chief and the boys, but this cheeky repartee goes no further.
Continue reading: Balzac And The Little Chinese Seamstress Review