Xun Zhou

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Xun Zhou Wednesday 24th October 2012 Arrives at the "Cloud Atlas" Los Angeles Premiere held at Grauman's Chinese Theater

Xun Zhou
Xun Zhou
Xun Zhou
Xun Zhou
Xun Zhou
Xun Zhou

Xun Zhou Thursday 28th April 2011 IWC Schaffhausen presents Peter Lindbergh's A Night In Portofino held at Culver Studios Culver City, California

Xun Zhou
Xun Zhou
Xun Zhou
Xun Zhou

Stolen Life Review


Very Good
How does the Chinese government choose what to censor? If they read scripts ahead of time, one would expect that they'd never let Stolen Life be made. If there's a more bleak depiction of the terrible life of the hundreds of millions of peasants and migrant workers hopelessly stuck in the underclass, I haven't seen it. Prepare to cringe.

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

Suzhou River Review


Very Good
Extremely strange and unique Chinese film, Suzhou River tells the story of a motorcycle courier who befriends and later falls in love with a drug dealer's 16-year-old daughter, only to eventually go to jail after he kidnaps her for ransom, resulting in her leaping to her death in the titular river, a grungy waterway through Shanghai. Years later, after a jail stint, our antihero finds himself drawn to a lounge dancer/swimmer who uncannily looks like his old flame (and is played smashingly by the same actress, Xun Zhou). Voyeuristic (including a nearly four-minute, unbroken scene as the messenger watches the singer get dressed for the night) and dark, the film isn't for everyone, but its poetry is uncommon. Imagine Blade Runner set in the recent past and in a much less interesting locale.

Continue reading: Suzhou River Review

The Emperor And The Assassin Review


Excellent
The Emperor and the Assassin sets a new standard for quality of production. The story, costumes, sets, music, and performances all have such a powerful authenticity that after watching it, I felt like I had just lived through a two-thousand year old episode of Chinese history. Director Chen Kaige's (Yellow Earth, Temptress Moon) film lives up to its billing and is a worthwhile success (not to mention the most expensive Asian film ever produced).

Set in third century B.C., The Emperor and the Assassin is the story of Ying Zheng (Li Xuejian), leader of the Kingdom of Qin, whose goal is to conquer the six other kingdoms of China and merge them into one unified land. To accomplish this objective, he embarks upon a horrific reign of terror and brutality against all who stand between him and his destiny.

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Balzac And The Little Chinese Seamstress Review


OK
One has to wonder what gave Sijie Dai the impression that his screenplay for Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress -- an adaptation of his own best-selling novel and co-scripted by Nadine Perront -- was structurally sound. About three-quarters of the way into his story, and in one of the more baffling and ineffectual transitions to be found in recent movie memory, Dai jerks his narrative forward by two decades literally in the blink of an eye. The sudden shift only makes Balzac's weaknesses in the character department that much more glaring. As we watch his characters, aged now by makeup, and reminiscing about their teenage years after a long separation, we become aware of how superficial our understanding of them actually is. That awareness robs his flash-forward technique of any poignancy it might otherwise have had and points perhaps to his lack of fluency with the film form.

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

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Xun Zhou Movies

The Emperor and the Assassin Movie Review

The Emperor and the Assassin Movie Review

The Emperor and the Assassin sets a new standard for quality of production. The...

Balzac And The Little Chinese Seamstress Movie Review

Balzac And The Little Chinese Seamstress Movie Review

One has to wonder what gave Sijie Dai the impression that his screenplay for Balzac...

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