Da Hong Denglong Gaogao Gua
Raise the Red Lantern
Directed by Zhang Yimou
I have really been loving the Chinese films lately and we continue our happy trend with Raise the Red Lantern. See, I can enjoy a Chinese movie without kung fu. I'm cultured.
Songlian is the newest and fourth concubine of the Chen household. Every night Master Chen chooses a concubine to sleep with. The chosen concubine always receives red lanterns and a foot massage. What a prince, right? It's a constant competition between the mistresses to become the favorite of Master Chen and it quickly becomes clear that Songlian may not have what it takes to live such an existence.
Visually, this film is absolutely stunning. Based on Zhang Yimou's earlier film Red Sorghum, I knew that I was in for an aesthetic masterpiece. I was surprised at how engaging and heartbreaking the story was, as the plot in Red Sorghum, structurally speaking, was sort of a mess. Kind of like that last sentence.
I read that this film was adapted into a ballet; that is something that I would love to see. At least, that's what I say now. When I actually saw a ballet I was bored and confused. See? Cultured.
Banned in China during the early nineties.