All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
Raise the Red Lantern
China in the 1920's. After her father's death, 19 year old Songlian is forced to marry the much older lord of a powerful family. With three wives already, each living in a separate house within the great castle, there is fierce competition for his attention and the privileges that are gained. This competition gets out of hand...
For my two cents, Raise the Red Lantern is Zhang Yimou's best film, with the also excellent To Live running a very close second. Gong Li, playing the newly recruited fourth wife of a wealthy 1920s nobleman, is simply stunning, both in appearance and as a then up-and-coming actress. He Saifei also shines in her performance as the third wife and it is her heartbreaking story that really makes this film the masterpiece that it is.
Centered on the intrigues between the three younger wives and, to a lesser degree, an unlucky servant girl (perhaps the film's most tragic character) who soon finds herself far out of her league, the slowly evolving, but immaculately paced, plot is sure to tug at the heartstrings of even the most jaded of cinephiles. Beautifully shot and perfectly crafted, Raise the Red Lantern is simply a must-see film.
Film #16 of Project 90
” If you act well, you can fool other people; if you do it badly, you can only fool yourself.”
Zhang Yimou turns his lens toward a world where the happiness and sadness of women rely on the way men act, feel and think, but instead of putting one of those mighty men at the center of his film he bravely focuses on those unfortunate women and calmly shows us the inevitable tragedy of their life. Raise the Red Lantern is the sorrowful story of a group of women’s lives who are trapped in a life build of unfulfilled wishes, unspoken desires, jealousy, failure, humiliation and spoiled prides.
Yimou’s main success is that without getting…
But in the end the choice of re-watching Raise the Red Lantern this weekend is simply due to the death of Roger Ebert, and I felt it appropriate to select one of his chosen Great Movies this time around. I'll also use three quotes from his first review of the movie, the first being the same one I used for my Push 10 notes;
Yimou uses the bold, bright colors of Ju Dou again this time; his film was shot in the classic three-strip Technicolor process, now abandoned by Hollywood, which allows a richness of reds and yellows…
Now, the story in itself, though well told and better acted, would not have been enough for me to love this film. The life of a concubine just doesn't do much for me, Gong Li being magnificent aside.
But. Raise the Red Lantern is a heavywight contender in the category "best cinematography in the history of man". If pressed I'd say that Yimou had a finger in that as well, as his cinematographer hasn't shone this brightly since (but did get his "hands" on a Woody Allen film or two). On top of the cinematography the mise en scene is perfection brought to life, and it gives off this atmospheric sense of the past, with all it's…
Film #2 Of The May 30 Days, 30 Countries Challenge - China
"She has the face of Buddha and the heart of a scorpion."
#77 on Berken's Favorite Movies Of All Time
I'm surprised that this isn't banned in China considering what a savage evisceration of tradition in a patriarchal society it is. Likewise, I wasn't expecting such a psychologically accurate portrayal of the moral gray area being boxed in by an inequitable tradition can drive people to. Being trapped by tradition is not unlike being stranded on an island separated from society, the film seems to argue, and just as likely to lead to cannibalism (okay, metaphorical in this case, but still).
Crucially, the film is able to allow…
Raise the Red Lantern follows a girl who accepts to be a man's fourth wife and gets caught in a web of intrigues and lies.
Although we never see anything beyond the castle grounds, the movie has beautiful shots and scenes. The soundtrack is really beautiful too and well connected with the correspondent scenes.
The movie has a slow pace, but it's never boring and the plot is interesting and show us the complex relationship between the four wives. The role and expectations of a woman in the 20's are of great importance too. The acting is really good, specially the lead actress, Gong Li.
Raise of the Red Lantern is a really good movie worth watching.
Gong Li plays suppressed fury to perfection and everything is relentlessly tragic because PATRIARCHY.
Plot recap: Subtle disrespecting, backstabbing, lies, more backstabbing, political maneuverings, gossip, pregnancy, more lies, affairs, and some death. This is my second Zhang Yimou film and I am honestly in love. The way this guy does color and plot really is unique. His films somehow understand the human spirit, even when the narration strays from your typical film. Raise the Red Lantern should by all accounts be a boring and unfun film, but the weight it gives to the melodrama adds immense tension and stakes to what should be a slow film. The confidence is astounding, as this film has so much going on while still being quite simple.
The male figure is a device, a symbol for power and…
An acid bath in crimson. The stately, symmetrical framing seems as quietly oppressive as the film's unseen patriarch. A feminist film in which women hate one another, not realising how these very emotions are structurally imposed in a household whose rituals are designed to breed resentment. Gong-li's elegant anti-heroine realises too late that she damagingly undermines her 'sisters' even in refusing to play by the rules: the game is rigged.
Saw this in high school, and I don't remember all of it, but what I do is just... people moving around this big Chinese compound, and it's claustrophobic in one way but gorgeous in a smaller way - this gorgeousness is a ploy and the real, cold emotions of the people in charge in this world overrides things.
I'm sure I'm not able to even begin to unpack the historical symbolism of all this, but I can say that it is deeply engrossing and consistently effective in its austere melancholy. It's fascinating and very, very sad to see how these women become first victims, then accessories to their own oppression. The Master himself is never glimpsed clearly, always seen from a distance, through gauzy curtains, or from behind. But he is an utterly pervasive presence of oppressive authority, controlling every aspect of Songlian and the other wives lives. The architecture visually underlines this, its expanses springing from his house in the center, surrounded by those of his concubines, and winding away into seemingly endless labyrinths no less haunting…
Watched in Cinema Studies class
Raise the Red Lantern has intricacies and subtleties of cinematography and camera composure so prestigious and precise, the Zhang Yimou's mastery only has to plays second flute to the main opera, a no-holds-barred tale of competition in the face of oppression, and where the red lanterns' purpose is seen subjectively by each character.
Political irony and terrifying notes on fidelity burns as bright as the fires within the red lanterns, the red lanterns which act as devilish soothsayers for a invisible man, The Master. The orbs of red placed upon a barren palace of suppressed joy and exuberance deliver a cinematic blow to the stomach. My, what a beautiful, complex, frightening, and terrific movie. Spectacular.
The women live like queens, but ultimately amount to dogs, cats, and rats.
Really feel sorry for the girls in this film but enjoyed every minute while visiting there world. Glad it's a piece from the past and sometimes wonder in hope that things have really changed for girls in china. I really really hope so. I think this is what the film is all about - misuse of power
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!