The greatest films of all time as voted on by the Criterion subreddit using a ranked top 10 methodology from…
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...
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…
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.
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.
There's very few negative things to say about this movie.
Presented like a 'fly-on-the-wall' we take a harsh look at women operating under an almost faceless stand-in for patriarchal forces.
The settings are brilliant, as are the performances, and costuming fills in just another area of excellency.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
아비의 죽음후 계모의 등쌀을 못이기고 부자의 네번째 아내로 가는 공리.
매우 인상적인 눈물 연기가 펼쳐지는 첫장면이 눈을 사로잡는다.
장남 출산후 더이상 남편이 찾지 않는 늙은 몸이지만 집안의 안주인역을 편안히 즐기는 첫째
30줄에 있어 남편이 잘 찾진 않지만 유한 성품과 부처의 얼굴을 가진 (실은 사악한) 둘째
뛰어난 미모와 교태로 여지껏 사랑을 독차지해오던, 그러나 비참한 최후를 맞는 셋째
19에 시집와 홍등이 주는 달콤한 권력을 탐하다 봉등 (등을 검은 천으로 봉함)의 수모를 겪고 자기로 인해 두 사람이 죽자 종국에는 미쳐버리는 넷째
이 복마전에 끌려 들어 온 가여운 다섯째
힘을 쥔 남자의 얼굴이 한번도 클로즈업 되지 않은게 특이.
일개 부호지만 흡사 성과 같은 장대한 스케일의 집이 놀랍다 - 그런데 특이하게 마당이 없다.
25년전 영화 - 세월 참 빠르다...
First of all, this film is beautiful. The cinematography and use of color are amazing, and they had me hooked from the get-go. As for the plot, it's surprisingly engaging. We watch as the wives go about their days, tensions rise, and the struggles for power increase. I can't remember the last time I watched a film that was so calm, yet simultaneously ferocious. It's hard to describe the unsettling feeling I got every time the head servant would yell where to light the lanterns. The characters are interesting and fleshed out, it's visually stunning, and I really enjoyed it. My only complaint is that I couldn't stand the opera singing... but that's just, like, my opinion, man.
Week 25 - Letterboxd Season Challenge 2015-16 - Chinese Week
... and you would think with four wives it would be the husband that would go insane ... (rimshot)
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
There is a master of the household. He has three wives, and is looking for a fourth. We see his wealth not in his stature or his speech, but in the architecture of the immense dwelling that can afford to house all four of them, like separate families. His face is never truly revealed, always turned away from the camera, in wide shot, behind a veil, or entirely off-screen (I am reminded of a similar treatment to the cheating spouses in In the Mood for Love), and this draws our focus towards the demure Songlian, and seems to suggest that these marriages are less emotional bonds between two people than means for furthering the family lineage. Indeed, the sexual servitude…
Problem Mistress 2
Read the book years ago (it was haunting) and love this too. Gong Li's performance is beautiful. Music is also excellent.
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…
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!