Tag Archives: Li Gong

Yimou Zhang – Gui lai AKA Coming Home [+Extras] (2014)

Lu and Feng are a devoted couple forced to separate when Lu is arrested and sent to a labor camp as a political prisoner during the Cultural Revolution. He finally returns home only to find that his beloved wife no longer recognizes him. Read More »

Shuqin Huang – Hua Hun aka A Soul Haunted by Painting (1995)

Based on the true story of a Chinese painter, Pan Yuliang (Gong Li), whose work was celebrated in Paris yet rejected at home. At fifteen years old, she was sold into prostitution. Her life changes when she marries a high official. Through her husband, she finds expression in western painting, and furthers her studies in Paris. Although highly respected in Paris, it wasn’t until after her death that she received the acceptance at home she so desperately sought. The film is directed by Huang Shuqin, a woman director famous for highlighting the influence of tradition on gender issues. Read More »

Yimou Zhang – Hong gao liang AKA Red Sorghum [91min edit] (1988)

Quote:

Celebrated Mainland filmmaker Zhang Yimou brings his inimitable touch to Red Sorghum, a sumptuous drama set during 1930s China, just prior to the Japanese occupation. Jiu’er (Gong Li) is a young bride arranged to marry the leprous owner of a sorghum winery. But the leper dies, and Jiu’er takes over the winery, along with her lover (Jiang Wen), a burly rogue with a natural, rough charisma. Their rural lives are filled with struggle and even joy, but the invasion of the Japanese brings tragedy and blood to their doorsteps. Told in glorious shades of red, Red Sorghum is quintessential Zhang Yimou, and uses setting, cinematography, and stunning imagery to create characters and mood that are both iconic and recognizable. Gong Li and Jiang Wen both turn in revelatory performances. As both an anti-war film and a portrait of pre-Communist Chinese life, Red Sorghum is a compelling, powerful achievement from a true master of cinema. Read More »

Yimou Zhang – Da hong deng long gao gao gua aka Raise the Red Lantern (1991)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

March 20, 1992
Review/Film; Dissension in the Ranks of a Household’s 4 Wives
By Janet Maslin, New York Times

Songlian (Gong Li), the college-educated beauty who arrives at a feudal manor house at the outset of
Zhang Yimou’s “Raise the Red Lantern,” insists on carrying her own suitcase, which is virtually the
last act of independence she will be permitted during the course of the story. Forced by her stepmother
into what is essentially the life of a concubine, Songlian has agreed to become the fourth wife of a
feudal patriarch, a man so regal that each of his wives presides over her own separate home. Read More »

Fengliang Yang & Yimou Zhang – Ju Dou (1990)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis:
A woman married to the brutal and infertile owner of a dye mill in rural China conceives a boy with her husband’s nephew but is forced to raise her son as her husband’s heir without revealing his parentage in this circular tragedy. Filmed in glowing technicolour, this tale of romantic and familial love in the face of unbreakable tradition is more universal than its setting. Read More »

Yimou Zhang – Yao a yao yao dao waipo qiao AKA Shanghai Triad (1995)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Summary:
“Country boy Shuisheng (Wang Xiaoxiao) is brought to 1930s Shanghai by his uncle who wants the boy to become a member of the powerful gang ruled by manipulative Tang (Li Baotian). In fact, Shuisheng will serve Tang’s capricious mistress Bijou (Gong Li), a nightclub singer whom the boss proclaimed “the Queen of Shanghai.” When the boy’s uncle and the gang’s several other members die during a rival gang’s unsuccessful attempt on Tang’s life, the latter retreats to a remote small island, taking both Bijou and Shuisheng with him and thinking of revenge. The film’s English-language title is a little bit deceiving (the original Chinese title translates to “Row, Row, Row to Grandmother’s Bridge,” a line in Tang’s favorite song performed by Bijou), as this drama centers more on the boy’s coming of age and Bijou’s disillusionment than on Shanghai gang wars. The film is slow-paced and sometimes lacks a narrative drive, but Zhang Yimou’s images are striking as ever and Gong Li’s beauty shines throughout.” -AMG Read More »

Yimou Zhang – Hong gao liang AKA Red Sorghum (1987)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

An old leper who owned a remote sorghum winery dies. Jiu’er, the wife bought by the leper, and her lover, identified only as “my Grandpa” by the narrator, take over the winery and set up an idealized quasi-matriarchal community headed by Jiu’er. When the Japanese invaders subject the area to their rule and cut down the sorghum to make way for a road, the community rises up and resists as the sorghum grows anew. Read More »