As China continues its economic transformation and materialism runs rampant, acclaimed Chinese director Zhang Yimou offers an antidote to big city distractions. In his new film “Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles (ÂçÉÈáåËµ∞ÂçïÈ™ë),” Zhang returns to his spare, emotional palette with a focus on human relationships. He offers a glimpse into a China that is disappearing, paying homage to the country’s historic heart — rural life — and the warm embrace of communal culture.
The film recalls Zhang’s early filmography, which intricately peeled away the layers of Confucian culture, revealing the pulsating vulnerability underneath. A scene from my first Zhang film, ” Raise the Red Lantern ÔºàÂ§ßÁ∫¢ÁÅØÁ¨ºÈ´òÈ´òÊåÇÔºâ,” released in 1992, still haunts me today. The film is about a young woman sold as the fourth wife to an elderly landlord in 1920s China. Each night the landlord would hang a bright red lantern outside the door where he intends to spend the night. The stark scene of the crimson glow of the lantern against the silver blue maze of homes at twilight transcends multiple levels of personal and societal bleakness. [Full Text]
Related post about Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles via CDT.