DVD Farewell My Concubine (DVD 15958009),
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Farewell My Concubine

  • DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • In Chen Kaige's adaptation of the Lilian Lee novel, Cheng Dieyi (Leslie Cheung) and Duan Xiaolou (Fengyi Zhang) grow up enduring the harsh training of the Peking Opera Academy, where instructors regularly beat the children as a means of instilling in them the discipline needed to master the complex physical and vocal technique. As the two boys mature, they develop complementary talents: Dieyi, with his fine, delicate features, assumes the female roles while the burlier Xiaolou plays masculine warlords. Their dramatic identities become real for Dieyi when he falls in love with Xiaolou; the resolutely heterosexual Xiaolou, however, marries a courtesan, Juxian (Gong Li), creating a dangerous, jealousy-filled romantic triangle. Spanning 50 years from the early part of the 20th century to the tumultuous Cultural Revolution, Kaige's passionate, exquisitely shot film captures the vast historical scope of a changing world (and the mesmerizing pageantry of the opera) while also providing the intimate and touching details of a unique, tender, heartrending love story.

    Cannes Palme d'Or 1993

  • Credits
    Gong Li, Leslie Cheung
  • Critic Reviews
    "...One of those very rare film spectacles that deliver just about everything..."
    New York Times

    "...Seductively lensed....Zhang anchors the movie in a powerful, shaded performance..."

    "...FAREWELL MY CONCUBINE is a demonstration of how a great epic can function....This is one of the year's best films..."
    Chicago Sun-Times

    "...[The film has] a persuasive unity and coherence..."
    Sight and Sound

    "...CONCUBINE is a knockout....A fearless denunciation of those in any regime who would stifle life and art, the two being inseparable in Chen's mind..."
    Film Comment

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