DVD Springtime in a Small Town [2004] [English] [Region 1] (DVD 45294),
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Springtime in a Small Town [2004] [English] [Region 1]

  • NR
  • DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • A romantic triangle erupts in a bombed-out small town in the years between World War Two and the Maoist revolution. Liyan (Wu Jan) suffers from ennui-infused illness while his wife by an arranged marriage, Yuen (Hu Jingfan) wiles away her time shopping, wandering the cliffs, and doing needlepoint. Along comes Zuyen (Xin Baiqing), Liyan's old friend, now a modern Shangai doctor. It turns out Yuen and Zuyen were once in love years ago, but as they tentatively try to rekindle the romance they find themselves frozen by self consciousness, cultural traditions, and affection for the ailing Liyan. Meanwhile, Liyan's energetic younger sister (Si Si Lu) develops a huge crush on Zuyen herself, and Liyan tries to arrange their marriage.

    A highlight here is the lovely cinematography by Mark Lee Ping-bin (IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE), a model of compositional elegance as the camera moves in perfect counterpoint with the actors among the bombed out ruins and stark landscape. A remake of a 1948 classic of Chinese cinema, this marks a return to directing for Zhuangzhuang Tian, who was banned from directing in China for ten years after 1994's THE BLUE KITE. It's a subtle allegory of a China stifled by its slavish devotion to outmoded, dying traditions. At least the characters manage to find some joy with songs and drinking games.
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): PALMV3085

  • Credits
    Wu Jan, Hu Jingfan, Lu Sisi, Xin Bajqing
  • Critic Reviews
    "Exquisitely directed....A lovely, understated work."
    Los Angeles Times

    "Exceptional cinematography and sensitive performances..."

    "This remake of a 1948 film excels with subtle, near subliminal camera moves..."
    Chicago Sun-Times

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