2006, Wed, May 03


D: Li Shaohong

Li Shaohong | Blush | Copyright: Promo

Li Shaohong | Blush | Copyright: Promo

China / Hongkong 1994, 115 min, English subtitles

Shanghai 1949: After the new Communist government has shut down the brothels, two inhabitants at the “Hotel Red Fortune” are left facing an uncertain future. Whereas the more robust Qiuyi flees to a former client, Xiao, the more delicate of the two, has to work in a factory. However, their fate changes…What makes this film a masterpiece is its narrative approach, which borrows from Chinese landscape painting: the multiple perspectives of the three characters on the one hand, and the smooth transitions between the figures and their surroundings, between abstraction and corporeality on the other. In the words of film critic Jonathon Rosenbaum: ‘Li’s masterpiece allows us to read the world as we would literature or philosophy… a long travelling shot through history itself.’

The individual in history

History is always reflected in the fates of individuals: whether in the pre-Communist era of the ‘bourgeoisie’ or in that of the People’s Republic. A 4-year-old child, two prostitutes, a triangular relationship: human fates interconnect, disappear, life goes on…