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ENTERTAINMENT
October 20, 2006 | By BOB STRAUSS Los Angeles Daily News
After some excellent adventures in the martial arts field ("Hero," "House of Flying Daggers") director Zhang Yimou returns to humanistic parable mode with the modest, if deceptively titled, "Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles. " The film indeed covers that much territory, ranging from Japan's snowy northern coast to the arid canyons of southwest China. But it's an intimately focused tale about the most personal relationships and interactions, from which wider meanings about the human condition touchingly arise.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 20, 2012 | BY GARY THOMPSON, thompsg@phillynews.com 215-854-5992
THE LORD works in mysterious ways in "Flowers of War," the story of a scoundrel who shields Chinese hookers and orphans from invading Japanese in 1937 Nanking. The movie is a massive clash of content and tone, a strange hybrid of "City of Life and Death" and "Father Goose" that nevertheless, in the hands of Zhang Yimou, musters a few striking moments. "Flowers" stars Christian Bale as Miller, a wayward, expat Yank who's on a bender in Nanking when the Japanese invade. He stumbles into a convent where girls and prostitutes take refuge from marauding soldiers, and, in a stupor, impersonates a cleric in order to keep Japanese soldiers at bay. Miller is looking for money, booze, and maybe some private time with gorgeous pro Yu Mo (Ni Ni)
ENTERTAINMENT
September 17, 2010 | By BETSY SHARKEY, Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES - "A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop" is Chinese auteur Zhang Yimou's whimsical and witty homage to "Blood Simple," the Coen brothers' 1985 feature debut, itself a satire as much as murderous thriller. This version ratchets up the farce, tones down the blood, piles up the bodies and conjures up a very different experience in the process. In short, you won't feel as if you're watching a remake so much as a comical reimagining that taps into Chinese operatic humor in that Larry, Curly and Moe sort of way. The story has the same bones as the Coens' brilliant original: A scoundrel of a shopkeeper pays off a local gun to murder his duplicitous wife and her lover, who are busy hatching plots of their own. The conceit in both is that the double-dealing never stops, nor do the deaths, which keeps the action moving and the black comedy coming.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 21, 2012 | By Roger Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service
The Rape of Nanking, the 1937 rape and murder rampage by Japanese troops, comes so vividly to life in The Flowers of War that you wish the great Chinese director Zhang Yimou had a better movie to put in front of it. Japan, both officially and informally, has spent the intervening 74 years ignominiously denying that this slaughter of Chinese women and children in that city ever happened. But while the filmmaker who gave us Ju Dou and Raise the Red Lantern presents a visual epic of a city reduced to black rubble and gray ash, the cliche-ridden story of a cynical American (Christian Bale)
ENTERTAINMENT
October 20, 2006 | By Steven Rea INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
Three-time Oscar nominee Zhang Yimou proves himself again (as if it were needed) with a masterful contemporary fable about family and finding one's emotional core. Beginning in Tokyo, and winding its way to isolated outposts in mainland China, Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles takes its title from a Chinese mask opera - but it also serves as a metaphor for the protagonist's journey of self-discovery. The stoic and sublime Japanese star Ken Takakura is Mr. Takata, a widower, and a loner, who has retreated to a small fishing village to live out his days.
NEWS
June 10, 1993 | by Bob Strauss, Los Angeles Daily News
China's greatest director, Zhang Yimou, is known for highly aestheticized, devastating period tragedies such as "Raise the Red Lantern" and "Ju Dou. " Imagine, then, how much of a surprise the Oscar-nominated filmmaker's latest, "The Story of Qiu Ju," is. It's an off-the-cuff, contemporary comedy, a droll little parable about stubbornness and bureaucracy, filmed with a deceptive casualness that hardly resembles Zhang's previous work at...
NEWS
November 9, 1989 | By Desmond Ryan, Inquirer Movie Critic
In more ways than one, director Zhang Yimou's startling and exquisitely realized Red Sorghum is a movie with a split personality. Set in rural western China in the years before the Japanese invasion of the early '30s, Red Sorghum is a celebration of life, love and the pursuit of happiness through freedom that still musters some Marxist advocacy. It is also a movie with a jolting change of mood and tone in a finale that seeks to conjure hope from tragedy. Yimou is a leading member of the so-called "fifth generation" of Chinese directors - the filmmakers who graduated from the Beijing Film Academy in 1982.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 9, 1993 | By Desmond Ryan, INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
The hero caught between what is legal and what is just is a Hollywood action-pic stereotype who invariably resolves his dilemma by violent and vengeful action. In Zhang Yimou's deliciously droll The Story of Qiu Ju we have what amounts to an inaction movie. Qiu Ju - swathed in a long headscarf to fend off the biting cold of a Chinese winter and ponderously pregnant - is not going to remind anyone of Jean-Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal. But what she lacks in strength, she makes up for in a stubborn and implacable pluckiness in Zhang's deceptively low-key view of the paradoxes and frustrations of life in today's China.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 27, 2001 | By Desmond Ryan INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
The celebrated signature aria in the third act of Turandot is "Nessum Dorma" ("No One Shall Sleep"). There was precious little chance of that for anyone involved in the massive and spectacular production of Puccini's opera mounted in Beijing in 1997. Allan Miller, who established his musical credentials in China with the Oscar-winning From Mao to Mozart, returned to capture the riotous collision of artistic temperaments that surrounded the staging of the opera in his wonderful and wittily observed The Turandot Project.
NEWS
August 8, 2008 | By Dave Boyer
The opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics is tonight, and you know what that means: a lavish spectacle of world harmony, depicted by flaming pigeons and human snow globes. Each Olympiad held on foreign soil, Americans are treated to entertainment that is, shall we say, open to interpretation. Way, way open. Olympic opening ceremonies almost always defy explanation, especially for American audiences accustomed to the VISA halftime show and the Phillie Phanatic shooting wieners out of a cannon.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 21, 2012 | By Roger Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service
The Rape of Nanking, the 1937 rape and murder rampage by Japanese troops, comes so vividly to life in The Flowers of War that you wish the great Chinese director Zhang Yimou had a better movie to put in front of it. Japan, both officially and informally, has spent the intervening 74 years ignominiously denying that this slaughter of Chinese women and children in that city ever happened. But while the filmmaker who gave us Ju Dou and Raise the Red Lantern presents a visual epic of a city reduced to black rubble and gray ash, the cliche-ridden story of a cynical American (Christian Bale)
ENTERTAINMENT
January 20, 2012 | BY GARY THOMPSON, thompsg@phillynews.com 215-854-5992
THE LORD works in mysterious ways in "Flowers of War," the story of a scoundrel who shields Chinese hookers and orphans from invading Japanese in 1937 Nanking. The movie is a massive clash of content and tone, a strange hybrid of "City of Life and Death" and "Father Goose" that nevertheless, in the hands of Zhang Yimou, musters a few striking moments. "Flowers" stars Christian Bale as Miller, a wayward, expat Yank who's on a bender in Nanking when the Japanese invade. He stumbles into a convent where girls and prostitutes take refuge from marauding soldiers, and, in a stupor, impersonates a cleric in order to keep Japanese soldiers at bay. Miller is looking for money, booze, and maybe some private time with gorgeous pro Yu Mo (Ni Ni)
ENTERTAINMENT
September 17, 2010 | By BETSY SHARKEY, Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES - "A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop" is Chinese auteur Zhang Yimou's whimsical and witty homage to "Blood Simple," the Coen brothers' 1985 feature debut, itself a satire as much as murderous thriller. This version ratchets up the farce, tones down the blood, piles up the bodies and conjures up a very different experience in the process. In short, you won't feel as if you're watching a remake so much as a comical reimagining that taps into Chinese operatic humor in that Larry, Curly and Moe sort of way. The story has the same bones as the Coens' brilliant original: A scoundrel of a shopkeeper pays off a local gun to murder his duplicitous wife and her lover, who are busy hatching plots of their own. The conceit in both is that the double-dealing never stops, nor do the deaths, which keeps the action moving and the black comedy coming.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 17, 2010 | By Carrie Rickey, Inquirer Movie Critic
Zhang Yimou, director of operatic spectacles such as Raise the Red Lantern , Hero , and the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, is a dazzling stylist with a painterly command of color and an eye for panoramic compositions. For reasons known only to himself, in A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop , China's greatest living director chose to remake the Coen Brothers' Blood Simple , their bare-bones Texas noir of 1984, and to set it in feudal China. The result is akin to using a frayed shoestring to make a silk purse.
NEWS
August 8, 2008 | By Dave Boyer
The opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics is tonight, and you know what that means: a lavish spectacle of world harmony, depicted by flaming pigeons and human snow globes. Each Olympiad held on foreign soil, Americans are treated to entertainment that is, shall we say, open to interpretation. Way, way open. Olympic opening ceremonies almost always defy explanation, especially for American audiences accustomed to the VISA halftime show and the Phillie Phanatic shooting wieners out of a cannon.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 20, 2006 | By BOB STRAUSS Los Angeles Daily News
After some excellent adventures in the martial arts field ("Hero," "House of Flying Daggers") director Zhang Yimou returns to humanistic parable mode with the modest, if deceptively titled, "Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles. " The film indeed covers that much territory, ranging from Japan's snowy northern coast to the arid canyons of southwest China. But it's an intimately focused tale about the most personal relationships and interactions, from which wider meanings about the human condition touchingly arise.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 20, 2006 | By Steven Rea INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
Three-time Oscar nominee Zhang Yimou proves himself again (as if it were needed) with a masterful contemporary fable about family and finding one's emotional core. Beginning in Tokyo, and winding its way to isolated outposts in mainland China, Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles takes its title from a Chinese mask opera - but it also serves as a metaphor for the protagonist's journey of self-discovery. The stoic and sublime Japanese star Ken Takakura is Mr. Takata, a widower, and a loner, who has retreated to a small fishing village to live out his days.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 27, 2001 | By Desmond Ryan INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
The celebrated signature aria in the third act of Turandot is "Nessum Dorma" ("No One Shall Sleep"). There was precious little chance of that for anyone involved in the massive and spectacular production of Puccini's opera mounted in Beijing in 1997. Allan Miller, who established his musical credentials in China with the Oscar-winning From Mao to Mozart, returned to capture the riotous collision of artistic temperaments that surrounded the staging of the opera in his wonderful and wittily observed The Turandot Project.
NEWS
February 25, 1996 | From Inquirer wire services
O.J. Simpson told a Philadelphia-area radio audience yesterday that he had been "blind to the fact there's an underlying racial cold war going on out here," and that he had lived in a "dream world" before his double-murder trial and acquittal. "I was playing golf, and I was benefiting from the system as it is," Simpson said in an hour-long interview on WDAS. But "when I was in jail, all I saw were blacks and Hispanics. We aren't the only people committing crimes. " Simpson's appearance was tied to a promotion for his hear-my-side video, which was being distributed last week.
NEWS
June 10, 1993 | by Bob Strauss, Los Angeles Daily News
China's greatest director, Zhang Yimou, is known for highly aestheticized, devastating period tragedies such as "Raise the Red Lantern" and "Ju Dou. " Imagine, then, how much of a surprise the Oscar-nominated filmmaker's latest, "The Story of Qiu Ju," is. It's an off-the-cuff, contemporary comedy, a droll little parable about stubbornness and bureaucracy, filmed with a deceptive casualness that hardly resembles Zhang's previous work at...
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