Archives for posts with tag: Maggie Cheung

Instead of Chinese Box, I’d like to order solid two hours of Gong Li smoking and pantomiming to Marlene Dietrich.

Well, the scene with Gong Li wondrously mimicking Marlene Dietrich shows you what kind of roles Gong Li should be doing, rather than this one, as an ex-prostitute from the mainland come to make her way in Hong Kong. Her character exists as nothing more than a symbol (of the new Chinese-governed Hong Kong), as does Jeremy Irons’ dying Brit (the English era soon to be finished), and Maggie Cheung’s wild, frenetic, unpredictable street vendor (as the wild, frenetic, unpredictable Hong Kong in transition, with a strained past with the British and an uncertain future with the Chinese). The characters themselves are so burdened by their symbolism that Read the rest of this entry »

The Soong Sisters poster

The Soong Sisters (1997); directed by Mabel Cheung; screenplay by Alex Law

This story is just too sprawling to fit into one film, but with its built-in historical scope, international intrigue, astonishing wealth, clamor for power, sacrifice, selfishness, and schisms, it would make a fantastic, big-budget mini-series. The sisters’ story is largely the story of China in the first half of the last century, and it didn’t end in the 40s, as does this movie.

The sisters and their families led fascinating lives that traced the political dreams and ruptures of their country; however, the story here rides roughshod over long stretches of history, and without dates, it’s hard to follow exactly what is happening and when. (Years ago I had Read the rest of this entry »