Zhang Yimou

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The Fanciful Norwegian
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Re: Zhang Yimou

#51 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:53 pm

There's no legitimate English-subbed disc. Kloofy's has some iffy subtitles on their site; there's some better subs out there, but I can't find a source at the moment.

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Re: Zhang Yimou

#52 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:11 pm

I am still making do with my Spanish-subbed PAL video of Keep Cool.

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Re: Zhang Yimou

#53 Post by mach1ne » Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:32 am

thank you guys.

I can find Italian copies with Italian subtitles fairly often.....I shudder at the thought of that option.....saying that, I was in Milan last year actually and do have an Italian phrasebook and dictionary......perhaps I should dig it out.....trouble is my Italian's somewhere between awful and non-existent and I can imagine myself continuously pausing the DVD to look up phrases to the point that not only would it take at least 10 hours to watch but would remove the comedy factor entirely! :)

Ah well.....maybe I'll just wait another 5 years!

Thanks again

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Re: Zhang Yimou

#54 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:10 pm

The first time I watched Keep Cool, i sat with my dictionary on one side and the remote control on the other. I paused the video MANY times. But I was able to remember almost everything that got said -- so subsequent viewings were much easier.

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Clevinger
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Re: Zhang Yimou

#55 Post by Clevinger » Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:56 am

What are the chances we will ever see decent releases of "Ju Dou" and "Qiu Ju" respectively? And if slim, what existing releases should I be looking for?

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Re: Zhang Yimou

#56 Post by Michael Kerpan » Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:45 am

Clevinger wrote:What are the chances we will ever see decent releases of "Ju Dou" and "Qiu Ju" respectively? And if slim, what existing releases should I be looking for?
There was a perfectl;y lovely HK release of Qiu Ju -- and I believe the latest US release was also supposed to have been decent. Not sure if either is still available. I don't believe there has ever been an adequate DVD version of Ju Dou.

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manicsounds
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Re: Zhang Yimou

#57 Post by manicsounds » Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:01 am

There seems to be no discussion here about "The Flowers Of War", Zhang's latest big budget movie (Or discussion on "Under The Hawthorn Tree" for that matter.)

I watched the US Blu-ray of it today, and although a good movie, it stops short of being 'great'. "City Of Life And Death" is a much better and fuller account on the Nanking Massacre, but "Flowers" even with its longer length of 142 minutes, seems to be missing some things.

Like Christian Bale's character's background I felt was a bit too short and should have been explored more, as well as the character of Terry played by Paul Schneider (of 'Parks and Recreation') for just one scene? Completely underused and relegated to a cameo appearance. As well as toward the end, I'm sure everyone would've liked to see a conclusion to George and the prostitutes. Yes, I would've liked it to be 3 hours. Too many bits and pieces missing to feel whole.

On the other hand, the 5-part Making Of is excellent. On the same level as "A Woman, A Gun, And A Noodle Shop" making of, lengthy at more than 90 minutes. Captures all aspects of production, with interviews, and b-roll footage, and extremely well edited as well.

Also, avoid the UK disc. It is in the incorrect 1.78:1 aspect ratio.

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Re: Zhang Yimou

#58 Post by manicsounds » Thu May 09, 2013 4:10 am


yoshimori
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Re: Zhang Yimou

#59 Post by yoshimori » Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:23 am

Can't find mention of this on the board, but some may be interested to learn that a Korean company put out an English-subtitled Ju Dou blu-ray last spring.

English subs are mediocre - my Chinese-speaking neighbor think they're probably a translation of the Korean translation - but the film looks better than I've ever seen it. 1.33:1 aspect ratio.
Last edited by yoshimori on Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Zhang Yimou

#60 Post by Caligula » Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:30 am

yoshimori wrote:Can't find mention of this on the board, but some may be interested to learn that a Korean company put out an English-subtitled Ju Dou blu-ray last spring.

English subs are mediocre - my Chinese-speaking neighbor think they're probably a translation of the Korean translation - but the film looks better than I've ever seen it. 1:33:1 aspect ratio.
Many thanks for posting - just picked up a copy

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Re: Zhang Yimou

#61 Post by Michael Kerpan » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:25 am

Is 1.33 the right format? I don't think that any of his other films use this...

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Re: Zhang Yimou

#62 Post by yoshimori » Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:59 am

The Japanese BD, which I suspect is the source of the Korean disc, is also 1.33:1. There is some debate about the aspect ratio at blu-ray.com forum - I never visit there, so I can't judge the quality of the posters - but a Chinese poster insists the film was shot 1.33:1, and that seems to be the consensus there. A couple of other online sites say things like "According to sources at Panavision Ju Dou was shot 1.66 spherical" which, if true, suggests that the current BD is slightly open matte. IMDB says 1.37:1. The color plate in Bordwell-Thompson's Film History is also academy ratio. I haven't seen a print in many years, but the film's definitely not, as online sites often report, 2.35:1!
Last edited by yoshimori on Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:15 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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The Fanciful Norwegian
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Re: Zhang Yimou

#63 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:25 pm

This isn't determinative, but in 1990 it was still common for Chinese movie posters to advertise films with the phrase "彩色遮幅式故事片" (color matted [widescreen]-style narrative film) or some variant thereof. This was despite the fact that the industry had long since switched to color and widescreen wasn't much of a novelty by that point either. You can just barely see the phrase on this poster for The Peking Duck Restaurant, and here's another example for This September of Mine. The poster for Ju Dou just says "彩色故事片" (color narrative film), which leads me to think that it was intended for exhibition in Academy ratio. (To the best of my knowledge the film was never actually released in China—I assume this poster was created before the ban was handed down.)

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Re: Zhang Yimou

#64 Post by Michael Kerpan » Fri May 10, 2019 8:03 pm

ZY's Shadow is just opening here in Boston. Anyone seen it yet?

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Re: Zhang Yimou

#65 Post by yoloswegmaster » Fri May 10, 2019 8:17 pm

Michael Kerpan wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 8:03 pm
ZY's Shadow is just opening here in Boston. Anyone seen it yet?
Yep, saw it a couple of months ago. One of my favourite films from last year with the main stars of the film belonging to its amazing and lavish production design, the splendid action choreography, and to the well-acted leads.

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Re: Zhang Yimou

#66 Post by Michael Kerpan » Fri May 10, 2019 9:50 pm

We skipped the (awful sounding) Great Wall film.... but this one sounds more promising.

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lzx
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Re: Zhang Yimou

#67 Post by lzx » Sat May 11, 2019 12:17 am

Every single review I've read calls it a "return to form" for Zhang after The Great Wall (as if he made his name by directing martial epics!), but some of the craziest set-pieces in Shadow seem to come straight out of that film's zaniness -- imagine, for instance, umbrellas made of metal blades that can launch them into the air with the press of a button and also act as coracles in a downpour. Spectacular though the action scenes are, I don't think the film works as well thematically; its philosophical ruminations on the idea of the double and its relationship to the original aren't developed to their fullest potential, despite a protracted (and extremely violent) coda. I'm curious to hear what people thought of the final shot -- specifically
SpoilerShow
what Madam sees through the doors and what that implies of her fate.
Regardless, it's a must-see for the costume design alone.

It seems Well Go USA removed a lot of the original chyrons, which is annoying -- whenever a new location appears onscreen, you'll see English subtitles explaining what it is, but no corresponding Chinese text.

On a related note, apparently the Chinese government pulled One Second from festivals because it's really good and they were afraid it would actually win awards.

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Re: Zhang Yimou

#68 Post by Aunt Peg » Sat May 11, 2019 7:03 am

Michael Kerpan wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 9:50 pm
We skipped the (awful sounding) Great Wall film.... but this one sounds more promising.
Visually, Shadow is breathtaking as a technical accomplishment. Can't say that I actually cared for the film but even so its a big improvement on The Great Wall.

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PfR73
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Re: Zhang Yimou

#69 Post by PfR73 » Mon May 13, 2019 4:41 pm

It's been about 6 months since I saw it at Fantastic Fest, but I really liked it. I had the thought that he truly achieved Kurosawa's dream of filming a black & white movie in color (which was an idea behind Kurosawa's Runaway Train script); and the "double" material reminded me of Kagemusha.

The umbrella stuff was my favorite part of the film. Unfortunately, it's been too long since I've seen it for me to fully remember my interpretation of the final shot, but I remember the shot made sense to me (I also seem to remember the final shot is also the first shot?)

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Re: Zhang Yimou

#70 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon May 13, 2019 5:11 pm

Hope to see Shadow this week. Very sad to hear about the mistreatment of ZY and his One Second.

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Re: Zhang Yimou

#71 Post by Tommaso » Mon May 13, 2019 6:04 pm

PfR73 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 4:41 pm
It's been about 6 months since I saw it at Fantastic Fest, but I really liked it. I had the thought that he truly achieved Kurosawa's dream of filming a black & white movie in color (which was an idea behind Kurosawa's Runaway Train script); and the "double" material reminded me of Kagemusha.
I must be one of the few people who did not really like it. Obviously "Kagemusha" is indeed some sort of inspiration, but visually "Throne of Blood" came even more to my mind. Unfortunately, the whole thing - unlike anything by Kurosawa, or Shakespeare - seemed completely soulless and empty to me. While I found the images of "Hero" and "Flying Daggers" striking and even enchanting, the look of this one felt far too artificial to me, in an uninteresting way that reminded me more of a (very well made) video game than of a film. Sure, the look of the film elicits some cold admiration at first, but even this didn't hold on until the end of the film. Perhaps it's just me, but I'm getting more and more tired of films that rely so exclusively on this sort of "Lord of the Rings"-cgi, especially if the actual story is pretty much paper thin...

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Re: Zhang Yimou

#72 Post by Michael Kerpan » Wed May 15, 2019 5:43 pm

I liked Shadow far more than Kagemusha, despite finding certain aspects of the story a wee bit confusing (but didn't think it reached the level of Hou's Assassin). No real bravura performances here -- unlike ZY's earlier historical films -- but the performances were adequate. The scenic design and cinematography were excellent. All in all, a respectable job, though (after only one viewing of this) I still prefer the three earlier historical films.

lzx -- my wife and I likewise found that very last shot impressive:
SpoilerShow
We assume that she is realizing she will have little choice other than to ratify Jing's story and be forced to serve as queen to a man she thought was a hero but she now fears has been turned into yet another monster

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