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H. Kendall "helen" (london)

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The Cave of the Yellow Dog [DVD]
The Cave of the Yellow Dog [DVD]
Dvd ~ Babbayar Batchuluun

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars what a joy!, 16 Aug 2007
I could have spent at least another week in the company of the Batchuluun family.
What a pity we couldn't have this instead of Eastenders.

Rouge [DVD] [1988] [US Import]
Rouge [DVD] [1988] [US Import]
Dvd ~ Leslie Cheung

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, chilling, thought-provoking, 30 Mar 2007
Critically acclaimed at the time of its release, Rouge is a somewhat forgotten gem of Chinese cinema about a couple befriended by a ghost searching for her errant lover.

It tells the story of Fleur, a courtesan from 1930s Hong Kong who has been waiting fifty years in the afterlife for her lover, Chan Chen-Pang, after a suicide pact should have united them forever.

Fleur returns to the Hong Kong of the present (which is as a foreign country to her) to try and find him, enlisting the help of a young journalist, Yuen and his feisty girlfriend, Ah Chor.

As her investigations in the frenetic present unfold so too does the story of her past doomed love in the beautiful,opulent surroundings of a high class Chinese bordello.

The film's core theme of change, its inevitability, its gains and losses must be seen in the context of the run up to the 1997 Handover of Hong Kong although Rouge, presents a fairly optimistic view unlike many of its contemporaries which tended to look back nostalgically or forward with cynicism.

Fleur must be disillusioned about her past to move on in the afterlife. A fairly obvious metaphor.

However, the juxtaposition of the intense, tragic love affair of the thirties with the `liberated' modern couple gives the film dynamism and raises some disconcerting issues.

Yuen and Ah Chor's love life seems somehow bland by comparison and only seems to spark into any depth of feeling as contact with Fleur raises issues in their own relationship.

As if the greater freedom of choice given them by modern society has also diluted their lives, making them less vivid.

It is Fleur, the apparent loser of the piece, who one ultimately envies and admires.

The Winter Guest [VHS] [1997] [1998]
The Winter Guest [VHS] [1997] [1998]
Offered by Lakeland Express
Price: 10.95

44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Winter Guest, 12 Jan 2004
It's difficult to explain quite why this one of my favourite films.
It is extremely unusual to watch a film where characters and relationships are given the space and privacy to really expand. The film carries no real 'plot' in the Hollywood sense of the word, in much the same way as real life doesn't and the result is an extraordinarily intimate film where it is impossible not to be drawn into and relate to the four pairs of characters described.
The Winter Guest has a simplicity and honesty which stays with you long after you have finished watching and which is genuinely nourishing, unlike the gratuitous, quick-fix formula to which most films nowadays are manufactured.
A beautiful, warming and life affirming piece of work. If I ever put my name to a film, I would want it to be like this.

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