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Debut from the Chinese Danny Boyle....,
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This review is from: Red Sorghum  [DVD] (DVD)
I refer to, of course, 2008's Olympic opening ceremony in Beijing being designed and choreographed by the visionary director of this, his first film - China's own Yimou Zhang.
And here is where it all started - though previously he had been a cinematographer - and it shows - Red Sorghum is beautiful, visually but with that extra edge of human darkness; lust, greed, violence, death, murderous invaders, all set within or close to the wavering seas of sorghum grasses, grown for making a blood-red wine.
Both blood and wine flows copiously at times as this tale gets handed down through the generations; a story that starts simply but which builds into a brazen attack on the senses, the superb use of colour mixing with excellent dramatic acting, slow-moving and evocative long takes and occasional bursts of action - and some comedy, good natural comedy that's actually a joy and which breaks down any boundaries concerned with race, or time.
I quite like the narration that occasionally ables us and the songs, more like spiritual war-dances than pretty ditties.
If you prefer your Chinese/Hong Kong movies more action-based with high-kicking martial arts or big-scaled epic battles, then this might leave you disappointed - this is more Arthouse, something to ponder and savour than having your eyeballs filled with non-stop thrills.