My generation, people in their 40's and late 30's, has a very complicated feeling about mainland China and Hong Kong. Stanley Kwan. Strand Releasing.
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If I ever did have the thought I would have rejected it as a kind of betrayal, especially since my father had lovingly assumed the role of chauffeur just so I might cultivate a deeper passion for movies. On each visit, though, I would make sure to stroll through the Asian aisle to steal another glance at the cover of Lan Yuwith its image of two Chinese men standing in pre-kiss proximity. Of course I lacked the nerve to smuggle it home, but in addition to being extremely curious about what simulated sex between two Chinese actors would look like, I was tantalized by the sense that this movie would surely contain some hint of a life or a sensibility I could understand, some alternative to the American gay culture I felt alienated from.
Premier: Jan. Since almost the entire movie takes place indoors and there is nothing in the outdoor locations that is distinctly Beijing, I do not see what the point of filming in Beijing was. Similarly, there are references to the cold, but it is obvious that the film was not shot in winter-time.
When you're young you might as well have a good time and not, think too much. But when you are older you want to have a commitment to things, and the only way to do that is to be yourself, to come out, rather than pretend. So says director Stanley Kwan, whose new gay love story, Lan Yu, comes to American audiences this summer.
It might seem that the first film made in China that uses the Tiananmen Square massacre as a plot element would qualify for an automatic ban from the government for that reason alone. Yet it may be an equally sensitive issue in China, homosexuality, that dooms the chances of the film, ''Lan Yu,'' for legal showings in this nation. Despite both issues and other controversies, the film's producer, Zhang Yongning, is applying for approval from China's Bureau of Film to play it in theaters here.
Considered among the benchmarks of contemporary Hong Kong cinema, Stanley Kwan's opus Actressa wildly ambitious biopic about Ruan Ling-yu dubbed "the Greta Garbo of Chinese cinema"had more than half an hour ruthlessly slashed from its original minute run time. Kwan's latest, Lan Yuinitially seems like it's been given the same foul treatment—it barrels through its 86 minutes in such an elliptical rush that a man gets married and divorced within the space of a single cut. Based on an anonymously published Internet novel and shot in Beijing without government approval, Lan Yu takes a frank and honest look at the city's burgeoning gay underground, but Kwan's elegant style belies the on-the-fly production conditions. With shades of The Unbearable Lightness Of Beingthe story centers on Hu Jun, a nouveau-riche entrepreneur who seduces younger men with money and gifts, but begs off a more lasting affair.