Pras on World Films: RAISE THE RED LANTERN

Raise the Red Lantern

Raise the Red Lantern (MGM World Films)The film that drew me into the world of arthouse/world films.

“RAISE THE RED LANTERN” will probably rank as Zhang Yimou’s all time best art film. The asthetic quality of the film, the authenticity of the story context and a very powerful performance by Gong Li has made me watch this film again and again. Its a pity that Yimou moved away from this style and approach of filmmaking and got bitten by the commercial techno-simulated action stunt-driven art films that appeal to a younger and more commercial film market.

“RAISE THE RED LANTERN” will rank alongside films exploring the social period context of human life made by master directors such as Satyajit Ray, Vittorio de Sica, Truffaut and Kurosawa.

A TRIVIA: (if you didn’t know already) The film was banned by the Chinese government for many many years, if its not still so.

COMMENT: A restored version of the film was shown to small audiences in film-loving cities (New York and San Francisco) recently. I hope this DVD represents the restored version of the film. The original version was distributed with very poor subtitles and an oversaturated color balance that spoiled viewing pleasure somewhat.

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