The GOODS from The Cinematheque
Vancouver, BC | Chinese heavyweight auteur Zhang Yimou (Raise the Red Lantern, Hero), a leading light of China’s Fifth Generation filmmakers, directed an historic run of movies beginning in the late 1980s that garnered international acclaim, top festival laurels, and unprecedented Oscar attention. (1990’s Ju Dou was the first Chinese picture ever nominated for Best Foreign Language Film.) Inextricably tied to the success of those works was Zhang’s gifted lead actress (and then romantic partner) Gong Li. Shanghai Triad marked their eighth consecutive collaboration; it would be their last for over a decade. Set in the decadent underworld of 1930s Shanghai, the visually ravishing crime drama unfolds through the eyes of 14-year-old Shuisheng (Wang Xiao Xiao), a country naïf sponsored by his uncle to serve as a lackey for a triad boss’s concubine, played by Gong. Over seven days, Shuisheng silently observes the simmering tensions, secret rendezvous, and bloody retributions in the gang syndicate, while growing increasingly concerned for the safety of his mistress. The film’s rich, sensuous cinematography earned DP Lü Yue an Oscar nomination.
(Yao a yao, yao dao wai po qiao)
June 26 – July 2
The film will be available to screen online from June 26 – July 2. The streaming link can be accessed through The Cinematheque’s website from Friday, June 26. Half of the virtual ticket price goes directly to The Cinematheque, making it a great way to support our non-profit organization during this challenging time.
“Shanghai Triad has impeccable flow and balance. And Gong Li’s performance — a portrait of a capricious and indulgent woman who gains depth as we watch her — is one of her finest.”
Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
“However endlessly filmmakers around the world have told story, Mr. Zhang reimagines it with immense grace and turns it into a deeply felt tragedy … Gong Li’s astonishing performance summons all the tawdriness, evil, and eventual dignity this story demands.”
Janet Maslin, New York Times