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About Movie: Farewell My Concubine

February 11, 2007

Some tag line on The King and the clown DVD said, it’s better than “Farewell My Concubine (1993)” and “Brokeback Mountain (2005)”. Well, IMHO, it’s good but not really better than the other movies. However, it prompts me to introduce you “Farewell My Concubine“, directed by Kaige Chen

The original title is “Ba wang bie ji” (1993). It refers to a traditional play of Peking Opera, which is also the play which the two lead were very good at. This movie won Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival (1993), shared with Jane Campion’s “The Piano” from New Zealand (1993).

IMDB Plot Outline
“Farewell, My Concubine” is a movie with two parallel, intertwined stories. It is the story of two performers in the Beijing Opera, stage brothers, and the woman who comes between them. At the same time, it attempts to do no less than squeeze the entire political history of China in the twentieth century into a three-hour time-frame.

That doesn’t say too much. Roll Anyway it’s really a remarkable movie, probably the best by Kaige Chen.

DVD Times reviewed Korean release (which is anamorphic & has better sound) but the color isn’t right. R1 DVD has the better color but isn’t anamorphic. DVD Verdict also gave the story a full score. I also strongly recommend this movie. Another gay movie won Cannes.

One of two lead was played by Leslie Cheung, which also played a gay man in Happy Together (see this post). In the real like he was gay but didn’t come out when performing in these movies. He died few years ago, jumping from his room in one hotel in Hong Kong.

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