giovedì 15 settembre 2011

The Burning of Yuan Ming Yuan (火烧圆明园)(1983)

 The Burning of Yuan Ming Yuan (火烧圆明园)
Dir:  Han Hsiang Li
Cast: Tony Leung Ka Fai, Xiaoqing Liu , Kun Xiang , Tielin Zhang, Jie Zhou, Ye Chen ,etc
Plot:  Han Hsiang Li focuses on Empress Dowager Cixi (or Tzu Hsi), who seduced the Emperor and managed to rule from behind the throne through successive regimes. But before she became Empress, Cixi (played here by Liu Hsiao Chin) was simply Yu Lan, concubine to Emperor Xian Feng (Tony Leung Ka Fai). In her years at the Imperial Palace, Yu Lan would seduce the Emperor, bear him a son, and undergo turmoil at the hands of foreign invaders, who finally burnt down the Imperial Palace. (yesasia)
Year: 1983
Country: Mainland China / HK
Trailer (edit from our dvd): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vkzAUeGmso
Notes: The movie has been released in China by Gzbeauty. There are a lot of versions, ours had English subtitles. Anyway, it was released also in HK (vcd and dvd).The director was into historical drama with movies such as The Empress Dowager (一代妖后)(1989) and Reign behind the curtain (垂帘听政)(1983). This is Tony Leung Ka Fai’s second movie. Xiaoqing Liu starred also in the first mainland action movie Mysterious Buddha(神秘的大佛)(1980).
Personal opinion: Maybe you are asking yourself why we put here such movie, our answer is simple: it was pretty well received when it came out, so we thought it deserved a place here.We usually don't like historical drama, let’s say it.. they are quite boring if you are not interested in such matter. Talking about the movie, the intro is way too long, it’s really beautiful too watch but really damn boring also. And then another flaw: the battles. The one between the Chinese and the British/French is so annoying, boring, dull..  you choose.The foreigners are portrait like evil beings, ready to destroy everything and kill every Chinese. Maybe it is true, dunno. When the foreigners arrive in Beijing the massacre begins, women, men, children all dead, we gotta say that these scenes were pretty strong.Oh before we forget, if you can’t stand animal cruelty, do not buy this movie. There is a scene were a deer is being tortured because its blood is needed. The deer is real and the blood too.Overall the movie is gorgeous to watch, but boring as well (if you are not into this kind of movies). It’s up to you to decide if it’s the right movie for you.
Some snapshots (from the original dvd):

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