Zhang Yimou’s greatest achievement in over a decade is also his most visually stunning. Not since Hero and House of Flying Daggers has director Zhang succeeded on such an impressive level. The story involves a brilliant general who – though dying – devises an intricate plan to achieve victory over a rival kingdom. The plan involves his wife, a skilled look-alike (the tititular “shadow”) and kings he hopes to play like pawns.
“From the opening shots, the film announces itself as something special. A text preamble situates the story line during a peaceful era in the “Three Kingdoms” era of Chinese history, but the world of “Shadow” is neither placid nor realistic… The characters have pale flesh tones, yes, but their surroundings are black and white and countless gradations of gray.” It is exquisitely beautiful, yet – not until the movie’s middle section wills Zhang pull out all of the stops. “The true yin and yang of the film is its expressive balance of masculine and feminine elements of design and choreography, especially as they’re expressed in combat. The bluntly macho shapes of swords and halberds (as swung and thrust by confident, scowling men) are contrasted against razor-edged umbrella weapons deployed with deliberately feminine motions – by men as well as women… (who) practically waltz into combat with them, hips swaying demurely, then use them as toboggans to carry them down steep, muddy hills.” – RogerEbert.com
Read that again. Or better yet, check out the film’s trailer. Not rated. In Mandarin with English subtitles. 116 minutes.
Saturday, June 29 at 12pm, 4pm and 7pm
$9 Adults; $6 Seniors, Students w/ID
Personal Responsibility Statement: Proctors prides itself on offering a diverse selection of arts entertainment. Not all productions may appeal to or be appropriate for every person or for all ages. Patrons are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the shows we offer in order to make informed decisions prior to purchasing tickets.
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