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The Shadow Play Image

The Shadow Play

Fengzhong you duo yu zuode yun

Gateway | Gateway

Lou Ye’s visually voluptuous, politically controversial art-thriller recreates the steamily corrupt atmosphere of a Guangzhou development project that turned into a riot. Lou based his film on an actual notorious incident of violent public unrest that occurred in Guangzhou’s Xian "urban village" (an undeveloped village-within-a-megalopolis ringed by skyscrapers) in 2013. Political turmoil leads to the suspicious death of Party official Tang Yijie (Zhang Songwen), and handsome investigator Jiadong (hearthrob Jing Boran) sets off in pursuit of a trail leading pretty much to everyone: the dead man’s seductive, mentally unstable wife (Song Jia), his schoolmate and rival in love Zicheng (Qin Hao), Zicheng’s Taiwanese lover Ayun (Michelle Chen), and Tang’s precocious daughter Xiaonuo (youth idol Ma Sichun).

Cinematographer Jake Pollock provides vividly coloured mobile-framed close-ups that recall the glamour of 1990s Wong Kar-wai. Lou Ye’s brilliant rapid-montage cutting intensifies the disorienting, hothouse atmosphere. But it is Lou’s inspired work with his stars Song Jia, Ma Sichun, and Michelle Chen that creates a collection of fully formed, vividly erotic, bracingly intelligent female characters unparalleled in Chinese cinema.
Shelly Kraicer


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North American premiere
Director Lou Ye
Country of Origin: China
Year: 2018
Running Time: 129 mins
Format: DCP Encrypted
Language:In Mandarin, Cantonese
Cast: Song Jia, Ma Sichun, Michelle Chen, Jing Boran, Qin Hao, Zhang Songwen, Edison Chen
Executive Producer: Chang Chia-Lu
Producer: Nai An, Lou Ye
Screenwriter: Mei Feng, Qiu Yujie, Ma Yingli
Cinematographer: Jake Pollock
Editor: Jolin Zhu
Production Design: Zhong Cheng
Music: Jóhann Jóhannsson, Jonas Colstrup
Production Company: Dream Factory
Print Source: Ying Films

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