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Shower Review


Extraordinary
China's a funny place today. Old men in Mao suits perform morning stretches in the shadow of dot-com billboards. Cell-phone toting kids cruise on beat-up bikes. And the crowd at McDonald's is notably more enthusiastic than the one protesting at the American embassy around the corner.

But what's the price of progress? In Shower, Zhang Yang looks at the widening chasm between old-school China and its Gen-Y offspring, while playing a warm eastern riff on the return home of the prodigal son.

Continue reading: Shower Review

Quitting Review


Good
Director Zhang Yang's Quitting, which chronicles the rise and fall of Chinese actor Jia Hongsheng, is a difficult film in several respects. It's not an easy chore to watch a person's life crumble, and here the task is made even more taxing by virtue of the fact that this movie is based on a true story and, amazingly, its cast is comprised entirely by real people portraying themselves. In addition to traditional narrative filmmaking, Yang mixes documentary-like interview footage with several scenes where the camera pulls back to reveal the actors performing the material on the set of a play. Yang's inventiveness is commendable, but his daring causes the film to become derailed on several occasions. Add to that a pace which makes the second half of the film crawl to the finish, and ultimately Qutting can feel a bit too unnecessarily weighed down and excessive.

Jia Hongsheng was on the cusp of stardom in the 1980s, having gained fame playing the roles of villains in several Chinese B-movies. The actor, however, suffered from extreme emotional instability and his experimentation with drugs led to a quick fall from grace. As his mental state continued to fracture, Jia's parents -- fellow actors who were long-time members of a theater troupe in Northern China -- packed up all of their belongings and moved in with their son, who was sharing an apartment with his sister. The road to recovery was, of course, beset by a multitude of pitfalls, eventually leading Jia's family to institutionalize the man.

Continue reading: Quitting Review

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Huo Xin Movies

Quitting Movie Review

Quitting Movie Review

Director Zhang Yang's Quitting, which chronicles the rise and fall of Chinese actor Jia Hongsheng,...

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