FC @ Venice 11: New films from Zhang Yimou and ‘The Babadook’ director, plus ‘Soni’, a terrific Indian drama

Posted on September 8, 2018

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/fc-at-venice-2018-zhang-yimou-ying-jennifer-kent-the-nightingale-ivan-ayr-soni/

Zhang Yimou’s Ying (Shadow; Chinese) plays like an all-action, zero-psychology take on Kurosawa’s Kagemusha (which shared the Palme d’Or with Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival). The latter film was about a shadow warrior, a lookalike used as a body double (especially when the “original” warrior is wounded or dead) to prevent political chaos. In Ying, the shadow warrior is employed by a weakened commander, and despite the occasional character shading (the shadow warrior is afraid of the darkness; he sleeps on the floor, with the lamp lit all night), Zhang isn’t after what it means to be a shadow warrior, and so forth. The narrative strokes are simpler, broader: betrayal, jealousy, revenge. It doesn’t matter. Kurosawa, in the twilight of his career, made an existential epic. Zhang makes a martial epic.

Continued at the link above.

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