Peony Pavilion (4K Restored Version)
Prod Co: Far-Sun
Cast: Rie Miyazawa, Joey Wang, Daniel Wu, Zhao Zhigang, Tang Mengjia
2001 | Colour | DCP | Mandarin | Chi & Eng Subtitles | 122min
The idea for this film began when director Yonfan first heard kunqu opera and immediately fell in love with it. His passion was ignited with The Palace of Eternal Life, and came into full bloom with Peony Pavilion. Through Yonfan's unique aesthetic, the pavilion in 1930s Suzhou is portrayed in incredible, exquisite detail, as we are brought back in time….
Courtesan singer Cuihua (Rie Miyazawa) married into a nobleman's house, but was subsequently neglected. Her only source of emotional support and friendship at the pavilion comes from the nobleman's cousin Ronglan (Joey Wang), also a dedicated fan of kunqu opera. Inside the walls of the mansion, the youth and beauty of both women are gradually worn away. And then young man Xing Zhigang (Daniel Wu) walks into their lives, upsetting their homosexual relationship. Yonfan raises the artistic standard of this film by engaging the ‘Prince of Yue opera' Zhao Zhigang from Shanghai to play a servant who has a crush on Cuihua; and the several kunqu arias featured in the film are performed by kunqu opera performer Wang Fengmei and Yang Juan. Rie Miyazawa has, in real life, experienced many hardships from an early age; her beauty exudes an air of solitary loneliness and hidden bitterness. Joey Wang, back on the screen after a prolonged absence, has cut off her long hair, dresses à la Marlene Dietrich, and with her clear, beautiful eyes glittering like pearls of glass, she is a gorgeous example of androgyny in style. Peony Pavilion is like a moving museum, displaying amazing works of art such as an actual hand-fan surface painted by Qiu Ying in the Ming dynasty, Tiffany stained-glass windows and lamps and jade and diamond jewellery of Sotheby's auction quality strewn throughout the film. In addition, Anthony Lun's score, which combines Chinese and western music from older and more recent times, emphasises the classic beauty of the gilded decadence throughout the ages. On the silver screen, this 4K restored version is sultry and captivating, tantalising the viewers like a whisp of visual opium.
Additional screening of director's interview and Yun (aka Rhythm), short film by the director for the 70th Venice International Film Festival
Director Yonfan will attend the screening
|Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
The contents of the programme do not represent the views of the presenter. The presenter reserves the right to change the programme should unavoidable circumstances make it necessary.