Springtime In A Small Town

Overview

For his first feature since 1993's acclaimed The Blue Kite, director Tian Zhuangzhuang chose to remake a classic 1949 Chinese film, Springtime in a Small Town. The film takes place in 1946. Yu Wen (Hu Jingfan) lives on a country estate with her sickly husband, Dai Li-yan (Wu Jun), and his rambunctious teenage sister, Dai Xiu (Lu Sisi). They are waited on by the family's longtime servant, Lao Huang (Ye Xiaokeng). Yu Wen cares for her husband and she's kind to him, but she doesn't seem to love him. Frustrated with ...
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Overview

For his first feature since 1993's acclaimed The Blue Kite, director Tian Zhuangzhuang chose to remake a classic 1949 Chinese film, Springtime in a Small Town. The film takes place in 1946. Yu Wen (Hu Jingfan) lives on a country estate with her sickly husband, Dai Li-yan (Wu Jun), and his rambunctious teenage sister, Dai Xiu (Lu Sisi). They are waited on by the family's longtime servant, Lao Huang (Ye Xiaokeng). Yu Wen cares for her husband and she's kind to him, but she doesn't seem to love him. Frustrated with his inability to give her a child due to his constant illness, she sleeps in a separate room. For his part, Li-yan feels guilt and shame over his inability to properly care for his wife. Their lives are disrupted by the arrival of Li-yan's childhood friend, Zhang Zhi-chen (Xin Bajqing), a well-traveled doctor. Li-yan soon learns that his old friend was once his wife's neighbor, but he doesn't know that they were also in love, and had at one time planned to marry. Tensions swirl about the household as Yu Wen and Zhi-chen try to reconcile their lingering feelings for each other with their responsibility to Li-yan. Springtime in a Small Town won the San Marco Prize at the 2002 Venice Film Festival, and was selected for the 2002 New York Film Festival.
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Special Features

Interview with director Tian from the Leonard Lopate Show, WNYC Radio; Making of... featurette ; U.S. theatrical trailer; Previews ; Weblinks
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Springtime in a Small Town is an exquisitely crafted romantic drama. Director Tian Zhuangzhuang Horse Thief has created a sublimely beautiful portrait of a disintegrating arranged marriage. Director of photography Mark Lee Ping-bing, who has done stunning work for Wong Kar-wai In the Mood for Love and Hou Hsiao-hsien The Puppet Master keeps his camera gliding smoothly through one elegantly composed long take after another, while the production and costume design of Tim Yip Kam-tim Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon perfectly captures the period, and the environs of a wealthy country estate in decline. Tian's cast of relative unknowns deliver strong but understated performances, with Wu Jun, as the sickly landowner, Liyan, particularly affecting. The filmmaker introduces the simple plot slowly, shooting the action in rather long shots through windowpanes and screens, keeping the audience at a respectful distance, creating a sense that we're eavesdropping on these lives. The film lugubriously builds an emotional power, bringing the characters closer together, and climaxing as one character smashes a window in desperation of reaching another. Once one gives oneself over to the film's restrained storytelling and leisurely pace, the film casts a powerful spell. Filmmaker Tian Zhuangzhuang triumphantly returns to narrative filmmaking with a visually masterful work of quiet power.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/23/2004
  • UPC: 660200308520
  • Original Release: 2002
  • Rating:

  • Source: Palm Pictures / Umvd
  • Region Code: 1
  • Language: Cantonese
  • Time: 1:52:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 8,110

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Hu Jingfan Yuwen
Wu Jun Dai Liyan
Xin Baiqing Zhang Zhichen
Ye Xiaokeng Lao Huang
Lu Sisi Dai Xiu
Technical Credits
Tian Zhuangzhuang Director
Wouter Barendrecht Executive Producer
Ah Cheng Screenwriter
Cheng Guangming Production Designer
Lai He Asst. Director
Eric Heumann Associate Producer
Lu Jiajin Sound/Sound Designer
Xu Jiangping Editor
Bill Kong Producer
Mark Lee Cinematographer
Zhao Lin Score Composer
Marc Sillam Associate Producer
Alain Vannier Associate Producer
Michael J. Werner Executive Producer
Li Xiaowan Producer
Tu Xinran Art Director
Ting Yatming Producer
Tim Yip Costumes/Costume Designer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Home Life [7:47]
2. The Visitor [3:53]
3. Catching Up [7:57]
4. Little Sister [3:42]
5. Stay Awhile [8:59]
6. Fresh Air [6:16]
7. He's So Handsome [3:13]
8. Alone Together [8:57]
9. A Proposition [4:57]
10. No Lies [6:08]
11. Matchmaker [3:44]
12. Birthday Party [8:43]
13. You're Drunk [5:40]
14. Seduction [6:26]
15. Hope [6:11]
16. Sacrifice [11:40]
17. Send Off [5:02]
18. Credits [2:14]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Subtitles
      English Subtitles: On
      English Subtitles: Off
   Scene Access
   Special Features
      Making of Springtime in a Small Town
      Radio Interview
      Trailer
      Previews
         Last Life in the Universe
         Time of the Wolf
         6ixtynin9
      Weblinks
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