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Electric Shadows (Meng ying tong nian) (2004)



Average Rating: 6.1/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.



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Average Rating: 2.8/5
User Ratings: 15,886

My Rating

Movie Info

The beauty and tragedies of China's history are reflected in the lives of a handful of film fans in this historical drama. Mao Dabing (Xia Yu) is a delivery man working in a small village in rural China during the latter days of the Cultural Revolution. Mao is a movie fan who lives for the periodic outdoor screenings held in the town square, but he meets a bigger buff one day when, after he has an accident on his bicycle, he's assaulted by Ling-Ling (Qi Zhongyang), a cute but overly excitable


Art House & International, Drama

Jul 25, 2006

First Run Features

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All Critics (11) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (2) | DVD (5)

Strip away the silly ideology of the old films, and Electric Shadows could be any movie buff's tale. It's the memory movie of our own mind, in English, Mandarin or whatever language the local Bijou screened them in.

June 23, 2006 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
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Debuting writer-director Xiao Jiang shows she has the makings of a quality mainstream filmmaker.

December 16, 2005 Full Review Source: Variety
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Dreamy lighting, soft colors and lilting music mix with an agreeable cast.

December 16, 2005
New York Post
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This fanciful Chinese tearjerker wants to be an Asian Cinema Paradiso but doesnt quite live up to its prototype.

December 15, 2005
New York Times
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For every privileged moment (mother and daughter dancing in a yard of screen-like sheets hanging in the breeze), there's a death or sociopathic act that says movies can ruin your life.

December 13, 2005 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In an astonishingly accomplished first feature, female filmmaker Xiao Jiang puts an entirely different face on China's Cultural Revolution.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Chinese filmmaker Xiao Jiang makes an impressive debut with an extended flashback about two cinema-crazed kids coming of age amid the communist revolution of the early 1970s.

June 22, 2006 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

Like a Chinese version of The Notebook, every bit as sappy and shameless, only with crazier ingredients and 10 percent less saturated sentimentalism.

December 22, 2005 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

Xiao's bittersweet film is superficially a swoony love letter to the cinema. But her valentine has a hidden sting, rooted in some hard truths.

December 16, 2005 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

A touching, deeply evocative love letter to the history of Chinese cinema.

December 16, 2005 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Audience Reviews for Electric Shadows (Meng ying tong nian)

Sort of a Chinese Cinema Paradiso. Sentimental and compelling.
January 10, 2011
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

The main character's name isn't Mao Dabing. It's still Mao Xiaobing. "Xiao" means "little" and "da" means "big," so he's joking that he has grown up. Very sweet movie but the more I watch it, the more leery I am of the melodramatic coincidences the story depends on.
October 13, 2008

Super Reviewer

touching slow paced drama that takes time to unfold. Beautifully photographed, and a special film with an interesting story. My only complaint is that the entire film leads up to the end moment, when the 2 leads are reunited. However, that climax is so soft, almost to a whisper. I believe more could have been developed out of that moment, so in that sense a lost opportunity. An excellent work for a first time director.
January 7, 2010
alan jay

Super Reviewer

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