Hu Du Men (Entrance of the P-Side) (1996)
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Audience Reviews for Hu Du Men (Entrance of the P-Side)
A film by Kei Shu, who is a famous film critic and one of Hong Kong new wave directors. It describes the last days of acting career of a veteran Guangdong Opera actress, who plays a man on the stage. Hu Du Men (Hu Du Gate) is the gate that Guangdong opera actors go through to appear on stage, and they have to forget themselves and to identify totally with their roles once they go through it. The heroin is very popular stage actress with great skills, but so many things happen in her real life. By using Guangdong Opera (in which the heroin plays a man) symbolically, it captures not only an actress's but also a woman's middle age very well. Especially it is interesting how this film describes the issue of transsexuality and gender, which Kei Shu deals with again in his later work "A Queer Story" (1997). The characters, especially the heroin, are little bit too eccentric, I think, but the topic is already great. Josephine Siao, who herself is the legendary actress in Hong Kong for so long, gives an excellent performance (much better than in Ann Hui's "Summer Snow") which embodies the two-sides (a top actress who is a man on the stage/a wife and a mother who has so many family issues) of the complicated character perfectly. It is interesting that the whole mood of the film that is created bu Kei Shu is similar rather to Taiwanese films, like Edward Yang's works, than other Hong Kong films. Human Dramas by HK New Wave directors like Kei Shu and Ann Hui can be said as the other face of HK cinema.
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