Spring in a Small Town (1948)
Critic Reviews for Spring in a Small Town
Spring is revelatory in a number of ways -- not least in demonstrating how Tian exquisitely refracted a stark contemporary drama through the prism of a double nostalgia.
The crowning achievement of one of China's finest directors, this unique film both reflects and dissects the mood of helpless impotence which afflicted many Chinese in the years after the war.
The film's emotional complexity lends it a weight that has sustained its influence over the decades.
For its concentration of haunting emotion and sheer subtlety of texture, Spring in a Small Town is a masterpiece.
The unadorned, pre-institutional storytelling makes for a far more compelling viewing than Tian Zhuangzhuang's 2002 glossy remake.
Full of subtle erotic tension, the 1948 drama focuses close up on Yuwen (Wei Wei), a frustrated, exquisitely beautiful housewife whose husband Liyan (Shi Yu) is invalided by tuberculosis and the traumatic effects of the Sino-Japanese war.
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