The Bird People in China

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85%

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User Ratings: 3,921
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Movie Info

A salary man and a yakuza are sent to a Chinese village.

Cast & Crew

Mako
Shen
Li Li Wang
Masa Nakamura
Screenwriter
Yasuhiko Furusato
Producer
Seiha Ohji
Producer
Kôji Endô
Original Music
Hideo Yamamoto
Cinematographer
Yasushi Shimamura
Film Editor
Keiko Mitsumatsu
Production Design
Tatsuo Ozeki
Set Decoration
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Critic Reviews for The Bird People in China

All Critics (2) | Fresh (2)

Audience Reviews for The Bird People in China

  • Jul 02, 2012
    I'd say this is a very good film. Completely different from anything else he's ever done, which is sort of his trademark really. Do things that you wouldn't expect from him. But if you had to pinpoint him to a certain genre it would be the ultra-violent horror films. This is definitely a step in the completely opposite direction, pretty much as opposite as you can get. And while the rating may suggest otherwise, I thought this was a really good movies but I had some problems with it. First things first the cast is solid. Renji Ishibashi is always great and Masahiro Motoki is likable. They make a good pair and are very entertaining together, when need be. The problems I had with the movie were mostly story-wise. The story simply just didn't click for me, despite having some very charming and lovely moments. I just think that the movie didn't do a very good job to explain why he was so fascinated that he'd want to transcribe the song that the girl in the village sang. Why did he do that??? Was it to find out how the people fly??? I have absolutely no idea and if it was explained in the movie then a poor job was done of it. And the discussion at the end that Wada and Ujiie's character have that, as Ujiie said, technology will come, as the villagers wanted electricity, and destroy this beautiful village and Wada was saying that without technology they wouldn't have been able to fly and discover this village so it isn't so bad. That, to me, felt a bit preachy and completely unnecessary as the movie really had no pretentiousness and that discussion made the movie about something completely different than what it had been about until that point. It just didn't fit. Those were my problems with the movie, despite thinking it was really good overall. I think they're sizable enough that it affected my overall rating of the movie. But I still really enjoyed this movie overall. It's kind of aimless really, but it can also be very charming at times.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Nov 12, 2011
    For those who question Miike's versatility, I present Exhibit A, The Bird People in China. Genre-bending, insightful and poetic, this film displays the great humanistic touches that contradict Miike's reputation as hyper violent and sexual filmmaker. Bird People begins as a quirky, gently comic adventure story and gradually morphs into an intriguing exploration of the very nature of human emotion, loaded with symbolism, a deep, true warmth and some utterly terrific imagery. To analyze the film's rabid lust-for-life philosophy and examine the complexities of the script would take another article entirely, but in short, Miike's wild directorial flair continually pushes the question of whether technological progress, modern day civility and even spoken language itself are adversaries or allies to man's untamed desire to be free. This is achieved through a variety of reasons, but a few worth mentioning: the graceful nature in which it was shot, and Miike's trademark humor--self-deprecating, occasionally misanthropic and surreal, but ultimately biting. Perhaps what I liked most about the film was that it resisted the urge to draw a line in the sand with regards to the themes it developed. Is the film for or against the influx of technology and modernization? I think you can make a good case for both sides. That wisely keeps The Bird People in China from being too moralizing, and more... well, human.
    Jonathan H Super Reviewer
  • Nov 03, 2011
    Miike's film tells a story of wonder, of finding yourself in the most unlikely of places, and of the encroachment of modernity. While most people praise this film for its lack of brutality which permeates most of the other films in Miike's cannon, as a stand alone film I found it a little underwhelming. While I enjoyed many of the themes that this film explored, I found myself at a distant from what the characters were experiencing. There is a sense of serenity that flows over much of the film. While this makes for some beautiful moments, it unfortunately makes some of the more pivotal scenes feeling lifeless and hard to really immerse yourself in. Maybe it is a cultural thing. Could it be that all of the melodrama I ingest on a daily basis has rendered me unable to really appreciate emotions that are a little more understated? Who knows? But until I grow up a little bit or give this film another viewing, I will sadly be remembering this film with little enthusiasm.
    Reid V Super Reviewer
  • Sep 12, 2011
    Japanese businessman and Japanese yakuza travel into remote China looking for jade and finding children with wings instead. Not at all the kind of film Takashi Miike is known for, and all the better for that
    Lesley N Super Reviewer

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