Da hong deng long gao gao gua (1991)
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This movie is a rare visual treat. Extremely vibrant and colorful. Gong Li is flawless. An intriguing and interesting analysis on the fate of women and traditional customs in the early 1900s in China. Women are basically trapped, physically and psychologically, in the 4-walls of their husbands. They obey their husbands like the way servants would to their masters. A man holds absolute power. He does whatever he pleases and can marry as many concubine as he sees fit. He treats his concubines like toys - cherishes them when they're still new and shiny but after a while he'd toss them away as they get old or don't offer anything new. It's a sad peek into the monotonous life of the concubines. Not only they're trapped, they're pushed into a cat and mouse game between the wives to get the master's attention. They'd do whatever it needs to get favor of the husband, namely giving him a son. It's a mad society. No matter how educated a woman is, it's ridiculously hard to get out of the rat race. Excellent movie.
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In 20 official lists
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This movie ranks #14 in BIFF's Asian Cinema 100
This movie ranks #22 in Tom Vick's Asian Cinema: A Field Guide
This movie ranks #24 in IMDb's History Top 50
This movie ranks #32 in Empire's The 100 Best Films of World Cinema
This movie ranks #48 in IMDb's Romance Top 50
This movie ranks #49 in IMDb's 1990s Top 50
This movie ranks #54 in Golden Horse's 100 Greatest Chinese-Language Films
This movie ranks #135 in Emma Beare's 501 Must-See Movies
This movie ranks #188 in Academy Award - Best International Feature Film Nominees
This movie ranks #215 in Roger Ebert's Great Movies
This movie ranks #221 in iCheckMovies's Most Favorited
This movie ranks #298 in Harvard's Suggested Film Viewing: Narrative Films
This movie ranks #431 in Mark Cousins's The Story of Film: An Odyssey
This movie ranks #435 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films
This movie ranks #548 in Halliwell's Top 1000: The Ultimate Movie Countdown
This movie ranks #599 in Sight & Sound's The Greatest Films of All Time
This movie ranks #697 in The New York Times's Book of Movies
This movie ranks #755 in Time Out's 1000 Films to Change Your Life
This movie ranks #825 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
This movie ranks #925 in David Thomson's Have You Seen?