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THE WOODEN MAN'S BRIDE

Taiwan, 1993 (MIFF 1994)

Director: Huang Jianxin

Nineteen twenties China, a time of transtion and hope, as the feudal society reluctantly bows to the promise of a new republic. In the remote North West, barely touched by change for thousands of years, a young girl is being carried to an arranged marriage. One of her bearers, a peasant, battles to save her from abduction at the hands of bandits. Perhaps the subsequent events could only happen in a feudal, repressive culture but the story has a timeless, universal quality and appeal.

From the smallest incidental detail to the vast panoramic vision Huang Jianzxin's saga of love and lore uses the stark beauty of the land, and traditional marriage customs and practices, to explore the often debilitating concept of the all powerful family in Chinese culture. From the humiliating testing of the virginity of a young mistress, to the practice requiring a widow to sleep with a carved wooden effigy of her husband, filmmaker Huang (a 'Fifth Generation' director whose sumptuous vision parallels films such as Red Sorghum and Yellow Earth) dissects the intricate web of ritual and repression with this intensely metaphorical critique.

Huang Jianzxin's first film, The Black Cannon Incident was screened at the 1987 Melbourne International Film Festival; his brand new film Back To Back, Face To Face also features this year.

See also...

THE BLACK CANNON INCIDENT

Black Cannon is the first satirical comedy worthy of the name made in China in 30 years. Engineer Zhao Shuxin (played by Liu Zifeng, who must be China s answer to Woody Allen) is suspected of ... More »

BACK TO BACK, FACE TO FACE

Coming straight from the Cannes Film Festival's Directors Fortnight, Back To Back, Face To Face is a razor-sharp comedy from the Chinese cinema's resident satirist, Huang Jianxin. ... The film is a ... More »

DISLOCATION

The follow up to Huang Jianxm's very successful first feature Black Cannon Incident, is a decidedly different type of film, that even those familiar with the new developments in Chinese cinema may ... More »

THE WEDDING BANQUET

Joint winner of the Golden Bear at this year's Berlin Film Festival, The Wedding Banquet represents yet another thematically daring, thoroughly entertaining film from Taiwan. An engaging social ... More »

THAT DAY, ON THE BEACH (M)

“The subtlety of Yang and [actress Sylvia] Chang merge together to form an irresistible emotional force.” - Toronto International Film FestivalThe award-winning debut feature of Australian ... More »

CONFUCIAN CONFUSION, A

"Sleek, chic and hysterical, the film owes more to Preston Sturges than Michelangelo Antonioni." - Cinematheque Ontario ... Set over a couple of frenetic days in a Taipei entertainment corporation, A ... More »

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