Archive for September, 2008

Up the Yangtze ****½

by Allan Fish 

(Canada/China 2007 93m) DVD2

The bitterest road to wisdom

p  Mila Aung-Thwin, John Christou, Germaine Wong  d/w  Yung Chang  ph  Shi Qing Wang  ed  Hannele Halm

Upon first glimpsing the title of this lyrical documentary in the average film guide, British readers might groan at the thought of a fourth entry in that low Frankie Howerd (see below) comedy series of the seventies.  The opening caption will soon dispel those fears, as a quote comes up on screen about the three roads to wisdom that even those unfamiliar with his writings in any detail will guess to be Confucian in origin even before the great one’s name decorates the screen. 

Don't worry, he's not here...

Don't worry, you won't find him here...

            Chang’s film, several years in the making, focuses on the plight of the poverty-ridden Chinese around the Yangtze river who are forced to move from their makeshift hovels to higher ground when the Three Borges dam project causes the waters to rise by well over a hundred metres.  We are shown the people, specifically one family of illiterate parents and children wanting to make something of themselves, as they face up to the inevitable, with the eldest daughter finally forced to work on a cruise ship up river to make money to help her parents to survive and save for her high school education. (more…)

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Today, September 7, 2008, a new blog is born.  The main thrust of this cultural endeavor will be the publication of reviews, which will examine films, theatre, concerts and opera.  Several writers will be on board to bring the steaming excitement of Manhattan culture to the internet world.  In the area of film, there will also be ongoing attention to classic and contemporary cinema by some terrific writers and a tracking of new DVD releases of art house product.  As the site matures, it is also anticipated that pictures and photos will be utilized.  This is a most exciting project and I am thrilled with the prospect of rewarding discourse by way of posts and comments.     -Sam Juliano

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