So, based on a conversation I had with my lovely friend and fervent reader Cheyelle, I have added yet another element to the old RMRs. If anyone out there wants to know in advance what the next one will be so that you can watch it with me then gather back here and discuss, I will begin announcing it at the end of this post.
Because your lives do, of course, all revolve around this blog.
Hong Kong, China
France: 18 May 2001 (Cannes Film Festival)
2002 Cinefan – Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema (India) – Netpac Award (For its sensitive and insightful depiction of love relationships in a society that remains intolerant of personal choices.)
2001 Golden Horse Film Festival (Taiwan) – Best Actor: Ye Liu; Best Director: Stanley Kwan; Best Editing: William Chang; Best Screenplay Adapted from Another Source: Jimmy Ngai; Best Actor: Jun Hu (Nominated)
2002 Hong Kong Film Awards – Best Actor: Jun Hu (Nominated); Best Actor: Ye Liu (Nominated); Best Art Direction: William Chang (Nominated); Best Cinematography: Tao Yang; Jian Zhang (Nominated); Best Costume & Make Up Design: William Chang (Nominated); Best Director: Stanley Kwan (Nominated); Best Film Editing: William Chang (Nominated); Best Original Film Score: Zhang, Ya-Dong (Nominated); Best Picture (Nominated); Best Screenplay: Jimmy Ngai (Nominated); Best Supporting Actress: Jin Su (Nominated)
2002 Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards – Film of Merit
Lan Yu is a Chinese movie about a relationship between two men set against the tumultuous era of the late 80s. Chen Handong (Jun Hu) is a successful businessman in Beijing, one night he picks up a young man named Lan Yu (Ye Liu). Lan Yu is a poor college student from a rural part of China, and what began as a one night stand turns into a relationship where Handong becomes a sugar daddy to Lan Yu, giving him money and buying him clothes (Handong tells Lan Yu that his country boy clothes make him look like he’s Japanese). The film tracks their up and down relationship through the course of several years.
I mentioned that the movie is set in the 80s, I might not have known that from just watching it except for a reference to the Tiananmen Square massacre and the size of the cell phones they use. Which brings up the problem I have with the movie, I’m just too culturally removed from it. It’s probably very moving – and judging from all those awards up there, it is – but it didn’t move me like it should have. I think this is due to a lack of understanding about Chinese culture, both in the 80s when the movie was set and the 00s when it was made. Handong is quite closeted about his homosexuality, was that necessary in China? Or was it just better for business?
I also have to admit that the movie tapped into my homophobia as well. There are several nude love scenes in it, and while they’re not explicit, I still found them hard to watch. I’m not proud of this. I’m just being honest.
The Misplaced Boy MST3K Scale:
But the fact that I didn’t connect with this movie is my fault, not the movie’s.
Random Quote Whore Quote:
Lan Yu is a gray, offsetting, clam of a movie! Ye Liu is discomfited!!!
Now, as promised, I will announce what the next Random Movie Review is. Because I’m a big 007 fan from way back, I will do so in the style of the credits at the end of some of the early Bond movies:
I will also provide a link to Netflix, which will be where I’m getting the movie from. So it will look something like this:
A MISPLACED BOY WILL RETURN