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Movie Review
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The City of Sadness By Hou Hsiao-Hsien Film Analysis (Movie Review Sample)


film ANALYSIS OF The City of Sadness By Hou Hsiao-hsien

The City of Sadness By Hou Hsiao-hsien
City of Sadness (1989) is a film by Hou Hsiao Hsien a Taiwanese historical drama. The movie tells the story of the horrors experienced by a Taiwanese family as a result of the Kuomintang government. The terrors included many Taiwanese being arrested and executed commonly referred to as the "white terror era." The movie spoke openly of the horrors that authentic leadership in Taiwan was exerting on its people. The film is well known who publicizing the events that occurred on February 28, 1947, where thousands of Taiwanese were mercilessly executed.
The film comprises of some scenes both good and bad the quality of the scenes vary throughout the movie regarding the actors, editing, and the plots. The movies come together as a beautiful piece that has been nominated and won awards over the years. The video continues to be relevant in the 21st century and is used as a teaching tool and continues to be an inspiration to many who can relate to the events presented in the film.
For the purpose of this discussion one extended scene from the movie has been selected. An analysis of relevance to the actors, location, art design and cinematography and mis en scene is carried out. The chosen scene for the discussion being the opening scene in the film. The view was selected due to the "power" the initial stage provides thus capturing the audience’s attention from the word go.
The opening scene of a city of sadness (1989) is a sequence of credit shot of pitch black darkness. In addition to the dark screen, one hears a somber tone in the voice of Emperor Hirohito announcing Japan’s unconditional surrender in on 15th of August 1945 over a radio broadcast. The setting of the scene is then illuminated faintly by a warm glow of candles. The candles reveal an anxiously waiting Taiwanese household family. The cause of anxiety being the birth of an infant in the middle of a crisis of power failure. As electricity is restored, it gives way to audible cries of agony of a mother birthing followed by sounds of a baby crying.
The most prominent player of this particular scene is the pregnant women who later in the film is revealed to be one Lin Wen-Heung concubines. The actor plays the part of a travailing woman struggling to deliver a child. Her agony is well expressed in the tone of her voice. The actor’s performance was so incredible that the audience did not require seeing her face of the body to know why she was making the sound. The music made could also not be mistaken for anything else other than the agony of childbirth.
Lin Wen-Heung characterized by Chen Sown Yung displays the suffering and anxiety associated with expectant fathers although the audience does not know the reason for his agony in the first instance. The actor is seen to be anxious and since the scene starts with a radio announcement one may assume in that to because of the anxiety. The actor is seen lighting candles at the altar while smoking a cigarette as he waits for the birth of his son.
. One must note that the anxiety being displayed by the actors is of two dimensions. The first dimension is about the voice on the radio that gives them a level of uncertainty despite providing relief that the war is over. The second dimension being the anxiety that the birthing process entails, for example, the child’ gender and what kind of future will they have especially during a time where political instability is being experienced.
The birth is aroused different emotions of joy, fear, pity among others. The child's voice used in the scene is indeed from a child. The cry is loud and sharp at the same time. The tone of the cry is increasing consistently. The voice presents the element of i...
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