This works in so many different modes--location-shooting, documentary, heavily staged and metaphorical scenarios, kabuki theater, faux cinema vérité discourse, musical performance, black and white and color--I found it difficult to make sense of but I was always fascinated. Sometimes a scene would seemingly bring clarity to everything only to send me reeling the next moment. The only film I can think of that feels comparable in terms of transgression and scope of its concerns is Godard's Weekend, and even that…
"But I've been living as a jianghu just to find you."
. . .
"Am I that important?"
"If not you, then what is?"
In which Jia's character's must rapidly adapt to the economic and political (sur)reality around them. For the first time, the melodrama is as fluid as the history. Less schematic than Mountains May Depart's family-through-the-decades, Ash tests the relationship between Qiao (Zhao Tao) and Bin (Liao Fan) as the former’s personal convictions and commitment to jianghu values…