As Gene Ching of Kung Fu Magazine notes, “Chen’s swirling cinematography catapults us into a world that feels solid and real, despite talking demon cats and ancient Chinese sorcery. This is a film to experience on a big screen. Chen’s eye for color schemes are lush and sumptuous and his vision of the excesses of the Tang imperial palace are imaginatively captivating. Despite a few dalliances into special effects overload, the film is a treat, a healthy serving of celluloid eye-candy worthy of an emperor.”
The story, adapted from a novel by Baku Yumemakura (pen name of Mineo Yoneyama), has received many award nominations and wins for the cast and crew. It was an extensive production journey but as Chen (“Farewell My Concubine,” “Temptress Moon”) is quoted as saying, “I have yet to feel at ease making an entire movie using just a green screen.”
A demon cat appears and breaks the peace of Chang’an City, causing a series of strange events. Poet Bai Letian (Xuan Huang) and Monk Kukai (Shota Sometani) join hands to investigate the death of Concubine Yang by following the trail left by the cat, unveiling a buried fact.
Showtimes: March 23 at 6 and 8:30 p.m.; March 24 at 6 p.m.; March 25 at 8 p.m.; March 26 at 4:30 p.m.; March 27, 28 and 29 at 8 p.m. In Mandarin with English subtitles.
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