Home' LOTL : Oct 11 Contents Another great page to screen adaptation, this time around it is Lisa See’s
bestselling novel, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan that is translated for the big
Fans of the novel may at first scratch their heads over the inclusion of a
parallel modern day friendship – but director Wayne Wang (Joy Luck Club)
has cleverly book- ended See’s stor y of the friendship between two 19th
centur y Chinese women, to make it more palatable for cinemagoers and easily
portray and juxtapose the changing roles of women in contemporar y China .
Much like See’s novel, the film follows the stor y of two ‘ Laotong ’ – Snow
Flower and Lily – girls sworn tog ether as friends for life – and the secret
lang uage that they use to communicate with each other.
Brought up in 19th centur y China, the two girls are from different classes
but share a similar fate under the feudal regime. Their feet are bound from
the time they can walk in order to secure a g ood marriage match (smal l feet
being most prized). Girls are considered little more than chattels, marriages
are arranged and abuse is common. To cope with the adversity they face
in their ever yday life, Snow Flower and Lily develop a secret lang uage and
communicate via their many painted fans, forging a friendship that is as
strong as a willow until a misunderstanding tears them apart.
Wang ’s direction is as solid as ever – proving once again that he has a good
eye for directing women and a great sense of the dramatic. He is assisted by
great performances from Li Bingbing and Gianna Jun as both the modern day
and 19th centur y friends...
A little melodramatic at times,
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is still a
wonderful film about love and loyalty
that spans a lifetime.
The Eye Of The Storm
Director: Fred Schepisi
Starring: Charlottle Rampling, Geoffrey Rush
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Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
Director: Wayne Wang
Starring: Gianna Jun, Li Bingbing
Patrick White’s acclaime d novel, The Eye of the Storm is given the big
screen treatment by Aussie filmmaker Fre d Schepisi, who is much better
known these days for his block buster flicks than perceptive dramas such
as this. It’s a return to form for the director, who cut his te eth on movies
such as The Chant of Jimmy Blackmith and The Devil’s Playground and it’s
probably his best work since Six Degrees of Separation (which also prove d a
young black actor named Will Smith had the chops to play drama).
Working from an adaptation by Judy Morris, S chepisi employs the
talent of a trio of ver y fine actors, Charlotte R ampling , Judy Davis and
Geoffre y Rush to bring White’s tale of a dying matriarch to life. R ampling
is particularly compelling as Elizabeth Hunter, the matriarch in question,
while Davis and Rush are as always superb in meaty supporting roles.
The film swing s from black comedy to social commentar y to redemptive
drama and back again, all the while remaining relatively tr ue to the source
A fine effort and a great return to filmmaking in Australia by one of our
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