Farewell My Concubine (1992)
September 27, 2023 8:59 AM - Subscribe

Abandoned by his prostitute mother in 1920, Douzi (Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing) was raised by a theater troupe. There he meets Shitou (Zhang Fengyi) and over the following years the two develop an act entitled "Farewell My Concubine" that brings them fame and fortune. When Shitou marries Juxian (Gong Li), Douzi becomes jealous, the beginnings of the acting duo's explosive breakup and tragic fall take root.

Currently in a 4K very narrow re-release with about 20 minutes cut from the original U.S. release by that butcher Weinstein restored. An extraordinary film that over the years has been very hard to see, featuring a great performance by Cheung, tragically lost to suicide barely a decade later; a three hours you won't regret.
posted by praemunire (5 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Ooh, thanks, looks like this is coming to a theater nearby for one day next month. I'd just read about it in the latest "Harvey's Hellhole" column over at Crooked Marquee, which is a monthly series they run "spotlighting the movies that were poorly marketed, mishandled, reshaped, neglected or just straight-up destroyed by Harvey Weinstein during his reign as one of the most powerful studio chiefs in Hollywood."
posted by mediareport at 5:28 AM on September 28, 2023 [3 favorites]

Grab those tickets in advance; it's sold out more than a dozen showings here in NYC.
posted by praemunire at 9:43 AM on September 28, 2023 [1 favorite]

I saw this movie back in college more than a decade ago, and never since, but I can still remember certain scenes as clear as day. Wrenching to watch but definitely no regrets at all. And I had no idea Weinstein was tied to its release in the US! I wonder which version I saw, though I'd bet it was the uncut one - we saw it from DVD and not theatrically, and per Wikipedia there was an uncut release on DVD, aside from the fact that it was an East Asian cinema class and I would imagine the professor would have taken care to get the full version.
posted by sigmagalator at 11:09 PM on September 29, 2023 [1 favorite]

Yes, Miramax = Weinstein involvement. Unfortunately.
posted by praemunire at 11:41 PM on September 29, 2023

I don’t know if I can watch it again, I sobbed all the way home after seeing it in the theatre. One thing though, by the end of the film, I’d heard enough of the aria that I kinda almost enjoyed it and when I next went to Hong Kong, I sat for an outdoor performance one rainy afternoon on Cheung Chau island. Also, afterwards I rented every Gong Li movie I could find, she is luminous .
posted by TWinbrook8 at 11:06 AM on September 30, 2023 [1 favorite]

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