Raise the Red Lantern-Mandarin
Zhang Yimou (Ju Dou) directed this fascinating, visually formal 1991 film about an educated woman (Gong Li) who is sent off to become the newest wife of a feudal nobleman in 1920s China. Nearly isolated in his spooky, palatial home, she develops relationships with several of the other wives and slowly becomes aware of a hideous legacy of punishment toward more willful women. The film has a brittle and dry quality that is deliberate, but also suggestive of Zhang working through various explorations of his own style (which he resolved in his next film, The Story of Qiu Ju). Gong Li, one of the world's great actresses, is superb. --Tom Keogh
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Top Customer Reviews
It had the worst transfer, the film looked horrible, the quality was insulting to such a great film. The subtitles were few and far between, MAJOR dialogues are missing and even the title is mistranslated! How this could EVER be a mainstream DVD release I will never know but DO NOT PURCHASE IT, it will only make you cry a bit at the injustice this release has done for the film.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This is Shelley Praamsma, our company, MagicPlay, has the privilege from Chinese filmmakers to re-release "Raise Red Lantern" on DVD again.
I am so sorry to hear that the video quality of "Raise Red Lantern" is somewhat a disappointment to you and perhaps to others who didn't share their comments with us. I would like to take this opportunity to express our apology as well as to explain and hopefully you will continue to love indi / foreign films and continue to support our efforts in bringing more foreign programs to you.
Yes, you are all very sharp recognized the video quality isn't good. It was a huge frustration for us to bring "Raise Red Lantern" onto DVD with an understanding that we may receive negative reviews toward this program, because the current licensor couldn't provide good quality of the master. However, we, ourselves, are the big fans for Gong Li, Zhang Yimou and have the privilege and the responsibility to make this program possible to consumers.
It is shame that there aren't "Good Quality" masters of "Raise Red Lantern" currently in the procession of Chinese licensors. It is no longer a problem of poor transfer, it simply a problem by worn master. We have gone through all the film prints and Beta kept in Chinese studio, they are all overplayed and have way too many more passes used on the film print than worth of keeping.
Even the VHS version released by Orion (MGM) and various DVD versions ever released in different labels, they all had poor video quality.
By this time when we re-issue "Raise the Red Lantern" again, the Beta master has already been worn. Chinese filmmakers wish to release "Raise Red Lantern" and make it available to consumers outside of Asia. We felt passionate to re-treat the film print and make it possible to consumers.
Sad to say that all the film have been prints kept in Chinese studio are also in poor conditions because of lacking temperature control and had way too may passes. We did the best we could to have film transferred onto beta, then compressed onto DVD. Unfortunately, the video quality can't be improved much.
At this time, we are checking in other country such as Japan or Europe if we could locate another film print or Beta whose video quality is better than what Chinese studio could provide. So that we could transfer the video and re-create a new DVD master.
We will keep you posted with the searching progress and will send you a new DVD we could locate a better master in any possible way. I hope that you will share this with your friends who also like our Foreign Film catalogue and continue your supports to independent films. More importantly, we appreciate very much for your comments whether they are critiques or complements and hopefully your foreign film library will grow along with ours.
Thank you very much for your understanding and supports.
MagicPlay Entertainment Corp. (WA location)
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I don't wish to discourage anyone from watching this movie, because I feel it is a must see movie, and in my eyes, a must own movie, but I would discourage anyone from buying this rendition of it on DVD. I truly hope it is made once again in a quality DVD version. I will be waiting!
And not only is the visual appearance of this movie distorted so is the sound. It's very harsh and nasally.
I am on my way out the door to return this DVD and ask for a refund.
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