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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Drama > Film > Foreign > China > Electric Shadows

Electric Shadows


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: C+     Film: B



Xiao Jiang’s Electric Shadows (2004) is a sometimes-illogical film about young people and their love of film, but its charm and interesting situations help override its flaws and comparisons to the likes of Cinema Paradiso are worthy and relevant.  But instead of being a rip-off or knock-off, the film is a sometimes-masterful comedy about bike delivery guy Dabing and the life he leads.  Trying to get by in recently capitalist China, he takes his job seriously and tries to get as much done as possible without problems.  When he wrecks his bike into a wall of bricks in a rush and is hit in the head with one of those bricks by a mysterious girl, he lands up in the hospital wondering what is going on.


Though some plot points might be contrived, the throwback to the lives of the two as children and how they watched films outside during the times the Mao era had just closed, is something we have not seen before.  That they take their love of cinema into the new china and it actually helps prepare them for a better life and future is almost dreamlike in its implications, but the film offers even more, but this critic cannot reveal anymore without ruining this fine film.  We hope to see more from Jiang soon, a filmmaker who could potentially be part of a new movement in China.


The letterboxed 1.66 X 1 is slightly pasty in its color and definition, but the Yang Lun/Chen Hong cinematography is very good, with subtitles on this DVD at the very bottom black bar.  They are burned into the print.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is also not bad, which is good considering it is a recent film release.  Extras include text film notes, director’s biography, director’s introduction, stills and trailers for four other First Run DVDs.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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