Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Jiayi Du, Wu Jiang, Ding Li, Quanxin Pu, He Zeng
Director: Yang Zhang
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
A successful businessman is tricked into visiting his hometown by his mentally handicapped brother, and after staying a few days develops a different perspective on his father's old-fashioned bath house business. — Genre: F... more »
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China Loses Its Soul Along with the Rest of Us
Thomas M. Seay | Palo Alto, California USA | 08/19/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Many Chinese movies understandably focus on the tragic era of
the Cultural Revolution. This movie, on the contrary, presents us with the dark side of the "new" China. Though particular to China, it coincidentally describes a more global picture of a world that pursues money to the detriment of happiness.We immediately get a look at a metaphor for the new China. A man takes a shower in an efficient public shower, which looks like a mix between a porto-potty and a robo car-wash. It gets the job done in a short amount of time so that the user can get on with his life as producer and consumer.We then meet the businessman behind the efficient shower. He is a Chinese yuppie, now living in Shenzhen, but who is presently returning to his hometown because he believes his father, whom he had not visited in a long time, is dead.As it turns out, his father is not dead. At this point we get a juxtaposition of two worlds. The new, the yuppies' world which is humorless, lacks warmth and sensuality and the world of his father who runs a public bathouse. The bathouse, as it turns out, is not only a place where people can ENJOY a bath (and not just get clean) but it serves as a social center where people gather, problems get resolved, and people really care about one another.Alas, the efficient "new" world wins out as a modernization plan
calls for the bathhouse to be torn down...and with it the soul of the community. O sole mio, indeed...but the sun will go down and not rise again any time soon. We are headed towards a joyless efficient world.This is a brilliant movie and I would give it ten stars if possible.Thomas"
Seduction works in reverse
Jane Chin | California | 03/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This subtitled Chinese movie tells a story of collision between technological progress and old-times. The story begins when a prodigal son returns from the city to his home town - a place that barely changed since he was a boy - to see his aging father. During the course of his stay, the son began to accept and finally embrace the very things he had once detested as the "modern, progressive" man. This story is one we can all relate to, regardless of where we are and who we are. The world is changing quickly, and we have learned to take everything at face value and for granted. We make our lives complicated in hopes that we can concoct contentment within ourselves and in our lives. Then we become dependent on the technology we created and wonder why we feel tired/stressed/rushed all the time. "Shower" is a movie that made me wonder if seduction works in reverse - if the modern man can be seduced by a "kinder, more simple" lifestyle. I wonder whether many of us will be interested in living as a large extended family of neighbors who are customers and friends - people you talk about impotence and marriage problems with, people you would entrust your mentally handicapped child with. Most of the stories I hear are "success stories" of how someone "made it big" or "struck it rich". But I suppose, for a few, like the prodigal son, seduction works in reverse."
A GREAT MOVIE
KEVIN FONG | Portland, OR United States | 10/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Shower is simply an amazing movie. It is about an old man who runs a bathhouse with his mentally retarded son, in a run-down neighborood in China. His eldest son, who has been swept up into a commercial and materialistic lifestyle, comes back to see his estranged father. Shower conveys the message to live a simple life and to do what makes you happy in life to find peace. shower perfectly sets up the theme of "The Modern, The Technological, The Impersonal" VS "The Old Fashioned, The Traditional, The Human Touch". I was captured into the world that this movie creates. The atmosphere is very light and the movie has a smoothness and a non-threatening quality to it that adds to its realism. The director does a great job of not making Shower overly sentimental, which would take away from its stark human realism. The subpots and the sub characters in the film do a masterful job of complimenting the main themes in the movie and are also hilarious and unique. Not only does Shower have funny and interesting characters in it, but the emotions that the poeple experience can really be felt because of the film's simplistic realism. The relationship between the father and his sons are extremely compelling. Watching their relationships change and develop in relation to the bathhouse was solidly done. No doubt, a well crafted and directed film.BOTTOMLINE: Shower is a pleasant and often times heart-warming movie, a definite MUST SEE!"
Strange, captivating, and heart-warming.
smugly | 07/23/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a really strange, captivating, Chinese movie about an old man and his retarded adult son who run a traditional, men's bathhouse in an old section of Beijing together. A short visit by the old man's other son, who had formerly wanted nothing to do with the business, becomes a longer stay than anyone expected due to circumstances beyond anyone's control.We could say that this is a movie about the encroaching modernization of China and it's impact upon traditional culture, but I came away from my night with the DVD wondering how one goes about putting together a small stable of fighting crickets. If I can figure this out, I'm headed down to Chinatown, looking for a match.This is an interesting, bittersweet movie that is comical in the way that Wertmuller's "Swept Away" is comical. The characters are very "human" and you will likely empathize with their situations, as I did. You may as well spring for the DVD as you will undoubtedly want to see it more than once in your life anyway. Possibly, before the next East-West summit, the heads of State involved should swap a few good movies before getting together."