Berlinale: Zhang Yimou's "A Woman, A Gun And A Noodle Shop" Review

Berlinale has always been known for its diplomacy, for better or for worse. After last year's entry of Chen Kaige's Mei Lanfang (Forever Enthralled), here comes the last opus of the Prc's official filmmaker (and ceremony choreographer), Zhang Yimou. The once powerful director delivers his fantasy "ancient" (imperial) China remake of Coen brothers' Blood Simple. The setting: a country inn in a digitally colored desert; the characters: the young and exuberant wife of the inn's owner (an elderly man with a bitter temper), her lover (the cook), two cooks/waiters, a fat servile guy, and a matter of fact girl. The first visitor to the inn is a foreign merchant (with a pirate look and exotic assistants) who sells her a gun (a never seen object in these remote regions of ancient China), and then along comes a cunning and greedy soldier, the inevitable killer. The married couple + the

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