So Close to Paradise

Film, Thrillers
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Shot in 1995 but shelved by its producers until it could pass the censors, this was Wang's first 'legal' film after two underground features, The Days and the pseudonymous Frozen. Two country hicks in Wuhan, the notoriously sleazy city on the Yangtze, get tangled up with karaoke bar hostess Ruan (Wang), advertised as being 'from Vietnam' (that is, sexually available), but actually the mistress of a local triad boss. The elder guy, Gao Ping (Guo), becomes her lover while trying to use her to get to a triad thug who has tricked him. Their doomed relationship is seen through the eyes of the other guy Dongzi (Shi), a 'shoulder pole' labourer in the docks, who delivers a typical Wang Xiaoshuai voice-over wryly looking back on these events from some point in the future. An accomplished piece of neo-urban realism with noir inflections, but it doesn't have the resonances of Wang's earlier films.

By: TR

Release details

Duration: 93 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Wang Xiaoshuai
Screenwriter: Wang Xiaoshuai, Pang Ming
Cast: Wang Tong
Shi Yu
Guo Tao
Wu Tao
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