Friday, April 20, 2018


Spring in a Small Town

The post-war setting for Spring in a Small Town is as important an element to this film as the story itself. The rubble and decimated house is a character onto itself, though rarely referred to directly.

The plot is about a formerly prosperous man that now lives in a ruined shell of his former house with his wife in a marriage that has mutual caring, but is lacking in passion. A doctor and friend of the man comes to town after a long absence. What the man doesn't know is that the doctor has had a previous relationship with the man's wife and their feelings for each other are repressed but still very much alive. To complicate matters, the woman's sister develops a crush on the doctor and the patriarch has escalating health problems which the doctor is called upon to assist with.

It sounds like a bit of a soap opera when you describe it, but the black and white cinematography and the great shots of these characters experienceing their personal passions among the wreckage of their surroundings make for a subtle but captivating film.

Springtime in a Small Town

The remake of  Spring in a Small Town, with the slightly altered title Springtime in a Small Town. has a couple of strikes against it right off the bat. First, it is a remake of a beloved movie (at least in China) that doesn't have a lot of action elements for the film to update to begin with. It also has to balance the line between being faithful to the original while being distinctive enough to justify a reason for remaking it. Color photography also seems like a drawback here.

I watched the second film right after the first and think the remake certainly has merit in its own right.  It is interesting to note the similarities between this film and the original and note where director Tian Zhuangzhuang decided to make some changes. Springtime in a Small Town is worth seeing, but the original alone may be enough for some viewers who may not want to make a second trip into the rubble.  


  1. This should not really work. The fact that it does, at least for me, makes it special. I have not seen the remake, but it would be difficult to reproduce the feel of the movie.