Cultural Confluence

Hi. New York again. Guess what's playing at BAMcinématek this week? In celebration of the Twin Peaks revival that just debuted on Showtime, Brooklyn's favorite art house movie theater is showcasing some other works by the actors and actresses from David Lynch's iconic '90s TV show. I'm super hyped to see Red Rose, White Rose on the big screen.

This Chinese language romantic drama from 1994 features Winston Chow, most recognizable to Western audiences from his starring roles in Ang Lee's early international hits (The Wedding BanquetEat Drink Man Woman), and Joan Chen, Josie Packard of the Lynchian canon, or Little Flower if you knew her from the beginning as a Chinese propaganda film actress in the 1970s.

Christopher Doyle, Wong Kar-wai's sassy, brassy cinematographic co-conspirator, provides the lush visuals, while Stanley Kwan, whose film Centre Stage (1992) quite possibly rescued Maggie Cheung from the purgatory of the ingénue, directs the ensemble cast in beautiful period costumes. Kwan, incidentally, is now in pre-production for a biopic on the late writer Sanmao, whose book I'm currently translating.

And, well, the whole thing is based off a novella by the illustrious Shanghainese writer Eileen Chang, set in the pre-Communist society she knew so well. What a dense text! What a dense life! It almost makes me want to go back to grad school. Almost.