To Live (1994)

In light of my recent case study on the anthropological benefits of watching Yimou Zhang movies, I will now review the four Yimou Zhang films that appear in my list of the 555 greatest movies.  In order to maintain consistency and help this blog make sense, I will try to remain focused on the anthropological elements that were discussed in the chapter that introduced this section.  However, I will also dabble a little in the usual banalities: we will examine what makes these movies so great as movies, independent of whatever cultural elements they might introduce to us.  With that being said, it is important to retain in our minds the entire argument that I put forward in the case study: a movie is great when it causes us to connect with the mind of its maker.  When the movie’s auteur is precise with his decisions, and takes care of his story, its images and characters, then a movie is great.  I submit that not only do Zhang’s movies give us good culture, they film the culture in such a way that we can connect with it, and, by extension, with him. Continue reading