Ubisoft presents...
Banquet, The
Banquet, The

Ye yan
Montreal Premiere
star WINNER: Best Director, Fantasia 2007 WINNER: Best Art Direction, Fantasia 2007

China
2006 | 131 min | 35mm
Mandarin language, English subtitles

none click here to watch the trailer

Screening Times

July 7th, 2007
6:45 pm
Hall Theatre
July 23rd, 2007
5:00 pm
Hall Theatre

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Description

Sometime in the mists of past, possibly the Later Jin Dynasty period, all is not as it should be in the imperial court. The Emperor has died –- mysteriously, it should be noted –- and his seductive, savvy young wife Wan (Zhang Ziyi) has been remarried to his brother Li, who has claimed the throne. And though Li thirsts for her passionately, Wan’s heart belongs to the younger prince, Wu Luan (Daniel Wu), who is in dreamlike seclusion with a troupe of monastic, masked actors. The spiteful Li send forth assassins to eradicate his rival, who barely survives the assault. The tension is palpable when the prince returns to the imperial castle, and careful, cynical diplomacy shields him by way of an arranged marriage to the Grand Marshal’s lively daughter Qing Nu. Duplicity and deadly schemes begin to multiply, with sinister results, all of which leads up to a grand banquet where all secrets and misdeeds will exact the toll in tragedy.

With the elegant and exciting The Banquet, winner of prestigious awards around the world, director Feng Xiaogang transposes elements of numerous Shakespeare plays to a classical and at times fantastical Imperial China, and weaves them together into an artful, engaging chess game –- much of which takes place in the largest set ever built in China, almost 200 metres long. And while the dialogue is crisp and effective, anyone worrying that The Banquet is all talk and no action, rest assured that master choreographer Yuen Woo-Ping has matters well in hand. Like Yuen, rising international star Zhang Ziyi (Empress Wan), composer Tan Dun and art director Tim Yip (who took home two trophies from Taiwan’s 43rd Golden Horse Awards for his exquisite judgment on The Banquet) are all veterans of a little movie called Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.

—Rupert Bottenberg

“Yuen delivers some of his most majestic and artistically challenging choreography to date” – Mark Pollard, KUNG FU CINEMA

“A wonderful piece of restrained beauty and masterful storytelling… intelligent, measured, sure of self, and completely lacking pretension, it’s the most refreshing period entry in years” – Chris Nelson, DREAMLOGIC.NET

Notes

WINNER: Best Director, Fantasia 2007 WINNER: Best Art Direction, Fantasia 2007

Website

http://www.thebanquetthemovie.com/

Credits

Director: Feng Xiaogang
Screenplay: Qiu Gangjian, Sheng Heyu
Cast: Zhang Ziyi, Daniel Wu, Zhou Xun, Ge You, Ma Jingwu
Producers: John Chong, Wang Zhongjun, Wang Zhonglei, Yuen Woo-ping
Distributor: Media Asia

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