Spring in a Small Town (Xiao cheng zhi chun)
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Spring in a Small Town (Xiao cheng zhi chun)
The tone of this 1948 romantic drama, Xiao Cheng zhi Chun, is set by the very title itself. By using the classical "zhi" (pronounced "jr") to indicate that this spring "belongs" to the small town, director Fei Mu exchanges the normal colloquial language for the literary. The heroine Wei Wei (Zhou Yuwen) is married to a VIP landowner who seems to be suffering from severe depression. World War II has just ended and no one would fault him for his morose temperament. But when a charming doctor comes to visit the family, Wei Wei is thrown into turmoil. She was in love… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Spring is revelatory in a number of ways -- not least in demonstrating how Tian exquisitely refracted a stark contemporary drama through the prism of a double nostalgia."
‑ J. Hoberman, Village Voice
"Full of subtle erotic tension, the 1948 drama focuses close up on Yuwen (Wei Wei), a frustrated, exquisitely beautiful housewife whose husband Liyan (Shi Yu) is invalided by tuberculosis and the traumatic effects of the Sino-Japanese war."
‑ Kate Muir, Times [UK]
"Mu ... creates extra hits of pure emotion through silky camera movements and the melancholy manner in which he frames his conflicted characters against the unforgiving landscape."
‑ David Jenkins, Little White Lies
"Spring in a Small Town, one of the masterpieces of Chinese cinema, is an intimate drama of gestures and silences."
‑ Michael Barrett, PopMatters
"The crowning achievement of one of China's finest directors, this unique film both reflects and dissects the mood of helpless impotence which afflicted many Chinese in the years after the war."
‑ , Time Out
"There is an eerie, ghostly quality to Fei Wu's classic 1948 melodrama."
‑ Geoffrey Macnab, Independent
"One of the finest Chinese movies ever made, lauded for its utmost delicacy and subtlety."
‑ Philip Kemp, Total Film
"One of the most delicate, subtly moving stories of domestic suffering that has ever been put to film."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"The unadorned, pre-institutional storytelling makes for a far more compelling viewing than Tian Zhuangzhuang's 2002 glossy remake."
‑ Tara Brady, Irish Times
"It is a powerful, yet exquisitely subtle emotional drama, something to be compared with Ophüls, or Mizoguchi, or with a Hollywood studio picture by Douglas Sirk or an early David Lean."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"Spring in a Small Town uses this schematic to build a tight, emotionally tense triangular drama that questions fidelity, suppressed emotions and the balance of love and responsibility."
‑ Phil Hall, Film Threat
More reviews for Spring in a Small Town (Xiao cheng zhi chun) on Rotten Tomatoes