Spring in a Small Town
Spring in a Small Town (1948)

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… More

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Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: May 8, 2007
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Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
J. Hoberman
Village Voice

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.

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Tom Birchenough
The Arts Desk

For its concentration of haunting emotion and sheer subtlety of texture, Spring in a Small Town is a masterpiece.

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Geoffrey Macnab

There is an eerie, ghostly quality to Fei Wu's classic 1948 melodrama.

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Time Out

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.

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Tara Brady
Irish Times

The unadorned, pre-institutional storytelling makes for a far more compelling viewing than Tian Zhuangzhuang's 2002 glossy remake.

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Peter Bradshaw

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.

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Sam Lewis
The Skinny

The film's emotional complexity lends it a weight that has sustained its influence over the decades.

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Kate Muir
Times [UK]

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.

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David Jenkins
Little White Lies

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.

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