Springtime in a Small Town (Xiao cheng zhi chun)
Springtime in a Small Town (Xiao cheng zhi chun) (2002)

For his first feature since 1993's acclaimed The Blue Kite, director Tian Zhuangzhuang chose to remake a classic 1948 Chinese film, Springtime in a Small Town. The film takes place in 1946. Yuwen (Hu Jingfan) lives on a country estate… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: July 1, 2002
DVD Release Date: November 23, 2004
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Critic Score: 88% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Director Tian Zhuangzhuang's remake of the 1948 Chinese classic may be too measured in pace for some audiences, but it's a visually sumptuous, well-acted piece.

Derek Adams
Time Out

The result is paradoxically more theatrical than the original -- but thanks to serene cinematography and superb design, sumptuously so.

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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

Reinventing his source just as boldly as he has reinvented his artistic identity, Tian circumvents the usual mentality of remakes by making his material brand-new.

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The lead characters smoulder without ever catching aflame, while director Tian Zhuangzhaung weaves a disturbing web of deceit and betrayal.

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G. Allen Johnson
San Francisco Chronicle

Only a director who truly knows repression could have made a movie so subtle and so understanding.

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Manohla Dargis
Los Angeles Times

This isn't a radical film by any means, but in its gentle tempo, its avoidance of the obvious and stubborn insistence on the decency of its three touchingly human characters, 'Springtime in a Small Town' weighs in as refreshingly, pleasurably different.

Urban Cinefile Critics
Urban Cinefile

As vibrant as a live play in its impact, with its characters almost as tangible, this film draws on not just the words and emotions of the original material, but the classic language of earlier cinema.

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Orlando Sentinel

Springtime in a Small Town moves at a leisurely pace. And because it's a work of taste and tact, you can watch it in a pleasurable state.

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Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly

A movie that drifts across the screen with the delicacy of linen floating on a warm breeze, whose slow, sensual camera movements are like tiptoes on rice paper, yet which can sting us with the suddenness of a bee concealed in clover.

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Empire Magazine

Beautifully photographed by Mark Lee (who also co-shot Wong Kar-Wai's In The Mood For Love), and delicately played by an untried cast, this confirms Tian as the Fifth Generation's unsung master.

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Flixster Audience Score: 65% Flixster User Reviews
Mark Abell
A quiet, slow paced film. Rich character development, a subtle love triangle, and a taste of Chinese culture from the period after the war and before the… More
Daisy Maduro
<a href="http://tinypic.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i31.tinypic.com/1znn3nm.jpg" border="0"… More
Krystle Chow
What an awkward, clumsy mess of a film with so much potential to be as quietly beautiful as <i>In the Mood For Love</i>. I first heard about this… More