Thursday, December 03, 2009

Auteur Watch - Jin Xie

Or is it Xie Jin? I never know which. I'm hoping the former, because I don't know of any other auteurs whose last name begins with X. Francis X. Bushman? There's one cinematographer who worked with Woody Allen named Fei Zhao, but Woody credits him as Zhao Fei. I guess he wanted to work with a cameraman who couldn't question the "comedy."
But anyway, back to Xie. I won't do him as much justice as, say, Wikipedia, but I'll take their word for it. He was an important Chinese filmmaker, best known for something called Hibiscus Highway or something. Oh sure, they probably won't show his films in high school or middle school, but he seemed like a decent enough guy, kinda like Jiri Menzel or... someone else. But he seems to have taken his career full circle of sorts, starting with 1957's Woman Basketball Player No. 5. Hey, remember, buddy! This is film we're talking about, not a photo gallery in a coffee shop! So he started with that, and ended with 2001's Woman Soccer Player #9. Quite a different world between those two, or is that indifferent? We seem to be living in a much more indifferent age now. But at the time he seemed to be a little more long-haired and anti-establishment, but give 'em a big house in the country and a fat bank account and they all calm down... or clam up? Something like that.
And so he passed away at 84 years young, moving on to wait in line at the big DGA office in the sky. But film directors, like some lucky celebrities, are able to cheat death a little bit sometimes, and the impending release of One 2008th will give him one last chance to strut his stuff, and it will probably affect the critics' take on the film, of course. They'll either think his part of the film was the best, or the worst, but certainly worth commenting on. The dead direct! The dead direct!! I better go, man. Getting depressed...

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