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Indiana University

Outreach

Video Lending Library

China

Program Title: The Chinese Feast
EASC Code: CC-40
Series Title:
Region/Country: China
Language: Cantonese, Mandarin
Subtitles: English
Subject: Movie & TV Drama
Program Type: Feature
Media Type: VHS
Director: Tsui Hark
Producer:
Release Date: 1995
Running Time: 103 min.
Color or BW: Color
Program Abstract: Blending martial arts and Chinese haute cuisine, THE CHINESE FEAST puts on a dazzling exhibition of cook-fu--rival chefs compete with acrobatic dexterity to turn ordinary dishes like beef chow fun and sweet and sour pork into culinary masterpieces. Cantopop singer Anita Yuen stars as a rebellious daughter with bad karaoke skills, while Leslie Cheung is a former loan shark who wants to learn to cook to impress his girlfriend. As in the cook-fu epic TAMPOPO, their attempts to be master chefs parody the pro forma training sequences in martial arts film. The film culminates in a three-day cooking contest to re-create the majestic Qing Han Imperial Feast, a banquet held in the 17th century to unite a divided China. Exquisite dishes such as snowy bear palms, succulent monkey brain, and statues made out of bean curd are all captured in cinematography that is as mouthwatering as the food scenes in EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN. Though the film may seem like a straightforward comedy, director Tsui Hark injects a serious note into his story: The film is really an allegory about uniting Chinese from all over the world around their shared passion for food.
Data Entry Date: 5/1/2006