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Chinese auteur Zhang Yimou’s award-winning royal epic Shadow is set to close the third International Film Festival & Awards Macau on Dec. 14.
Described by Zhang as a “Chinese ink painting,” Shadow is an impressionistic reinterpretation of the classic story Three Kingdoms: Jingzhou centered on a commander and his body double kept captive from childhood, both played by Deng Chao (The Dead End). The commander had designs to help his king and people displaced from their homeland to win the ultimate battle.
Almost entirely held in monotones, the drama features one of the most lauded fight scenes in recent times, showcasing a battalion of armored umbrellas. It recently swept four awards at Taiwan’s Golden Horse Awards, including for best director, best art direction, best makeup and costume design, and best visual effects.
The film had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, then traveled to the Toronto and London film festivals, and was released Sept. 30 in China, where it has grossed over $90 million. Its screening at the Macau film festival will mark its first presentation to audiences in Macau and Hong Kong, where it will be released in early 2019.
Ellen Eliasoph, CEO of Shadow’s co-presenting company Perfect Village and the film’s lead producer, said: “We hope the audience will enjoy the unique ‘Chinese inkbrush painting’ style. Director Zhang Yimou, working with his wonderful cast and crew, created for the telling of a story full of mystery and ambiguity — a story in which nothing is purely black or white.”
Mike Goodridge, artistic director of the Macau festival said: “Shadow is a visually extraordinary film which will have audiences agape at the spectacle on show. It is also a riveting story of intrigue and deception set in the court of an ancient kingdom. We are reminded with Shadow just what an unrivaled cinematic storyteller Zhang Yimou is, and feel it is the perfect film with which to close our festival. “
The Macau festival will open Dec. 8.
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