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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Yim ji kau")

 

Directed by Stanley Kwan
Hong Kong 1987

 

Stanley Kwan, the melodrama master of Hong Kong cinema, weaves a sensuous ghost story into his heartbreaking elegy for lost love.

Cantopop superstars Anita Mui and Leslie Cheung display the androgynous magnetism that made them icons as doomed lovers in this emblematic film of Hong Kong’s Second New Wave, directed by pioneering queer melodrama master Stanley Kwan. Rouge bridges past and present in its tragic romance between a humble courtesan and the wayward scion of a wealthy family, who embrace death by suicide pact amid the opulent teahouses of 1930s Hong Kong.

Fifty years later, she returns to the city-state to find him, drawing a young contemporary couple (Alex Man and Emily Chu) into her quest to rekindle a passion that may be as illusory as time itself.

With its lush mise-en-scène and transcendently melancholy mood, this sensuous ghost story is an exquisite, enduringly resonant elegy for both lost love and vanishing history.

***

Fleur is the blue angel in one of Hong Kong's "flower houses" - bordellos and night clubs of the 1930s. A detached and beautiful performer, she falls in love with Twelfth Master Chan, heir to a chain of pharmacies. They agree to a suicide pact. 50 years later, in modern Hong Kong, Fleur's ghost appears in Yuen's newspaper office, wanting to place an ad to find Chan, who never arrived in the afterlife. Yuen, and his equally bewildered girlfriend, An Chor, are captivated by Fleur and her story.

Excerpt from IMDb located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 5th, 1987

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Criterion Spine #1129 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:37:56.704        
Video

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,784,808,250 bytes

Feature: 32,612,130,816 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.90 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

LPCM Audio Cantonese 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio
Cantonese 3953 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3953 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Criterion

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,784,808,250 bytes

Feature: 32,612,130,816 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.90 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• New conversation between Kwan and filmmaker Sasha Chuk (39:34)
• Documentary by Kwan exploring LGBTQ representation and identity in Chinese film (1:19:27)
• Memoir film by Kwan about his Hong Kong identity (44:07)
• Trailer (4:40)


Blu-ray Release Date: June 21st, 2022

Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 16

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Criterion Blu-ray (June 2022): Criterion have transferred Stanley Kwan's Rouge to Blu-ray. It is cited as being from a "New 4K digital restoration" and is a "Director-Approved Special Edition". It's on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate and looks magnificent - thick, rich, heavy grain textures... it's such a beautifully shot film - Bill Wong aka Chung Biu Wong (Once Upon a Time in China.) Colors carry some depth and there are even instances of depth. The 1080P produces a gorgeous HD presentation.

NOTE: We have added 80 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Criterion offer the option of a linear PCM mono track (24-bit) with an alternate, more robust, DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround bump - both in the original Cantonese language. Rouge has some instances of notable separation and few aggressive moments - it is clean and even with a score by Siu-Tin Lai (Police Story 2), sounding traditional, at times, with the Chinese opera and a more modern vibe for the nostalgic 80's-set time period. Audio is excellent. Criterion offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Criterion Blu-ray offers supplements; a new 40-minute career-spanning interview with director Stanley Kwan conducted by his mentee, filmmaker Sasha Chuk, recorded by Criterion in Hong Kong in February 2022. There is a lengthy (1-hour 20-minute) documentary. Originally commissioned by the British Film Institute, this 1996 documentary by Kwan combines archival footage with interviews with filmmakers and actors such as Leslie Cheung, Ang Lee, Chen Kaige, and John Woo to explore representations of queerness and LGBT identity throughout the history of Chinese film. Perhaps Stanley Kwan's most experimental work, Still Love You After All These is a 3/4 hour personal-memoir film about Hong Kong identity made in 1997, the year of the handover of Hong Kong from Great Britain to China. It was produced by Peggy Chiao. Lastly is a trailer. The package has liner notes with an essay by film programmer and critic Dennis Lim.

I was blown away by Stanley Kwan's stylish Rouge. What a fascinating film buoyed by the mesmerizing Anita Mui, portraying 'Fleur' - a 1930's Chinese courtesan with a sexually charged, and eventually haunting, gaze. Men are willing to pay dearly for her company or to simply caress her calf or ear lobe. Rouge could be considered a supernatural mystery, tragic melodrama or glamorous transcendent 'ghost story'. I thought of many films from Wong Kar-wai's In the Mood For Love to Masahiro Shinoda's Double Suicide. I loved the flashbacks to the '30s and the gorgeous art direction. It's a deeply realized effort with a strong theme of time, and the fluidity of succumbing to an opium-induced lover’s fantasy. The Criterion Blu-ray offers an entrancing film experience with pristine a/v and worthwhile supplements. It has our strongest recommendation! Absolutely see Rouge.

Gary Tooze

 


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Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Criterion Spine #1129 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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