(aka 'Xiang ri kui')

 

Directed by Yang Zhang
Hong Kong | China | Netherlands 200
5

 

Sunflower is the story of the Zhang family in Beijing father, mother and son across three decades, centering on the tensions and misunderstandings between father and son. Nine-year-old Xiangyang is having the time of his life, free of adult supervision until the day he meets the father he can hardly remember. Having spent years away, he returns with strong ideas about his son learning to draw. But Xiangyang chafes under his father's constant rules and soon stages his own revolution against the lessons enforced.


Years later, despite his rebellion, Xiangyang has become an accomplished draughtsman. But he still dreams of escaping his father's clutches, having no idea how far his father will go to control his life.

Married and with a burgeoning career as a painter, the worst-ever conflict erupts as Xiangyang informs his parents that they have decided to abort their child. Suddenly, Xiangyang's father disappears. A frantic search finds a message: The time has come to do something for himself.

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 10th, 2005 - Toronto Film Festival

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DVD Review: New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution New Yorker Video - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 2:12:48 
Video 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.69 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

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

Bitrate:

Audio Mandarin (Dolby Digital 5.1), Mandarin (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: New Yorker

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• 4-part Featurette: The Making of Sunflower with interviews - finishes with a trailer (14:51)

• 2-page liner notes with chapter listings and photos

DVD Release Date: July 1st, 200
8
Keep Case
Chapters: 16

 

Comments:

Firstly, this is a wonderful touching film. Both poignant and compelling. I was very impressed during my viewing, but I often lean to these traditional, simple stories and this one builds with gentle subtlety. I really loved it.

Once again - standard NY'er fare - anamorphic yet interlaced. If you have a de-interlacing filter on your system (or conversely a CRT) you probably won't be bothered by the inherent combing but this weakness does indicate the transfer could vastly be improved by being progressively transferred. This is minimized by Jong Lin's picturesque cinematography (I read somewhere that Chris Doyle was also a consultant) but I'd love to see this in 1080 as I expect it would shine. Aside from the combing - colors seem a shade faded (or rather SD weak) but detail is strong and contrast acceptable. It is very clean without notable damage. The disc is dual-layered, 16X9 enhanced, and coded for region 1 in the NTSC standard.

There are optional English subtitles supporting the two audio options - 2.0 channel and 5.1 Mandarin. The 5.1 had a few separation moments but basically is wasted for this particular film (those not utilizing it probably won't miss it) - both it and the 2.0 channel were clean and clear.

Supplements include a 4-part featurette (culminating with a trailer) with interviews (including the young director - less than 30 years old at the time) and some behind the scenes activity - it lasts less than 15 minutes but relays some interesting tidbits. I was actually wishing it was longer.

I was very pleased with this film and we appreciate NY'er bringing it to digital light in region 1. Their DVDs are imperfect but this film is one of the most enjoyable I have seen from them in a while. From that standpoint we strongly recommend - even at the aggressive pricing offered I still believe it has good value.

Gary W. Tooze

 



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Distribution New Yorker Video - Region 1 - NTSC




 

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