Story: Three women, one air-headish gold digger, one tomboy and one wanna be-actress (when actresses were illegal) search for their identity in turn of the century China.
Why You Should See It: What entails a “favorite movie of all time”? “Peking Opera Blues” had me asking this question more than any movie, since I considered this HK action-comedy my favorite movie of all time for years.
Yet, “Peking Opera Blues” is definitely not perfect. The subtitles are awful, the sets are sometimes fake looking and the acting is occasionally over the top. So, after all the films I’ve seen (I used to watch 3-4 per day religiously), what is it about this movie that made it a greater experience to me than “The Godfather,” “Annie Hall,” or “Citizen Kane”?
Like a song you hear and want to play over and over again, I just adored this experience. Was it the innocent themes of friendship and selflessness mixed with at times sadistic violence? Was it the musical score I kept humming long after the movie was over? Or was it Brigit Lin, Michelle Yeow, and Cherry Chung’s expressions, three actresses who’s performances are seriously Ingmar Bergman worthy?
“Peking Opera Blues” is no longer my favorite movie of all time. I’m not even sure if I have one anymore, but if you held a gun to my head, I might say “The Music Lovers” or “The Verdict.” But during the 90s, when great films like “Pulp Fiction,” “The Piano” and “Casino” came out on a weekly basis, I never hesitated to claim this movie as the greatest. I would actually say to people,”have you seen Peking Opera Blues, it’s the greatest film ever made.” A movie that speaks to you is beyond logic, beyond critical thinking, it is just a favorite dream, a lightning you have captured in a bottle. No one ever agreed with me. Still, I Can’t Believe It’s on YouTube.
Written by: Norith Soth