Feng Yue
(Temptress Moon)

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Kaige Chen Profile, by Thom Bennett

Review, by Lisa Nesselson


China, 1911... The Emperor has been overthrown and replaced by a republic. The orphaned Yu Zhongliang goes to live with his elder sister Xiuyi, who was married to the powerful and wealthy Pang family. He is treated like a servant by Xiuyi's opium-addicted husband, the family's youngest member. Frustrated, ZhongLiang leaves for Peking in order to study. On the way he is picked up by Biggie, an old-time gangster from Shanghai, the young boy grows up to be a highly successful gigolo who seduces and blackmails older and unmarried women. Meanwhile, Old Man Pang has died and his young daughter, Ruyi has inherited the family', assisted by Duanwu, a distant cousin secretly in love with Ruyi. Upon learning this, Biggie sends ZhongLiang to the Pang family in order to seduce Ruyi. An emotional maelstrom follows, culminating in a climax which takes place in the casinos and night-clubs of Shanghai where Ruyi is forced to witness and be part of Zhongliang's final and tragic act.

"It was May, 1995. The weather was gloomy throughout the whole month. I was polishing the final draft of the script of 'Temptress moon'. As I wrote, I was listening to the record of Keith Jarrett's concert in Vienna. His immensely powerful and emotional music helped me to draw myself closer to the tormented and violent state of mind of the characters from, as well as the 'climate' of the social background of the film. All of a sudden, I found the style of the film. 'Temptress moon' can be seen as a pure psychological drama, a story about male chauvinism and Chinese hierarchy, or a film about the coming of age of a woman. But most importantly, this is a story about contemporary China, despite its specific background. I've tried to relate this by describing a love story between a man and a woman, without losing sight of the confusion, pain and loss of dreams of the people living in a tumultuous age." - Chen Kaige

Directed by: Kaige Chen
Written by: Kaige Chen, Kei Shu, Anyi Wang
Starring: Li Gong, Leslie Cheung, Kevin Lin, Saifei He
Produced by: Feng Hsu, Cunlin Tong
Original Music by: Jiping Zhao

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