Jade Love | Chicago Reader

Jade Love

Spoiled young scion of wealthy Chinese family competes for the affections of a beautiful governess (1984). Taiwanese director Chang Yi establishes his new-wave credentials with some psychosexual kinks—the boy's jealous attachment to his nanny eventually leads to infidelity and death—and unsentimental debunking of holy childhood innocence (a perennial theme in traditional Chinese cinema), though the conventionally structured narrative (set on the pre-World War II mainland) and zooming, studio-lighted visuals almost seem to place him with the old generation stylists, like King Hu (All the King's Men) and the commercial directors of the 60s and 70s. Not badly made, though a bit stodgy by contemporary Western standards, with a lurid ending that makes an odd nod to Japanese dramatic convention: maybe this cultural wavelet is newer than it seems? 104 min.

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