Red Beads | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Shot in black and white in and around a Beijing mental hospital, this maverick 1993 Chinese feature by writer-director He Yi, made completely outside the official system, focuses on the relationship that gradually develops between a male orderly and a female patient. Though less direct and obvious in its meanings than the two other examples of recent Chinese "outlaw" cinema playing at the Film Center this month, it strikes me as by far the most original and interesting--in part because its main effect isn't to remind us of Western films but to suggest things about Chinese life we don't already know. Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, Saturday, May 14, 6:00 and 8:00, 443-3737.

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