EMPIRE OF THE SUN
1987, Warner Bros., 152 min, USA, Dir: Steven Spielberg

Director Steven Spielberg and screenwriter Tom Stoppard created one of their most ambitious and acclaimed works with this adaptation of J.G. Ballard's autobiographical novel. A young Christian Bale stars as a boy growing up in Shanghai, where he lives a sheltered life until the Japanese invasion separates him from his parents and changes his life forever. In Spielberg's hands, the result is a character study that is epic and intimate in equal parts, with a stirring score by John Williams.


THE NEW WORLD
2005, Warner Bros., 135 min, USA, Dir: Terrence Malick

Dreamy, effervescent and endlessly poetic, Terrence Malick’s reimagining of the 1607 founding of Jamestown and the legendary love triangle between Captain John Smith (Colin Farrell), Pocahontas (Q’orianka Kilcher) and John Rolfe (Christian Bale) has recently been described by critics as a “misunderstood masterpiece.” Malick superbly crafts and endows his tale with a raw, haunting sense of realism: he famously chose to use natural lighting, handheld cameras and a painstakingly detailed set constructed just down-river from the original site of Jamestown. Historically and cinematically important, THE NEW WORLD is a refreshingly complex alternative to the simplified national foundational myths that currently populate American culture.


THE FLOWERS OF WAR
JIN LING SHI SAN CHAI
2011, Wrekin Hill/Row 1, 145 min, China, Dir: Zhang Yimou

Based on the novel 'The 13 Women Of Nanjing,' this epic war drama is set in 1937 during the second Sino-Japanese War. Oscar-winner Christian Bale plays John Haufman, an American missionary at a Catholic church in Nanjing, China. When the Japanese invade, a group of schoolgirls and local prostitutes seek sanctuary on the church grounds and Haufman becomes their protector. One of the most expensive productions ever mounted in China, THE FLOWERS OF WAR expertly balances terrifying battle sequences with intimate personal moments as the world closes in on these young women and their priest. In Mandarin and English.


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