Mr. Six (Guan Hu, 2015)

mr-6

Playing this week at the Pacific Place is Mr. Six, a gangster drama which earned star Feng Xiaogang the Best Actor award at this past Golden Horse Awards (which are held annually in Taiwan and honor Chinese-langauge film). Feng plays Mr. Six, an aging Beijing street tough, now in his late 50s, who gets caught in a rivalry with a much younger gang. With the deliberate pace of Sixth Generation realism, director Guan Hu deemphasizes the more lurid elements of the Chinese gangster film, focusing instead on Mr. Six’s character and the ways in which he interacts with a Beijing vastly different than the one he dominated in the 1980s. As such, the film provides a wonderful showcase for Feng, a director of popular comedies and occasional actor, whose best known work in the US is probably his dark and very serious 2006 Hamlet variation The Banquet, which starred Zhang Ziyi, one of the overblown period films that followed the success of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero early in this century. His Mr. Six is amiable and steely, a quiet authority barely concealing depths of anger and disappointment.

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