Thursday, June 12, 2008
The Goddess (Yonggang Wu, 1934) B+
The Goddess is a well-controlled silent melodrama starring the Chinese Garbo, Ruan Ling-yu. The film could have easily been something as trashy as something like The Sin of Madelon Claudet, but the sentimentality is downplayed to perfection. The acting is some of the finest I've ever seen in a silent film from Ling-yu's heartbreaking mother, driven to selling her body to support her young son to Zhang Zhizhi, whom I wanted to punch in the face everytime he came on screen (which proves he was doing his job well).