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Li GONG

This morning all I can think of is Gong Li.  Seriously.  She’s on my brain in a big way.  It may have something to do with the fact that I finally saw ‘Raise the Red Lantern’ last night, but honestly…well, who wouldn’t want to wake up dreaming about this intoxicating creature.  She also happens to be one of the greatest actresses of hers or any generation, so there’s that as well.  If you are only familiar with her recent work or her English language features, you need to seek out her 90′s films.  Seriously, her string of early 90′s work is beyond exceptional.  From ‘Ju Dou’ to ‘Raise the Red Lanturn’ to her stunning diverse work in 1993 with both ‘The Story of Qui Ju’ and ‘Farewell My Concubine’, Gong Li is just one of the greatest; and that isn’t even really broaching all that she has contributed to cinema over the years.  Sadly, she’s probably best known to American audiences for her work in 2005′s ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’.  That isn’t to say that her work there is poor, because she basically provides the only life the film has, but it is far less than her best.  Just watch ‘Curse of the Golden Flower’ (she’s a Fisti Lead Actress nominee in 2006 for that).  Gong Li still has it, and it’s sharper and stronger than most actresses working today or EVER.