Skip to content
Site Tools
Increase font size Decrease font size Default font size default color blue color green color
Painted Skin

painted skinBackeground
Painted Skin (huà pí 画皮) is based on one of Pu Songling' s classic short stories in Stories from the Strange Studio .

Painted Skin is Ningxia Film Studio's first shot since adopting this strategy. In the 1970s, Hong Kong released a horror film telling the same story. That film is considered as a classic, and the scene depicting the fox painted the human skin as its mask was regarded as the most thrilling scene by many audiences. This time, to attract more people to see the new version, the film was tried a new twist to the ancient story, by transforming the ghost tale into a romantic love story.

Equal parts love story, martial arts film and supernatural flick, Painted Skin gives audiences a fast paced, visual stunning, and romantically compelling movie. And it has demons that eat human hearts.

painted skinPainted Skin includes three love triangles and unrequited love becomes a theme throughout the film. Though Xiao Wei is a cold blooded killer and eats human hearts, she is also surprisingly emotionally fragile. Her unrequited love for Wang Sheng lends an unexpectedly poignant tone to the film. In the midst of these love triangles are some rather gorey supernatural scenes and rapidly edited fight scenes. This blend of genres is unexpected but also refreshing. The cinematography is wonderful. The image is crisp and the rich golden yellows of the desert and deep blues of night are a pleasure to see on the big screen.

The music was modern with tinges of the Orient. The music is by a Japanese composer, Ikuro Fujiwara, who has quite a few credits.

painted skinDuring the Chin and Han era, Commander Wang Sheng (chén kūn 陈坤) leads his troops in a raid on bandits in the desert, in the process he rescues a beautiful woman and brings her back with them. However he has no idea that this woman-Xiao Wei (zhōu xùn 周迅) is in fact a fox spirit in human form. Xiao Wei needs a regular supply of human hearts to maintain her human form, and the task falls on her helper Xiao Yi (qī yù wǔ 戚玉武) -a desert chameleon who's also taken on human form and has the special ability painted skinpainted skinto melt into his environment. To prove his love and devotion to Xiao Wei, he carries out a spate of murders in order to provide her with human hearts; this terrorizes the whole city. Meanwhile Xiao Wei has fallen in love with Wang Sheng, after being impressed with his gallant attempt in rescuing her. She keeps trying to seduce Wang in an effort to steal him from his wife Pei Rong (zhào wēi 赵薇).Pei Rong finds out about Xiao Wei's feeling for her husband; she also discovers that Xiao Wei is not human, so she secretly approaches martial expert Pang Rong (Donnie Yen zhēn zǐ dān 甄子丹) and demon catcher Xia Bing (Betty Sun sūn lì 孙俪) for help...Subsequently a drama unfolds that delves into intricate emotions and relationships between man and demon, love and passion, loyalty and temptation, treachery and integrity, ending in a finale with a surprising twist.

painted skinPainted Skin is a story not only known to and delighted in talking by every household, but influential among generations of Chinese readers as well as audiences.

By the means of representing devils in beautiful woman, the original story reveals man's greed for vanities and superficiality of indulgence in the beautiful appearance, so as to emphasize the painted skinmeaning of Truth, Goodness and Beauty, the three traditional Chinese virtues. Only by the simple, innocent and genuine human emotions can the lost minds be saved when they are deviated from track, engrossed in the deep abyss of enslaved desires. The good will in the end conquers and destroys the evil. Weakness of man can only be saved by his virtue. With the help of grand humanity, even ordinary people can become great minds. Man will finally end his nightmares and return to his normal life. By the special means of movies, they present the essence of the original version to audience, focusing on the profound meanings embodied in the story. Upon watching, viewers will both feel touched and excited at the same time.

28th Hong Kong Film Awards
Won: Best Cinematography (Arthur Wong)
Won: Best Original Film Song (Fujiwara Ikuro, Keith Chan, Jane Zhang


Sponsor Ads