Empire of the Sun
Cinematographer: Allen Daviau
Dir. Steven Spielberg. 1987, 152 mins. 35mm. With Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson. Spielberg’s spellbinding adaptation of J. G. Ballard’s memoir of his experiences growing up with his British expatriate family in Shanghai and being captured by the Japanese during World War II is a modern Hollywood epic of the highest order, and one of Spielberg’s most underappreciated achievements. Thirteen-year-old Christian Bale’s breakthrough performance anchors this grand tale of survival, packed with Spielberg’s trademark visual sublimity, with help from his great cinematographer Allen Daviau.
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