CHINESE CINEMA FESTIVAL IN RUSSIA
MOUNTAINS MAY DEPART
China, Japan, France, 2015, 130 minutesDirector: Jia ZhangkeScriptwriter: : Jia ZhangkeCast: Zhao Tao, Zhang Yi, Liang Jing Dong, Dong Zijian, Sylvia Chang and others.
The film takes place in the 1990s. The Chinese youth dance wildly to the hit «Go West!». Quick-minded and ambitious Zhang makes his way to the top management, and taciturn and single-hearted Liangzi continuous his work in a mine. Young and attractive Tao gets married to the successful businessman breaking heart of her unwealthy beloved. Soon the couple has a son who got a strange name Daole (Dollar). Fifteen years later their marriage breaks up. Zhang together with his teenage son are moving to live in Australia. The year of 2025 comes. Nineteen-year old Daole refuses to get on well with his father and does not remember his mother. It is Mia who becomes a mediator between them in this moral conflict. Not a really young girl, she becomes Daole’s teacher of Chinese and his close friend.
A TALE OF THREE CITIES
China, 2015, 130 minutesDirector: Mabel CheungScriptwriters: Mabel Cheung, Alex LawCast: Sean Lau, Tang Wei, Qin Hailu, Jing Boran and others
The film is about a real love story of two people Charles and Lee-Lee Chan, parents of the worldwide famous actor Jackie Chan. The action takes place during the Japanese occupation of China in the 1930s and is set in a small town of Anhui province. Young Chen Yuerong is an independent widow with two small children who earns money by smuggling opium. Once she tries to sneak it through a checkpoint. Stern Fang Daolong has seen a lot in his life and works as an undercover agent at the checkpoint. He catches the woman red handed but grows quite fond of her and lets her go. The complications of the historical epoch, the war and social turmoil make the love story of the film more intriguing. The difficulties cause them to wander, be separated, and be fraught with a mortal danger. Daolong and Yuerong finally reunite in Hong Kong in the 1950s…
China, 2015, 135 minutesFilm Director: Guan HuScriptwriters: Dong Runnian, Guan HuCast: Feng Xiaogang, Zhang Hanyu, Xu Qing, Li Yi Feng, Kris Wu and others
Brutal and independent Liu Ye (Mr. Six) or as friends call him Lao pao er (Old Cannon) used to reign over the Beijing streets as the neighborhood kingpin for many years. Now he is about 60 and is being blackmailed by a mafia group. His estranged son has been kidnapped after damaging the car of a well-connected young drag-racing street gang leader. Mr. Six steps up to help defend him. He attempts to settle the debts of his son by relying on his old school rules and by the help of his old friends. He manages to fight the mafia that is linked to the high government circles.
This criminal drama had its premiere in 2015 at the closing of the Venice International Film Festival. The film is “harshly” realistic since the protagonist is not good at martial arts and is diagnosed with a serious heart disease. Renowned Chinese director Feng Xiaogang skillfully performed as Liu Ye and this creative experiment was highly appreciated by the Chinese cinematographic community. Feng Xiaogang won the Best Actor Award at the Golden Horse Awards (national award of Taiwan) in 2015 for his performance in Mr. Six.
SAVING MR. WU
China, 2015, 105 minutesDirector: Ding ShengScriptwriters: Alex Jia, Ding ShengCast: Andy Lau, Liu Ye, Wu Ruofu, Wang Qianyuan, Cai Lu and others
The film is a police thriller based on a real story. Men disguised as cops kidnapped a famous Chinese actor in 2004 and demanded a ransom of 3 million yuan. The real victim of this abduction, an actor Wu Ruofu, starred as a police officer who ruled the rescue operation. Thanks to this fact the plot of the film and portrayal of characters are realistic enough, moreover the director’s talent and experience added energy and intrigue. As it should be in a criminal thriller, the main conflict occurs between the police officer who tries to hunt down the gang of kidnappers and the gang leader, a self-assured and cynic villain. More than that, viewers all the time follow the kidnapped star, Mr. Wu, whom the mobsters plan to kill whether they get the ransom or not. Mr. Wu, on the contrary, does not only struggle for his life but looks after his fellow victim gaining even the gang members’ respect.
THE THIRD WAY OF LOVE
China, 2015, 115 minutesDirector: Lee Jae-hanScriptwriter: Niu HanCast: Liu Yifei, Song Seung-heon, Jessie Chiang
A smart and beautiful woman Zhou Yu works as a lawyer, she helps people who get into difficult life trouble, and who are under a lot of stress after a fall out with a groom. Lin Qi Zheng is a top manager and a son of the owner of a global corporation. He is young and handsome, plenty of girls go crazy over him. One of these girls is the youngest sister of Yu, who has attempted to commit suicide because of her idol. Qi Zheng’s parents insist that he married a girl from an affluent family to the benefit of both clans. However, he falls in love with Zhou Yu who also starts growing love to him while having guilt over her sister’s feelings. The protagonists have to make a hard choice – follow their passion or opt for their families.
This ordinary melodramatic plot goes with expressive and masterful directing, curious sketches of contemporary urban China and some surprising outcomes which are far from a happy end.
China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, France 2015, 105 minutesDirector: Hou Hsiao-hsienScriptwriters: Cheng Ah, Chu T'ien-wen, Hou Hsiao-hsienCast: Shu Qi, Chang Chen, Sheu Fang and others.
The film is set in China during the years of the Tang Dynasty. Having lost faith in their ruler, provinces become stronger day by day. A kidnapped 10-year-old girl, Yinniang, is handed over to nuns who initiate her into martial arts, transforming her into an exceptional assassin who is directed to slay corrupt local governors. Once she is sent to complete another task to the land of her birth, the northern town of Ninbo, to kill its governor Tian Ji'an – to whom she had been betrothed back in her childhood. The protagonist must make a moral choice: violate the order of the Emperor to save the man she loves or stick forever with the sacred way of the righteous assassins.
The film director Hou Hsiao-hsien, who is a worldwide renowned master of author cinema, shifted the focus from the plot itself. Martial arts and ancient interior scenes, close shots of characters, spellbinding landscapes, noises, soundtrack and slow-moving, almost static, pace of storytelling – everything creates a wonderful, amazing screening.
LADY OF THE DYNASTY
China, South Korea, Japan, 2015, 120 minutesDirector: Shi QingScriptwriter: Khan ChanCast: Fan Bingbing, Leon Lai, Wu Chun, Joan Chen and others.
The film is based on the tragic romance between a singer and a dancer Yang Yuhuan with Emperor Xuanzong of Tang. Known as one of one of China’s “Four Greatest Beauties”, Yang was called “Guifei” (Precious wife). In the film version of this love story Yuhuan married to the Crown prince Li, gained the heart of the aged emperor Xuanzong and their love led the dynasty to the catastrophe. After marrying to the emperor, she became an object of royal intrigues and a reason of a rebel. There are royal rituals, murderous battles and romantic encounters.
Rich with its historical attributes and visual solutions the film project had a complicated fate. Since its launch in 2009, there have been changes in directors and actors. As a result, it was a debutant in directing, a scriptwriter and a writer Shi Qing, who has become the film director. He was supported by world-known Chinese directors Zhang Yimou and Tian Zhuangzhuang.