将爱情进行到底 | Eternal Moment

Eternal Moment

China, the modern day. I: Yang Zheng recalls how he graduated in 1999, contacted his onetime college girlfriend Wenhui in the US in 2001 and married her when she returned to China in 2003. Since he has become a successful CEO, she has become a full-time housewife. But one evening, when he comes home intending to watch his favourite sports programme on TV as usual, suddenly he doesn’t recognise the woman he married. And when he moves out to a hotel, she doesn’t come looking for him. II: Wenhui, divorced and with two young twin sons, is working as a shopgirl in Shanghai, while Yang Zheng, about to be divorced, is a car mechanic in Beijing. Neither has seen the other for over a decade, but they both attend a 10th anniversary college reunion in Shanghai organised by their friend Jiawei. They end up spending a whole night together, recalling past times and re-igniting old fires. III: Yang Zheng traces a drunken happy-birthday call from Wenhui to Bordeaux, and flies from Beijing to see her for the first time in over a decade. At Bordeaux train station, Wenhui is waiting to welcome Chuchu, the mistress of her boss Pan Xiao,  head of specialist wine retailer YH Global. Wenhui introduces Yang as her boyfriend. She later tells Yang that Pan is actually her husband, not her boss. With Pan temporarily away, Wenhui, Yang and Chuchu spend time together.

Directed by Yibai Zhang | Starring : Jinglei Xu, Yapeng Li, Xuebing Wang, Chapman To, Jie He | Presented at N/A

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夜上海 | The Longest Night in Shanghai

The Longest Night in Shanghai

A successful Japanese make-up artist collides with a tough-talking Shanghai taxi driver in this romantic dramedy that twists traditional roles by making the beauty expert a male and the cab driver a feisty female. Although he works in a glamorous industry, Naoki Mizushima can’t help but notice that his life is anything but beautiful. Can the uncouth Lin Xi help him make over his life for the better?

Directed by Yibai Zhang | Starring : Wei Zhao, Masahiro Motoki, Dylan Kuo, Sam Lee, Takashi Tsukamoto | Presented at Shanghai Film Festival

情人结 | A Time to Love

A Time to Love

The theme of impossible love is timeless. It is as touching in the Shakespearean era as in the 1980s. A boy and a girl grew up together and fell in love with each other in the early 80s. The strong hatred between their families was an obstacle to their love. Dating would bring disasters while separation would be a torture. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet inspired them to insist on their love, but that love was still too fragile to resist pressure from their families. He was sent abroad seven years ago and she has waited for seven years until he returns now. Can the love between them be everlasting? A Time to Love, released near Valentine’s Day, is promoted as a modern day Chinese version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Popular idols Vicky Zhao Wei and Lu Yi both take on new images in this artistic film. Award-winning director Huo Jianqi designs the most aesthetic scenes to convey to his audience the most intense romance.

Directed by Jianqi Huo | Starring : Wei Zhao, Yi Lu, Xiaoying Song, Minjie Cui, Qian Zhang | Presented at Shanghai Film Festival, Changchun Film Festival

天地英雄 | Warriors of Heaven and Earth

Warriors of Heaven and Earth

North of the vast 8th century Tang dynasty Chinese empire, the commercially and culturally priceless silk route is controlled by 36 friendly Buddhist kingdoms. Their are threatened by Turkic nomad tribes, the caravans also by brigand bands. Japanese scholar Lai Qimay not return home until the emperor is satisfied with his missions to retrieve refugees from the barren border lands. The last is competent imperial lieutenant Li, who was proscribed for refusing to execute Turkic prisoners. He now lives among fellow warriors for hire as caravan escorts. Lai Qi and Li reach a gentleman’s agreement to postpone their lethal duel till after the safe arrival of a caravan including a young Buddhist monk and his mysterious freight. When Turkic warlord Khan’s daughter’s hand seals an alliance with brigand sword master An, the only way out is trough the grimly dry Gobi desert.

Directed by Ping He | Starring : Wen Jiang, Kiichi Nakai, Xueqi Wang, Wei Zhao, Bagen Hasi | Presented at Tokyo Film Festival, Melbourne Film Festival, Oslo Film Festival

绿茶 | Green Tea

Green Tea

Wu Fang, a bookish graduate student, goes on blind dates, engaging in conversation while sipping on her signature drink: green tea. She claims she does this to find a suitable husband, but her dates seem to be more of a time killer than anything else. She frequently ditches her blind dates halfway, and spends most of her date time relating the tale of her friend’s parents. Chen Mingliang is a fast talking rascal who, after a blind date, manages to break through her reserve. Soon Mingliang encounters sultry lounge pianist Lang Lang, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Wu Fang.

Directed by Yuan Zhang | Starring : Wei Zhao, Wen Jiang, Lijun Fang, Haizhen Wang, Yuan Zhang | Presented at Hamburg Film Festival

东宫西宫 | East Palace, West Palace

East Palace West Palace

The most daring and achieved of all the ‘illegal’ independent films made in China in the ’90s – and quite probably the last, since it prompted the Film Bureau to formally outlaw unauthorised production and confiscate the directors Zhang Yuan’s passport. The street urinals of a public park in the Chinese capital have become the favoured meeting point for homosexuals. A Lan, a sensitive young writer, likes strolling in the park. During a police raid, he finds himself at headquarters suffering a ft by the book ” interrogation. The questioning of A Lan quickly transforms into an unexpected reminiscence of his tumultuous life: his childhood, parents, school, first sexual experience, obligatory state work in the countryside, and then, a slow drift into the quest for true love. These brief intimate glimpses of A Lan’s life blur the interrogating officer’s feelings for his prisoner. A strange love story unfolds.

Directed by Yuan Zhang | Starring : Si Han, Jun Hu, Jing Ye, Wei Zhao | Presented at Mar del Plata Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival, Singapore Film Festival, Warsaw Film Festival, Febio Film Festival

画魂 | A Soul Haunted by Painting

A Soul Haunted by Painting

The rise of a Chinese painter Pan Yuliang (1899-1977) as she went from prostitute to famed artist in Paris is the focus of this Chinese biography. The film opens with then 12-year old Pan working in a brothel in a small rural town. She is soon hired to become a prostitute after the head hooker retires and is killed. She meets her eventual husband, Zanhua, on her very first night. He already had a wife, but he married Pan anyway, and they moved to the city where Pan studied painting at the Shanghai Arts Institute. The institute is closed after a series of demonstrations of people resenting foreign influences on Chinese art, and from those against the use of nude models. Pan still does nude portraits, but uses her body as the model. She becomes famous after her self-portrait “Bathing Woman” wins a French prize. Since her husband earlier went back to his former wife, Pan is free to move to Paris where her work continued to garner critical acclaim. In China her work was never recognized because they classified it as “depraved.”

Directed by Shuqin Huang | Starring : Li Gong, Tung-Shing Yee, Sichang Da, Fang Chen, Hoi-Yung Shin | Presented at N/A