Zheng Shuang’s coming-of-age drama airs tonight

Director Zhao Baogang (Struggle, My Youthfulness) is back with Youth Fight 青春斗, a 38 episode drama revolving around the friendship of four university graduates, their struggles and successes. Starring Zheng Shuang, Gai Yuexi, Xu Yue, Chen Xiaoyun and Wang Xiuzhu, the series airs daily on Beijing TV and Dragon TV beginning tonight.

(Episodes will be available on Youtube in the same channel)

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NYC to host the CineCina Film Festival for Chinese art house films

Director Qingyi Lu brings her acclaimed documentary “Four Springs”, which had a budget of 1500 RMB but has a douban score of 8.9 with sixty thousand votes.

With a focus on Chinese art-house films,  the inaugural  CineCina Film Festival will take place from April 5th to 19th in 2019.  Twenty-two films, including a series of films by director Lou Ye ( Suzhou River, Blind Massage)  and recent favorites like Four Springs 四个春天 will be aired with many directors present for Q&A.

See the scheduled screenings here. I haven’t even heard of any of the films other than Four Springs and the Lou Ye ones, so I have no recommendations. Many of them sound super interesting, though.

Four Springs theme song by Chen Chusheng:

Round-up of upcoming Jin Yong projects to warily anticipate

I didn’t zoom like XDramasX told us to when she posted this, but this poster for the upcoming Return of the Condor Heroes series is like a hundred stabs to the heart of Guo Xiang fans.

Wuxia lord and savior Jin Yong, may he rest in peace, is finally getting a big screen revival recently, with at least six Hong Kong films in pre-production right now.  In addition, at least three upcoming dramas are currently or will soon be filmed. Hey producers, while you’re at it, I’m still waiting for someone to pick-up the cyberpunk wuxia version of Laughing in the Wind.

Films

  • Legend of the Condor Heroes, a film directed by Gordon Chan (Painted Skin) that may be in pre-production limbo.  source
  • Return of the Condor Heroes, a trilogy directed by Hark Tsui ( Swordsman) to begin production June 2019.  source
  • Legend Of The Heaven Sword And Dragon Saber, a film directed and produced by Wong Jing (Royal Tramp) to begin production late 2019. source
  • Deer and the Cauldron,  a trilogy directed by Pang Ho-Cheung (Love in a Puff ) to begin production mid-2019. source
  • The Book and the Sword , written by James Yuen (The Warlords) and directed by Jacob Cheung (Cageman).     source
  • undisclosed project – 835 films.    source

Dramas

Friday Photos

Ju Jingyi in upcoming series  The Legend of White Snake

Posters, stills, photoshoots, and random photos that caught my eye this week.

Wang Junkai releases sea turtles back to the sea to raise awareness of plastic waste in the ocean as a UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador. Only about one in a thousand will reach adulthood.

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The Rules of Love is an interspecies, gender fluid version of a classic troupe

I think Yang Luotian might be considered the first transgender lead in a Chinese drama?

Merperson Yang Luotian has always gone as a boy for most of his life. That is, until he saved Lie Hengyu from drowning. When a merperson first falls in love, the equivalent of puberty hits and their body begins to take on one gender. Yang Luotian finds his body and mind slowly turning female.

To avoid scrutiny over her sudden changes, she switches colleges, only to still pose as a man after being recognized by her childhood friend. She soon ends up roommates with Lie Hengyu. As if it’s not hard enough hiding her gender from him, she also has to hide the fact that she cries pearls and her scales flare up when her skin touches water.

The Rules of Love 人鱼恋爱法则 uses mermaid magic to put a new twist on the classic troupe of “woman crossdressing as a man but falls in love with her roommate” troupe that’s been popular in China since at least The Butterfly Lovers. The series will be released in two parts, with the first 12 episodes came out yesterday and the second 12 episodes on April 4. Watch it on iQiyi here.  Directed by Huang Tien-Jen (Attention, Love! ), the series stars newbies Wang Yanbin, Li Junyao, Fan Xiaodong, Shi Xueqing, Hao Mingqi, and Yuan Liruoxin.

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Chen Feiyu in The Forbidden Palace, someone cast him as The Last Emperor!

This photoshoot of Chen Feiyu in The Forbidden Palace is not only visually stunning but gives me so much Puyi (China’s last emperor) vibes that after starring at the photos long enough, I decided Chen Feiyu could definitely pass for a better-looking Puyi. Someone hurry and make another drama or film about him while Chen Feiyu is still young. Hey Chen Kaige, here’s your chance for a great Puyi bioepic.

Chen Feiyu just finished up filming for  Legend of Awakening and has been seen at auditions for the Beijing Film Academy. He was also studying for the SAT’s last year, so he may also come back to the US for college.

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Will sci-fi disaster Warriors of the Future be Hong Kong’s Wandering Earth?

With giant mechas, alien invasions, and a planet to save, will Warriors of Future be a milestone for Hong Kong sci-fi?

When a meteor strikes the Earth in 2055, an alien biological plant is rapidly growing,  killing all other life along with its spread. The fate of the Earth depends on a team of elite forces who must battle both alien and homegrown attacks.

An ambitious launch for Hong Kong-based special effects firm  天下一 One Cool,  science-fiction disaster film Warriors of Future 明日战记 released its first official trailer (on top of a previous teaser trailer) recently.  Directed by award-winning visual efects supervisor Ng Yuen Fai (Tai Chi Zero, Painted Skin), the film stars Louis Koo, Sean Lau,   Carina Lau, Nick Cheung Ka-fai, and Tse Kwan-ho.

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Xu Kai, Li Yitong, Tan Jianci cast in Tang dynasty panorama

Not caving into the recent trend of looking to Japan for inspiration for Tang Dynasty aesthetics is a focus of the drama, how well do the first stills do?

Aiming to be a panorama of early Tang dynasty life, the latest Yu Zheng-produced drama features merchants, pirates, the military, and princes finding love and success in the early Tang dynasty.  Based on the script by author Fengnong, Journey of a Tang Dynasty Woman 大唐女儿行 began filming earlier this month with a young cast consisting of Xu Kai (The Legends) , Li Yitong (Bloody Romance), Tan Jianci (Secrets of the Three Kingdoms) , Fan Shiqi (Where the Lost Ones Go), Wu Jiayi ( Untouchable Lovers), and Jiang Mengjie (Sword Master) . The series has already been brought by Hong Kong channel TVB.

Xu Kai plays Cheng Chumo, the son of Cheng Yaojin and a profligate youth who chooses to make a name for himself after falling in love with Fu Rou (Li Yitong).    While he goes to fight pirates in the open waters, Fu Rou leaves behind her merchant family to become a master weaver in the palace.  There, she meets Prince Li Ke (Tan Jianci) and Marines General Yan Zifang and becomes entangled in the fight for the Crowned Prince. Fan Shiqi plays Cheng Chumo’s brother while Wu Jiayi plays his love interest, the Princess Qinghe.  Ma Yue and Miao Pu play the Emperor Li Shimin and the Empress Zhangsun. Together, the protagonists must fight on all fronts to save their families and the future of the Tang Dynasty.

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Trailer and posters for The Great Craftsman

The Great Craftsman stars Wallace Huo and Yang Mi as architects wishing to develop high-quality residential and business buildings by integrating traditional Chinese and modern Western designs. For those wanting a peek into melodrama side of things, the first trailer gives a pretty good run down of the romance and revenge plot lines.

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Song Qian, Song Weilong rom-com releases first trailer

Should she follow her heart or marry someone who seems suitable?

In Find Yourself 资深少女的初恋, a 30-year-old designer ( Victoria Song Qian) must choose between a younger, financially unstable beau (Song Weilong) and a more “suitable” relationship with an exec (Wang Yaoqing) in this rom-com.  The series released its first trailer today in time for the Hong Kong Film Festival.

What happened to Song Qian? I feel like all her projects since Moonshine & Valentine have been really good fits for her and have pretty unique set-ups. Even her acting doesn’t seem that out of place anymore. Her other projects includes The Broker with Luo Yunxi and The Moon Knows Not My Heart with Ou Hao.