Chengdu I Love You, the collaboration between a Chinese, Hong Kong and Korean director to show off the city of Chengdu through love stories had a press conference with the three directors and the stars of each segment of the film.
Gao Yuanyuan and Jung Woo-Sung will be the main couple in Korean director, Hur Jinho’s segment. Taiwanese American actress Anya Wu and comedic actor Guo Tao will be under the direction of HK’s Fruit Chan. Finally singer Tan Weiwei and actor Huang Xuan will be the stars of Cui Jian’s segment.
While it was understandable that none of the three directors were from Chengdu, it was rather disappointing to see that none of the principle cast was from Chengdu. The closest is probably Tan Weiwei (Sitar Tan), who is from Sichuan province, and attended Chengdu’s famous Sichuan Conservatory of Music School. It’s ironic that Cui Jian chose her as his lead, when in my previous post on this movie I said he’d probably dislike that school for producing so many of China’s current pop idols. I guess not.
However it worked for Paris, je t’aime, so it may work here. However, Paris is something of an international city, and most people, even those who’ve never been there have an impression of it. Chengdu, while a very modern metropolis is not international, living blissfully in western China, without many people outside of China who know of it, or have any idea of it. It’s essence and appeal can not be understood with superficial introductions, because the heart of Chengdu is the lifestyle there. It is a very liveable place (ranked number one in China as a place to live in), with all the modern conveniences and ambience of a big city, but the laid back lifestyle of someplace smaller, where people will often get together to just play Mahjong and drink tea for a day. And yet the people are still very hard-working, giving a great balance that is so hard to find. Cui Jian seems to understand Chengdu’s attributes very well but I’m not sure the other directors or actors do. Hopefully somehow they can create a great movie together that really does convey “Chengdu”.