1/3 of “Chengdu, I Love You” Becomes its Own Movie

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In my growing apathy for this movie, I failed to miss this bizarre news which brought my interest back up a notch, and along with it many mixed feelings. As you may have read in early reports, this movie was supposed to show past, present, and future Chengdu, Sichuan, perhaps my favorite city. Well, it seems that the present-day segment, directed by the Korean director Heo Jin-ho,  has become so commercially enticing that it is being developed into its own movie called Season of Good Rain, leaving the past and future segments in its dust. I feel sorry for the Venice film festival thinking that it invited a full movie to close its festival, but only ending upwith 2/3. I feel sorry for the other two directors as well.  But at the same time, I’m almost rejoicing.

I can see the appeal of this decision. Who wouldn’t? A present-day segment where the leads look as pretty and fresh as Gao Yuanyuan and Jung Woo-sung along the backdrop of modern Chengdu is quite romantic (and there will be pandas involved, you can count on it). And I am glad that this is now, in its full-length form, going to be shown in Japan and Korea, which means Chengdu will get lots of coverage as a tourist destination, something it desperately needs after the earthquake. Many Chinese have changed their vacation plans to go to Sichuan after the earthquake and every additional bit of tourism revenue would help with rebuilding.

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So from a commercial standpoint I like the idea. The other segments, being set in the past, did not have me convinced that they would make people see the magic of present day Chengdu, which was a major purpose of the film, seeing as it was partially funded by the city government . Nor do I think Cui Jian or Fruit Chan, as non-Chengduers would be able to capture it any better than the Korean director, simply because they are Chinese. They’re all not from Chengdu, and you don’t know Chengdu until you’ve lived there. In China, there may be muddled ideas of the metropolis, but outside the country, there are no preconceptions. Perhaps a completely outside viewpoint would be refreshing.

On the other hand,  it seems so unprofessional and selfish that those behind the production decided to break from the original idea, after  Heo Jin-ho finished his work and was  pleasantly surprised at how it was some of  his best (previous credits include other melodramas like April Snow).  But the side of me saying, “cute romance movie!” is enough to push that uncomfortable thought to the side. I don’t care about the original artistic vision. If this movie can be good by istelf, and show Chengdu off, then that’s all I ask for.

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It’s actually  is ridiculously costly to hold a panda at the Chengdu reserve, should you even arrive at the right time for visitor interaction with them, but potential tourists in the form of moviegoers don’t need to know that. They can just sit back, relax and be enveloped of the cute interactions between two beautiful people and the magic of the city.

Meanwhile, the poster for Chengdu I Love You shows off only the present and past segments. And while interesting in itself, it doesn’t scream “beautiful tourist location” but is actually almost creepy. And thus I breathe a sigh of relief, with fingers crossed that this will turn out for the best.

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13 thoughts on “1/3 of “Chengdu, I Love You” Becomes its Own Movie

  1. I glad more pan-Asian movies are being made but for some reason I’m still weirded out that they need to speak English to communicate.

    I mean, I know it makes sense and in fact that’s what I’ve done before, but it’s still strange.

    I remember one of the more intriguing scenes in the movie Friends with Won Bin & Kyoko Fukada and while they were telling each other their names they wrote it in Chinese :)

  2. Some interesting articles.

    《非常90后》剧组在北京二十一世纪实验学校老师与在校老师和教育专家举行了座谈,就通过青春励志轻喜剧《非常90后》来传播尊师重教的良好社会风尚展开讨论,同时召集教师顾问团对《非常90后》的创作献策献计。
    http://yule.sohu.com/20090911/n266661419.shtml

    杨幂谈新剧《美人心计》 与林心如情同姐妹
    http://yule.sohu.com/20090912/n266670866.shtml

    《红楼梦》每集5万成高消费 众电视台难以招架
    http://yule.sohu.com/20090911/n266641280.shtml

    《一起来看流星雨》肖涵时尚造型大盘点
    http://yule.sohu.com/20090910/n266632032.shtml

    周韵角逐《新玉观音》 遗憾当年把角色让给孙俪
    http://yule.sohu.com/20090910/n266620521.shtml

  3. wow, there’s an MV already!

    Han Hong!!!! <3 It's like you can feel the love of her home in her voice. She's so awesome.

    no idea about the GJM song…it's odd that GJM was suppose to have done lyrics for so many eeMedia people (Meteor Shower, Li Yuchun)…but of all the people, he did Han Hong's first.

  4. OMG I just went to sohu to check and new Han Hong song and mv! *flails*

    http://music.yule.sohu.com/20090911/n266648717.shtml

    She is such a good songwriter. *flails again*

    Ahem..but yeah, I don’t know when A-One is coming out with their second album. Soon I guess bc they have a variety show airing on the 25th? I think they mean to start releasing the first one nationwide too. I can’t believe they’re releasing so close to SJM. Goodbye A-One, I never knew ye.

    I was disappointed to hear that Yao Mingjun was going to have a solo song in A-One, because he’s not even the lead singer, Yu Hongjun is, by a lot. And I’m really surprised they gave him an MV. Maybe he actually liked some girl who was older than him or something. Well, at least he wrote the lyrics, and if KS has the money to burn more power to them.

    I really wish they would release their Insect Whirlwind MV, and the MV for 一丝不狗。

    Everyone go watch the Han Hong MV! Her voice is so so ethereally clear. Ahhh….idarklight, do you know if she’s coming out with an MV for the Guo jingming lyrics one? I want to do a post. Folk ftw…

  5. Sorry this is completely unrelated to this post, but do you know anything about A-One’s second EP? I watched the mv for their new song “Jie Jie” on Sohu and I think it said something about it coming out soon. I know one one guy sings in that so I’m not sure if he’s releasing his solo album or if the group is doing something. Anyways, it was so adorable, but I can’t seem to find any English info on this. Any help would be much appreciated. Gracias amiga!!

  6. Yeah, I’m really afraid for Fruit Chan’s past segment, especially since he directed 1/3 of a co-directed horror film once.

    Maybe the future version is wish fulfillment for Cui Jian? He’s turning the annoying pop stars into hippies!

    The thing I’m a bit anxious about is the title. The name Chengdu is attached to the two bizarre segments, while the modern day movie says nothing about Chengdu in its title, except that it’s rainy.

  7. I don’t understand why the future version is so hippy-like instead of being retroly futurelistic…but then, that seems Cui Jian-esque.

    While Tan Weiwei is cute, the other half of the poster seems like a creepy horror film. The font of the poster doesn’t help, neither.

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