Fantasy Epic “Flowers in Mirror” set to begin filming

Picture from manhua version of "Song of Hate"

Can you name a hundred actresses who could play the a hundred flower fairies?

Director Zhang Jizhong’s next project will be the Flowers in the Mirror 镜花缘, a rare feminist epic  that combines Gulliver’s Travels and  The Classic of Mountains and Seas with social commentary.

Written in the Qing dynasty but set during Empress Wu Zetian’s reign, the story tells of what happens when the Flower Fairy and a hundred flowers fairies are cast upon the earth as punishment. We follow the Flower Fairy’s human father,  and then she herself, as they go on a series of fantastical voyages around the world, including to Two-faced Kingdom, Kingdom of Giants, Kingdom of the Undead, Kingdom of Righteousness, etc. Throughout the voyages, they meet the other flower fairies, each brilliant in their own way, and invites them to join the main flower fairy in the first imperial examination for females under Wu Zetian’s reign.

One particularly interesting chapter includes Li Ruzhen’s portrayal of Kingdom of Women. Unlike the Kingdom of Women in the Journey to the West, Li Ruzhen’s  women do not live in absent of men. The matriarchal society is a flip side of contemporary (Qing) society. The Flower Fairy’s uncle-in-law was chosen as a concubine, and was subject to make-up and feet-binding, exposing the unfair treatment of women in Li’s society.

If anyone, Zhang Jizhong can assemble a great female cast for the series. I just hope that many of the social commentary won’t be lost, and that Zhang Jizhong won’t try to add in any romance plots.  According to its request to SARFT, the series is set to begin filming next January, with a production period of two years (2016!).

5 thoughts on “Fantasy Epic “Flowers in Mirror” set to begin filming

  1. Ooh, I really like the picture. Given what the source material this, this sounds like it’ll be amazing~

  2. I like Zhang Jizhong’s work. He usually has some sense of story telling but it’s a pity that he seems to have started to focus more heavily on CGI aspects as of late and become more carried away in that department. I guess it’s not very fair since I’m talking about some of the weak storytelling in Journey to the West but the book, by itself, is old and our tastes change with time. He does deserve applause for trying to take something so old and translating it into modern storytelling.

    This kinda looks, to me, as another excuse to show off and champion his CGI techniques. I just wanna see how the costumes turn out at this point and some pretty stills and what kind of CGI he’s going to pull. Definitely keep tabs on this and update!! :)

  3. This sounds extremely promising. I wish we didn’t have to wait so long. Though, considering the length of time it’s going to take I’m expecting it to be pretty close to perfection.

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