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Watching: The Family 幸福一家人 Song on repeat: Roof on Fire 屋顶着火 - Victoria Song Qian

Ma Yili, Yao Chen: We’re still young actresses

Here’s two photoshoots  of 42-year-old Ma Yili and 38-year-old Yao Chen from earlier this fall as they promoted their new film.  At the press conference, the two were asked about difficulties in finding good roles as an older women.    Yao Chen said the two are still considered young actresses while Ma Yili  said that “Actresses don’t need to panic … The best period of your life is just around the corner.”  It certainly is for the two of them, who has continued to have one popular work after another.

Although the two actresses play mothers in this film, I actually do see an increasing number of lead roles for women above 30 in non-mother roles, probably in line with increasing age of marriage in China.  There’s also been a lot more of older woman- younger man relationships in idol dramas.   For example, 38-year-old Dong Jie recently starred in an idol dramas opposite 26-year-old Han Dongjun and 31-year-old Zhai Tianlin, 33-year-old Tong Yao (her character is younger) liked 18-year-old Chen Feiyu’s character in Ever Night, the then-42-year-old Yan Ni paired with the  then 31-year-old Hu Ge. As the latest and perhaps first crop of idol drama leads from mainland ( Tang Yan comes to mind) grows up, I can easily see many of them starring in rom-coms well into their 40’s and maybe even older.

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Sinology Sunday: The Forbidden Palace launches their own iPhone game

The artwork and music are so gorgeous that you can just enjoy it as an interactive animated film

Inspired by The Thousand Li of Mountains and Rivers by Song Dynasty artist Wang Ximeng as well as creatures from The Classic of Mountains and Seas , The Forbidden Palace‘s  first app (in collaboration with Netease) is now available for free on Apple app stores world wide.

The click-and-point adventure game takes the player through four paintings, each exploring a different theme with a different legend. Despite simple gameplay, the artwork and music are gorgeous that you can just enjoy it as an interactive animated film.   Several of the stories are also quite creative. There’s also a mini-story for many of the story elements where you can learn about the objects and creatures and their legends. Plus, the translations are solid.

Search for “Ink,Mountains and Mystery” in your app store.

The premise of entering a painting is actually perfect for this particular painting. Painted by the then eighteen-year-old Wang Ximeng for the Song Emperor Huizong. His outrageous demands was appeased by the emperor earlier on, but eventually he angered the emperor and was sentenced to death. Before his execution, he asked to be left alone with his painting one last time. He entered the room that house the painting and was never seen again. Rumors has it he entered the world of his painting, and lives there still.

On top of that, the game also collaborated with several hanfu companies to release limited edition outfits based on the characters.

 

 

Flashback: Endless Love

“From the moment I met you, I knew I would love you for a lifetime. Not for all of your life, but all of mine.”                     – Endless Love

Even after twenty years, people are still trying to diagnose everyone in Endless Love 天若有情. From kleptomania to borderline pedophilia to open cheating and medical malpractive, everyone in the show has so many issues that even their resident therapist needs help.

With a super tight script full of quotable conversations, dimensional and flawed characters, a stellar cast  –  Dong Jie, Cha In-pyo (the Korean actor actually spoke Chinese during filming),  Jerry Huang  — and a surprisingly nuanced take on plenty of controversial issues, the series remains a stable in the “remember when Chinese dramas still could do this”  conversations. You can watch it on Youku here.

Nineteen-year-old kleptomaniac Zhan Yan (Dong Jie) has been in love with her legal guardian (Cha In-pyo) since she first met him at the age of ten. Before then, she had been abused by her ascetic grandmother and had been stealing for the thrill.  When her guardianship is transferred to the male lead after her grandmother passed away, she begins to steal things from the mall he owns to gain his attention. Continue reading

Sinology Sunday: Tan Weiwei’s folk rock

Here’s a look at Tan Weiwei’s flawless original and cover performances that combines rock, musicals, and traditional Chinese music forms. Many of those songs are helped by arrangements by the incredibly talented Liu Zhou and rock legend Cui Jian.

Counting People 数人玩 takes inspirations from  Suzhou Pingtan. The song is originally by Xiban Band, which combines Suzhounese pingtan, Chinese opera, and Mongolian sounds.

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Beijing Girls – Yang Mi, Guan Xiaotong, Xu Jinglei, Xu Qing, Chen Man

Born and raised in Beijing,  Yang Mi, Guan Xiaotong, Xu Jinglei, Xu Qing, and Chen Man rep their city in this latest of hometown-themed photoshoots that seem to be popular in magazines of late.

For more, you can look at NYT Travel’s Anhui series featuring Ma Sichun, Jiang Wenli and Chen Ran ,  Nanjing series featuring Ni Ni, Hai Qing, Mei Ting and Yang Zishan, and  Beijing series featuring Chen Feiyu, Wu Xiubo, and Xu Qing .

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A window into Yang Mi, Tang Yan, Ni Ni, etc. at fashion event

Tang Yan will see you now.

It seems like it’s now a thing for fashion event to take group photos now.  This time,  Marie Claire captures Yang Mi, Tang Yan, Ni Ni, Angelababy, Zhou Dongyu, Victoria Song Qian, Li Qin, Zhao Wei, Wu Lei, Cai Xukun, Fan Chengcheng, Huang Xuan, Song Weilong, Sun Yi, Zhang Tian’ai, Lisa Lu, Song Zu’er, Wang Ziwen, Chen Wenqi, Dong Jie, Tong Liya, Jolin Tsai, He Sui, and Xi Mengyao behind a window.  This time we’re at Marie Claire. How does this compare to the Cosmo, Elle, and Vogue photoshoots earlier this year?

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Zhai Tianlin, Yin Zheng’s Original Sin streams today

Yin Zheng is 100 % going for the bl market.

Zhai Tianlin and Yin Zheng’s crime thriller Original Sin 原生之罪 got a surprise release date today.  The two play a pair of lawyer-detective archenemies turned allies in a super shippy drama. The 24-episode series airs two episodes every Thursday through Saturday on iQiyi here.

MV by the two below: