Chen Kaige directs original Peking Opera-themed short

Farewell, My Concubine takes center stage once more in a Chen Kaige film as a group of young actors face difficult choices before a scheduled performance of the classic piece.

Director Chen Kaige (Farewell My Concubine, Forever Enthralled) returns to the Peking Opera troupe for inspirations in this stylized short film directed and written by him for variety show Attention Actors 演员请就位. Zhao Wenhao (Sacrifice) puts on imo the best performance of the show as a disgruntled former actor who fulfills his dream of acting as the hero Xiang Yu on stage by channeling him in real life to protect his beloved. The film co-stars Huang Yao (The Crossing) and Yu Xiaotong (Dream of the Red Chambers).

Watch the skit on Youtube below (should start at 2:03:43):

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Attention Actors posters and stills round-up

Peng Xiaoran and Huang Junjie reenacts The Legend of Demon Cat

From classics like Daming Palace/Palace of Desire and Chinese Paladin to recent films like The Legend of Demon Cat and Cry Me a Sad River, Tencent’s new acting competition Attention, Actors 演员倾就位 combines the best of I am an actor and Phantastic by capturing the actors for a TV performance rather than on stage while still maintaining an one-take rule. Featuring directors Chen Kaige, Li Shaohong, Vicki Zhao Wei, and Guo Jingming, the resulting segments are on average far more watchable than the other two.

Plus, they have some great stills and posters that are better than many dramas and film posters that are wallpaper-worthy. You can watch episode two English subbed here. Zhang Yunlong and Chen Xiaoyun act out Romance in the Rain:

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Writer of Burning Ice to work with Qin Hao, Liao Fan for upcoming iQiyi crime thrillers

Streaming giant iQiyi has bought the adaption rights to two more novels written by Zi Jinchen, the screenwriter and original author of critically acclaimed thriller Burning Ice 无证之罪. Both web dramas have already started filming, and will have twelve 60 minute episodes.

The Hidden Corner 隐秘的角落 is already in production, and stars Qin Hao, Wang Jingchun, Zhang Songwen and Ren Suxi.

A long-suffering live-in son-in-law (Qin Hao) hatches up an elaborate murder plot to kill his cheating wife and her family after she demands a divorce. His actions are recorded by three children playing nearby, yet he soon discovers that he was actually set up by the three young children. Consequently, he begins to work out how and why a thirteen-year-old boy is able to twist the truth to his advantage.

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The Crossing to get U.S., Canada, Australia, Auckland release on Mar. 15

Photoshoot for the film by Zhong Ling

Coming-of-age story about “a schoolgirl’s rite of passage as a rookie smuggler”, The Crossing 过春天 will be screening in the usual overseas spots this week.

The directorial debut of  Bai Xue  is the produced by veteran director Tian Zhuanzhuang.  I don’t know what it is, but the trailer  looks very different from all the other Chinese films.   It reminds me a bit of the best Thai coming-of-age films. Newcomers Huang Yao, Sun Yang join Carmen Soup to star in the film.

Reviews: Hollywood Reporter ; Screen Daily

Theme songs by Tan Weiwei and Liu Xijun. Trailer below:

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Soul Ferry director takes on another supernatural mystery series

“Only by traveling through the night can one reach dawn.” – tagline

Soul Ferry director Ju Xingmao has began work on  another supernatural mystery series. Titled The Journey Across the Night 我在香港遇见他 (literally translation : In Hong Kong, I met him), the series stars Zeng Shunxi (Heavenly Sword and Dragon Slaying Saber), Cherry Ngan (Original Sin), Huang Yao (The Crossing) and Zhou Cheng’ao ( My Huckleberry Friends). Synopsis below.

After both his mother and his brother were diagnosed with schizophrenia when they were twenty-four, young Li Jia ( Zeng Shunxi) goes to Hong Kong for his graduate studies to study hereditary mental illness in hopes that he will be able to save himself before time runs out. There, he and fellow student Shi Cheng are sent to apartments all across Hong Kong by their housing agent Zhang XX (Cherry Ngan), where the trio meets a series of mysterious strangers and neighbors…

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