Li Fangfang announces two films, could be the first female director of a major wuxia film in forty years

Sword 剑来 would be the first wuxia by a female director in over forty years.

Since Ann Hui’s 1987 adaptation of The Book and the Sword, no female director has tackled the genre of wuxia for a major film (unless you count Kung Fu Panda 2). Li Fangfang, who first won the prestigious Golden Eagle Award for a script she wrote in high school, is not afraid to try.

Earlier this year, director Li Fangfang (Forever Young, Heaven Eternal Earth Everlasting) and the guiding light to my soul announced the two projects she’s currently working on – ancient drama Sage 士 and wuxia Sword 剑来 (rough English translation of titles by me). Although, given how it took six years for her last film took to screen, it might be many years before we see either film.

Based on the book of the same name by Feng Huo Xi Zhu Hou 烽火戏诸侯, Sword is set in a world of philosphical battle, where the four main groups – the Confucians, the Taoists, the Buddhists, and the yao 妖 – fight with each other to build their visions of utopian societies. Swords are but tools used to build realms based on one’s ideological pursuit, and kingdoms rise and fall based on the guiding principles of the rulers.

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Review: Forever Young is a poignant love letter to the world

 I cried three times in the process of editing this review. This sweepingly beautiful but simple ode to Tsinghua University is a tear-jerker for all seasons.

Set against one of the most stunning visuals of the year, Forever Young 无问西东 tells its simple tales with an incredibly romantic lens that makes it difficult not to admire.  Director Li Fangfang (Heaven Eternal, Love Everlasting) always manages to play my emotions just right to evoke all my emotions for the world she captures.

The film from centers around four loosely connected stories of six characters (played by Wang Leehom, Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen, Huang Xiaoming, Tie Zheng, and Chen Chusheng) facing their true selves through making difficult choices, from scary ones like life-and-death decisions to the even scarier decision of picking a college major. (more…)

Forever Young finally sets a date

Reasons why Zhang Ziyi is still a queen.  Also, #BestCinematography

My most anticipated film since forever, Forever Young 无问西东 has finally set a release date for January 14th! I really hope someone picks it for a NA release.

Starring Zhang Ziyi, Huang Xiaoming, Chang Chen, Wang Leehom, and Chen Chusheng, director Li Fangfang’s  ode  to Tsinghua University focuses on the coming-of-age of the school and the nation as depicted through five of its students through the year.

The movie’s had three trailers and all of them are extremely gorgeous, but I still have no idea what the plot is.

Forever Love trailer:

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Zhang Ziyi, Huang Xiaoming, Chang Chen comes of age with a young nation

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Best Cinematography of the Year?

The second film from one of China’s best young directors, Li Fangfang (Heaven Eternal, Earth Everlasting),  Forever Young 无问西东 has finally released a trailer after over five years . It’s tentatively set for a late 2017 release.

Starring Zhang Ziyi, Huang Xiaoming, Chang Chen, Wang Leehom, and Chen Chusheng, the ode to Tsinghua University focuses on the coming-of-age of the school and the nation as depicted through five of its students.

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Republican-era coming of age film, Forever Young, releases stills

Is this really Sun Quan from Red Cliff? He looks younger, now that almost two millenium have passed..

Upcoming film Forever Young无问西东 doesn’t go easy on the star power. In the exact opposite of what usually happens during Photoshoot Fridays, Zhang Ziyi is outnumbered by males, aka Huang Xiaoming, Wang Leehom, Chang Chen, and Chen Chusheng in what appears to be a Republican era movie.

Here, four youths with different experiences and paths come to walk on the same path (surprise, surprise). Chen Chusheng’s character starts off principled and strong willed, but quickly becomes lost; Wang Leehom’s character carries heavy luggage, bearing the hopes of others with each step he takes. Meanwhile, Huang Xiaoming’s character’s steps are stopped by love, for there are people who must be taken care of. The more troubled Chang Chen’s character feels, the calmer he appears. All of them seek to find their ideal self, and on their journey, they experience love/hate/etc, life and death, numerous struggles…

All in all, Forever Young 无问西东 offers the promise of another coming-of-age story (but…a pretty one, woohoo!) The film is directed by Li Fangfang; more stills below the cut.

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Heaven Eternal, Earth Everlasting

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The film unfortunately did not win anything at Tokyo which makes me extremely sad. This makes the film less marketable, and everyone involved less marketable, and that would be just a shame because I don’t recall the last time I became so interested in a film simply from reading a synopsis, watching the trailer, and watching the interviews from the lovely cast and crew.

The film tells the story of  an intelligent girl, Shen Xingchen (Liu Dong ) as she goes from age 16  in high school to work at age 30, from 1993 to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the most rapid times in China’s development. Throughout, the theme is an idea of is there anything everlasting in this world? Is there everlasting love? This is the question that Shen faces, along with her love,  childhood friend Ming Yuan (Huang Ming). Both are scarred emotionally from the devastating ways their parents’  relationships ended and wonder whether love is worth it if eventually, it simply doesn’t last.

At first I just wanted to see this because of Huang Ming, but after watching the trailer (seriously, watch it) and reading about it,  it looks so amazing, from the story to the art direction.

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