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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