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January 18, 2014

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Highly anticipated Chinese films of 2014

In the new year, a lot of celebrated Chinese filmmakers will be back with new productions. These films cover a wide range of genres and topics, vowing to push China’s box office to a new peak.

Talented actor-director Jiang Wen (“Hibiscus Town,” “Red Sorghum,” “In the Heat of the Sun,” “The Missing Gun”) will present a black-humor flick, “Gone With the Bullets.” The film is also the second in Jiang’s “Bullets” trilogy. His last film, “Let the Bullets Fly,” set a new Chinese box-office record in 2011 by taking in around 700 million yuan.

Set in Shanghai during the 1920s, “Gone With the Bullets” again stars Jiang and comedy actor Ge You as two adventurers who launch a notorious beauty pageant. However, a series of tragic events are triggered at the end of the pageant.

A lot of old dance scenes and nostalgic sets in 1920s Shanghai are re-created in the film, which will be made in 3D and released probably around the Christmas and New Year’s time slot.

Acclaimed Taiwan filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien will offer a martial arts epic, “Nie Yinniang,” which is based on an ancient Chinese legend about a female assassin in the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907).

Taiwan actress Shu Qi plays the lead role of Nie, who is kidnapped by nuns as a child. When she grows up, she obeys the nuns’ command to assassinate her childhood sweetheart, a regional chief. The film is also director Hou’s long-time martial arts dream. He spent more than seven years preparing the movie.

Following the success of “A Simple Life,” female Hong Kong director Ann Hui will present “Golden Age,” a biopic movie about Xiao Hong, a gifted Chinese female writer of the 1930s.

Hui will depict the dramatic and tragic life of Xiao from a woman’s perspective and record big events taking place in China from the 1920s to the 1940s.

“Red Cliff,” the last production of Hong Kong filmmaker John Woo, was not critically acclaimed. This time he will present a disaster film, “The Crossing,” which is like a Chinese “Titanic.”

The movie’s poster says, “There was never a more dangerous time to fall in love.” Woo focuses on three couples in love who are passengers on a steamer which sank after a collision in 1949.

After many efforts on big blockbuster films, the new offering of Zhang Yimou will be a heartwarming picture based on Yan Geling’s novel “The Criminal Lu Yanshi.” Starring Chen Daoming, one of the most acclaimed actors in China, the film represents the experience, love and emotions of a generation of Chinese intellectuals. 

This year, director Zhang Yibai will present a new campus love story, “That Year, Time Flew,” which is adapted from an online hit novel of the same name. The film, which portrays the love and growth of China’s post-1980s generation, is expected to be a box office sensation due to the novel’s huge fan base.

Local film production studio, Shanghai Film Group Corp, will produce a series of films this year. “The Cursed Piano” is headed up by Oscar-winning director Barry Levinson and co-produced by Hollywood filmmaker Mike Medavoy.

Set in World War II-era Shanghai, the epic film is a love tale of a Jewish musician who was a refugee in China who escaped the Holocaust in Europe.

Audiences will also be presented with a biopic film of ancient Chinese poet Li Bai and sequels to the popular animated movies “The Monkey King” and “Mr Black.”


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