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March 4, 2010

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Home » Feature » Events and TV

Fans buzz over filming of book

FILMING since last month, the epic new movie "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" has grabbed the attention of movie buffs, not only for its star-studded A-list cast but also for the huge popularity of the 2005 bestselling novel by Lisa See that it's based on.

The film stars award-winning Chinese actress Li Bingbing, South Korean actress Jeon Ji-Hyun and Australian actor Hugh Jackman. "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" actress Zhang Ziyi was originally set to star and coproduce the film but she exited to focus on Wang Kar-wai's new martial-arts drama "The Grand Master."

However, many Netizens believe her withdrawal is linked to her involvement in a love-affair scandal and allegations that she did not fulfill her donation promises to help victims of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

Though actress Li is not as internationally famous as Zhang, Chinese-American film maker Wayne Wang, the film's director, is happy with her performance, adding that he is impressed by her hard work, talent and enthusiasm.

Wang's earlier works include "The Joy Luck Club" and "Anywhere But Here." He says that the detailed and touching depiction in See's novel of the lives and dreams of ancient Chinese women prompted him to direct the film.

Wendi Deng Murdoch, media mogul Rupert Murdoch's Chinese wife, along with Florence Sloan, the Malaysian-Chinese wife of MGM Chairman Harry Sloan, formerly owned the adaptation rights to the novel.

"The lifetime 'fans' bond that keeps the two ancient Chinese women's spirits alive will also influence the friendship of two women in modern Shanghai, which will be the biggest difference from the novel," director Wang adds.

Several scenes

Australian actor Jackman agreed to take part in the film because of his friendship with the director. He will sing "Give Me A Kiss," a popular Chinese song from 1930s Shanghai.

"Both of us feel a deep emotional connection with Shanghai, an incredible city of marvelous changes," Wang explains. "That's why we included a Shanghai backdrop to the movie."

The film also features the folk culture and customs of ancient China. Experts in this field were invited to be the consultants.

The shooting of the film is expected to finish at the end of April and it is scheduled to be shown in cinemas across China earlier next year.

The Shanghai Film Group Corporation and Beijing Jiali Shengshi Film and TV Production are the movie's producers while overseas distribution rights belong to 20th Century-Fox Film Corporation.

According to Wang Tianyun, vice president of Shanghai Film Group Corporation, the company aims to make more thought-provoking humanistic pictures in addition to commercially entertaining works.

"One of the film's highlight is that it connects two different spaces and eras with the eternal topics of humanity, friendship and love," Wang says.

"The film's Shanghai backdrop also indicates the huge transformation of our country both in its hardware and the minds of people," he says.


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