Jiang Wen: A meticulous director
Legendary film director Jiang Wen insisted on Monday in Shanghai that he would do everything right regardless of the costs when creating a new world for a film.
Jiang, who chairs the jury for the Golden Goblet Awards of the Shanghai International Film Festival, appeared with his cast and crew, including actor Eddie Peng and actress Zhou Yun, at the “Golden Goblet Master Class: Filmmaking” section. Jiang shared insights on how he made films and how his new movie “Hidden Man” will look.
“I only made six films in my entire career,” he said, “others may have done it to make money, but I have been obsessed about creating a new world for films or expressing what I really feel. Cast and crew members dedicate one year of their lifetime to my project, so I must make sure their time is deserved.”
Jiang constantly improves the screenplay and attends to every detail of the film. “Actually, the versions of the screenplay were mature enough before the film started shooting,” screen script writer Sun Yue said, “Whenever the script was improved onsite, that was because we believed there would always be better possibilities before the camera nailed the scenes.”
Jiang’s spirit inspired everyone. Costume designer Uma Wang screened and studied a great amount of historical materials for the costume details of the era set in the story. Editor Cao Weijie started thinking and preparing as early as when the film was shooting, rather than in post-production, to allow for better editing. Another editor Zhang Qi collected lots of music to help demonstrate the rhythm of the scenes in Jiang’s film.
Jiang’s strict demands also drove the leading actor Peng to work hard on acting and on building his body. “The real acting is to expose yourself,” Jiang said, “through this character, through the directing of the director, the actor can expose his hidden side.”
Peng revealed he had a dream of working with Jiang, and when he finally met the director, he was very impressed. “To him, the film is another world, so that he can escape from a reality that may not be perfect,” said Peng.
The actor further stated that after filming he was still immersed in and could not get out of the film world to take up other offers to do other films. “I enjoyed the process of filmmaking so much, the director knew me so well and dug my potential out,” he said.
The new film, an adaptation of Zhang Beihai’s novel, is a special agent’s revenge story set in 1937 in Beijing, when Japanese invaders were going to take over China. It will hit Chinese theaters on July 13.
“1937 was a year when China faced a national crisis and people were about to die in the war or became homeless. Everyone would stand up against the invaders. This is a big subject that should be shown to the world. This is our obligation to make a film for the world.”
Jiang, a predominant Chinese filmmaker and actor moving between art house cinema and blockbuster fantasy, is a highlight of the film festival. His classic films were specially screened during the festival, including “In the Heat of the Sun,” “The Sun Also Rises” and “Let the Bullets Fly,” all of which were sold out. At a sideline event, the Weibo Film Gala, “Hidden Man” was voted as “the most anticipated film” while Jiang was voted as “the most anticipated director” on the predominant social network.
Source: china.org by zhang rui
Jiang Wen: A meticulous director