A filmmaker's real-life drama

By Raymond Zhou ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-12-25 07:26:43

His stories take place in a heightened ambience and some of the plots are so outlandish they beg for head-scratching.

Yet, as he explains, even the wildest fancy can't catch up with the madness of real life.

Let the Bullets Fly opens with a train drawn by horses, which engenders the popular interpretation that it was an analogy for Marxism and Leninism. (The Chinese words for "horse" and "train" happen to be the same as the acronyms for the Communist predecessors.)

But Jiang denies it flatly, saying horse-drawn trains existed in some parts of China for decades, and he saw photos of them.

The beauty pageant in the new movie seems like a send-up of China's showbiz, especially the ubiquitous reality programs and the all-important New Year's Eve Gala.

But, again, Jiang says it wasn't meant to be so. He has made it a habit not to comment on specific interpretations but says most of them tend to be so narrow in focus they limit audience imagination rather than expand it.

As for the criticism that he is too "self-indulgent" this time, Jiang responds that it was "self-love", not "self-indulgence".

And among his targets for lampoon he has included himself - a point that has been noticed by some cinephiles.

Hung Huang, a noted publisher and socialite, defends him publicly by saying that an artist has to have a certain degree of "self-indulgence".

Hung has been winning kudos for her supporting performance as the warlord's first wife.

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