Valiant bid to revive love for slacking genre

By Xu Fan ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-02-25 07:32:31

Valiant bid to revive love for slacking genre

Actress Zhang Ziyi and Chinese-Canadian actor Eddie Peng star in Run for Love. [Photo provided to China Daily]

While romantic films received a poor reception in China last year, a recent hit may point to signs of a revival of the genre, which was once a big-screen favorite.

Run for Love, an expensive title that premiered on Valentines' Day, has garnered lots of attention for its heavyweight cast.

Five veteran directors and 10 stars are behind the feature, which was shot in picturesque locations in Japan, Norway, the United States, Turkey and Saipan.

The 137-minute feature comprises five stories. Each one has one veteran director, a couple of stars, and was filmed in one of the five locations.

Many industry watchers see the film as a bid to boost the flagging genre.

Recent box-office numbers show that of the 80 movies that surpassed 100 million yuan last year ($15.34 million), only 6 or 7.5 percent, were romantic films.

"One tale can represent only one form of love. Five mean more choices. The stories strike a chord with audiences if they mirror the viewers' experiences," says Yang Xin, a film critic.

The cast, which boasts actress Zhang Ziyi, Chinese-Canadian actor Eddie Peng, Taiwan singer-star Michelle Chen, pop singer Wu Mochou, and award-winning actor Wang Qianyuan, have also played a part in garnering viewer interest.

Gao Qunshu, who helmed the Saipan segment, says the idea for the film came from the overseas tours of the five directors, who are also good personal friends.

"We've done lots of travel in recent years. There are so many amazing, gorgeous corners and locations across the world," Gao says.

"Some of the places, with their histories and myths, are natural settings for romantic stories," he adds.

The directors then reached a consensus: It would be interesting to develop romances in a "strange, remote" environment.

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