Valiant bid to revive love for slacking genre

Updated: 2016-02-25 07:32

By Xu Fan(China Daily)

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Zhang Yibai, director of the Japan segment, which is about first love, says: "We traveled across the world in order to show Chinese audiences the love in our hearts."

The segment is about a Chinese white-collar worker's romantic involvement with an apprentice sushi chef.

In a tribute to Zhang Yibai's favorite Japanese director Shunji Iwai, the segment's plot is similar to Iwai's 1995 romantic classic Love Letter.

For director Zhang Meng, who did the American segment, love means "freedom".

His story has most of its scenes shot along Route 66, known as "Mother Road" in the US.

Zhang, who shot to fame with The Piano in a Factory, which won the top prize at the Tokyo International Film Festival in 2010, regards the road as "representing the spirit of freedom".

While a location's scenery is a significant element in each segment, the directors also make an attempt to bring the region's history into play.

For Gao, known for his spy thriller The Messenger, Saipan is an island of breathtaking beauty but with a terrible past.

Gao, who also directed The Tokyo Trial-a 2006 film based on the records of International Military Tribunal for the Far East after Japan's surrender in World War II-says he was shocked to learn of the heavy casualties of US and Japanese troops in the Battle of Saipan during WWII.

Interestingly, Gao's tale, which captures some nuances from history, is the most tragic and controversial among the five. Starring actresses Tong Liya and Zhou Dongyu, the tale is about a woman's struggle with her husband's mistress.

In an unlikely twist, the mistress falls in love with the wife, after the wife receives the transplanted heart of her husband who is killed in a car accident.

Confused by the messy situation, the wife shoots herself in the heart to end her troubles.

While the Saipan story was once the most anticipated among the five, most viewers and critics say they were disappointed by the tale.

While many viewers expected it would be a love story about lesbians many now feel let down.

Although Run for Love tries a new format, most reviews on major movie sites describe the plots as "excessively quirky".

The other directors are Teng Huatao (who directed the Norway section) and Guan Hu (the Turkey romance).


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