Here are insights into some of Jiang Wen’s amazing films and, as a bonus, we have included a link to a video of his Master Class in 2018.
1. In the Heat of the Sun
“Ostensibly a nostalgia film about the Cultural Revolution’s “good old days”, this film is much more: a self-consciously post-modern, post-“fifth generation” dismantling of the modern Chinese realist film” Shelly Kraicer
Chinese cinema expert and film programmer Shelly Kraicer listed In the Heat of the Sun in his top ten best Chinese language films of the 90s
2. Devils on the Doorstep
“Although Jiang was influenced by their use of black and white photography, both the content and tone of Guizi Laile [Devils on the Doorstep] are very different from the films about the anti-Japanese war made during the early years of Communist China. His film is neither a standard war film of epic battle scenes, nor a work touched by the unambiguous certainties of Socialist Realism, but concentrates instead on the quotidian struggles of a group of Chinese peasants.” Dr Julian Ward
To know more about the Devils on the Doorstep (Guizi Laile) controversy, the adaptation process from You Fengwei’s story ‘Shengcun’ (‘Getting By’) and its relationship within the corpus of anti-Japanese war films, read Dr Julian Ward’s article: ‘Filming the anti-Japanese war: The devils and buffoons of Jiang Wen’s Guizi Laile’ New Cinemas: Journal of Contemporary Film, Volume 2, Number 2, September 2004
3. The Republican Trilogy
Let the Bullets Fly, Gone with the Bullets & Hidden Man
“I love the commentary narration because I feel that everyone is affected by their own memory and their recollection of their own memory. A character’s narration is not them trying to deceive you, but because his narrative, or his memory, has been changed or affected by his feelings and emotions, his closeness to events, and could be led astray.” Jiang Wen
In his interview for the online streaming platform MUBI, Jiang Wen talks about his latest film Hidden Man, his ‘Republican Trilogy’ (Let the Bullets Fly, Gone with the Bullets and Hidden Man) and reflects on the success of his two first features as a director.
4. Jiang Wen Masterclass
Jiang Wen gave a masterclass at the Toronto International Film Festival last year where his latest film Hidden Man was screened. In this conversation with the Artistic Director of the festival Cameron Bailey, he talks about his film style, early career films and his position within Chinese cinema.