The Films

To give you a taste of the films to watch, see the fabulous selection of video previews and photos.

IN THE HEAT OF THE SUN 阳光灿烂的日子

Director: Jiang Wen
China, 1994
Fiction, 134 minutes
Cast: Xia Yu, Ning Jing, Geng Le

For his directorial debut, Jiang Wen made a dramatic entrance into film. Adapted from Wild Beasts a novella written by Wang Shuo, a Beijing writer renowned for so-called ‘hoodlum literature’, In the Heat of the Sun recounts the story of teenager, Ma Xiaojun, growing up during the Cultural Revolution.

Sheltered from the turmoil raging throughout the country, Ma and his gang are locked within the military compound of their parents in the army. Free of parental supervision, the teenagers pursue their own revolution involving competing for girls and flexing their muscles.

In the Heat of the Sun Crew

Heat of the Sun Still

RED SORGHUM 红高粱

Director: Zhang Yimou
China, 1988
Fiction, 91 minutes
Cast: Jiang Wen, Gong Li

Projecting Zhang Yimou on the international festival stage, his directorial debut, adapted from a novel by Nobel Prize-winning author Mo Yan, features Jiang Wen’s early remarkable performance.

In the Shandong countryside of the 1930s, Jiu’er (Gong Li) becomes the wife of a wine distillery owner through an arranged marriage. After her husband’s death, she takes over the business and has to protect the distillery from local bandits amidst the threat of Japanese troops. Meanwhile she is ‘reclaimed’ by a man she had an encounter with some time ago.

Red Sorghum

Red Sorghum Shoot
Left to right: Gong Li, Mo Yan, Jiang Wen, Zhang Yimou

BLACK SNOW 本命年

Director: Xie Fei
China, 1990
Fiction, 107 minutes
Cast : Jiang Wen, Cai Hongxiang, Cheng Li, Li Geng

Famous director Xie Fei’s dark fiction sets the stage for a dramatic performance from Jiang Wen, acting as an uneducated yet well-intentioned convict. The film was awarded a Silver Bear at the 40th Berlin International Film Festival in 1990.

After his release from labour camp, Li Huiqian (Jiang Wen) returns home to live with distant relatives. He tries to start his new life by setting up a business in Beijing, but struggles to adapt to a city that has changed enormously during his absence.

Black Snow Shoot
On set: Xie Fei and JIang Wen in the Beijing Hutongs

KEEP COOL 有话好好说

Director: Zhang Yimou
China, 1997
Fiction, 90 minutes
Cast: Jiang Wen, Li Baotian, Qu Ying

Zhang Yimou’s Keep Cool is set in modern day 1990s Beijing, in stark contrast to his previous allegorical period films that were emblematic of the Fifth Generation of Chinese filmmakers.

Discussing the film after its completion, Zhang Yimou expressed his satisfaction with Jiang Wen’s acting, describing him as ‘the best actor in China today’ (New York Times).
In this comedy, the hand-held camera follows bookseller Xiaoshuai (Jiang Wen) in his attempt to reconquer his ex-girlfriend An Hong.

Keep Cool Still

Keep Cool Shoot
On Set: Zhang Yimou and Jiang Wen

DEVILS ON THE DOORSTEP 鬼子来了

 

Director: Jiang Wen
China, 2000
Fiction, 139 minutes
Cast: Jiang Wen, Teruyuki Kagawa, Jiang Hongbo

devils

Based on an adaptation of the novella Shengcun by You Fengwei, Devils on the Doorstep is Jiang Wen’s second feature. This black comedy set during the Japanese occupation represents his satirical and fast-paced style.

Village peasant Ma Dasan (Jiang Wen) is put in the dangerous position of guarding and interrogating two Japanese prisoners in his home until the New Year by an anonymous gunman. When the gunman does not return, the townspeople are faced with a dilemma.

Cannes 2000
Film crew at Cannes, 2000

Devils on the Doorstep

THE MISSING GUN 寻枪

Director: Lu Chuan
China, 2002
Fiction, 90 minutes
Cast: Jiang Wen, Ning Jing, Liu Xiaoning

This debut feature by director Lu Chuan was also the first digital screening in China upon its release in Shanghai in 2002.

After a night’s drinking at his sister’s wedding, policeman Ma Shan (Jiang Wen) wakes up to find out his gun has been stolen. He then sets out on a quest to recover it, retracing his steps on the night and interrogating guests.

Along the way, Ma meets his former girlfriend, Li Xiaomeng, played by Ning Jing who starred as the mysterious Milan in Jiang Wen’s directorial debut In the Heat of the Sun.

Missing Gun Still

Missing Gun Still

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY

Director: Gareth Edwards
USA, 2016
Action, Science-fiction, 133 minutes
Cast: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Jiang Wen

In this Star Wars episode situated between the original 1980s trilogy and newest sequels, Jiang Wen embodies Baze Malbus, a Guardian of the Whills who accompanies Jyn, the daughter of the master engineer of the Death Star, in her quest to steal the blueprint of this intergalactic weapon.

Next to his companion, the poised and spiritual Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen), he is a hard-boiled character quick to reach for his machine gun.

Rogue One

Shooting Rogue One

Here is a little interview of Jiang Wen and his co-star Donnie Yen about the shooting of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story