The Love Songs of Tiedan, a film by Hao Jie
Presented as part of Houston Cinema Arts Festival 2013. Post-screening conversation with director Hao Ji, actor Feng Si, actresses Ge Xia and Yelan Jiang, and producer Xiaomei Xing.
Chinese director Hao Jie delights with his lively musical comedy about a young man’s romantic obsession spanning several decades. A larkish tribute to the er ren tai form of bawdy folk singing practiced for centuries in the Northwestern mountainous region of China, The Love Songs of Tiedan is shot in a village in this region and acted mostly by native nonprofessionals.
The temporary prohibition of er ren tai is just one obstacle that Tiedan (Feng Si) must cope with. As a child, the precocious Tiedan becomes deeply attached to his beautiful neighbor Sister May. As an adult he ends up having various romantic complications with all three of her children—identified only as First Daughter, Second Daughter, and Third Daughter. Sister May is the pupil and the singing partner of Tiedan’s father, a man so devoted to er ren tai that he will get into serious trouble during the Cultural Revolution for practicing a “feudal” form of entertainment.
Director Hao Jie focuses on male desire as in his debut, Single Man, a film that earned him an international reputation as one of China’s most exciting new independent directors. But The Love Songs of Tiedan, according to critic Berenice Reynaud, draws from a broader “range of cinematic and visual styles from ethnomusicology to musical to comedy to expressionism.” Hao also pushes the envelope of romantic longing and obsession much further than in his previous work.
Directed by Hao Jie
Screenplay by Hao Jie, Ge Xia
Cinematography by Du Pu
Editing by Baek Seung-Hoon
Music by Xiao He
Cast: Feng Si, Yelan Jiang, Weicheng Shi, Du Huanrong, Ge Xia, Feng Yun, Li Yuqin
Running Time: 91 minutes
Video: Official Trailer
International travel support provided, in part, by United Airlines.