Breaking out of the mold

Updated 2017-05-04 10:30:28 China Daily
Battle of Memories, starring a celebrity cast comprising Huang Bo, Xu Jinglei, Duan Yihong and Yang Zishan, tops the box-office charts in China on Tuesday. Photo Provided To China Daily

Battle of Memories, starring a celebrity cast comprising Huang Bo, Xu Jinglei, Duan Yihong and Yang Zishan, tops the box-office charts in China on Tuesday. Photo Provided To China Daily

Leste Chen has left his comfort zone with his latest movie, Battle of Memories.

Thanks to hits such as The Great Hypnotist and Miss Granny, Leste Chen is one of the most commercially successful Taiwan directors in the Chinese mainland market.

But with his latest movie, Battle of Memories, also the seventh directorial feature of the 35-year-old filmmaker, Chen has left his comfort zone.

Unlike his previous movies, most of which are romances, Battle of Memories is a crime story set in an Asia of 2025.

A best-selling author, played by A-list actor Huang Bo, tries to erase memories of his estranged wife, played by Xu Jinglei, but accidentally obtains a serial killer's memory. The film was released on the mainland on April 28.

"I had never done such a movie before. And the most difficult part was that I had no precedent to follow," says Chen at a promotional event in Beijing Film Academy.

"It (the filming) was like walking on a tightrope. I needed to be very cautious," he adds.

"The props and sets were unique. The script was revised around 80 times. I hope it (the film) is something brand-new," says Chen.

China saw around 700 feature-length movies made last year, and the main genres were fantasy, action and comedy.

Meanwhile, China saw a rise in plans for sci-fi films in 2015, mainly due to the landmark win of that year's Hugo award by Chinese novelist Liu Cixin, the first Asian to win the prestigious prize.

But only a few of those movies have hit theaters, and almost none of those released have succeeded in the box office or received critical acclaim.

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