Gu Xiaogang announces follow-up to “Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains”
Chinese director Gu Xiaogang on Monday announced the sequel to his well-received debut feature “Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains” – the closing night selection for Cannes Critics’ Week in 2019 – titled “Dwelling by the West Lake” .
The film will be produced by Chuxiao Pictures and produced by Chen Caiyun, from a screenplay by novelist Guo Shuang. Mao Dun Literature Prize-winning writer and tea specialist Wang Xufeng will serve as a “literary consultant”.
“Those who have seen ‘Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains’ know that the film ends with the words ‘End of Volume One’, and so I am often asked if the second volume will be its sequel. But in fact, the second volume is an entirely new story set in an entirely new environment, ”Gu said in a statement released by the Qianjiang Evening News.
The new story takes place in Gu’s hometown of Hangzhou, the capital of coastal Zhejiang Province, amid the iconic West Lake Park and surrounding tea hills, famous for producing Longjing Dragon Well tea.
“It will be a tea-related movie,” Gu said, saying they hoped to “deeply penetrate traditional Chinese culture” and “find out. [China’s] own form of cinematic aesthetics ”with his work. He explained that the Chinese character of tea inspired the poetic Chinese title of the film “草木 人间”.
The film is a re-imagining of the well-known Chinese Buddhist folk story of a boy named Mulian saving his mother from hell, seen as a parable on the virtues of filial piety. When Mulian’s mother is sent to hell due to misdeeds committed during her lifetime, Mulian bursts into the underworld to save her, ultimately succeeding after several lifetimes of effort.
Gu will place all of this in a modern context, through the story of a mother named Moss Flower and her son Mulian.
“In terms of genre, the film adds some elements of crime to a warm family drama. [I hope to] translate the classic legend of mother and son using current themes of social realism, ”he said.
Gu’s breakthrough took place at China’s FIRST Film Festival in 2019, where his first film “Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains” won him the awards for Best Picture and Best Director.
He was careful to consider his next steps following this success.
“As I grow up as a director, I wonder what kind of movies do I want to do with my team in the future? Come to think of it for a second, these are films with a certain warmth, ”he said.
“Although I have uncontrollable ambitions, my biggest wish in the end is simply to progress from the last film.”