Fantasy and action in Shang’s Spring Film Festival

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IT’S ALL about the fantasy and action in this year’s Spring Film Festival at the Shangri-La Plaza Mall in Mandaluyong City, as the festival — which runs until Jan. 26 — features six Chinese films including Zhang Yimou’s 2017 monster film Great Wall starring Matt Damon.

Great Wall follows the story of captured European mercenaries during China’s Song Dynasty who must fight alongside their captors to protect the Great Wall of China against a horde of monsters. Aside from Damon, the film also stars Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, and Willem Dafoe. “The movie paints a fantastical epic portrait of ancient China,” said a press release.

Those who are interested in animated features can watch The Monkey King 2 (2016) by Cheang Pou-soi. In this re-telling of the Chinese literary classic, Journey to the West by Wu Cheng’en, the Monkey King decides to accompany a Tang Priest on his journey to fetch sacred scriptures is, according to a press release, “filled with surreal 3D effects and kooky human-animal hybrids, it’s a fun look into Chinese fantasy film.”

Little Door Gods (2016) by Gary Wang is another animated film. This one follows a soup vendor’s family as the business falls on hard times. To help them get back on track, spirit guardians come alive to grant them prosperity. But thanks to modern technology, people don’t believe in the guardians anymore, so the spirits set out to make people see their value again.

For a film with a more serious tone, Battle of Memories (2017) by Leste Chen is a gripping sci-fi movie about a writer who undergoes a procedure to erase some of his memories — but due to an accident in the facility, he instead switches memories with a serial killer.

In superhero parody, Jian Bing Man (2015) by Dong Chengpeng, a popular TV personality gets embroiled in a scandal that forces him to make his own movie with a tiny budget. He decides to adapt a script about an alien who arrives on earth and becomes a super hero.

The last movie int he festival is Our Shining Days (2017) by Wang Ran, a musical comedy about a group of high school students who try to revive a Chinese orchestra ensemble and to compete nationally.

Admission to the screenings is free on a first-come, first-served basis.

Aside from the films, Shangri-La Plaza mall visitors can view traditional Chinese painting scrolls at the mall’s atrium and listen to the Philippine Cultural College Chinese Orchestra alongside a Wu Shu and Lion Dance performance by the Northern Rizal Yorklin School on Jan. 25 from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

On Jan. 26 there will be a Chinese Painting Workshop by the Art Association of the Philippines president Fidel M. Sarmiento and vice-president Roger Santos.

The festival, which runs until Jan. 26 at the Red Carpet Cinemas of the mall, is organized by the Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, and the Film Development Council of the Philippines.

For the full screening schedule and more information, visit the Shangri-La mall social media pages or call 8370-2597 or 98. — ZBC