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Chen Zhong -- Filming the Margin of Society


Chengdu through the lens of independent filmmaker Chenzhong

Regarded as the first independent filmmaker in Sichuan, Chen Zhong made his debut movie "Love Poems" in his hometown, soon after receiving his UFA on film from Temple University in the United States. The love story, set in Chengdu, perfectly captures the lifestyle of urban poor in the margins of Chinese society.

Chen Zhong usually gives people the first impression of a dynamic young man with extraordinary confidence and his keen sense of humor. He goes to Cai Feng Tang very often, a popularteahouserendezvous for local literati. And everyone there is fascinated with his brilliant perceptions when discussing the movies of his favorite directors, Tsai Mingliang, M. Antonioni and Abbas Kiorastami. Chen Zhong is the first filmmaker in China to engage in research of Iranian movies, especially the films of Abbas Kiorastami. Chen also talks about the magical film language and techniques used in the classic American movie "The Graduate". At the end of one of his impromptu seminars, Chen told his teahouse audience, "Everyone can make a movie if he tries. The revolution of the movie industry driven by digital technologies makes it absolutely possible-everybody can do it!"

It is Chen Zhong and his amazing movie "Love Poems" that have brought the concept of independent filmmaking to Sichuan. Chen took charge of the entire filmmaking process-script writing, directing, recording and editing-and completed the 200,000-yuan movie thanks to his skill and commitment. For that, he deserves our applause.

"Love Poems" is a contemporary love story set in Chengdu. The poet, a sound fetishist, falls in love with a beautiful girl who is a nightclub singer. But he has no courage to express his feelings, so he turns to his roommate, a male prostitute, to whom women are nothing but a source of income. Forced by his roommate, the handsome boy seduces the innocent girl and unexpectedly falls in love with her. Driven by powerful jealousy and fury over his friend's betrayal, the poet exposes his true identity, leaving both the girl and her lover heartbroken.

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