The Sun Also Rises (2007 film)

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The Sun Also Rises
The Sun Also Rises.jpg
Poster for The Sun Also Rises
Mandarintài yáng zhào cháng shēng qǐ
Directed byJiang Wen
Produced byJiang Wen
Albert Lee
Written byJiang Wen
Shu Ping
Guo Shixing
Ye Mi
StarringJaycee Chan
Joan Chen
Jiang Wen
Anthony Wong
Zhou Yun
Music byJoe Hisaishi
CinematographyPin Bing Lee
Yang Tao
Zhao Fei
Edited byZhang Yifan
Release date
  • 3 September 2007 (2007-09-03) (Venice)
  • 21 September 2007 (2007-09-21) (China)

The Sun Also Rises (Chinese: 太阳照常升起; pinyin: Tàiyáng zhàocháng shēng-qǐ) is a 2007 film directed, produced and co-written by Chinese director Jiang Wen starring Joan Chen, Anthony Wong, Jaycee Chan, and Jiang Wen himself. This movie is the polyptych of interconnected stories in different time-zones, shifting between a Yunnan village, a campus, and the Gobi Desert. This movie was screened in competition at the Venice International Film Festival and nominated for Golden Lion but lost to Ang Lee's historical thriller Lust, Caution.[1] This film also premiered at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival on September 9,[2] and was nominated for Achievement in Cinematography at the 2007 Asia Pacific Screen Awards.


The movie details four interconnected stories.

In the first story, madness and mischief as a single mother (Zhou Yun) drives her devoted son (Jaycee Chan) to distraction with her daredevil antics in pursuit of tranquility. The agile mom climbs tall trees and stands perilously astride a small earthen raft on the river. She treasures a beautiful pair of slippers that she is forever losing, and the son fears that, one day, the footwear will remain while his mother disappears.

In the second story, on a college campus, two old friends find their friendship tested by rivalry over a woman. Doctor Lin (Joan Chen) is the mistress of Old Tang (Jiang Wen), but she finds herself drawn to teacher Liang (Anthony Wong), who is catnip to beautiful women. When Liang is accused of groping women at a campus gathering, Lin offers her rear end behind a curtain to determine whose was the guilty hand.

Old Tang, who is a hunter, has a young wife (Kong Wei) who begins a relationship with the madwoman's son. One day, Tang overhears their noises of passion and his wife whispering that her husband says her belly is like velvet. He determines to shoot the young man but is given pause when the boy asks him, "What is velvet?"

The final episode involves all the characters in a dreamlike sequence that brings their lives full circle.



The film received positive reviews from critics. Toronto Review states that "a new aesthetic of magical realism, Jiang deftly defies the gravity of linear storytelling to produce sheer visual poetry. This gallery of lavishly composed frames may seem to follow an irrational logic but, in the end, the imagery is as rare and precious as velvet was scarce in the isolated China the film so vividly depicts."[2] The Hollywood Reporter wrote "Fluid motion and glorious colors provide a visual treat in Jiang Wen's sumptuous romantic fantasy... besides being wonderful to look at, The Sun Also Rises is great fun, with sure-handed performances."[3] Moreover, this film was rumored to be China's official entries to the 2008 Oscars bidding with Lust, Caution and The Warlords.[4]

Writing in Muse Magazine, however, Perry Lam gave a negative review, criticizing 'Jiang's timidity and the small-mindedness of his new movie.'[5]


  1. ^ "The Sun Also Rises". "Sun Also Rises" an eye-catching China fantasy. Retrieved 5 September 2007.[dead link]
  2. ^ a b "TIFF". "Sun Also Rises" at TIFF. Archived from the original on 23 December 2007. Retrieved 2 September 2007.
  3. ^ Bennett, Ray (2007-09-05). "The Sun Also Rises (Taiyang zhaocheng shengqi)". The Hollywood Reporter.
  4. ^ Shenzhen Daily/Agencies. "China' Oscar Entry". 3 Chinese films set to vie for Oscars. Retrieved 14 September 2007.
  5. ^ Lam, Perry (October 2007). "Great expectations". Muse Magazine (9): 101.

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