Ripples of Life (2021) Movie Script

Waiting alone
Last time I shot a film in Yunnan.
It was spectacular.
There was a large coffin
with a big beam on top.
It weighed 500 kilos.
- 500 Kilos?
- Yes.
- Wood?
- Yes.
Eight men could not move it.
500 kilos plus the coffin.
That's 100 kilos each?
It can't be.
We don't call it wood.
We call it "dulong".
This is important for us.
On top of the coffin is the dulong
and two long beams.
Two large nails were hammered
into the sides.
Bang bang bang.
Once a man was dead,
you knew he would never rise again.
That is quite a scene.
For sure.
It feels so peaceful.
As in "peace and love".
Where should we park?
- Park over there.
- Okay
Park over there.
How are you, Feng?
Let me introduce Feng, our producer.
Pleased to meet you.
They are all old friends.
This is our screenwriter.
- Pleased to meet you.
- Hello.
- It's a long drive.
- It was fine.
What would you like for dinner?
The fish here is good. Try it.
Nothing fancy.
Something simple is fine.
We are having a meeting soon.
The restaurant is in the back.
Have a bite.
Listen everyone!
We need your ID cards for registration.
Please come inside.
What kind of fish did you recommend?
Donghu lake fish.
We are here for a month to prepare.
We can try it later.
That's fine.
Excuse me!
Anyone here?
Don't we have two more dishes?
Let me check.
- Yes, you're right.
- We're ready now
- Hurry up.
- Okay.
What are they doing here?
They are making a movie.
- Making a movie.
- Yes.
What could they shoot here?
How would I know?
Our last film was about
a master calligrapher.
He splashed an extra with ink.
We didn't deal with it right away.
So the extra staged a sit in
at our office.
Here's to you, Feng. To our film.
To Chinese cinema!
I should toast you.
Here's to everyone. Sit down.
We have a month to prepare.
It's a long road ahead.
We are in it together.
To Chinese cinema!
To our director.
What do you think of this place, Chunlei?
When I was scouting locations,
I thought this was just right.
I think this place is excellent.
Our screenplay expresses
this very feeling of helplessness.
Of someone stuck in time.
Like it says in the script:
"Nothing ever happens in Yong'an."
That is what you feel here.
A kind of tranquil beauty.
What is the English name of the film?
"Ripples of life."
Which means?
The inescapable inertia of life.
When you cast a stone into a pond,
its ripples spread outwards,
but the surface is soon still again.
Did you take the night shift
to avoid our daughter?
Not at all.
It's hard to work during the day.
Too much traffic.
I can earn more at night.
When I asked my parents
to look after her, you said no.
Don't cry.
Don't cry.
It's okay.
Didn't mom say not to breast feed?
Don't let her get used to it.
I decide if my daughter
will breast feed.
Don't cry.
Mr. Luo, time to work.
Please confirm your order now.
Welcome on life's new journey.
Don't cry.
I'm here.
How much is this pork?
How much is a ham?
25 per kilo.
Look at these balloons. Don't cry.
Look at the balloons.
- No thanks.
- They're so pretty.
This ham.
- Is it fresh?
- It's fresh.
Cut me a slice of lard.
- Lard?
- Yes, a slice.
- Deliver it this evening.
- Okay.
You have a great figure for a woman
who has had a baby.
When is the next one coming?
The next?
I have my hands full with this one.
It's not so bad.
You already have one.
You won't notice a second one.
Hey, where is the oil?
How much per person?
35 yuan per person.
That's a lot.
Can you give me a better price?
That's the price
I can't afford it.
How about 28?
How are your meetings going?
We need some rewrites.
Take it up with the director later.
He is not here today?
Is this pork?
We have chicken, duck, fish and pork.
Do you like smoked meats?
He can't come today.
Why not?
He is at a film festival.
His last film won a best actress prize.
What movie are you making?
A story set in a small village.
Hey, miss.
Are you from here?
Are there any old-looking streets
or houses around here?
Do you like spicy food?
Let's get the spicy fried tofu.
And an order of Sichuan boiled beef.
Do you have any other specialties?
How about this fish?
Freshly caught from the lake.
Served five ways.
- All right?
- Okay.
- Okay.
That's all then?
When will the director be back?
He should be back in two days.
We will have to wait then.
Fine for you, but what about me?
I still have rewrites to do.
Has it always been like this here?
This used to be a grain depot.
Then a lot of people moved here
and it became a village.
She really looks like you.
Over there, behind the lake,
they're building a tourist zone.
Many people have moved there.
There are not many left here.
Where is the ginger you bought?
In that plastic bag on the floor.
Let's go.
You should go see the new district.
There is a beautiful view.
Why haven't you moved?
My husband's family all lives over here.
So here we are.
can you say something
in your local dialect?
"Nothing ever happens in Yong'an."
How do you say that?
Your camera makes me nervous.
Don't worry. Go ahead.
You are really photogenic.
"Nothing ever happens in Yong'an."
"Nothing ever happens in Yong'an."
Did I get it right?
The film's dialogue should be in Hunanese.
"Nothing ever happens in Yong'an."
"Nothing ever happens in Yong'an."
"Nothing ever happens in Yong'an."
"Nothing ever happens in Yong'an."
"Nothing ever happens in Yong'an."
Babies and mothers: for all your needs.
Not breastfeeding at night is one thing.
But weaning her right now?
She is over a year old.
It's about time.
Other kids start getting
formula at six months.
Did you read the article my mom sent?
Doctors say to breastfeed
until the child is two.
Mother's milk has nutrients
that formula doesn't.
Trust me,
You are here. Be bold.
Don't just pick a simple colour.
Let me suggest something?
Take a look.
These are fashionable this year.
They've gone viral online.
They are too gaudy.
Not really.
Put this on and you're a knock out.
Like they say:
"A blooming flower attracts a fresh breeze."
Okay, I'll take it.
- This one.
- Good.
You haven't had your nails done in ages.
Not since I had a baby.
- You have a baby.
- En.
You are so lucky.
I know what you mean,
but I think the woman
left Yong'an for money.
We have gone over this many times.
I think she has another reason.
She wants more opportunity.
We should avoid excessively romanticizing life.
That is too vulgar.
Have some fruit.
We didn't order any.
It's on the house.
Thank you.
It's sweet.
You are being vulgar.
Take some. Just a little.
Oh, don't cry.
Bring me a fish!
How can you work with such flashy nails?
Once we are too old to work,
this place will be yours.
You've got to hustle
to keep it going.
Get down and play.
Where are you going?
Stop crying.
The ugly duckling said:
"I want to fly to them,
"to those beautiful, regal swans.
"No matter how painful the voyage,
"it will be better than this life.
"And so,
"the ugly duckling jumped into the lake
"and swam towards those beautiful,
regal swans."
We can put in eight tables.
The whole scene is in the restaurant.
The space will feel less cramped.
We will stagger the tables a bit.
What space does the boss move in?
She is in this space,
where she can move freely.
Once we open it up, we can use
multiple camera positions.
So the boss can move freely.
She can move from here to here,
and here
and then to here.
What happened?
I'll fix it right away.
Has the boss been cast yet?
Not yet.
The actress we want is busy.
We have two alternates.
The director says
she does not need experience.
But she must speak the dialect.
So we are looking around here.
It's fixed.
Let's continue.
Scene 5.
Thats right. Go this way.
Thank you.
We will be in touch.
Thank you very much.
That girl was not quite right.
I'm not an acting expert,
but that was weird.
It was too forced.
When they are overly trained,
they don't fit in.
Please check these designs.
Why all these movie screen shots?
They are just for reference.
They are exactly what we don't want.
They are all from award-winning films.
And there no crappy award-winning films?
That's not what I meant.
Why don't we test
the designs on a mannequin?
What will that prove?
Find a real person.
What about this young woman?
Be a little flexible.
The investors are here to see you.
I thought of this song
the first time I saw you.
What is it called?
I haven't smoked in ages.
Not since I had the baby.
When you smoke,
you look a lot like Kim Minhee.
Are you a director?
I see you shooting all day.
I make documentaries.
I'm a director who films directors.
Who was that person you just mentioned?
An actress. A movie star.
You have a real cinema face.
The director said he wanted to
find an actress from Hunan.
You might even appear in the movie.
I don't have your WeChat yet.
Why make me look so old?
The character is 35 years old.
Not too much.
She has a real cinema face.
Please shut your eyes.
I think we can try out something new.
Spin around. I will catch
a spontaneous moment.
Let's give it a try.
3, 2, 1, go!
One more time.
3, 2, 1, go!
You can be a bit more crazy.
Let's spin together.
3, 2, 1...
3, 2, 1, go!
What do you think of this costume?
It's good.
This is the way, right?
See how this costume comes alive
when a real person wears it.
You're right.
Can we try the makeup
with the other outfits today?
Do it.
Shall we change the costume?
Yes please.
Are you getting tired?
Not at all.
I'm fine.
Good. Just right.
Excuse me...
May I step out a moment?
Go ahead.
Why are you here?
What are you up to?
Where's the formula?
She was crying at Mom's place
for a long time.
I forgot.
Don't cry.
There is one more costume.
Don't cry.
Can you take her home?
I will be back as soon as I'm done.
- I will be quick.
- Hurry.
Go ahead.
I have talked it over with my parents.
We will redecorate
the way you wanted.
That was before we were married.
There is no point now.
It's a waste of money.
Might as well redecorate.
This building has a ten-year lease.
You haven't eaten? Come in.
I just wanted to tell you:
use less chili pepper next time.
The writer and director
both have the runs.
I'm so sorry.
Wait a moment.
You're out of ginseng, son?
See you later.
Turn on the radio.
Come out with it. Why did you call?
Did you want me to tell you
not to get divorced?
Just let it go. Grin and bear it.
Marry a dog; live like a dog.
You can work it out.
Farmers like you do not get divorced.
You have such cute dimples.
I am just carrying vegetables.
Can you send this one to me?
I will have them send you the original.
Who will send it?
I will do it myself.
Good. You do it.
So will you send me...
- Chen Chen. Welcome.
- Hello.
- I am so grateful you could fit us in.
- It's my pleasure.
- Let's take a look around first.
- En.
You can rest assured,
this film will not disappoint you.
Isn't she...
We will visit the town in a few days.
Excuse me!
Our actress wants a taste of real life.
Show us the kitchen.
This is our main location.
Soak it in.
Get the boss to prepare a fish.
We cook it in scene one.
Dont just stand there.
Prepare a fish for us.
We will pay for your time.
You have recommended a great spot.
It has the flavour of real life,
doesn't it?
It certainly does.
You have clearly studied the script.
I loved it
the first time I came to scout here.
Excuse me. Can I get by?
It looks beautiful
What are you doing here?
I've brought you some fruit.
Long time no see.
You have put on weight.
It's true.
I'm sorry to inconvenience you.
Not at all.
Welcome home, movie star.
Thank you.
Do you want to chat for a bit?
No thanks. The fruit.
Have a rest first. I'm off.
See you tomorrow.
Just a moment.
Try pushing this.
This is the best hotel around.
Are you comfortable?
If there is anything you need,
let us know.
I don't need anything.
What concerns me is the screenplay.
Wasn't the version I read
already complete?
Why is it taking so long to finalize?
Complete is insufficient.
Complete is just the foundation.
It's like this glass of wine.
The longer it matures,
the better it gets.
But once you open the bottle,
the wine has a limited shelf life.
But we haven't started shooting.
Don't worry.
We will finalize the script
before its expiry date.
It's just that our screenwriter,
he is a problem.
His fermentation time is too long.
I understand that
fermentation can take a while.
In fact, I have also been waiting.
I ended my last contract
almost a year ago.
All I have been doing
since is looking at screenplays.
Now that I have my independence,
I must make a good film.
"Ripples of Life"
is just the script you are looking for.
You do in fact have a good eye.
As soon as I read this script,
I felt it was really meaningful.
It took me back to when
I was growing up in this village.
It was great.
What do think of this one?
Are you sure you want to wear mine?
- You don't need me tomorrow?
- No.
No. I'm going to meet my old classmate.
Okay. Call me if you need anything.
- I will, good night.
- Good night.
It has really changed.
I remember there used to be
nothing at all here.
It's been 20 years.
Of course things have changed.
It's changing every day now.
Mr. Wang!
Let me show you around.
This is the central square
of the Donghu tourism zone.
So far, we have only built half.
It will be much larger
once we have finished.
This way.
Watch your step.
As soon as you returned home,
out came the sun.
The weather is beautiful.
Didn't you say
we were going sightseeing?
What's all the fuss for?
I didn't arrange this.
They set this up on their own.
And you really
deserve their warm welcome.
Welcome Chen Chen,
the pride of your hometown Yong'an.
3, 2, 1...
People are so excited.
They couldn't be stopped.
You're not upset?
No. I'm fine.
Remember when we used to go by
that tower on the way to school.
I looked so short
on my father's big bike.
You and Hong
would not wait for me to catch up.
But now you are the one out in front.
Look at me. After all these years,
I'm still a minor official.
You have made such fast progress.
And we have to catch up.
Come on.
You're doing quite well yourself.
I have a little favour to ask.
For an old classmate.
What is it?
Come with me.
Today happens to be
the opening of the new theatre.
What a fortunate coincidence.
I would like to invite you on stage.
It all started here,
and now she is a movie star.
Let's give Chen Chen a warm welcome.
She will say a few words.
I am delighted to attend
today's opening ceremony.
And I am very happy to see everyone here.
I hope everyone will attend this theatre.
I wish our hometown will
continue to develop.
Ms. Chen,
we would like a group picture.
Yong'an Grand Theatre.
3, 2, 1...
Thank you.
That's fine. Stop.
That's enough.
Chen Chen.
Look who is there.
What brings you here?
It looked so lively.
So I came by.
It has been a while.
Will you have dinner with us?
No thank you.
Another day.
"An Hong!"
"An Hong!"
How do I do this?
He's telling Zhang Yimou to shout here.
"What floor is she on?"
"An Hong!"
"An Hong!"
"She's come out. It's her."
"Keep going."
"She's come out. That's it."
"No." "She has to come down."
"Call her."
"And say: An Hong, I miss you."
"I miss you."
"That's hard for me to shout."
"I miss her, not you. What's so hard?"
"Call her."
"I'll try."
"An Hong! I miss you."
"An Hong. I miss you."
"An Hong!"
Your turn.
"An Hong!"
"I miss you."
"An Hong!"
Mr. Liu is much better.
A real artist.
Let's toast Mr. Liu.
Let me drink this.
Was that a good impression?
I'm a born actor, right?
You really should be an actor.
Shut your eyes.
I used to want to be an actor.
But my old man insisted
I go into business with him.
Let's say, today,
I act the role of your husband.
Being an actor
is harder than it looks.
You are quite a success,
contributing to Yong'an's prosperity.
Well said.
Yong'an's prosperity will depend on tourism.
People now are tired of cities.
They want to return to a simple rural life.
On the other hand,
if you offer them an authentic small town life,
they won't put up with it.
we have a business opportunity.
Chen Chen,
Our tourism zone will look like this
when it is finished.
I am building a 6D cinema here.
Here is a playground.
And I will building a wax museum.
The first wax figure in it
has to be you, Chen Chen.
Mr. Liu, Chen Chen agrees.
We can settle this today.
I have to consult with my company first.
Chen Chen,
you are a living Yong'an postcard.
We cannot set up a wax museum
without you.
What's more,
if we develop tourism here,
your glory will illuminate
all of the citizens of Yong'an.
Luo, boil some more water.
Excuse me!
- The bill please.
- OK.
325 yuan all together.
It's that expensive?
Your four main dishes.
are only 200 yuan.
Do you see?
In this kind of environment,
the boss would not leave
In this kind of environment,
the boss would not leave
because her female consciousness
has awakened.
Your character is a realistic woman.
You would leave Yong'an for money.
Because you can earn more outside.
But that is not what the director told me.
You two don't yet agree on her character.
I've been writing this for six years.
No one knows her better than me.
As for the director,
he does not totally understand her.
Why don't you go talk it over with him?
I think he wants to hear
what you have to say.
Your name is Chunlei?
Chunlei, here is what I think.
When I was younger, I often
made the director change my lines.
But this time I want to
respect the creative process
and leave the decision to the director.
I'm not talking about overruling the director.
But I think we can give him advice.
I think you should talk this over
with the director.
As an actress, I need
the final version as soon as possible.
I need time to prepare.
Okay. You work on the role.
And I'll keep revising.
You work here?
Yes. For two years.
We haven't seen each other in how long?
I'll change the sheets for you.
That's ok. I can do it myself
I'll make the bed.
I'm here for work.
I will be staying more than a month.
I know. Our boss mentioned it.
When do you get off work?
Let's sit down and catch up.
I can't.
My husband is making dinner.
He's expecting me.
Is there anything else you need?
Have a nice day.
"Not a sound is heard in the garden.
"The leaves are not rustling.
"How beautiful is the night.
"How my heart is enraptured.
"By this entrancing evening."
"How beautiful is the night.
"How my heart is enraptured.
"By this entrancing evening."
Time to eat.
Can I ask you for some help?
Your crew kept coming to my place.
They said they would shoot here.
We even negotiated a fee.
But now they want another house.
Can you have a word with them?
The director selects locations.
There is no point asking me.
Chen Chen,
We were neighbours. We're related.
Your cousin is going to art school.
I really can't help you.
A big star like you
can't help your own cousin?
I'm only an actress.
You do not understand.
Don't give me a hard time.
I helped get your father
into the Calligraphy Association.
Don't touch me! I've had an operation!
Are you ok?
I'm fine.
let's not discuss the screenplay today.
I've brought you on location
to observe life.
Don't just dream up stories.
Even if the rewrite is going slowly,
I don't think it is a problem.
Look here.
The space is the scene.
We are in a dialogue with the space.
"Ripples of life."
Look at this.
In the story, you live in a village
where nothing happens.
The new zone across the lake.
Experience it.
Doesn't it resemble a 4:3 ratio film?
Looking through here
is like watching a film.
Life over there is very far from you.
Experience it.
We need to observe more, Chunlei.
Only through observation can we discover
how the world and our hearts
are constantly changing together.
Nothing can be preserved forever.
Isn't that what your story wants to say?
I understand.
I've brought you some pastries.
You really are Chen Chen.
You look different on TV.
I'll put it here.
What happened to the housekeeper
from yesterday?
She changed her shift.
I'm doing this floor now.
Let me know if you need anything.
Hey boss! Someone's looking for you.
Do you remember?
We always used to swim there.
You were quite a tomboy
when we were young.
You were really shy.
Remember drama class?
When you had to improvise,
you just ran away.
I didn't have what it takes.
You chose to study acting.
And you have come home to make a film.
To be honest,
there are times when I really miss this life.
But now that I am back,
it feels like so much has changed.
But I am really happy to see you.
Come have dinner at my place tonight?
My wife and son are home.
Why don't we all go out?
My treat.
My wife really admires you.
She insists on cooking for you.
She made spicy chicken, just for you.
I remember that was your favourite.
This is wonderful.
You can grow your own veggies.
Grab it lower down.
- Is one enough?
- Yes.
Spicy chicken!
I hope you like it.
May I say ...
I am your biggest fan.
I've seen all your movies.
You are a great actress.
And you are so gorgeous.
She's even more wonderful in person.
Thank you.
You are very pretty yourself.
Oh gosh...
I totally wasted my youth
when I married him.
I know it hasn't been easy for you.
Am I wrong?
Aren't these wrinkles your fault?
Just compare us.
It is silly to compare.
She was a beautiful girl.
Everyone looks good
when they are young.
Every woman under 25 is attractive.
After 25, life leaves its mark.
You are both doing so well.
Look how big your son is.
There are times
when I really envy a life like yours.
Envy? You could have
had this life if you wanted it.
Have some more rice.
It's from my hometown.
Isn't there one more dish?
Go get it yourself!
You are always after me for something.
Did you catch a cold?
Is it too windy up on the roof?
Have some hot water.
Bring some hot water!
Don't eat anything else spicy.
Have something else.
Some more greens.
Thank you.
Show her your Mongolian dance.
I hate dancing.
You are your father's son.
Another good-for-nothing.
Come on. Dance.
Do that dance.
Do it like you mean it!
He is usually much better.
But he is shy with strangers.
That's enough.
Chen Chen, do you think
my son could be an actor?
- He is very bright.
- Really?
He is really multi-talented,
just a bit shy today.
Could you maybe introduce him
to your film crew?
Sure. If there is an opportunity.
That's great!
What about this movie?
Can you find something for him?
We have two roles for boys.
But they have already been cast.
I see.
Is it really settled?
Can't we squeeze him in?
That's enough. Just drop it.
What is wrong with just chatting?
Don't be angry.
This guy...
She told you. It's settled.
What is the point of going on?
What else do you do besides fix cars!
You don't care about our son!
Of course I do.
But stop putting Chen Chen on the spot.
Hong, you are really something.
Now I get it.
You make me play the bad guy,
so you can look good?
Whose side are you on,
Mr. Gentleman?
What are you waiting for?
She left
Go get her.
This is all your idea!
I did everything you want!
What I want?
How could I force you
to bump into someone?
You can't force things!
Chen Chen.
I'm sorry you had to see me
make a fool of myself.
Don't worry. Go on back.
Let me walk with you for a while.
Hong, go away!
I had no idea how much
you have changed.
Of course you don't.
Your life is nothing like ours now.
Nothing at all?
Do you think my life is happy?
Of course it is not the same.
Why else would you have left?
I had enough of this life.
I wanted to live a different life!
You said you missed this life.
Now you look down on it.
Your so-called "different life".
It's just about money, isn't it?
Now that you are rich,
you think you can patronize us.
I left because I did not want
to live as your wife.
What kind of life do we have?
A Pluto moment
What is the matter with Chen Chen?
I don't know.
It's not because of our screenplay, is it?
It still needs some work.
I asked Feng to pay
for you to stay here,
so we can work together more easily.
You can stay in my old room.
How do you like my cigarettes?
It's a mix of three kinds of tobacco.
A base, a fragrance,
and one for strength.
And the paper is organic flax.
There is no burnt paper taste.
Smoke less of your commercial stuff.
I'll give you more of mine.
I'm addicted to it.
But I see you really enjoy it.
Seriousness is a rare virtue.
Because it is the only thing
in my life I can control.
I used to get this pleasure
from writing novels.
But once I started writing screenplays,
it's gone.
I have to serve the director.
A film's screenplay is incomplete by nature.
Chen Chen asked me again
about the final draft.
We shoot in a week.
This is half-cooked.
It needs to be well done, homie!
Your screenplay is really well written.
I'd give it an 80.
It has received good feedback.
But I still think there is room
for improvement.
Let me show you something.
I got this inscription ten years ago
from Putuo Temple.
"A road as smooth as a palm."
It is my article of faith.
We are both on the same road, bro.
We don't need to overthink it.
We just need to do it.
You can say this
because you were born lucky.
But I wasn't.
I have written four screenplays.
Two were rejected.
An investor bought one,
but it was never filmed.
You should have your fortune told.
I have. The fortune teller said
I had an intellectual's destiny,
but that I would
accomplish nothing in this life.
So everything depends on
"Ripples of Life".
Use your good fate
to help my rotten fate.
Actually, it's not about who helps whom.
It's about succeeding together.
Back to the story. Like I said,
the characters lack action.
Take the first story.
The boy likes the girl.
But all he ever does is go to her house
and wait downstairs for her.
How do you expect me to shoot that?
By the way,
drop the violin scene.
He's too artsy-fartsy.
No. That young man lives in small village.
The young woman is from the big city.
He feels the distance between them.
So he can't express himself to her.
What I am writing about
is unrequited love.
Even unrequited love
needs to have a bit of action, doesnt it?
I didn't make him blindly persist.
But he has to do something, right?
Like sending the girl breakfast...
Isn't that too cheesy?
All youth romances do that stuff.
The key is,
that is not how I understand life.
Then tell me how you understand it.
I believe that this character
will not be so active.
It all boils down to this line:
"Nothing ever happens in Yong'an."
Try to imagine
someone living in this little village.
Their character is static.
Time is frozen.
They are longing to live,
to love, to be happy, to change.
But in the end
there is nothing they can do.
This is a Chekhovian tragedy.
You are just being lazy.
You say the characters do not act.
But it is you who can't write it.
When you can't think up a line,
"He remains silent".
I searched through the script the other day.
I counted 72 "silences".
That mute character suits you.
Why not just make them all mutes?
Isn't silence a normal part of life?
So is eating and pissing. Write that.
Your silence right now is perfect.
It has emotion.
You are silently cursing me,
aren't you?
No. I'm just thinking.
When I was secretly in love with a girl,
I took her breakfast every day.
What sounds cheesy to you
sounds awesome to me.
I had a crush on a girl in high school.
Downstairs was a DVD store.
I used to go there to rent DVDs
when I had nothing to do.
I wanted to bump into her.
Zero action.
Don't you regret it?
Why didn't you tell her?
Maybe I thought I didn't deserve her.
It is actually a lot like our story.
As soon as the boy sees the girl,
he realizes that he and the village
are not good enough for her.
How pretentious.
You are just as pretentious
as the screenplay.
I've got it.
I know how to solve this.
Delete the fourth story.
Our disagreement is solved.
What do you think of this song?
Not bad.
The lyrics are good.
The beat is good too.
I wrote it and I'm the singer.
Before I became a director,
I wanted to be a singer.
I would love to show up to an
award ceremony totally swag.
You know Spike Lee?
He's the shit.
What kind of music do you listen to?
Rock, mostly.
Other kinds, too.
You're into rock.
You're into leather?
No. There are many kinds of rock.
There is post rock ...
Shit man, that's more than I can take.
I've been to see their shows.
On stage they're all ... like this.
I was crazy. If I'd had a beer,
I would have barfed.
I get carsick just thinking about it.
Let's go visit the location.
Thank you.
The boss handles the bills here.
Bowing and scraping
to customers every day.
She certainly doesn't like this life.
When she is alone,
she stands here gazing in the mirror.
She sees she is no longer young.
But not yet old.
So she wants to seize the chance
to have a different life.
Am I right?
The plot has to follow the characters.
I understand.
Start from the characters themselves.
You seem worried.
The audience criticized
your last film as sexist.
You want to use this film
to prove them wrong.
But we cannot let ourselves
be controlled by the audience.
What was wrong with my last film?
It just won a best actress prize.
I don't care what other people say.
I always ignore the audience.
I believe that the film will show
an independent woman's awakening.
But you insist that
nothing ever happens in Yong'an.
Because you have
a preconceived idea of life.
And you impose your thinking
on everyone here.
You implant your own subjectivity
into your screenplay.
And you emotionally
manipulate the audience.
Am I right?
Creativity always has a subjective element.
Whose point of view can I use,
if not my own?
Use a more objective point of view.
Give me that.
You should think about this:
we are digging a hole into real life,
then probing with a camera
to record what life is like.
Get it?
In that case,
why not just shoot a documentary?
I am pursuing aesthetic principles.
I don't agree.
Creativity requires intention.
We must clearly communicate
this intention to the audience.
What intention?
Didn't you say you know
more than the audience?
What an arrogant attitude.
I am arrogant?
Look at his making-of footage.
Why bother?
Let's have some tea.
You totally misunderstood what I meant.
The function of art is not to teach,
spread ideas, or provide models.
Art prepares people for death.
It reclaims and cultivates the human soul.
Take a look.
I've read this book.
I remember a sentence from it:
"Humanity draws support from art
"and, through subjective experience,
appropriates reality."
Respect my subjective experience.
I've spent six years writing this.
I want to hand it over to you now.
Take a good ball and score a goal.
I can only accept a clean pass.
I don't believe in your screenplay.
How can I shoot it?
You have had it for a year already!
If you didn't believe in it,
why shoot it?
I was totally wasted when I read it!
This tea is cold!
Director. Let's be honest.
You only picked my script because
they said your last film was crude.
I'm afraid my honesty might hurt you, homie.
I only chose your screenplay
because I saw its potential.
That is the only reason.
A screenplay is basically a medium,
a vehicle.
A screenplay primarily documents
a feeling, a mood, a point of view.
My work is not to translate
every word into cinema.
This vehicle allows me to combine
performance and setting into a film.
This is the only way your intention
can reach the audience's hearts.
Do you understand:
"transcending screen time and space"?
Didn't you say you ignore the audience?
My focus is the screenplay's quality
and its expressive efficiency.
The problem is your screenplay
only conveys information.
Is that wall almost ready?
You know, I can't stand hip hop.
Singing about how fucking cool
you think you are.
Like you're the only one in the world.
I've revised it so many times
it is unrecognizable.
I looked at the first draft again.
It was solid.
Have a drink.
It is really not bad.
Does "not bad" belong to cinema?
Can you shoot something "not bad"?
Tell me:
does "not bad" belong to cinema?
Don't film me.
What are you doing?
Get something to eat.
- It's fine.
- There's nothing to shoot.
Shut it off!
I'll delete it later.
Why shoot if you're going to delete it.
I didn't think...
Sit down and eat.
Don't get so worked up. Have a drink.
And eat something.
Let me ask you. I want the truth.
The truth.
Don't try smoothing things over.
What do you think of my screenplay?
It's quite good.
That's the truth?
Don't be like this.
Which is better, this draft,
or the first one?
I can't remember exactly
what has changed.
But I think the director is right.
His sense of aesthetics is strong.
Why don't you sit down.
I'm fine.
He is drunk.
Don't discuss this
with the entire crew yet.
The department heads will deal with it.
Should he be filming this?
Let him record it.
we are approaching the moment of cinema.
Our producer Feng is here.
When did you get here?
How is everything going?
I've put all my chips on the table.
I'm all in.
You will get a 5% holding
in the company.
Thank you, Feng. Respect.
There is more good news.
We have signed a hot young star,
Liu Yang, for the last story.
When did this happen?
No one told me.
Yesterday. We signed with his agent.
Stop shooting.
I need to tell you.
We have no fourth story.
I cut out the mute boy.
He is doing research now
at a school for the deaf.
He even sent me a video.
This is not a problem for me.
If you want to shoot it,
I will give you what you need.
But it goes against my aesthetic vision.
Your aesthetic vision?
I said I'm all in!
How can I justify
your changes to our investors?
My screenwriter is not up to the job.
You picked the screenwriter. Not me.
I chose the wrong guy.
No, I chose the wrong guy: you!
Listen to me, Feng.
We are on the edge of a cliff.
We can fall or fly,
but we're in it together.
Let's be brave.
Do it for Chinese cinema.
It is your aesthetic vision.
You want me to fucking take a risk?
If I decide to leap,
that is called bravery.
If you fucking push me from behind,
that is called murder.
Feng, I don't want to murder you.
I believe that a producer is also a creator.
We are not opponents. We are a team.
I've heard
that you revised the three stories.
Can I see the new screenplay?
Your producer has frequently called me.
But I haven't come for him.
I've come for you.
And for this story.
I don't know how others think.
But I myself like it very much.
I have even come up
with the title of my review:
"The Forgotten Majority."
Thank you, Mr. Wu.
I've read many of your reviews.
They are far superior to other critics
who take 3000 yuan
and award five stars.
You write authentic film critiques.
I believe that film criticism
must respond to the essence of cinema.
Many people call us eunuchs.
But eunuchs have principles too.
I don't think like that, Mr. Wu.
In your opinion, where does
our screenplay need to be revised?
In my opinion, you are
heading in the right direction.
The awakening of
a small-town girl's
independent consciousness
in this environment.
I find this to be...
very correct. Very correct.
Exactly. That is where
our rewrite is headed.
Good. That's perfect.
You are writing about the 2000s.
But whenever we write history,
we are writing about the present.
You discuss class, identity,
women's independence:
you have your finger
on the pulse of the era.
Mr. Wu, we don't have the ability
to take the pulse of the era.
We are merely concentrating
on the characters.
That doesn't matter at all.
Cinema is tossing a message in a bottle
into the sea of time.
What is important is to leave behind
a document of the now.
This document of yours embodies
contemporary women,
their collective anxiety and dilemma.
I hadn't thought it through so deeply.
I have been mulling over
this 35-year-old restaurant owner.
Think about this:
35 years old. A woman. A boss.
The emblem of a contemporary woman.
This is straight out of Balzac.
Mr. Wu,
I believe this person is a human being
before she is a woman.
Excuse me, are you the screenwriter?
Mr. Screenwriter,
I suggest you adopt a higher position
so that you can see even farther.
You see.
Know whom you are working with.
His works will definitely
become part of cinema history.
Mr. Wu, you are too kind.
Have some tea.
I think you are too modest.
I am really not modest.
You have allowed us to rediscover
the cinematic universe.
I believe you are
the Stephen Hawking of Chinese cinema.
You are single-handedly writing cinema history.
I just make movies for pleasure.
No, Mr. Wu.
As Hemingway said:
"I belong to literature, not to its history."
That was Hemingway!
It's tedious to bring up history.
Goddamn it!
Are you alright?
- Take my handkerchief.
- No thank you.
Wipe it off.
Let's offer Mr. Wu some relaxing music.
Please have some tea.
Chunlei, this is not us.
Because I still trust you.
At least think about characters,
not concepts.
This is the basis of good screenwriting.
You have three more days.
Finish it or you're done here.
Feng wants me out tomorrow.
That decision has to go through me.
When did this happen?
Yesterday evening.
After I insulted the film critic,
Feng took a strip off me.
Chunlei, you and I are still
the core creative team.
I judge a producer
by whether or not
he interferes in the creative process.
That's right.
How can a producer
keep interfering with my writing?
Let him write it himself.
He keeps inserting new actors.
And then I have to write them a new scene.
It's no longer "Ripples of Life".
It's now the goddamn "Water Margin",
full of 108 heroes.
Take it easy.
I'll protect your creative space.
But we have to wrap up
the screenplay. Okay?
We two are the core creative team.
You should know me.
Feel with me.
Enter me.
This is who I am. Hear it?
Why are you hanging there?
I dont really understand
this kind of music.
Don't understand it. Feel it.
Just like making a movie.
You dont think cinema.
You feel it!
This is the music I want for the film.
I also listen to classical music.
It's really good.
As soon as the music started,
I felt like I was in Yong'an village.
Our screenplay...
I cannot write it.
But I am inspired
to write my next screenplay.
I want to go somewhere warm.
I want this tree.
I want this bird.
I want to write a screenplay myself.
I want to go somewhere warm too.
But I don't think you want
my screenplays any more.
You are wrong, Chunlei.
You are already inside of me.
Push harder
and you will catch up to me.
What are you two doing?
You don't have any work to do?
We're eating. Then we'll go back.
If you are not filming the crew
with that camera,
then who are you filming?
Do you believe people
can live by their convictions?
I think you can.
But I don't think convictions
can guide every person.
I believe it.
I make films because I believe
I can influence people's lives.
Otherwise, what is the point?
So why don't we film
a guide to life in Yong'an?
art is useless.
Cinema is entertainment.
It is a diversion. Nothing more.
You are too pessimistic.
So all cinema can offer is some pleasure?
To fill the void in our hearts.
You are too optimistic.
I feel that your screenplay
is preaching to the audience.
I actually envy you.
I can't live as freely as you do.
Because you are an idealist.
I mean it. I am not being sarcastic.
Give me a hug.
I am very sorry.
We are trying to work it out.
There is no good explanation.
I am truly sorry.
We will pay for damages
according to the contract.
The director has
a very good project for next year.
We are truly sorry.
What firecrackers should we buy
to celebrate the start of shooting?
Go for the 1000 yuan kind.
Let's make a lot of noise.
Should we hand out cash
or lottery tickets as gifts?
Lottery tickets. Save some money.
When do we hand out
the final version of the screenplay?
I see.
Everyone get ready.
Meeting adjourned.
Have a seat.
this is the last night of Yong'an.
The costumes and props are all set up.
How can you bring me
this stack of crappy pages?
I made the changes you wanted, didn't I?
I took out all of my concepts.
Perhaps you are dissatisfied with yourself?
I want a new pair of pants.
Not a patched up old pair.
"New pants", understand?
Like the name of the rock group.
Oh, so you want new pants.
I misunderstood.
I'll sew you a new pair.
You'll have them tomorrow.
Get real.
A month wasn't enough for you.
In one night, are you kidding me?
All we have is this pair of pants.
Wear them if you like.
Or go naked.
I've stood behind everyone in the crew.
I even found the dog we need.
Am I going to let you strip off my pants?
You owe this job to me.
Who knows you here?
You're Comrade Nobody.
So you want new pants.
Are mine new enough?
I'll give you these.
I really underestimated you, bro.
Only you can strip?
Only you can strip?
What a genius.
Stop shooting!
Keep shooting!
Why can't he shoot?
We are as close as can be
to the moment of cinema.
We have to record this.
You said it.
Let me have it.
Look, everyone.
The famous screenwriter of
"Ripples of Life".
He is not wearing pants.
And won't let others wear them.
Look at those white legs.
So proud.
Can't even light a cigarette.
You're really out of luck.
That's for sure.
How else would I end up
with a director like you?
The great screenwriter.
I cannot do justice to your screenplay.
We will not shoot the film.
Thank you, director.
I've been waiting a month for this.
What took you so long?
Shoot or don't shoot. Up to you.
I didn't invite everyone here.
You go explain it to them.
Look at that banner: "Opening Ceremony"
I'm warning you!
If I don't shoot your screenplay,
I can shoot another. Got it?
They will shoot whatever
I tell them to. Got it?
They will shoot whatever I want.
Got it?
Stop repeating yourself. I get it.
I suggest you reflect on your career path.
Those were great moves.
You don't have to be a director.
You can teach boxing.
You listen to me!
Tomorrow I have to start shooting.
If I shoot one word of your screenplay,
I'm not a man.
If you shoot one word
of my screenplay, I'll kill you!
Maradona is dead.
Wait a moment.
Bring the wax figure over here.
"Ripples of Life" opening ceremony.