Chinese directors love 'Chengdu'

Chan, Cui pay tribute to earthquake-rocked city

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BUSAN, South Korea -- In the same style as the anthology films "New York, I Love You" and "Paris, I Love You," two Chinese filmmakers have profiled a Chinese city that was hit by a massive earthquake last year.

"Chengdu, I Love You" was conceived as a tribute to the southwestern city in Sichuan province that was decimated by a 7.9-magnitude quake in May 2008, leaving nearly 90,000 people dead or missing, Hong Kong director Fruit Chan said.

Chan, who was promoting the film at South Korea's Pusan International Film Festival, said he teamed with Chinese rocker Cui Jian and South Korea's Hur Jin-ho to tell three stories set in Chengdu. Hur, however, pulled his contribution — a South Korean expatriate's love story — leaving only Chan's and Cui's. Hur will release his material separately, as a feature-length film.
Chan's story, set in 1976, follows a tea-making master who falls in love with his apprentice.

Cui's, set in 2029, is about the relationship between a man and his savior during the 2008 earthquake.

Chan, known for his movies about Hong Kong's working class, said he wanted to show Chengdu through its famous tea houses.

"My biggest discovery is that Sichuan people are quite laid back. That's why there are so many tea houses. It's like having dim sum in Hong Kong, but while Hong Kong people are in a hurry, Sichuan people talk for a long time. They have a lot to talk about," he said.

He added that Chengdu residents "knew how to enjoy life outside of making a living."
But Chan said he found Chengdu's landscape somewhat limiting because of its rapid development and destruction of old buildings.

"Once the new buildings settle in after 10 or 20 years, then there will be some texture. But right now it's developing very quickly. So it was hard to shoot because we couldn't find good locations," he said.

Chan's other credits include "Made in Hong Kong,""The Longest Summer,""Little Cheung" and "Hollywood Hong Kong."