War Epic “The Bomb­ing”


Los Angeles Times - - THE NATION -

One of the big­gest movies about the World War II in China, The Bomb­ing, held its wrap party in Bev­erly Hills last Sun­day. The movie is an up­com­ing Chi­nese ac­tion war-drama, tells the story about the Ja­panese bomb­ings on Chi­nese south­west­ern city of Chongqing dur­ing the World War II.

The movie stars Bruce Wil­lis, Adrien Brody, Song Se­ung-heon, Ni­cholas Tse, Liu Ye, Shengyi Huang and many Chi­nese and Amer­i­can stars. It’s also co-pro­duced by a Hol­ly­wood & Chi­nese team, in­volv­ing Os­car win­ning pho­tog­ra­pher Vil­mos Zsig­mond, Os­car win­ning sound ef­fect edi­tor Richard An­der­son, and Os­car win­ning screen­writer Ron­ald Bass as con­sul­tants, with Mel Gib­son as the Art Di­rec­tor. Many who worked on the film hold it in high re­gard, es­pe­cially Gib­son: “China and the United States both ex­pe­ri­enced the bomb­ing of Ja­pan. The Chi­nese peo­ple, through tena­cious strug­gle for the com­plete vic­tory of the World War on Fas­cism, have made an in­deli­ble con­tri­bu­tion.”

Bruce Wil­lis plays Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Chen­nault in the movie. “This movie is very in­ter­est­ing. My fam­ily liked it. I ex­pect this film to re­lease in the United States so I can watch it again with them,” he says.

This project took five years from start to fin­ish, is the first such genre film shoots with real-time 3D in China. Backed by Shang­hai Kuailu In­vest­ment Group, its to­tal bud­get is around 400 mil­lion Yuan, makes it one of the most ex­pen­sive film ever made in China. To achieve re­al­is­tic ef­fects of the bomb­ing, the pro­duc­tion used 2500 ki­los of ex­plo­sives and more than a dozen 1:1 sized war­plane mod­els. The prin­ci­pal pho­tog­ra­phy be­gan in May 2015 in Shang­hai, and its Chi­nese dis­trib­u­tor, Max Screen Bei­jing, sched­ules the film for its Chi­nese re­lease in March 2016. As for United States, “We re­ally ex­pect this movie to have a world­wide re­lease, and we are look­ing for­ward to work to­gether on its US dis­tri­bu­tion,” says a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from Sony.

Last Sun­day night, the movie held the wrap party in the Glass House de­signed by lauded ar­chi­tect Ed Nile in Bev­erly Hills. Num­bers of Hol­ly­wood elite came to cel­e­brate the com­ple­tion of the film that in­cluded Mark Wahlberg, Sylvester Stal­lone Paula Wag­ner, and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from ev­ery ma­jor stu­dio. They also ex­pressed their keen in­ter­est in the cur­rent Chi­nese mar­ket and the de­sire to work with Chi­nese film­mak­ers in the fu­ture. Sylvester Stal­lone ex­presses his sup­port for the project, and is very in­ter­ested to play a role in the se­quel be­cause “this movie sent the blood puls­ing through his veins.” Mark Wal­berg also re­marked that he is fas­ci­nated by Chi­nese cul­ture, loves Chi­nese food, and very happy to see such im­pres­sive col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the two coun­tries.

Quite a few pop­u­lar Chi­nese ac­tors, ac­tresses and film­mak­ers joined the party also, in­clud­ing ac­tress Huang Shengyi and Ma Su, and ac­tor Jiro Wang.

Although the phys­i­cal pro­duc­tion com­pleted in China, the de­ci­sion to have a wrap party in Hol­ly­wood speaks vol­ume. In­vited by its Hol­ly­wood coun­ter­part, this wrap party also serves as an op­por­tu­nity to fur­ther raises the level of col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween U.S and China film in­dus­try.

Many may look for­ward to fu­ture col­lab­o­ra­tions with China. For vet­eran Adrien Brody, this is al­ready his third Chi­nese pro­duc­tion. He lauded the film. “It re­flects the fam­ily, friend­ship, love and pa­tri­o­tism, which knows no bor­der,” he says to the re­porter, “China and United States both were in that anti-fas­cist war, I came on to the project be­cause I was deeply moved by a sense of unity of ev­ery­one in­volved.” He also praises his part­ner in film, ac­tress Huang Shengyi, for her com­pas­sion, in­tel­li­gence, and pro­fes­sion­al­ism. She, in turn, ac­knowl­edges the chal­lenges of act­ing op­po­site of an Academy win­ner, but adds that she en­joys her work with him.

Dr. Shi Jiang xiang, chair­man of Shang­hai Kuailu In­vest­ment Group, who is also the ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer of this movie, said it is a Chi­nese cit­i­zen’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to bring this event to the big screen be­cause it re­minds us the true his­tory of that pe­riod, and he saw it as a cul­tural in­her­i­tance to the next gen­er­a­tion. “Chi­nese peo­ple never lack per­se­ver­ance, just like what hap­pened in Chongqing dur­ing wartime. I hope not only Chi­nese au­di­ence will like this movie but it will also speak to a wider in­ter­na­tional crowd. Through this movie, let ev­ery­body know that China as a na­tion pos­sesses a strong and coura­geous spirit!”

As a busi­ness­man and a phi­lan­thropist, Shi is in­volved in num­bers of movie projects in China in re­cent years. He is also de­vel­op­ing more Chi­nese-Amer­i­can col­lab­o­ra­tion in the area of film­mak­ing. “Films should be the new face of a na­tion, to show the na­tion’s fu­ture.” Shi says. His most re­cent Hol­ly­wood project was The Ex­pend­ables 4, to which he not only brought in­vest­ment but also added fas­ci­nat­ing Chi­nese el­e­ments to the story.

(Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent David Munck)

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