Where Have All the Flowers Gone- -
Gao Ju (Xia Yu) and Zhang Yang (Pu Shu) were best of friends, but they fall in love with Huanzi (Zhou Xun). Huanzi loves both of them and thus they formed an unbalanced trinity. A simple promise not to meet ever again after college ended up in disaster when Gao cannot resist wooing Huanzi again
Confidently dazzling, and relentlessly up-to-date, Where Have All the Flowers Gone is on the cutting edge of hip contemporary Beijing pop culture.
It’s a dreamlike, playful, intensely romantic tale of a model, Huanzi (fast-rising Zhou Xun, unforgettable in Suzhou River and Hollywood Hong Kong) and the two men who love her: brooding musician Zhang Yang (played by brooding musician Pu Shi) and young entrepreneur Gao Ju (Xia Yu, the prize-winning young star of In the Heat of the Sun and Shadow Magic). Writer and director Gao Xiaosong was a hit songwriter, especially popular among university students, and a TV commercial director before he made this, his first film. The influences are obvious: Flowers confidently draws on the saturated visuals of music videos and TV ads to illustrate a story, told largely through flashbacks, that’s sometimes tricky to reconstruct. Pu Shi and Gao Yu spot new student Huanzi arriving at university, and immediately fall in love. They amiably agree to share her: Pu Shi has weekdays, and Gao Yu gets Saturday (Huanzi has Sunday to herself). They get together every year on Huanzi’s birthday to film segments of a video-diary, but break up before graduation. The emotional turmoil of marrying, then losing Huanzi causes Pu Shi to vanish. When Gao Yu later bumps into Huanzi, now a famous model, he determines to woo her. A card in her wallet leads him back to Pu Shi, who pulls the strings backstage as Gao Ju is swept up in the turbulent nostalgia of their university years, towards a fate more serious than he can imagine. But don’t worry too much about the story, which moves with a dreamlike, associative logic. Zhou Xun and Xia Yu demonstrate why they are two of Chinese cinema’s finest young actors. Compulsively watchable, they attract the camera like magnets, even as they manage to create sympathetic, richly human characters at the heart of the film’s playfulness and artifice. Sit back and absorb the rush of magical, imaginative set pieces, the jazzy images and funky musical interludes, overflowing with the texture and vibe of big city China today.
Thanks to Far East Film Festival