Spring Subway

Spring Subway

Infobox Chinese Film
name = Spring Subway

image_size =
caption = Promotional poster for "Spring Subway"
director = Zhang Yibai
producer = Liu Fendou
Hou Keming
writer = Liu Fendou
narrator =
starring = Xu Jinglei
Geng Le
Wang Ning
Zhang Yang
music = Zhang Yadong
cinematography = Gao Fei
Zhao Xiaoding
editing = Liu Miaomiao
distributor = Media Asia Entertainment Group, Ltd.
released = China:
May 22, 2002
May 15, 2003
runtime = 93 min.
language = Mandarin Chinese
budget =
preceded_by =
followed_by =
website =
amg_id = 1:289490
imdb_id = 0365402
jianti = 开往春天的地铁
fanti = 開往春天的地鐵
pinyin = Kāi wǎng chūntiān de dìtiě

"Spring Subway" is a 2002 Chinese romantic film directed by Zhang Yibai and starring Xu Jinglei and Geng Le. Sixth Generation director Zhang Yang also plays a role. The film represents a relatively new genre in China, the artistic "commercial film" with its international urban sensibilities, designed to appeal to young middle class Chinese.

The film was produced by China Youth Film Studio and the independent Electric Orange Entertainment (run by screenwriter, Liu Fendou). Distribution was handled by Media Asia Entertainment Group.cite web|url=http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117921027.html?categoryid=31&cs=1|title=Spring Subway Review|author=Elley, Derek|publisher=Variety|date=2003-06-16|accessdate=2007-09-23]


Jianbin and Xiaohui are a young married couple living in Beijing. Married for seven years, the couple have appeared to grown bored with one another. Xiaohui, who works at a designing firm tentatively begins a flirtatious relationship with one of her customers, a coffee-shop owner (played by director Zhang Yang). Jianbin, meanwhile, has recently been laid off, though he keeps it a secret from his wife. Instead he dresses for work every morning, and rides the Beijing metro for most of the day.

While riding, he notes a series of romances begin to blossom including one between a young man (Tu Qiang), and a shopgirl (Gao Yuanyuan), as well as a baker (Fan Wei), and a trial products saleswoman (Ke Lan). Jianbin himself begins to flirt with adultery, when he begins caring for an injured schoolteacher (Wang Ning).


* Geng Le as Liu Jianbin, a young 20-something in Beijing, Liu has recently lost his job, though he still pretends to go to work everyday, spending much of his time riding Beijing's subway;
* Xu Jinglei as Chen Xiaohui, Liu's wife of seven years;
* Zhang Yang as Lao Hu, a customer at Xiaohui's design company;
* Wang Ning as Li Chuan, an injured schoolteacher;
* Fan Wei as Wang Yao, a baker;
* Ke Lan as a saleswoman;
* Gao Yuanyuan as Tian Ai, a shopgirl and the object of Da Ming's affection;
* Tu Qiang as Da Ming, a young man who Jianbin meets on the train.

Production history

The film is Zhang Yibai's first feature film directorial effort. Until "Spring Subway", Zhang had worked primarily in the music video genre and in television. "Spring Subway" is also the first film to come out Liu Fendou's independent Beijing-based Electric Orange Entertainment.cite web|url=http://www.thatsbj.com/blog/index.php/2002/04/15/cinefile_adios_auteur|title=Audios, Auteur|publisher= that's Beijing |date=2002-04-15|accessdate=2007-09-23] The film is also Liu's first attempt at both producing and screenwriting. Unlike many independent films in China, however, "Spring Subway" was made with official approval from the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television.cite web|url=http://www.chinesecinemas.org/springsubway.html|title=Spring Subway|author=Kraicer, Sally|publisher=chinesecinemas.org|date=April, 2002|accessdate=2007-09-23]

The film's tagline in Chinese translates as: "After 7 years, is there still love?"


The film's music was scored by Zhang Yadong and features vocals by the singer Yu Quan.


"Spring Subway" is significant in that it represents a new style of Chinese film. Unlike the more controversial works of Sixth Generation directors Jia Zhangke or Wang Xiaoshuai, whose films often are banned by state authorities, Zhang Yibai's "Spring Subway" enjoyed state approval. As a result, it is, as one critic suggests, an example of the "ambitious independent Chinese film" that avoids major state-owned studios but nevertheless retains a significant amount of both international and domestic popularity. In particular, Zhang's film reflects a new optimism that is a break from typical Chinese international fare, while others have commented that the film is indeed more "international" in its sensibilities. One critic at the Hawaii International Film Festival praised the film's universal appeal in that the film's story could have "take [n] place in any city, and surely anyone who has loved has experienced at least part of what these characters come to know." [cite web|url=http://www.reviewedmovies.com/review.php?reviewID=1173|title=HIFF.org - Spring Subway|author=Unknown|date=2003-10-29|accessdate=2007-09-24]

"Spring Subway" has found some success on the film festival circuit, including Udine, Cannes, Seattle [cite web|url=http://www.seattlefilm.com/siff2003/films/film_detail.asp?filmid=35|title=Spring Subway|publisher=Seattle International Film Festival|date=2003|accessdate=2007-09-24] and others. It was also released domestically in China in May 2002.


External links

*imdb title|id=0365402|title=Spring Subway
*amg title|id=1:289490|title=Spring Subway
* [http://www.dianying.com/en/title/kwc2002 "Spring Subway"] at the Chinese Movie Database
* [http://www.mediaasia.com/movie.php?isVideo=1&sortOrder=videoOrder&sideListPage=4&film_id=127 Distributor Media Asia]

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