IMDb > Springtime in a Small Town (2002)
Xiao cheng zhi chun
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Springtime in a Small Town (2002) More at IMDbPro »Xiao cheng zhi chun (original title)

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Springtime in a Small Town -- Open-ended Trailer from Palm Pictures

Overview

User Rating:
7.0/10   1,089 votes »
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Down 9% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Mu Fei (1948 screenplays)
Cheng Ah
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Springtime in a Small Town on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
24 January 2003 (Greece) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Liyan and Yuwen live in post-war torpor, childless but with Liyan's school-aged sister. He coughs, imagining... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
4 wins & 3 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(4 articles)
A Century of Chinese Cinema (Event)
 (From AsianMoviePulse. 4 June 2014, 6:35 AM, PDT)

Moma Film Series Will Pay Tribute to the Asian Auteurs of Fortissimo Films
 (From Indiewire. 18 October 2011, 1:09 PM, PDT)

Man's best friend: Cow Review
 (From Twitch. 28 June 2010, 5:10 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
mesmerizing human drama See more (24 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)
Jingfan Hu ... Yuwen
Jun Wu ... Dai Liyan
Bai Qing Xin ... Zhang Zhichen
Xiao Keng Ye ... Lao Huang
Si Si Lu ... Dai Xiu

Directed by
Zhuangzhuang Tian 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Cheng Ah 
Mu Fei  1948 screenplay
Tianji Li  story

Produced by
Wouter Barendrecht .... executive producer
Eric Heumann .... associate producer
William Kong .... producer (as Bill Kong)
Shaohong Li .... executive producer
Xiaowan Li .... producer
Marc Sillam .... associate producer
Yatming Tang .... producer
Alain Vannier .... associate producer
Michael J. Werner .... executive producer
Buting Yang .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Lin Zhao 
 
Cinematography by
Ping Bin Lee  (as Mark Li Ping-bing)
 
Film Editing by
Jianping Xu 
 
Production Design by
Kuangming Cheng 
Tim Yip  (as Tim Yip Kam-tim)
 
Art Direction by
James David Goldmark 
Xinran Tu 
 
Costume Design by
Tim Yip  (as Timmy Yip)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
He Lai .... first assistant director
 
Sound Department
Jiajin Lu .... sound
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Xiao cheng zhi chun" - China (original title)
See more »
MPAA:
Rated PG for some thematic elements
Runtime:
116 min | Argentina:115 min (Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema) | Canada:112 min (Toronto International Film Festival)
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Holiday (2006)See more »

FAQ

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
mesmerizing human drama, 17 July 2005
Author: Roland E. Zwick (magneteach@aol.com) from United States

Set in the days immediately following World War II, the Chinese film "Springtime in a Small Town" is a poetic, slow-moving meditation on the part that love, passion, compromise, self-sacrifice and renewal play in our lives and our relationships.

Liyan and Yuwen are a young married couple living in the crumbling ancestral home of the man's deceased parents. Struggling under the burden of an arranged marriage, Liyan and Yuwen have been drifting farther and farther apart over time - he obsessing over his chronic health problems (possibly psychosomatic in nature) and she secretly yearning for a more fulfilling life away from this man who seems not to care for her. Then one day, Zhang, an old boyhood pal of Liyan's, comes to pay a visit. Now a doctor, Zhang is shocked to discover that Liyan's wife is Yuwen, the very woman whom he loved but left ten years earlier. Tensions very quickly develop in the household as Zhang and Yuwen begin to take steps towards rekindling their romance - forcing each of the three individuals to come to terms with long unresolved desires and emotions.

In its quiet, subtle way, "Springtime in a Small Town" explores what happens when human emotions and passions are repressed under the weight of societal restrictions and cultural traditions. Writer Cheng Ah and director Zhuangzhuang Tian unfold their story slowly, never feeling the need to rev up the action or overemphasize a detail to make a point. The film establishes a hypnotic rhythm and a tone of quiet contemplation from the outset, allowing us to soak in all that is happening on the screen at our own leisure. For despite the fact that there may not SEEM to be a lot happening in the film, there is actually a wealth of human drama taking place right beneath the placid surface of the tale. These are characters whose every word, every gesture reveals some aspect of the universal human condition. To heighten the intimacy of the piece, Ah and Tian have circumscribed their canvas so that only five people even make an appearance in the film (Liyan's teenaged sister and an aged family servant are the movie's other two characters). "Canvas" is indeed the operative word here, for Tian has treated this film much like he would a painting, capturing his characters in stark tableau often set against strikingly beautiful natural landscapes. The camera glides along at an unhurried pace, helping to draw us into this strangely beautiful world where seething human passions play themselves out in settings. The filmmakers also deserve credit for providing a remarkably ambiguous ending. We really aren't quite sure how we are supposed to react at the end of the movie and that is as it should be when it comes to art.

The lovely Jingfan Hu is both heartbreaking and not a little frightening as the normally composed young woman who may not be quite as sweet and submissive as she appears to be on the surface. The shots of her strolling through the countryside in all her placid, regal beauty are haunting and memorable in their exquisiteness. Jun Wu as Liyan and Bai Qing Xin as Zhang also give excellent performances, never allowing their strong feelings to rise much above the level of a whisper. Liyan is a particularly fascinating character in that we get the sense that he may be using his "illness" as a means of avoiding the responsibilities and pressures of being a true husband to his wife. The power struggle that develops among the three of them is devastating in its understatement and subtlety.

There's no denying that "Springtime in a Small Town" demands a certain amount of patience from the viewer. But anyone who opens himself up to the beauty of its images and the truth of its observations will find it to be a profoundly rewarding experience well worth the time and patience.

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