Upcoming Summer Taiwan Period Movie Hua Yang Releases Stills and Synopsis

Looking good, Hua Yang! The upcoming Summer period Taiwan movie Hua Yang by acclaimed director Chou Mei Ling has just wrapped filming and the first batch of official stills have been released. Starring Jerry Yan as a pirate, Joe Cheng as a musician, and Michelle Chen and Ivy Chen as a pair of fraternal twin opera singers, I’m guessing we’re getting a really intense love square out of this cast. I’m loving the general vibe of the stills, which are suitably moody in the period piece way, and all four actors look good in character. I did do a double take when I saw piratey Jerry, but he actually looks fantastic with the Jack Sparrow get up. Better and more authentic than Wu Zun looked in 13 Blades, that’s for sure. Read on for the plot synopsis and more pretty pictures.

Three hundred years ago in a far off island, it was a busy gathering place for sea merchants. There was a bustling street, and on the street there was a performance house with a pair of fraternal twin sisters. The sisters were famous for each playing the male or the female role in a performance. The older sister with a face as glorious as the peach blossoms was the street’s most famous female role performer (a role called a Hua Dan). But in truth, the older sister’s beautiful face was merely the prelude to a breakout of leprosy.

Legend says that a female leper is her most beautiful right before her leprosy turns from dormant to active. But if she is able to transmit the disease to someone else through physical intercourse during this latent period, she can pass on the disease and be cured. To avoid losing her top performer, the owner of the performing house begs the older sister to pass on her leprosy to the music instructor. She even arranges for the younger sister to take her older sister’s place as Hua Dan. But the older sister falls in love with the music instructor and cannot bear to go through with it.

After some time, the younger sister successfully becomes the most famous female performer on the street. She constantly mocks her older sister for letting love stop her from passing on the disease so she is spared. She thinks that is foolish. To force her sister to give up this idealistic notion of love, the younger sister arranges a love gamble to toy with love and human emotions. The older sister is chilled by this, believing that a ruthless music performer knows not about love. No one could foresee this gamble would embroil these four people in a torturous love test. A human’s weak desires, will they be able to pass the test?

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Upcoming Summer Taiwan Period Movie Hua Yang Releases Stills and Synopsis — 16 Comments

  1. nuthing to say about the male leads…. i just can’t get my head around them in period garb.. have they ever done a period piece, jerry and joe? and can i just say how weird it is to see… a c-period piece that seems to be entirely tw-made? i’m definitely not used to seeing these, esp with those contemporary faces attached…

    my latest girl-crush ivy chen is in this?! she’s awesomeness in the valentine’s day movie l.o.v.e… so so so diff from her earlier characterisations.. and with all the BTS coming out from her new projects SB and LOVE, im loving her forthrightness and zany craziness.. she’s like the girl that everyone wants to be friends with! and her offbeat sense of humour and seeming lack of lady-like decorum despite all the fancy presscon get ups…. is just hilarious..

    • woahh ok just read some news on this movie and i’m uber impressed at the resources they have backed up into this project…
      it’s so rare to have a period piece entirely produced in tw..

      on a side note, i’m really really really proud of the resurgence in tw cinema in the past few years… hell, last year was like a water-shed year with loads of good movies coming out from tw-based productions… and to see the pride and passion of the directors and creators in their interviews and such… i feel immensely moved.
      tw movies, or at least those i really love, have this ‘xiao pin’ air to them that chinese/hk films cannot duplicate.. there’s this innate sincerity and subtlety that just envelops one in a very comforting embrace…

  2. damn…these stills are gorgeous and Joe in that second still totally made me double take….but I didn’t understand a thing from that synopsis…maybe my brain just isn;t cooperating since I’m so tired right now

  3. I am so excited for this… I honestly cannot get my head around the four of them doing period pieces, but I’m not unpleased in the least. Currently all my brain is doing is jumping around shipping Ivy and Jerry from the last piccie (not being mean to Joey or anything, but those two look so good in that last photo that my brain is just doing it automatically =3)

    P.S. I agree with Jessie… before, good tw cinema was few and far between… but now suddenly, there’s this multitude of goodies and it makes me happy and proud (why proud I don’t know, but I just do) ^^~

    • oh no no.. good tw cinema is not new… but it went into a slump in recent years… whilst tw was never really known for movies on the scale of the crazy factory that is hk-cinema, the little island still managed to produce some really really awesome thoughtful and memorable films.. and i speak as a kid born in the eighties and introduced to tw film on the likes of hou hsiao hsien and edward yang… edward yang’s 2000 masterpiece Yi Yi remains my favourite tw film of all time.. tiresome to sit through because of its length and because no fancy-schmancy things (by typical flashy blockbuster cinema standards) happen.. but at the end of the whole movie… it just hits you in the gut.. emotionally… it has some of the most memorable lines as well…
      but of course, the new breed of tw films are vastly different… mainly because of how the productions seem to run, and the producers and directors actively engaging the money side of the business across the straits.. or at least that’s the way i see it…
      and like you, it makes me proud.. i don’t know.. maybe it’s seeing the underdog being successful… >< chinese films for all their massive budgets lately seem to be stupendous blockbusters lacking in emotional verve.. but the stuff coming out of tw, the good stuff anw, really really strikes an emotional chord in me..

      • Ah, I didn’t mean that good tw-cinema is new… just that the good stuff really wasn’t as popular as, say, their Hong Kong-ese cousin.

        As a child of the 90s, I never got to watch much tw-movies. The only things that I got to watch were dramas like Meteor Garden (which was ok if you forgot about the debacle that was the second season) or MARS, which I adore. If I ever asked anyone about any good tw cinema, I would get blank stares, or get Hong Kong titles for replies, and I always had to discover new stuff on my own. Now, if I ask, people don’t give me blank stares… that makes me… well.. not to sound hipster-ish or anything, but when you find something before everyone gets on the bandwagon, and then everyone else discovers it and you feel possessive and proud at the same time? Yes, that way.

        As for Yi Yi, I agree… even though the movie was mainly sad (a genre I try not to watch at all) I was amazed by the movie. I also fell in love with Yang Yang (so adorable, so laconic). And erm yeah… I’ve completely run out of intelligent things to say, so I’ll run away now ^^~

  4. Hmmm sounds like there’s a lot of betrayal going on. Can’t want for it to be in cinemas! When would the flick be released? And how does the pirate figure in the plot?

  5. holyy, the plot sounds intense, and kinda chilling. looking forward to michelle chen and joe cheng in their roles!

  6. Plot looks interesting. I like both Ivy and Michelle in that movie that they did with Eddie Peng. Will watch if able to catch it on screen.

  7. whaaa i needed a second, third, and fourth look before i recognize Jerry Yan in that first pic xD

    kinda raising my eyebrow about the synopsis, concerning the transmission of your own disease through physical intercourse… which is what they think in some third world countries and only spreading the disease instead, but let me not get all serious and dark on the subject x(

    Aside from this, i am quite curious about this movie! Hope it will turn out good… so i’ll keep a watch on it 🙂
    (and hope it will be way wayyyyyyyy better than My Kingdom… my hopes were high for that one… but was quite shattered when was watching it x( )

  8. ooo. this looks interesting. though i have to say that i really hate how everyone dude who is a “pirate” these days has to be a nod to jack sparrow style-wise.

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