Director Wu Tianming
in 1939, Wu Tianming is a self-educated director. He first became known in the
film circle by co-directing The Thrill of Life with Teng Wenji.
Thereafter he independently directed The River without Buoys which
gained the attention from both the audience and experts. Life, adapted
from the novel of same name by Mao Dun Literature Award-winning author Lu Yao,
is Wu's representative work. The King of Masks and Old Well
represent the pinnacle of
his artistic creations.
Wu's works approach life with grave and honest features; all the characters
are portrayed with deep emotions, which reflect his love and passion for the
people and earth of the motherland. The nutrition from the traditional Chinese
culture and new artistic methods dynamically fused together in his works,
reflecting his profound meditations towards society, history and life.
By the end of the 1980s, Chinese film market experienced
some violent changes, making the artistic experimental movies even harder to
survive. The middle-aged and young directors in China also began to have
different artistic pursuits. During the time, Wu continued his realistic
exploration. For instance, the movie Old Well
tells a story in which Sun Wangquan leads his fellow
villagers to dig a well in the remote Taihang Mountains, but what lies behind
the story is the symbolic meaning. Many generations of the people there have
been persistently trying to dig the well despite continuous casualties. The
invincible vitality of life is highlighted.