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Director Wu Tianming

Born 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.

Author: Jeff

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