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Zheng Wei (Yang Zishan) and Chen Xiaozheng (Mark Chao) explore love, desire, and ambition in SO YOUNG

SO YOUNG (Zhao Wei, 2013)
Alice Tully Hall
1941 Broadway at 65th St.
Tuesday, November 5, $100, 6:00
Festival runs November 5-7

A huge critical and financial success in its native China, Zhao Wei’s romantic epic, So Young, will open the fourth annual New York Chinese Film Festival on November 5 at Alice Tully Hall. Adapted by screenwriter Li Qiang (Peacock) from Xin Yiwuit’s novel To Our Youth That Is Fading Away, the film follows a group of young women who meet at college, fall in and out of love with various young men, then look back at what could have been ten years later. The central focus is on Zheng Wei (Yang Zishan), an impulsive civil engineering freshman who is incensed by how she is treated by fellow architecture student and loner Chen Xiaozheng (Mark Chao). But soon her very public hatred simmers down as she tries to convince the very private Chen to be her boyfriend. Meanwhile, her roommates, campus beauty Ruan Guan (Jiang Shuying), clean freak Li Weijuan (Zhang Yao), and the butch Zhu Xiaobei (Liu Yase), go through their own problems as they all grow close. Award-winning actress and singer Zhao (So Close, Shaolin Soccer) makes a solid directorial debut with So Young, which takes its name from the song by Suede, although the film is overly long at more than two hours and gets confusing as it jumps around in time. But as the girls mature, so does the film itself, exploring social class, education, love, loyalty, ambition, and the many trials and tribulations that accompany the journey from childhood to adulthood. Zhao will attend the red carpet opening and participate in a postscreening Q&A. The festival continues November 6-7 at the AMC Empire 25 on Forty-Second St. with Larry Yang’s Sorry, I Love You, Xue Xiaolu’s Finding Mr. Right, Joe Ma’s Love Undercover, Pang Ho-Cheung’s Love in the Buff, Wilson Yip’s IP Man, and Clarence Fok Yiu-leung’s Special ID; among those taking part in Q&As after the screenings are Yang, Wesley Wong, Miriam Yeung, and Donnie Yen.

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