Famously moody, bull-headed and a legend in Chinese counter-culture, Jiang is choosy about his acting career and tends to star in just one movie a year. He plays blunt but nuanced figures wrestling with inner demons, which have earned him the comparisons with Brando.
The Sun Also Rises has no connection with the Hemingway novel but instead the title is a nod to the Biblical passage in Ecclesiastes in which all earthly attainments are dismissed as vanity. This is his third outing as director and, despite a huge reputation in China, getting this particular earthly attainment to the big screen has been a tough job for him since the production was dogged with funding problems and personnel changes, about which Jiang is not keen to talk. But the film is at Venice this year. It was originally due to screen at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, before it was abruptly pulled, reportedly because parts of the film were “mangled during post-production”. [Full text]