Movie poster for Chujian. Image from Poco.cn
A Chengdu film director has made an impressive debut with Chujian (初见, meaning "First Sight").
Netizens have been waiting eagerly for the release since viewing the three-minute trailer for the film.
The film, directed by post-1980 Chengduer Lan Bo (兰波), is comprised solely of around 4,000 still photographs.
Part 1 of Chujian was released online Sunday. Click on the box above to watch it.
Lan Bo, 30, had a lifelong dream of becoming a film director. But with no budget and not even a video camera, he had to be inventive in order to fulfill his dream.
After completing high school, Lan worked as a photographer's assistant for two years before setting up his own studio. In 2008, with only a still camera and the encouragement of his friends, he began shooting for the film. Over the course of two years, he shot over 100,000 still photographs, 4,000 of which were selected to create the film.
The images were captured both within the city of Chengdu and surrounding counties. Lan Bo shot in the city only on days when the weather was good and the sky was clear.
The film was shot without a script, and the story is told mostly via its images with the aid of occasional subtitles.
"2010 Summer Chengdu," starts Part 1. The narrator says, "My name is Zhang Chen, I was born in 1981, and this year I'm 29 years old. I come from a small town in southern Sichuan. It's surrounded by big mountains and very remote. I haven't been back recently. The only way back is by train. Now I'm going back ... "
Netizens on popular online forum Tianya praise the stunning scenery captured in the still images. And the storyline seems to resonate with a generation of Chinese, for whom the movie triggers fond memories of childhood.
The 150-minute Chujing comprises three parts: 《停滞的时光》 ("Time at a Standstill"), 《子非鱼》, and 《最初的梦想》 ("The First Dream").
While the movie's three-minute trailer stirred up much anticipation among Chinese Internet users, it also garnered Lan Bo an invitation to the first Cambodian International Film Festival this October.