+ Q&A with Director Derek Tsang
七月與安生 | 2016 | China, Hong Kong | Dir. Derek Tsang | 110min
A visually resplendent weepy which insightfully teases out the fractious tensions between love and friendship, this first solo directorial effort from actor Derek Tsang ticks a whole heap of boxes. In some ways, it's Chinese cinema's tilt at the sort of triple-hanky 'woman's picture' which Hollywood has traditionally done well, yet its familiar outline of two female best friends torn asunder when a man comes between them proves newly minted however, in a saga which starts out with Ansheng and Qiyue boding at 13 in high school, then looks back from their mid-twenties to chart subsequent turbulent events. And with the film itself deriving from a popular web novella by Li Jie, it's appropriate that tracing through an online journal keeps the narrative on track.
And no surprise at all that the chemistry generated by Zhou Dongyou and Ma Sichun's splendid performances brought them a joint Best Actress award at the prestigious Golden Horse Film Festival.