Author: 公子于歌 / Gong Zi Yu Ge
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 51: Movie Pie is Coming
“Are you sure you want to take this movie?” Li Meilan asked.
“Let’s finish reading the script first.” Shen Jintai said: “I quite like the name.”
Li Meilan: “I don’t suggest you pick it up. It’s not a matter of personality. A good actor should look at the script, not at the characters. I know Li Xu is a villain, but this character isn’t very good. The most important thing though is that you’re going to play a role where you like men, again. I’m afraid you’ll be typecast if you star in a similar role like this back-to-back.”
Li Meilan was hesitant to advise him on the matter, mainly because Shen Jintai was different from ordinary actors. He had already came out of the closet and the whole world knew he liked men. The typecasting was more serious than just simple character stereotypes.
Even if he didn’t accept this kind of work, it was unlikely he would be casted to perform heterosexual love dramas in the future.
After Shen Jintai returned home, he finished reading the script of <Welcome Rain on a Spring Night> overnight and called Li Meilan the next day: “Forget about this movie.”
“What’s the matter?” Li Meilan was very curious. After all, it was the first movie script they received.
“I think the format of this movie is too small.” Shen Jintai said: “There are two male protagonists, one is a junior, and the other is married and an adulterer. I can’t agree with their views of love and can’t act.”
A bai fumei*, who wanted to surprise her husband, quietly went home without notifying first, opened the door to the living room, but heard an indescribable sound from the bedroom. She walked over with roses in her arms, opened the bedroom, and saw that her husband and her best friend were in bed together. Her best friend was a man.
*(白富美) = Buzzword referring to a white (fair-skinned), rich, and beautiful girl.
The plot was exciting but vulgar.
Whether it was the male junior, the bai fumei, or the wavering male lead who cheated in his marriage, they were all very facile. While the general status quo of gays were discussed, the main focus was serving love. It was mainly a sao sao* literary and artistic film. Shen Jintai knew what the director was looking for.
*(骚骚) = Referring to an urgent appearance. If translated, I would replace the word with riotous given the context but there’s really not direct translation for this time.
Compared to Li Xu, this was like a modern version of him. The difference though was Li Xu was placed in an ancient period context so Shen Jintai was able to empathize and understand him. He was confused by the relationship and emotional direction of the characters in <Welcome Rain on a Spring Night>.
In the end, it was forcibly flipped into a revenge suspense movie, which he felt was a bit ridiculous. It became a “if you hurt my brother, I will destroy your marriage” kind of plot. This kind of drama was more suitable for dog-blooded eight o’clock file than in movies. The scope was too small, and the direction was too low.
It made him inexplicably think of the restricted films made in Hong Kong that he watched when he was young. Many of them had this similar feeling, salty, wet, cold, exposed, emotional and erotic from beginning to end and finally a forcibly tragic conclusion to improve the style.
He felt that this kind of thing was inferior to just pure emotions and eroticism without a forcibly tragic ending.
Li Meilan said: “Alright. You don’t have to worry about it. I’ll call the director and reject it.”
Shen Jintai: “Besides this, are there any other works for me? Either TV series or movies are fine.”
“I have received scripts for two TV series, but I don’t think you should take them.” Li Meilan felt that Shen Jintai was very rational and would listen to her opinions. She said sincerely: “Because The East Palace will be broadcasted for at least half a year, we don’t need to rush. The response to this drama is good so we should plan carefully and be cautious when taking on your next project. If it’s a movie, we can consider it if the team is like the crew you’re in now. As for TV series, if it can’t match The East Palace, then it’s best to pass on it. Otherwise, it’ll be regressing your career.”
Shen Jintai nodded: “Okay. If there’s still no good scripts after the drama finish its broadcast, we can lower our standards a little.”
“That’s what I intend.” Li Meilan said: “Didn’t Monsoon say that it guarantees to help you get a big production for at least one year? There’s also variety shows. Let’s not worry too much.”
The signing conditions offered by Monsoon Entertainment included a national variety show, but the latest season would not be recorded until next summer. As for movies, the most recent one would not launch until the second half of next year.
He was very interested in the movie mentioned by Monsoon Entertainment. It was a war film. The role he was fighting for was second male lead, a pilot.
The investment in this film was very large, which was suitable for him to take advantage of the box office, but most importantly, he liked pilots and thought this role was very attractive.
An actor couldn’t just blindly pursue literary and artistic films or the so-called depth of characters and acting skills. He had chased after these things in the past which resulted in him acting in so many films but still remain a small-time star. If he wanted to be a superstar and play the lead roles, he had to achieve massive fame. Stardom depended on popularity. The box office was very important regarding that matter, especially for male actors.
Bai Qingquan had the same thought.
Bai Qingquan: “I heard the director of the movie that you look into for me last time, <Welcome Rain on a Spring Night>, contacted Shen Jintai.”
Wei Ge was stunned: “How did you know?”
Bai Qingquan: “The director of this film said it in an interview.”
As a star, he felt that this film wasn’t suitable for him, but as a gay, he really wanted to watch it. “Love action movies” were too mechanical, emotionless, and boring to watch but “ordinary pure love movies”, where it was only holding hands and light kisses, couldn’t quench his thirst.
This kind of large-scale same-sex literary blockbuster must be very interesting to shoot.
The idea of a male junior seducing a married middle-aged man would definitely destroy the three views, but it was exciting, so Bai Qingquan had paid special attention to news about this movie.
“I really don’t know anything about it. After rejecting it, I stopped paying attention to it. So they went and contacted Shen Jintai…” Wei Ge pondered for a while, and said: “They are very clever.”
Who didn’t know that Shen Jintai was a gay actor that was currently playing a massively popular gay character.
“Do you think Shen Jintai will pick it up?” Bai Qingquan asked. With Shen Jintai’s current popularity and topicality, if he picked up this film, it would guarantee to explode. His underwear ad was still being talked about. Bai Qingquan imagined what Shen Jintai would be like if he played the role of a young junior. It must be fascinating.
“It’ll be up to Monsoon Entertainment. If they are smart, they won’t pick it up.” Wei Ge said: “This film is vulgar, and the theme and content aren’t very good. If he wants to pick it up by relying on the popularity of <The East Palace>, he’ll be able to make it hot.”
The director of <Welcome Rain on a Spring Night> was Qiu Hong. His first film won an international award. He thought the road to directing would be smooth sailing after this. He was force to face reality when his second film ran into multiple problems. First, he couldn’t get the investment. After he finally secured the funds, actors were hard to find. He tried contacting a few popular celebrities but they all rejected it due to the poor setting and controversial plot.
He was then stuck in a conundrum. If he wanted to make this film bigger than his debut film, he would need a bigger investment. But investor wouldn’t bet on his film if he couldn’t find well-known actors to star in it.
It was also fate that he accidently watched <The East Palace is Coming> and fell in love with Shen Jintai. When he found out Shen Jintai had rejected his movie, he personally called to ask why. The two chatted for a while, and Qiu Hong said that he would change the script.
Shen Jintai didn’t say that he was dead*. He just said that he looked forward to the revised edition.
*Say dead (说死) = make definite. || In this context, didn’t say dead means Shen Jintai didn’t agree or promise anything.
Qiu Hong seemed to be fascinated by him, saying that he wanted to tailor the movie to him and change it according to his characteristics. Sincerity was really important, especially for people like Shen Jintai who have tasted the taste of popularity for the first time, so they were easily moved when they encounter someone who was sincere.
Shen Jintai thought that if the script changed for the better, he could pick it up.
“Did you see the movie pie for Touhua? I searched for the synopsis of the film and damn, it’s so explosive.”
“Madden1, but it’s a bit low. It looks like a third-level movie. As a JTQY2 girl, I don’t want him to pick it up.”
1Madden (劲爆) = Buzzword referring to fashionable, dazzling, cool, unconventional, sudden announcement of shocking news, or use to describe EDM. It originally came from a food ad from KFC.
2Jintai Quiongying accronym.
“Yes, although Li Xu also is a schemer, the crown prince is immaculate. The appearance is beautiful enough and the ending is tragic that it feels pure. That pie Spring Night, I don’t think it’s a good pie for the flow.”
“If Touhua really dares to pick it up, then I’ve got to hand it to him.”
“A big fan of the gold family said that Touhua had rejected the movie. Touhua is no longer the Touhua of the past. His mind is clear.”
“Popularity can change people. Touhua is really getting better and better now. He was on the platform for xx department store last time. Did you see it? I think his whole body was shining.”
“Red to the extreme is black. He has so much praise now, which shows that it’s not red enough. Look at the bloody winds in your area from the former top ranked red-hot stars.”
“He’s so fast too. Now moonlight powders and plum powders have joined forces and started attacking him. In the past two days, the black posts have become more obvious.”
“Hahaha, I can’t sit still anymore. The heat has all been sucked away by Shen Jintai’s pair. The male and female protagonists have become transparent, and the broth is almost impossible to drink.”
“To be honest, he really has a lot of black history. I originally wanted to be a fan of his, but when I saw a bunch of black history, I was immediately scared away. I’d better be honest as a passerby.”
“As long as it’s not a legal issue or a moral issue, the black material is useless in the fan circle. The one that should be red will still be red. Black powders can sometimes increase a lot of heat. The most important scenes for Touhua is in the later stage. He relied on love dramas to earn sympathy in the early stage, but the prince goes offline in the later stages. His role will become more vicious and perverted, so the audience might not like it.”
“As a fan, I really want to see his later scenes. There is more room for acting skills, and without love scenes, maybe it will purify the CP fans. This move depends on how he acts.”
“When will the scene of parting from life and death arrive? I want to look at the flowers and cry!”
“Some people have famous names, like Shen Jintai. Why do you call him Touhua? Isn’t Touhua a black name?”
“The name Shen Touhua was originally a black name, but now I think it has a good connotation like Bai Yueguang.”
“Me too, Touhua feels inexplicably very red and beautiful!”
Qiu Hong said he wanted to change the script, but a week passed and Shen Jintai didn’t hear from him.
The weather was getting colder, and the filming schedule for <The East Palace is Coming> was getting tighter. As soon as he got busy, Shen Jintai forgot about the movie.
On the day of the beginning of winter, he received a call from Qiu Hong.
“The script has been changed several times, but I wasn’t satisfied,” Qiu Hong said: “Why don’t I show you the original version? It’s completely different from the current story.”
Shen Jintai: “Okay.”
Qiu Hong sent him the electronic version of the original script by e-mail, with the text saying: [This is the first version I wrote at the beginning, but I couldn’t find anyone to invest. Later, for the sake of gimmicks, I changed it to be more colorful and dramatic. It eventually got to the point where almost the entire framework was changed. Looking at the initial version, it may look dull compared to the changed version.]
Li Xu’s scenes became more and more demanding, and occasionally there were flying pages, and he didn’t have time to read the script. Shen Jintai eventually found the opportunity to rest and was able to finish reading the script for <Welcome Rain on a Spring Night> in one sitting.
At the end of the script was a poem by Du Fu1, <Welcome Rain on a Spring Night>2:
1Du Fu = Chinese poet and politician of the Tang dynasty. He’s frequently called one of the greatest Chinese poets.
2Clarity: The movie title is the same title as Du Fu’s work.
[The good rain knows its season,
When spring arrives, it brings life.
It follows the wind secretly into the night,
And moistens all things softly, without sound.
On the country road, the clouds are all black,
On a riverboat, a single fire bright.
At dawn one sees this place now red and wet,
The flowers are heavy in the brocade city.]*
*I didn’t translate this poem. Source.
After Shen Jintai finished reading it, he isolated himself for a while. He then called Qiu Hong and said: “I will take it. You must wait for my schedule. Remuneration is not a problem.”
The author has something to say：
This poem is so beautiful.
Of course, the first flowers are also beautiful.
I struggled with the title of the movie. Looking at many translations online, even they can’t seem to have a consistent title or translation for the poem. I decided to go with the title I liked the best. Original title of the movie is: 春夜喜雨.
I agree with Shen Jintai’s assessment. I have watched my share of gay movies in the past and I ask myself why they always have to end tragically or bittersweet. Don’t get me wrong, some are good, but can’t I just get something normal like mainstream straight movies. It makes me feel as if gays can’t get a happy ending.
If you have recommendations comment below and let me know! Even better if they’re foreign films, as long as they have English subtitles. (Yes, I’ve seen Brokeback Mountain.)