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Mei Lanfang to open at year-end
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Peking opera-singing Leon Lai and Zhang Ziyi are due to appear in movie theaters shortly before this year's Christmas holidays.

Zhang Ziyi (L) and Leon Lai are seen in a scene from Chen Kaige's "Mei Lanfang," due out on December 12. [163.com] 

"Mei Lanfang," a biopic of the late Peking opera master played by Lai with Zhang starring as fellow singer Meng Xiaodong, will open in China on December 12, Han Sanping, chairman of the China Film Group, the film's producer, said on Tuesday.

The film is directed by Chen Kaige. Trailers released earlier show that its vibrant style resembles Chen's Oscar-nominated work "Farewell My Concubine," which also highlighted Peking opera. The 1993 film earned an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, and was the Best Film at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival.

Although "Mei Lanfang" is still in post-production, it has sold well in Japan and South Korea, which is quite rare for a Chinese film, Han Sanping told Sohu.com.

The film also stars actress Chen Hong, wife of Chen Kaige, and Japanese actor Masanobu Ando.

(CRI August 7, 2008)

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