Legend of the Demon Cat is a 2017 fantasy mystery film directed by Chen Kaige. In order to capture the actuality of Tang dynasty, the filmmaker decided to reconstruct an entire Chang’an City, which was the ancient capital of more than ten dynasties in Chinese history.
The Palace of Tang Dynasty
It took five years and cost around AU$279 million to construct the city, bringing the magic and mystery of the 7th century to life with an exquisite attention to detain. The cost will be paid by both local government and screen city investors. The only thing that the filmmaker need to do is designing and supervision. After the film was made, it became a movie and television base opening for visitors. This not only boosts local economic growth, but also provides a shooting location for the other film crews.
Legend of the Demon Cat is based on the novel Samana Kukai written by Japanese writer Yoneyama Mineo. Legend of the Demon Cat starring by Huang Xuan, Shōta Sometani, Kitty Zhang, Qin Hao, Hiroshi Abe, Sandrine Pinna, Liu Haoran, Ou Hao, Zhang Tianai. It was released in China, Australia and New Zealand in December 2017. This film won the Best Visual Effects in the 25th Beijing College Student Film Festival.
Yang Yuhuan (Concubine Yang)
Director Chen Kaige is a famous director in China, whose first film, 1984’s Yellow Earth, brought Chinese cinema to the attention of the entire world. Chen Kaige’s career has alternated moments of vast creativity with uninspired periods and flops. Legend of the Demon Cat marks another career peak of him. The film received more than AU$135 million in box office through 6 different countries.
Prosperous Tang Dynasty
Chang’an City in Winter
The story was taking place in Tang Dynasty (618-907). A demon cat appears and breaks the peace of ChangAn City, causing a series of strange events. Poet Bai Letian and Monk Kukai join hands to investigate the death of Concubine Yang by following the trial left by the cat, unveiling a buried fact.
Legend of the Demon Cat confused some audience because it needs some history knowledge and it’s quite different from the content of the novel. The controversy over the adaptation of the novel and the creation of the script have caused huge repercussions. However, there are no doubts that the film’s most impressive accomplishment is its recreation of the imperial capital ChangAn, the twists and turns keep it dark and rooted in fantasy and magic.