Art house comedy hits all the right notes
The plot of The Piano in a Factory is easily summarized: A father makes a piano of steel to win over his daughter from his wife. The film is amusing and warm, dealing with parental love and friendship, but it was neither easy nor amusing to make.
China’s film market, although boasting an annual box office growth of 35 percent since 2003, leaves little room for art films, between domestic extravaganzas and Hollywood blockbusters.
Although the film has been given various awards – best actor at the 2010 Tokyo International Film Festival and four major awards at the 2011 China Movie Channel Media Awards – its box office prospects are uncertain.
It fills the same summer slot as the 108-star-studded Beginning of the Great Revival and the upcoming Hollywood blockbuster Transformers 3. Despite all the difficulties, director Zhang Meng is optimistic and feels he is a lucky person. “At least the story is one I really wanted to tell,” says the 36-year-old.