“Time for Love”: Nietzsche, a Guitar & a Beer Belly Fetish

A screenshot of the student short film, "爱情时代"("Time for Love"), written and directed by Li Bo (黎波)

The following short film “Time for Love” (“爱情时代”) was recently uploaded to popular Chinese video-sharing website Youku where it quickly received over a million views from Chinese netizens. The film was written and directed by Li Bo of the Sichuan Normal University Film & Television College and features existential themes along with many New Wave influences, most notably of renowned Hong Kong director Wong Kar-Wai.  “Time for Love” is similar to other recent Chinese short films such as “The Simple Story of Liang Liangliang and Xie Xiaoxing” and “Miss Puff’s Goldfish Bowl“, a film chinaSMACK had reported upon last year which has since gone on to spawn a very successful series on Youku.

Chinese netizens have reacted to this film rather strangely or even mischievously. If they encouraging each other to vote up or down to keep the upvotes and downvotes equal regardless of whether they liked or disliked the video, they are suspiciously requesting the names of every song or piece of music that appears in the video. Could the existentialist themes developed in “Time for Love” have been more effective than intended? At the time this article and translation was prepared, the ratio of upvotes-to-downvotes was 1283 to 1284.

Dialog and subtitles from “爱情时代” (“Time for Love”), translated:

Chapter One: Nietzsche, F

[NARRATOR] Boy A, height 182 centimeters
Right eyebrow length: 5.8 centimeters
Left eyebrow length: 5.7
Distance of median between brows: 3.1 centimeters
During one afternoon of skipping class
due to the appearance of a certain book,
he would fall in love with a girl.
[Title of book – Nietzsche]
Girl X, height 161 centimeters
Degree of myopia in left eye:
425
Degree of myopia in right eye:
450
Bust size 32B.  Special note: With bra cushioning/pads removed.
Due to a book that narrowly missed [hitting] her face
by a distance of 0.37 centimeters,
she would fall in love with a boy.

Boy: I’m sorry, I’m so sorry; are you alright?
Girl: No problem, no problem.
Boy: I’m really so sorry, I didn’t mean to.
Girl: You like Nietzsche?
Boy: Nietzsche? I…
Girl: I also like Nietzsche.
Boy: Oh, is that so?
Girl: I personally regard him as a sage/saint.

[NARRATOR] However, from one day onward it started…

Girl: Nietzsche once said:
“A person in their primal nature can most effectively recover from
their learned cultivation and spirituality

Nietzsche said:
“When a person falls into a situation of great responsibility that causes depression,
maintaining a state of happiness during this period is an ability that is absolutely not worth mentioning.
If people are to react to each and every situation [with great emotional response],
then before long they will become tired,
the result being said person will then react to all situations with no reaction.
In order to trace this back to its root origin, a person will turn into a crab [referring to a creature that walks sideways with no forward progress]
Historians will look back upon this and will ultimately believe this as well.”

[NARRATOR] One day, when the girl said that she hoped that she will become like the sun as Nietzsche had,
they broke up.

Chapter Two: Guitar

[NARRATOR] Boy B
has always had feelings for the girl in the next door classroom, Girl Y
[On wall behind them:] Class three, class four
However, all along he has not dared to tell her this directly
[A situation] commonly known as: a secret crush.
The boy’s fantasy
was to become a
rock star,
but in everyday life
all he could do was to cradle in his arms an electric guitar that was always missing a single string
as a way to make his dreams come true.
After having gone through countless hesitations [of wanting to talk to her]
The boy finally decided to confront the girl and confess his love.

[Left:] Expectation; [Right:] Reality

[NARRATOR] At that moment, all of the boy’s dreams shattered.

Chapter Three: Beer Belly

[NARRATOR] Girl Z likes Boy C
83% of the reason why she likes the boy is because of his beer belly.

Girl: Also, please bring a dish of tomato and egg. Okay, just those [food items].
Waitress: And what would you like to drink?
Girl: Beer, please.

[NARRATOR] One day, the girl left the boy
because she found [a boy with] an even larger beer belly.
The boy didn’t know whether or not he was heartbroken over this.
He felt compelled t0 express some sadness for having been dumped if but for just a little bit;
thus, he took to running without stopping around the track field, again and again
and from that point onward,
[the boy] lost his beer belly.

A screenshot of the student short film, "爱情时代"("Time for Love"), written and directed by Li Bo (黎波)

A screenshot of the student short film, "爱情时代"("Time for Love"), written and directed by Li Bo (黎波)

A screenshot of the student short film, "爱情时代"("Time for Love"), written and directed by Li Bo (黎波)

A screenshot of the student short film, "爱情时代"("Time for Love"), written and directed by Li Bo (黎波)

A screenshot of the student short film, "爱情时代"("Time for Love"), written and directed by Li Bo (黎波)

A screenshot of the student short film, "爱情时代"("Time for Love"), written and directed by Li Bo (黎波)

A screenshot of the student short film, "爱情时代"("Time for Love"), written and directed by Li Bo (黎波)

A screenshot of the student short film, "爱情时代"("Time for Love"), written and directed by Li Bo (黎波)

A screenshot of the student short film, "爱情时代"("Time for Love"), written and directed by Li Bo (黎波)

A screenshot of the student short film, "爱情时代"("Time for Love"), written and directed by Li Bo (黎波)

A screenshot of the student short film, "爱情时代"("Time for Love"), written and directed by Li Bo (黎波)

Comments from Youku:

67530599:

I also have a beer belly.

云的守歌:

I also like Nietchze

后来小皮:

Fuck, I ding‘d incorrectly.

一日二十四小时:

32B? For real?

雷同巧合:

The style [of this film] is very similar to “The Simple Story of Liang Liangliang and Xie Xiaoxing” [another Chinese short film with French influences that has garnered over 4 million hits on Youku alone since being uploaded 4 months ago].

麒麟的天空:

The background music sounds like it is from the film “Amelie” [the 2001 film by Jean-Pierre Jeunet also known as “Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain“].

快闪一族hty:

I shouldn’t have clicked on this. Were all the actors found off the street? So not geili; the background is also so fake…

为萍西行:

Once I saw the hard-box pack of Zhonghua brand cigarettes, I really didn’t wanted to watch any further. If you’re going to be a poser, then go all the way! You couldn’t use a fake pack of 1916 brand to pose with! Or at least use a soft pack of Zhonghua brand! Actually, if this “boy” (This line truly dumbfounds me! He’s already an old uncle and [you call him a] boy) had a pack of cigarettes that cost around ten kuai, then he would actually really look like a university student! You can’t handle [don’t accurately portray] university student smokers! This idiot smokes Zhonghua cigarettes!

学会下毒:

Looking at the numbers beside the upvotes and the downvote, brother [referring to self] is at a loss. You need to know that brother is someone who follows the crowd, and I tried flipping a coin, but the coin, it…it has two sides…and I don’t know which side should be the upvote side and which side should be the downvote side… and what if it were to fall on its edge, what should I do then? So, I’ve decided to wait two days and then see, and whichever side has more votes at that time is the side I’ll click on… Looks like brother is a very decisive person, right, don’t you guys think so?

01自由人:

What garbage, [the actors’ line delivery] is like reciting from a book.

zzhangcchao:

Definitely can be considered a good short film, it has a theme, has ideas/thought in it, and can be said to reflect life! However, the various actors aren’t skilled enough [didn’t capture their roles], especially that first pair of lovers with their lines/dialogue.

gungonelee:

Quite a good piece of art! Why are people downvoting? Completely-simida… [completely confused]

日光就是晃:

Worth/deserves downvoting, please downvote it all the way down!

シ每:

You have upvoted 216 216 [number of upvotes and downvotes respectively, copied and pasted as a comment after voting].

8815387:

You have upvoted 222 222.

蒋德安:

Upvotes 223 Downvotes 223

樱桃石榴:

Upvotes and downvotes are both 261. [Because] I am a good person, I will upvote.

这孩子boy:

[I] don’t care if [the video] is good or not, I’ll give it an upvote. After voting, its now 329 to 329.

眞逗:

Now that it’s my turn, should I downvote or not downvote, both are at 379.

mdxstar:

At 1 minute 45 seconds [in the film] “You downvote?” I…I also like you downvoting!” [你踩 ni cai here is a pun on 尼采 Nietzsche in the dialogue of the video] In that case I will downvote. You have downvoted. 435 432.

马赛克的灵魂:

Fuck… 494 …”if you going to die, then die” [a pun].

没有拖鞋:

518 519~~~[somebody] come and balance this out.

KevinU2:

579 579; is this a game?

mingren321:

Upvotes: 608; downvotes: 608. What is everybody playing at? …what kind of no-name game is this?

我是无言的歌:

It’s balanced again: 654 versus 654.

180后:

726 726; Intentionally [downvoted], originally wanted to upvote it.

guizudd:

886 886; continue maintaining the balance.

搁浅7142:

Qin! How interesting! 971 brothers/people have voted up [so far], and 971 have voted down. So should I vote down or up!?

找不到呢称了:

You have upvoted 1071 to 1071

54008:

What the film is like I don’t know, but since it is is in high definition, I’ll ding it.

丝云001:

How so very pretentious/artificial.

你是我走失的蝴蝶:

That man’s voice is so feminine.

尖牙1981:

This guy sounds so girly!

战乱的世界:

The man’s voice is so soft/gentle/weak.

后舍老鸟:

Requesting the name of the foreign language song at the end of the film.

416299195:

Is there someone here who can tell me what the piano [music] at 6:50 is called?

信子6026:

Requesting the name of the music played in the second chapter during which the girl is wearing headphones.

傻猪妹仔:

Using the aesthetic standards that the masses it’s really quite difficult to make sense [of this film].

wmxzdong:

The second part [of the film] was really emotional.

、有染、:

Requesting the name of the guitar song in the second chapter.

亽罖亽罖亽罖:

I quite like this style of film, jiayou!

夜ye偌殇:

You fucking cunt, you [actors] speak like robots.

gjl6549:

The background music is too loud.

A screenshot of the student short film, "爱情时代"("Time for Love"), written and directed by Li Bo (黎波)

A screenshot of the student short film, "爱情时代"("Time for Love"), written and directed by Li Bo (黎波)

A screenshot of the student short film, "爱情时代"("Time for Love"), written and directed by Li Bo (黎波)

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  • DUXESTLUX

    5000 years of history and cannot create anything 100% chinese

  • Yurp

    Shallow as the puddle of piss under my chair.

    • Kong

      Why didn’t you just use the bathroom? Was the ground beneath the chair the only place?

      • fouManChu

        =====W H O O O O S H =========>

        ________________
        / \
        / K O N G |
        | ___ ___ |
        | O O |
        | ^ |
        | |
        | |
        \ /
        \ _________________/

        • fouManChu

          Shit I need to learn mo’ better HTML, how do make a fixed width ascii head?

          • Yurp

            Not sure but I think if you put an invisible character (i.e alt+255) instead of just a space it might work.

        • Kong

          Haha

          On a serious note, I couldn’t make it past the first line of dialogue. Way too 假. It’s too bad, because the cinematography might have been pretty good.

  • nobel peace prize

    Smoking is still considered cool in China because Chinese men are so strong, cough, cough, the poisonous cigarettes just can not kill us and we have to make a video about it.

    • http://candosino.wordpress.com terroir

      Smoking is cheap in China. You basically can’t afford NOT to smoke.

      And smoking is a huge part of French culture, and French culture is a huge part of New Wave cinema. Still, I can only take so much accordian, but at least they areni’t wearing berets like 灰太狼 and striped shirts and miming being trapped in a box.

      China loves good aesthetic, and the hated French have just that. However, China, once your French fascination leads you to idolize Jerry Lewis, then you’re sunk.

      • baijiansi

        Can you write more stereotypes please?

        • http://candosino.wordpress.com terroir

          Sure.

          “Cheese eating surrender monkeys” – Groundskeeper Willie, The Simpsons

          Remember to roll your R’s obnoxiously; subtlety doesn’t play well into portraying stereotypes.

          • baijiansi

            I’m not French, i just think you’re a douchebag that talks too much. Keep replying to your own posts.

          • http://candosino.wordpress.com terroir

            You say you’re not French, but man, you sure act like one. Ska-doosh.

          • Boris

            Replying to his own posts? Maybe he’s schizophrenic. Oh God -maybe Baijiansi is Terroir (although unbeknownst to himself, replying as if to a total stranger). Please less of the accusations of douchery -the description of the French really is quite accurate. Neither am I French -and long may this condition remain.

          • http://candosino.wordpress.com terroir

            I can’t be baijiansi — I can use sarcasm properly, you know?

  • Eva

    The acting was soooo bad….

  • http://www.tx123.org Justin

    Two lovers brought together by the metric system? Is there anything the metric system cannot do?
    No but really, a cute movie considering they’re students and all. If someone has to make movies for dreamy eyed kids, it might as well be dreamy eyed kids.

    • http://candosino.wordpress.com terroir

      “Gonna ta give ya every centimeter of my love…” – Whole Lotta Love, Led Zeppelin
      “I Can’t Drive 88.51 Km/H” – Sammy Hagar
      “But I Would Walk 804.6 kilometers, and I would walk 804.6 kilometers more
      just to be the man who walked 1609.3 kilometers to fall down at your door” – “804.6 Kilometers”, The Proclaimers

      Song of the article, maybe?

      • http://www.qq.com/1325279774 Kedafu

        I salute you comrade terroir

        nice songs,
        nice translations!

        until the next article…..

        • http://candosino.wordpress.com terroir

          Comrade Kedafu,

          you iPod cache is much larger than mine. I was hoping you’d give some Nietchze-type “don’t believe in anything” song, maybe some Nirvana or Sex Pistols or even Green Day.

          I dunno. That Kei$a song? That doesn’t appear to be about anything, just meaningless void and emptiness. How about that “Friday” song?

          • Justin

            Joy Division. For my money, it’s the last word in ennui. “Isolation”
            “Love Will Tear Us Apart” “Digital”

          • http://candosino.wordpress.com terroir

            Thanks. Now I have a soundtrack to accompany the shrill silence that prevents me from sleeping every single night.

  • hanyucha

    “Do not look into the abyss,
    or let the abyss look into you…” (Nietchze)

    I felt like the abyss swallowed me whole watching that. As Nietchze would probably say now: “What a load of gash!”

  • eattot

    so dumb and wooden! especially those faces, typical what i dislike to see in school, one of the reasons i hate school.
    and they all want to make everyone look like naive virgin, from parents to teachers to students themselves…
    Du poil sous les roses, they should watch this! to figure out what we really wanna see.

    • http://candosino.wordpress.com terroir

      I know! As this isn’t a WWII/Civil War drama, I can’t figure out who the enemy is… nothingness? The empty void? When ever did “negative space” invade China and impose its jackboot of “lack of meaning” upon the fair land?

      Also, for a Chinese film there is a surprising lack of kung fu. Why, nobody even flies? How does this respect China’s glorious history (of x determinate time?)

      These filmmakers should sent down to be re-educated and not allowed to come back until they grasp the significance of Chow Yun-Fat two-gunning it or a terminially ill Andy Lau riding a motorcycle in a white tuxedo.

  • Billy

    It wasn’t too bad!

  • http://candosino.wordpress.com terroir

    This film aspires to be Wong Kar-Wai but fails miserably. Though it’s great to see the attempt in a student film, we should try to understand Wong more to better emulate him.

    Besides having a great eye and a flair for melodrama, Wong has ideals to uphold. Namely, he’s a DUDE. A tough guy. The guy never takes his sunglasses off nor stops smoking. His stories occur in a world where “men are men and women are women”; he barely makes it over the line of misogyny in order to make his women characters strong (and he should know strong women, he’s orignially Shanghainese). Leslie Chung has never been straighter with a phallic gun or sword in his hand than when he first met Maggie Chung, asked for the time then gave her the time, and then dumped her.

    This film on the other hand… well, that one beer belly guy slapped his girlfriend, so points for being 1950’s Ralph Kramer.

    • http://candosino.wordpress.com terroir

      There are many short-comings to this film that I could accept: the egregious acting, the ham-fisted dialogue, the unauthorized use of music to complement a shaky production, the use of a famous historical character’s words as dialogue repeated verbatim, directly plagarizing the source of inspiration for the film, and ugly chicks. Hey, this guy is trying out the craft, maybe he’ll get good at the art, and maybe he can only afford ugly chicks.

      But I can’t forgive one thing, and it’s the closing credits. Never has so much goodwill and potential been built up by a filmmaker only to be squandered ever since the Ewoks showed up in ep. VI. The stylized cinematography and techniques of the entire film get destroyed by witnessing a “take du verite” on an un-aesthetic China: schoolgirls in baggy unisex uniforms, dumpy guys walking around sheepishly with their dates, very unfashionable people doing unfashionable things.

      Poor John Oates. Always stuck behind Daryll Hall, and now he winds up at the worst part of this short film.

    • uknow

      I Lolled @ your comment. There seems to be a lack of flying people. hahaah

  • Hongjian

    DEEP.

    Shit, too short. OK:

    All americunts should be lined up, shot and brainraped by Zarathustra. Not necessarily in that order.

  • h-diggy

    way to copy 500 days of summer (split screen scene)

  • dude

    Actually, it’s “If you stare at an abyss, it stares back at you.”

  • http://mysticalmagicpages.blogspot.com/ Tommy

    I have a real question: does this film prove how low quality China’s film industry is?

    For a student film, it is great. This guy is well on his way to becoming a successful film-maker, but you can find hundreds of student films of similar quality in Western colleges. Those student films don’t garner nearly so much interest or priaise.

    • anon

      No, not at all. That many Chinese publicly lament their domestic film industry’s inability to create something like Kung Fu Panda is closer to “proving” how low quality China’s film industry is. This is just a student film, which viewers understand, and thus they judge according to that standard. As such, it’s quite far removed from being useful for judging the professional Chinese film industry.

      I didn’t really like the film but I think that’s a matter of taste. However, I’m not sure where you get the idea that it got so much interest or praise. First, a lot of the comments and votes had nothing to do with impressions of the film itself; they were just goofing off. Second, a sense of scale needs to be considered. There are a lot more Chinese netizens than there are people in most Western countries. That’s why a “viral” video in the West may be something like 100,000 views on YouTube whereas 100,000 on Youku is unremarkable.

      My main takeaway from this post was that there are plenty of Chinese goof-offs online. However, I did find the beer belly skit to be a somewhat amusing.

      • bunny99

        What’s love got to do with it?

      • http://candosino.wordpress.com terroir

        Student films have an advantage over big budget films; they aren’t beholden to any producer, audience or standard, they can just make whatever they want. Though the director blatantly steals a lot of techniques and inspiration from others, he still displays a sense of creativity that you can’t find in the Saw-knock-off “The Island”. (don’t see it)

        The theme in Chinese films is predominantly to uphold the Confucian ideal (like say, Magical Lunch or whatever its called that was on chinaSMACK previously), so it’s telling that a common genre for aspiring filmmakers is New Wave and that a common theme is existentialism.

        Student films matter because they are movies that people want to make. They represent someone’s passion; though it may be some student’s passion to depict Andy Lau flying off a cliff to rescue his son off a teetering wagon, who knows.

        And didn’t you know? Kung Fu Panda belongs to China! Jack Black is a Chinese citizen! (though it’s due to the anti-Japanese foreign policy of Tenacious D)

  • Phoenix

    I would down vote. Filmmaker pretty much remade 500 days of summer.

  • http://unblockfacebookinchina.info/vpn-in-china Rod

    It’s nice to see some real art happening in China!

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