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:
Degree of myopia in right eye:
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”
“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
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.
Comments from Youku:
I also like Nietchze
32B? For real?
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].
I shouldn’t have clicked on this. Were all the actors found off the street? So not geili; the background is also so fake…
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!
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?
What garbage, [the actors’ line delivery] is like reciting from a book.
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.
Worth/deserves downvoting, please downvote it all the way down!
You have upvoted 216 216 [number of upvotes and downvotes respectively, copied and pasted as a comment after voting].
You have upvoted 222 222.
Upvotes 223 Downvotes 223
Upvotes and downvotes are both 261. [Because] I am a good person, I will upvote.
[I] don’t care if [the video] is good or not, I’ll give it an upvote. After voting, its now 329 to 329.
Now that it’s my turn, should I downvote or not downvote, both are at 379.
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.
Fuck… 494 …”if you going to die, then die” [a pun].
518 519~~~[somebody] come and balance this out.
579 579; is this a game?
Upvotes: 608; downvotes: 608. What is everybody playing at? …what kind of no-name game is this?
It’s balanced again: 654 versus 654.
726 726; Intentionally [downvoted], originally wanted to upvote it.
886 886; continue maintaining the balance.
Qin! How interesting! 971 brothers/people have voted up [so far], and 971 have voted down. So should I vote down or up!?
You have upvoted 1071 to 1071
What the film is like I don’t know, but since it is is in high definition, I’ll ding it.
How so very pretentious/artificial.
That man’s voice is so feminine.
This guy sounds so girly!
The man’s voice is so soft/gentle/weak.
Requesting the name of the foreign language song at the end of the film.
Is there someone here who can tell me what the piano [music] at 6:50 is called?
Requesting the name of the music played in the second chapter during which the girl is wearing headphones.
Using the aesthetic standards that the masses it’s really quite difficult to make sense [of this film].
The second part [of the film] was really emotional.
Requesting the name of the guitar song in the second chapter.
I quite like this style of film, jiayou!
You fucking cunt, you [actors] speak like robots.
The background music is too loud.
Don’t be alone by yourself. Personals @ chinaSMACK.