April 6-May 4: Confucius Institute presents Chinese Film Series on Wednesdays
China's cinema takes spotlight at Cannes Film Festival
4:33 p.m., March 29, 2011--The films to be screened deal with a variety of important aspects of Chinese society in a dramatic period of social transformation, according to Jianguo Chen, director of the Confucius Institute.
“From the early 20th century when film was introduced into China as a novel technical wonder that impacted the cultural mindset, to the chaotic era of the civil war and the communist revolution, to the period of astonishing socioeconomic changes, these films present a China striving for a new, yet not quite known, future while trying to keep alive a cultural tradition of the past,” says Chen, an associate professor of Chinese studies. “It is from this tension between tradition and transformation that Chinese cinema has derived its dynamic as it marches from the local to the global.”
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The films (all rated PG) will be shown from 3:30–5:30 p.m. in Room 323 Willard Hall Education Building. Discussion will follow after each screening. Download a PDF of the flyer for more information or contact the Confucius Institute at 302-831-7188.
April 6 -- Shadow Magic, Ann Hu, director, 2001. In Beijing in 1902, photographer Liu Jinglun befriends Raymond Wallace, an Englishman with a motion picture camera and projector seeking to open the Shadow Magic theatre. The partnership brings Liu in conflict with Chinese tradition and his father’s authority. Adding further complications, Liu falls in love with Ling, daughter of Lord Tan, star of Beijing’s traditional opera.
April 13 -- A World without Thieves, Feng Xiaogang, director, 2004. Two grifters on a train, Wang Bo and Wang Li, plan to fleece a peasant carrying his life savings. Then she changes her mind. More than one set of thieves is on board, however, and a series of contests ensue, with the potential of turning deadly.
April 20 -- To Live, Zhang Yimou, director, 1994. This epic film tells the story of Fugui and Jiazhen, wealthy landowners who lose it all due to Fugui’s gambling addiction. They manage to survive, however, in this story covering the tumultuous period from the 1940s to the 1970s in China.
April 27 -- Shower, Zhang Yang, director, 1999. In this comedy-drama, Shenzhen businessman Da Ming goes home to Beijing thinking his father, who owns a bathhouse, has died. It’s all a ruse, though, set up by Da’s brother, Er Ming.
May 4 -- Together, Chen Kaige, director, 2003. Thirteen-year-old violin prodigy Liu Xiaochun and his father travel to Beijing, where the father seeks the means to his son’s success while the son struggles to accept the path laid before him.