Crows and Sparrows 乌鸦与麻雀 (1949)
Wednesday, January 30, 2019
Start at 6:00 PM
Members: FREE(Become a Member Now!); Non-Members: $5
Location: 40 Rector Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10006
We are proud to launch The Film Society at China Institute, a series of programs for Sinophiles and Cinephiles to join us in exploring the diverse and dynamic world of Chinese film! We open with a series of two films, Myriads of Lights (万家灯火) and Crows and Sparrows (乌鸦与麻雀).
In the late 1940s, on the eve of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, two brave directors cut through the chaos of China’s civil war to make sense of Chinese society using the developing medium of film. Seven decades later, China Institute is opening its archives to present a pair of classic works from this “second generation” of Chinese filmmakers, who are credited with transforming Chinese cinema from the era of silent films, into a new golden age of sound.
2. Crows and Sparrows 乌鸦与麻雀 (1949)
At the twilight of the second Civil War, a corrupt Nationalist (KMT) official, Hou Yibo, forcibly takes over an apartment building from its original owner, Kong Youwen. As the defeat of the KMT is about to take place, Hou attempts to sell off the property to profit one last time before he escapes to Taiwan. His tenants, including Mr. Kong, Mrs. Xiao, Little Broadcast and Mr. Hua and his wife, have to find ways to avoid being thrown onto the street. Acclaimed as a classic realism film made at the end of the turbulent 40s, Crows and Sparrows presents an ever-growing zeal in the general public for a new era and new society.
This film is black and white, and is in Chinese with English subtitles.
Richard Peña is a Professor of Film Studies at Columbia University, where he specializes in international cinema and film theory. From 1988 through 2012, he was the Program Director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Director of the New York Film Festival. At the Film Society, Peña organized retrospectives of Michelangelo Antonioni, Sacha Guitry, Abbas Kiarostami, Robert Aldrich, Gabriel Figueroa, Ritwik Ghatak, Kira Muratova, Youssef Chahine, Yasujiro Ozu, Carlos Saura, Roberto Gavaldon and Amitabh Bachchan, as well as major film series devoted to African, Chinese, Taiwanese, Cuban, Polish, Hungarian, Arab, Korean, Soviet, Turkish and Argentine cinema. Peña is passionately interested in Chinese cinema, and has been travelling to China since 1986 to speak about the history of Chinese cinema, and to collaborate on projects to bring Chinese films to the United States.
Zheng Dali (郑大里) is a research assistant at Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University. He is a film director, producer, publisher, and an independent scholar of Chinese film history. He is the curator, advisor and deputy editor-in-chief of multiple publications about the second-generation Chinese director Zheng Junli (郑君里). Besides film career, Mr. Zheng has also served as the director of multiple international events including Shanghai International Film Festival, Shanghai Television Festival, 1st East Asian Games opening ceremony, Expo 2010 Shanghai closing ceremony, 13th APEC summit closing ceremony and 22nd APEC summit opening ceremony. Currently, he is doing research on Chinese film history and writing on a film history book about director Zheng Junli.