Recap: Seeing China Through Film: The Early Years, 7.14.21
On July 14, we hosted the first virtual discussion in our new Summer series Seeing China Through Film, exploring the beginnings of Chinese cinema as the country faced social and political turmoil and war, focusing on the 1920s-1960s. Weaving elements from Hollywood, Soviet cinema, and traditional art, Chinese filmmakers sought to be part of the intense dialogue about the future of their nation.
This initial program brought together three top Chinese film experts for a wide-ranging discussion of two great films: The Great Road and Laborer’s Love.
Weihong Bao is an Associate Professor of Chinese and Film Studies at the University of California, Berkley.Bao received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 2006. She is the author of Fiery Cinema: The Emergence of an Affective Medium in China, 1915-1945. Bao serves on the editorial board for Feminist Media History and is co-editor for the “Film Theory in Media History” series published by Amsterdam University Press.
Richard Peña is a Professor of Film Studies at Columbia University, where he specializes in film theory and international cinema. From 1988 to 2012, he was the Program Director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Director of the New York Film Festival. He currently hosts WNET/Channel 13’s weekly Reel 13.
Christopher Rea is Professor of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia. His latest book, Chinese Film Classics, 1922-1949, was just published on June 1. Rea is also the author of The Age of Irreverence: A New History of Laughter in China (2015) and co-translator of The Book of Swindles: Selections from a Late Ming Collection (Columbia, 2017).
Full Video of the Panel Talk:
Movies Discussed and Viewing Links:
The Great Road, 大路, 1935
Director: Sun Yu.104 min.
Mandarin, with English subtitles.
Laborer’s Love, 劳工之爱情, 1922
Director: Zhang Shichuan.22 min.
Silent Film. Written Mandarin and English inter titles.