Gong Li: China’s Cinematic Muse
This July and August, join China Institute for a mini-series featuring one of China’s most celebrated actresses: Gong Li.
Hailed as “the Meryl Streep of China,” Gong Li was first spotted by director Zhang Yimou when she was still a student in Central Academy of Drama in Beijing. She debuted in Zhang’s Red Sorghum in 1987 and gained international acclaim, winning the 1988 Golden Bear. She was the leading actress in many China’s “Fifth Generation” films of the late 1980s and 1990s, and was the first Chinese actress who starred in films winning the highest awards at all three European film festivals: Berlin, Venice and Cannes. Gong Li was also the first Chinese actress to appear on the cover of Time Magazine.
In this summer mini-series, China Institute will screen two of Gong Li’s acclaimed films: Raise The Red Lantern 《大红灯笼高高挂》(1991) and A Soul Haunted by Painting《画魂》(1994). The screenings will be introduced by Jiaxuan (Jim) ZHANG, who has been teaching Chinese Cinema at Queens College for 20 years. Jim is also an accomplished photographer and calligrapher, and a film critic for both Chinese and English publications in the United States, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and mainland China.
The screening is free for all attendees. Advance registration is requested.
All visitors must bring a photo ID when entering the building and present proof of COVID vaccination. Masks are required when on site at China Institute.
Raise The Red Lantern (1991)
Thursday, July 21, 2022 @ 6PM – 8:30PM
Directed by ZHANG Yimou
Set in the 1920s, the film tells the story of a young woman who becomes one of the concubines of a wealthy man during the Warlord Era. It is an adaptation by Ni Zhen of the 1990 novel Wives and Concubines by Su Tong. The film is noted for its opulent visuals and sumptuous use of colors, and received international accolades. It was shot in the Qiao Family Compound near the ancient city of Pingyao, in Shanxi Province.
A Soul Haunted by Painting (1994)
Thursday, August 11, 2022 @ 6PM – 8:30PM
Directed by HUANG Shuqin
Set at the beginning of the 20th century, the film tells the story of Pan Yuliang, a young woman employed as a prostitute, who eventually climbs her way into becoming a professor for a prestigious Chinese institute of learning, and an accomplished artist, renowned as the first woman in the country to paint in the Western style.