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Sunday, 3 June 2018

Il Cinema Ritrovato - Bologna's first foray into classic Chinese cinema

Jiafeng Xuhuang (Phoney Phoenixes)
Cinema Ritrovato’s Asian focus this year has shifted from the previous (five year long) exploration of Japanese cinema to China. The word is that the selection of eight films is sourced from a private collection of 35mm archival prints located in France. 

The festival webpage says: We see the return of quality films comparable with those made by progressive film makers in the 1930s. Like ten years before, these films focus mainly on contemporary subjects and develop a sort of neorealism (much like the Italians after the war) which denounces the most crying injustices of the time and criticizes the darker aspects of society. 

One friend says that he has seen six of the eight films listed. I have seen just one, Spring in a Small Town  so for me its groundbreaking on that score. The films are:

• Tieshan Gongzhu (Princess Iron Fan, 1941) by Laiming Wan and Guchan Wan 
• Jiafeng Xuhuang (Phoney Phoenixes, 1947) by Huang Zuolin 
• Songhuajiang Shang (Along the Sungari River, 1947) by Shan Jin 
• Xiao Cheng Zhi Chun (Spring in a Small Town, 1948) by Mu Fei 
• Wan Jia Denghuo (Lights of Ten Thousand Homes, 1949) by Fu Shen 
• San Mao Liulang Ji (The Winter of Three Hairs, 1949) by Ming Zhao and Gong Yan 
• Wo Zhe Yibeizi (This Whole Life of Mine, 1950) by Hui Shi 
• Wu Jiaqi (Spoiling the Wedding Day, 1951) by Shilin Zhu and Chen Bai

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