Posts Tagged ‘60th anniversary’

The People’s Republic of Cinema: 60 Years of China on Film in Minneapolis

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Marking the 60th anniversary of “New China,” the Walker Art Center and the University of Minnesota co-present a timely series tracking the decades of political tumult and massive cultural and economic change that followed 1949’s Communist revolution. “The People’s Republic of Cinema” traces the evolution of the nation through the eyes of its most innovative filmmakers, as well as the changed landscape of its film industry.

The fourten films span from the leftist classical, made at the eve of the Communist victory, Crows and Sparrows (1949) to such “model plays” produced during the Cultural Revolution as Red Detachments of Women (1961, modern ballet version 1970) and Red Lantern (1970), from the “historical and cultural reflection” of the fifth generation like One and Eight (1983) and Yellow Earth (1984) to independent products of the sixth and the digital generations, such as Beijing Bastards (1993), Platform (2000), and Good Cats (2009, by dGenerate director Ying Liang, area premiere). As a whole, the series charts the unprecedented propulsive energies at work through years of radical transformation and looks to the future of a country still in flux – one responding both to its past and its relatively new prominence in the larger world.


Sixty Years of Unsanctioned Memories in the People’s Republic

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

At the 60th anniversary of the founding of the P.R.C., published a list of fifteen key independent documentaries as their tribute to the celebration. Entitled “Sixty Years of Unsanctioned Memories in the People’s Republic,” these digital video films present vivid pictures of Chinese life, society and landscape rarely seen in government-approved news or the overwhelming reports about China in mainstream western media. They present and reflect on modern Chinese history from the perspective of common citizens and marginalized social groups. German-Jewish political philosopher Hannah Arendt distinguishes private and public realms as “the distinction between things that should be hidden and things that should be shown.” These independent works try to break the line and present the hidden, “private” scenes and stories to the public. The list also links to the synopses of the films, some with English translations.


Two Approaches to the New-Generation Patriotic Cinema

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Among the festivities for the 60th Anniversary of the People’s Republic, the most talked-about and sought-after film is undoubtedly The Founding of a Republic (Jianguo Daye), which is also the centerpiece of the fifty movies announced by the government-sponsored China Film Group to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Chinese Revolution. Co-directed by Han Sanping, head of the China Film Group, and the Sixth Generation-turned-mainstream director Huang Jianxin, the film traces, or recreates, the history of how sixty years ago Chairman Mao’s revolutionary soldiers overcame Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist Party Kuomintang in the civil war to establish the world’s most enduring Communist revolution.

This so-called “leitmotif commercial blockbuster” breaks the pattern of regular political films with its star-studded cast, featuring nearly 200 of China’s well-beloved film professionals, including action heroes Jackie Chan and Jet Li, international star Zhang Ziyi, comedy king Stephen Chow, and even directors Chen Kaige, Jiang Wen, and Feng Xiaogang. In an interview with South Capital Entertainment Weekly, director Han Sanping proudly calls this film an “ingenious cooperation of politics and commerce.” A report on reads “The elder generation watches history; the younger generation counts stars.”