“A Song at Midnight sets out, for the first time in Germany, to present a substantial part of Chinese film history. Seen in retrospect, Chinese cinema prior to the Fifth and Sixth Generations may appear to pursue merely propagandistic aims. Yet what becomes visible upon closer scrutiny is one of the liveliest of national film cultures. The title of the programme is gleaned from one of the first Chinese horror films ever made, in Shanghai in the 30s, which freely adapts The Phantom of the Opera for the silver screen. The programme hopes to present the full scope and abundance of Chinese film production from the 1930s to the mid-60s. Melodramas such as THE LIN FAMILY SHOP (Hua Shui, PR China1958) will be shown alongside early martial art films like RED HEROINE (Wen Yimin, PR China 1929), masterpieces of animation like UPROAR IN HEAVEN (Wan Laiming u.a., PR China 1961/64), and such unique crossovers of authorship and propaganda as can be found in the work of Xie Jin (WOMAN BASKETBALL PLAYER NO. 5 (PRC 1957) or RED DETACHMENT OF WOMEN (PRC 1962)). All films will be screened with English subtitles.”
Kino Arsenal Berlin, 1–31 March, 2013
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