Here’s a preview of an event in development for the Storefront Library, Fall 2009.
Chinese Language Film Series, Thursday Evenings. Every year, Jean Lukitsh, curator of Films at the Gate chooses five films to entertain the Chinatown community during the free, outdoor movie series held on a vacant lot in the heart of Chinatown. But every year, a number of the more subtle and eclectic films on her list don’t make it onto the outdoor screen. For the Storefront Library, Jean has developed a Chinese language film series that includes community favorites that will be best enjoyed indoors in a quieter setting. Here’s a sample of the films she’s considering for a Thursday Evening Films series at the Chinatown Storefront Library:
- A Century of Light & Shadow 1905-2005: Compilation of Hong Kong TV series tracing the history of filmmaking in the former British colony.
- Short Silent Films from Shanghai: Laborer’s Love (1923), Dream of the Western Chamber (1927), and Greedy Neighbors (1933).
- Goddess (1934): Ruan Lingyu was Shanghai’s top star when she made this melodrama about a prostitute who sacrifices everything for her son. Silent, with English intertitles.
- Street Angel: (1937): The first film made by singer Zhou Xuan, who plays a naive young girl living in a cruel and impoverished world. In Mandarin, no English.
- Lady From Chungking (1942): US film starring Anna May Wong as the leader of Chinese guerrillas battling the Japanese during World War II. In English.
- All the People of One Mind (1948): Pioneering martial arts actress Wu Lizhu plays the leader of a band of resistance fighters during World War II. Directed by her husband, Ren Pengnian, who directed the first Chinese feature film in 1922. In Mandarin, no English.
- The Goddess’ Sword (1963): Wuxia (swordplay) film featuring actresses Yu So-chau and Connie Chan, with choreography by Madame Fen Juhua, a Peking opera expert. In Cantonese, no English.
- Lady With a Sword (1971): Wuxia film starring Lily Ho, directed by Kao Pao-shu, one of the very few woman directors to work in the kung fu genre. In Mandarin and English.
- The Skyhawk (1974): The kung fu hero Wong Fei-hung has been portrayed by Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and Gordon Liu, but from 1949 to 1974 there was only one actor who owned the role – Kwan Tak-hing, who was 69 years old when he made this final starring appearance. In Cantonese and English.
- Centre Stage (1992): Maggie Cheung plays silent star Ruan Lingyu (see The Goddess, above) in this biopic which re-creates the film industry of 1930s-era Shanghai. In Mandarin, Cantonese, and English.
- Glass Tears (2001): Carol Lai’s bittersweet drama about loss and alienation among Mainland emigrants to Hong Kong. In Mandarin, Cantonese, and English.