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Xinyu Dong: “Comedy for Export: A Chinese Shadowplay Goes to Paris”
Film Studies Center. USA. 2011.
- Xinyu Dong: “Comedy for Export: A Chinese Shadowplay Goes to Paris”
- Film Studies Center
- In-house, 2011
- 1 videodisc of 1.   DVD - Region 1.   reference copy.
Event Documentation.   68 minutes.   color.
- Recorded at the Film Studies Center on May 26 2011.
Outside theater and before cinema, the classical comedy Romance of the Western Chamber commanded a field of visual cultural production and acquired a quasi-cinematic quality. Generations of artists in late imperial China visualized and animated its familiar narrative through such devices as page breaks in book illustrations, revolving lanterns, folding fans, and “wide-screen” hand-scrolls. It was easily anticipated that the new medium of cinema would soon capitalize on this canon.
China Sun Motion Picture Company (Minxin) was the first to produce a film adaptation in 1927, and subsequently reedited the film for exhibition in Europe. This version, drastically abridged and made for export, flaunts a dazzling genre mixture of slapstick, mischief comedy, trick film, travelogue, martial arts and war film, not to mention romantic comedy and costume drama. An installation at the experimental Studio 28 in Paris, the film was one of the earliest embodiments of an avant-pop tradition in Chinese-language cinemas. New CMS faculty Xinyu Dong traces these inter-medial practices, with a focus on the film adaptation and its cross-cultural exhibition.
- Restriction on viewing / access:
- For onsite reference viewing only.