Related News

Home » Feature

Silence was golden on silver screen

SILENT movies used to be an enormously popular form of entertainment in the 1920s and 1930s. There are a lot of wonderful pieces in which superb artistry and enthralling stories are exhibited.

To keep the art of silent cinema alive and give the young generation a chance to learn about the evolution of the film industry, the first China and Foreign Silent Film Exhibition will be held from October 22 to 24 at the Shanghai Film Art Center.

Six films from the 1920s and 1930s will be presented, providing insight into the development of world cinema.

These acclaimed movies include domestic productions "The Peach Girl," "Wild Rose" and "The Goddess," as well as American offerings "The Thief of Baghdad," "The General" and highlights from a selection of Charlie Chaplin comedies.

The Chinese pictures are representative of homegrown silent cinema, the cinematography of which has influenced many young film makers.

"The Peach Girl" is a tragic story of love between a poor peasant girl and the rich landlord's son while "The Goddess" also starring actress Ruan Lingyu centers on a young mother forced into prostitution to support her son and provide him with an education.

"The General," a 1927 adventure-epic set to the backdrop of the US Civil War is also regarded as one of the greatest silent comedies.

The exhibition was initiated by the 88-year-old Chinese performing artist Qin Yi who was deeply impressed by the screenings and live performance at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival.

"Nowadays, people seldom have the chance to watch classic silent films," Qin says. "Silent film performance with live music is a particularly fresh style for Chinese movie buffs. The coming exhibition will offer audiences a new interpretation of silent movies."

The screening of each film will be combined with live musical performance to create both nostalgic and modern atmosphere.

Audiences will have a rare chance to see classic silent films on the big screen while enjoying a live orchestral accompaniment by famous musicians Donald Sosin and Gunter Buchwald.

For decades, both of them have been enthralling audiences in the United States and Europe with their scores that perfectly match the films' tempo and theme.

"In Shanghai the film industry had already started in the early 1910s," says Buchwald. "It is a wonderful opportunity to perform in accompaniment with those old Chinese movies which touched people's souls in silence. This kind of pantomime is well received all over the world."

Tickets for each screening will be priced at 120 yuan (US$18). For more details, call 5404-5917.

October 22, 6:30pm, "Wild Rose"

October 23, 3:30pm, "The Peach Girl;" 6:30pm, "The General"

October 24, 1:30pm, "The Goddess;" 3:30pm, "The Thief of Baghdad;" 6:30pm, "Chaplin Comedies Highlights"


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend