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October 1, 2009

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Home » Feature » Events and TV

Films, TV, opera and more

THE National Day holiday offers entertainment galore to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and the Mid-Autumn Festival.

The holiday through October 8 is packed with films, TV productions, traditional theater and exhibitions.

Local film and TV producers as well as performing troupes have spent months preparing. The holiday cinema screens will be packed with varied productions, including the mainstream epic "The Founding of a Republic," the spy thriller "The Message," Sun Honglei's romantic comedy "My Fair Gentleman" and the drama "Quick, Quick, Slow."

The star-studded "Founding of a Republic," featuring about 170 major Chinese mainland and Hong Kong actors, covers the period of 1945 to 1949, when the Communist Party of China overcame the Kuomintang in the civil war.

"The Message," starring Zhou Xun, Li Bingbing and Zhang Hanyu, provides insight into the spirit, sacrifice and personalties of the Communists. Set during the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1937-45), the film centers on how the Japanese-controlled puppet government finds an undercover Communist agent among five suspects.

The film adaptation of Mai Jia's best-selling book has made several changes to the plot and ending, but maintains the suspense and pace of the original.

Veteran actor Sun Honglei is well-known for the TV spy series "Lurk," but "My Fair Gentleman" is his first attempt at romantic comedy. It's the story of a vulgar newly rich man who pursues a female entertainer, and in the process transforms himself into a perfect gentleman in courtship.

Sun, who recently won best-actor award at the 27th Feitian Awards, China's Emmys, says he had so much fun shooting the comedy that he wants to make a sequel.

The heartwarming "Quick, Quick, Slow" by young director Ye Kai is dedicated to his parents' generation, sometimes called the "forgotten generation" who were sent to the countryside during the "culture revolution" (1966-76) to learn from peasants. They sacrificed prime years of their lives to build the new nation. It is set in a Shanghai neighborhood in the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and tells the story of retired people in their 50s and 60s who decide to form a ballroom dance team.

Meanwhile, Yonghua Cinema and the newly opened Zhoupu outlet of Wanda International Cinemas will screen around 30 domestic films. Documentaries recording China's tremendous progress will be aired on the Documentary Channel and Dragon TV.

They will feature six grand construction projects, such as the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, the Three Gorges Project and the Qinghai-Tibet Railway. Other films describe the culture and traditions of China's 56 ethnic groups.

A five-episode documentary "1949: Shanghai During the Takeover" is being aired nightly at 10:30pm on the News Channel. It looks back on the challenges facing city leaders after the Communist takeover in 1949.

The six-episode documentary series "Happy China" will begin airing on Channel Young at 10pm from tomorrow to next Wednesday.

It looks at different generations and interviews celebrities like basketball star Yao Ming and actor Lu Yi, as well as ordinary people describing their experiences of growing with the nation.

Special TV entertainment will be screened.

On Sunday, at 9:30pm, the popular family talent show "Come On, the Whole Family" will celebrate the first Shanghai Neighbor Day. Local families will showcase their singing, dancing and other skills.

Dragon TV will broadcast the popular TV drama "The Gem of Life," filmed to celebrate Hong Kong Television Broadcasts Ltd's (TVB) 41st anniversary.

Starting tomorrow at 1:30pm, Dragon TV will air six daily episodes that center on the struggle and rivalry among three sisters who have been reared by their mother to marry a wealthy man. The Shanghai Peking Opera House will stage a grand singing concert, "Old Golden Days," tomorrow and Saturday at Yifu Theater.

More than 20 noted artists, including Guan Dongtian, Shi Yihong, Zhang Huifang and Li Jun, will perform excerpts from the classics like "Legend of Madame White Snake" and "Zhao's Orphan."

The concert will also show video clips of behind-the-scenes stories of the creation of these classics. They will describe the artistic roots and development of Peking Opera.

Through Saturday, the Shanghai Kunqu Opera House will showcase the achievements of the troupe and its veteran artists over 60 years.

Kunqu Opera masters Yue Meidi, Ji Zhenhua and Liu Yilong, with apprentices Hu Gang and Hou Zhe, will present the classic "Story of the Jade Hairpin" tonight and "Fifteen Strings of Cash" on Saturday.

Interactive lectures and workshops will be offered. Diplomatic gifts presented to China over the years are displayed at the Shanghai Sculpture Park, reflecting China's rising status and influence on the international scene.

More than 170 sets of presents from 160 countries and regions are exhibited in the park near Sheshan Hill in suburban Songjiang District.

One notable gift is a round ornately engraved silver tray, a gift to Premier Zhou Enlai when he visited 10 African countries at the end of 1963 and early 1964, a milestone in Sino-African relations.

Shanghai Madame Tussauds Wax Museum will display the new image of the 2005 "Super Girl" champion Li Yuchun.

Li, who polled more than 3.5 million votes via cell phone text messages at the final of the phenomenally popular singing contest, is the youngest ever star to be immortalized in wax at the museum. She was 21, boyish, wore no makeup or fancy clothes and broke the stereotype of pretty, made-up girlie singers.

Additionally, the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium will present new fish and marine creatures such as peppermint shrimp, garden eels and the Hawaiian boxer crab. A special exhibit is a national flag made up of fish and starfish.

The aquarium is seeking names for newborn leopard shark sisters on its Website ( This is a follow-up to the "SOS Save Our Sharks" Exhibition aimed at ending the slaughter of sharks for their fins.

Peking Opera "Old Golden Days"

Date: October 2-3, 1:30pm

Venue: Yifu Theater, 701 Fuzhou Rd

Tickets: 30-380 yuan

Tel: 6322-5294, 5353-0054

Kunqu Opera "The Story of the Jade Hairpin"

Date: Today, 7:15pm

Venue: Lyceum Theater, 57 Maoming Rd S.

Tickets: 60-380 yuan

Tel: 6217-2426, 6217-3055

Kunqu Opera "Fifteen Strings of Cash"

Date: October 3, 7:15pm

Venue: Wanping Theater, 859 Zhongshan Rd S2

Tickets: 60-380 yuan

Tel: 6217-2426, 6217-3055

Diplomatic Gifts Exhibition

Date: through November 8, 9am-4:30pm

Venue: Shanghai Sculpture Park, 1158 Linyinxin Rd

Tickets: 120 yuan for adults; 50 yuan for children

Tel: 5779-8090

New marine creatures

Date: through October 8, 9am-9pm

Venue: Shanghai Ocean Aquarium, 1388 Lujiazuihuan Rd

Tickets: 120 yuan for adults; 80 yuan for children

Tel: 5877-9988


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