China travel guide


China Travel Guide

Shanghai studios

Shanghai Studios After six years of the exhibition of the first motion pictures in Shanghai, was shot the first Chinese attempt of filmmaking named "Conquering Jun Mountain" which was based on Beijing Opera. But it was until 1913 when the first movie was produced "The Difficult Couple". Most of the films were created in Shanghai, a flourishing and cosmopolitan city in that time.

During the 1920s, American filmmakers trained enthusiastic Chinese technicians in Shanghai. During this time also was founded the first film studio. The most important was Mingxing, which created the oldest surviving Chinese film, "Laborer's Love" in 1922.

In the 1930s the progresses in the cinema industry allowed the production of great Chinese films, including "Sister Flower" (1933), "Spring Silk Word" (1933), "The Big Road" (1935) and "The Goddess" (1934), a classic from the Lianhua studio. These films changed the comedian topics for themes focus on class struggle, external threat and daily life of common people. The success of the films originated the first Chinese movie stars such as Hu Die, Zhou Xuan and the great Ruan Lingyu.

In 1937, all independent companies were closed by the Japanese, who occupied Shanghai and other cities of the Chinese coast, finishing the golden era of Shanghai’s cinema. Few studios continued working during this period –some clandestinely-, and their films was centered on the suffering by the occupation of the country. An example is "Mulan Joins the Army" (1939).

After the end of the war, the film industry continued to develop and several studios appeared in Shanghai replacing the old ones. Some great films of this period are the wartime epic "Spring River Flows East" (1947), "Crows and Sparrows" (1949) and the romantic production "Spring in a Small Town" (1948).

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