What`s The Peach Girl

<THE PEACH GIRL>

桃花泣血記

 

 

1. What`s The Peach Girl?

What is “The Peach Girl”? “The Peach Girl” is the most successful Chinese film produced in Shanghai in the year of 1931, and is the most representative one in Chinese modern cine art.

<The Peach Girl> is the English title name of ‘桃花泣血记’, meaning “Peach Blossom Weeps Tears of Blood” and is silent film written and directed by Bu Wancang(卜万), release in 1932. The cast included some of the major movie stars of the periods including the Korean born actor Jin Yan(金焰) and the actress Ruan Lingyu(阮玲玉). The running time is 100 min. (at 20 frames per second) and it is Black & White in Silent with Chinese & English intertitles

The film was produced by the Lianhua Film Company, based in Shanghai and proved an early tremendous success for the studio, in no small part due to the on screen combination of Jin and Ruan, the so called “Valentino” and “Garbo” of Shanghai cinema, and who starred together in several vehicles before Ruan’s suicide in 1935.

 

2. Story of the film

Pretty as a peach blossom, Lingu has been romantically involved with a rich family’s young master since they were little. Their romance is doomed, however, due to the gap in their backgrounds. Using the peach blossom as a visual motif, this film conveys the air of classical Chinese art.

The ranchers Ms. Jin to bring child Dehn countryside inspection, the couple from the shepherd Lu hospitality, his daughter Lynn Regardless of love and the Dehn Liangxiaowucai phase play. Ms. Jin weight patriarch, the Xu Qizai and Munv Friendship. A few years later, Angela Lynn Regardless grown, had met with Ms. Jin-kai sub countryside. Lin Kou to the first door disparity evade Dehn, Dehn advocate love, regardless of the rich and the poor and invite them into the city tour, inseparable, love with the husband and wife. Ms. Jin prefer to give Dehn on the marriage the daughter of a family, then by the return home of Lin Kou. Dehn defeat, the other camps, estates settled. Soon, Lin Kou pregnancy promote Dehn real report his mother to the wedding, Dehn fear mother, deceive and comfort. Sick aunt when Lynn, the land until the gold home to look for her, Ms. Jin was furious after perceived the truth, under house arrest Deen ousted Lin Kou, and dismissal from the land. Lu since the portability Lin Kou home, his wife had been dead for Pasture because of the land from the dismissal, robbery of cattle thieves robbing the mob cattle land since come forward, be Zeizhong blind eyes to lime burning. The Lynn Regardless of sterile one son, infirm, no money for treatment. An old man in the Township want a position of vulnerability, seeking to marry Lin Kou were refused Lin Kou.Day, Dehn informed Lynn Regardless of dying, regardless of the mother to block the countryside to visit, regardless of when Lynn is already dying. Lin Kou’s death, Ms. Jin pain since repentance, the countryside apologize and personally leading scorer in the land from the Dehn holding the baby with the cry of Ji Lin Kou tomb.

 

 

 

 

 

3. Modern Film History in Shanghai, China

Motion pictures were introduced to China firstly in 1896 and the first attempt at filmmaking wasConqueringJunMountain(1905). In 1909, a Russian American Benjamin Brodsky established the ‘Asian Film Company’ inShanghai. In 1913, Zhang Shichuan and Zheng Zhengqiu organized the Xinmin Company and took over the Asian Film Company’s production. They made some short films such as ‘Die for Marriage’. Meanwhile, two brothers Li Minwei and Li Beihai formed the ‘Meihua Film Company’ in Hong Kong. They cooperated with Brodsky and made a short film entitled ‘Chuang-Tse Tests His Wife’.

For the period of 1922–1930, it was the creation of a large number of film production companies. Filmmaking received stable investment and started to explore unique Chinese themes and styles. One of the notable events of this period was the official establishment of the Ming Xing Film Company by Zhang Shichuan and Zheng Zhengqiu in March of 1923. They shot a long drama ‘An Orphan Rescues His Grandpa’ at the end of 1923, which established a successful benchmark for Chinese films in choosing resources and establishing ethnic styles. From this time, new film companies arose continuously with new film production companies being established nearly every week during the peak. At the height of this period, there were more than 100 film production companies in Shanghai.

For this period of 1922–1930, the key feature of Chinese films was that they stopped simply imitating European and American films and started to draw on the resources from Chinese culture, seeking to establish a distinctive Chinese film style and beginning to make commercial films. There were three main highlights in Chinese commercial films, which were the folktale drama in ancient costumes that began in 1926, the Kungfu movie starting in 1927 and the fantasy Kungfu film that commenced in 1928.

The significant event during the period of 1931–1937, was the establishment of the Lianhua Film Company, which was registered in both mainlandChinaandHong Kongon 25 October, 1930. It was initiated by the general manager of the Huabei Film Company Luo Mingyou and joined by the Minxin Film Company ofShanghai, the Dazhonghua Baihe Film Company, the Shanghai Film Company and a printing company. The Lianhua Company explored new concepts in film production–‘advocating art, promoting culture, enlightening people and saving the film industry’, which won them a warm welcome from their audience and respect from their colleagues. There were hundreds wonderful films made: A Spray of Plum Blossoms(1931, Hu Lunting), Reminiscence of Peking (故都春梦, 1930), Wild Flowers (野草閒花, 1930), A Spray of Plum Blossoms (一剪梅, 1931), Love and Duty (戀愛與義務, 1931), The Peach Girl(桃花泣血記, 1932), Little Toys (小玩意, 1933), Three Modern Women (三个摩登女性, 1933), Goodbye, Shanghai (再會吧,上海, 1934), Sea of Fragrant Snow (香雪海, 1934)… etc.

For the period of 1937–1945, the key feature was the interruption of the environment and routine of Chinese film production inShanghaidue to the war. The film shooting bases of the leading film production companies such as the Mingxing Company and the Lianhua Company were bombed by Japanese troops, leaving the companies no choice but to close down. Meanwhile, Chinese film production showed distinct diversities in time, space, nature and principles due to the social context of the Sino-Japanese war.

TheShanghaifilm industry experienced two different periods during this era, that is, the ‘isolated island’ period (asShanghaibecame an isolated island surrounded by Japanese troops) and the ‘occupation’ period (when Japanese troops occupied concessions inShanghaiafter the Pacific War broke out). During the former period, Chinese filmmakers made movies independently; while during the latter period, they had to cooperate with the Japanese.

With the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War, the majority ofShanghaifilmmakers fled the city and went to different battlefronts to make documentaries or anti-Japanese films. Some of them relocated toWuhan,Chongqing, some toHong Kongand some went to Yan’an where the Eighth Route Army was based.

The key feature of this period of 1946–1949 was that filmmakers returned toShanghaiafter winning the Sino-Japanese War and Chinese films began their rocky climb to renaissance under difficult living conditions and in a tough filmmaking environment. The nationally-owned Chinese Film Studio and Central Film Studio took over the filmmaking organizations inShanghaithat had stayed during the Japanese occupation period on behalf of the state. This greatly expanded the financial capacity and material resources for the nationally-owned film production companies during this period. Meanwhile, privately-owned filmmaking organizations resumed production or were established one after another. Examples of influential privately-owned film production companies included the Kunlun Film Company established by some colleagues from the Lianhua Company, the Wenhua Film Company, and the Guotai Film Company.

Even under such hardships, Chinese filmmakers miraculously experienced a renaissance in their art. In a short period of just three years, they produced a great number of Chinese film classics such as ‘The Spring River Flows East’, ‘Eight Thousand Miles of Clouds and Moon’, ‘Spring in a Small Town’, ‘Myriads of Lights’, ‘Love without End’, ‘Long Live the Wife’, and ‘Sad and Happy Middle-age’.

 

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