November 17th, 2005

Moving Images of Pearl River Delta 1898-2005
A Special Project for The Second Guangzhou Tiennial


Guangdong Film in The Centenary of Chinese Film History

Industrially speaking, Guangdong film refers to works produced in this region or with local capital; while esthetically speaking it will too be used to call works with strong local contents and flavors. Guangdong is not only today's Guangdong province but also includes some other Cantonese spoken regions like Hongkong and Macao. Rather, it is the Canton region in the traditionally sense, namely the so called Pearl River Delta region.

In the beginning of Chinese film making, Guangdong filmmakers Zheng Zhengqiu, Leung Siu-po, Lai Buk-hoi, Lai Man-wai, and Lily Yam already began their film experimentations. During the Strike of Canton and Hong Kong, numbers of Hong Kong filmmakers transferred to Guangzhou to start their film productions, flourishing local film making in a short period of time. In the thirties and forties, Shanghai became the center of film industry, many filmmakers from Guangzhou gave their support, such as Zheng Zhengqiu, Lo Ming-yau, Lai Man-wai, Cai Chusheng, Hu Die, and Ruan Lingyu. After the war, many northern Chinese came to the south to work in film production, some of them even settled down and led the film development (in particular the Hong Kong film) in South China area.

In 1956, the biggest film studio of South China established in Guangzhou - Pearl River Film Studio, began the shooting and production of local films. During nearly half a century, Waves of Southern China Sea, Seventy-Two Tenants, Familiar Voices from Hometown, Swan Song, Sun Yet-Sen, and The True Hearted were being shot. They are the classics of Chinese films. After dozens of years development, Hong Kong has established a huge film industry, becomes Eastern Hollywood. Guangdong film in generalization is the important constituent that cannot be ignored in the centenary of Chinese film history.

Moving Images of Pearl River Delta 1898-2005, the special project for the 2nd Guangzhou Triennial, is going to highlight about 40 films from year 1898 to 2005 with the aim to probe into the tradition and history of Guangdong film and promote the cultural cooperation of this region which enables the new generation of film makers to find their own way forward.

Ou Ning, Oct 23, 2005




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