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Electric shadows light up London

China Daily | Updated: 2014-05-29 07:46

Electric shadows light up London

Zhang Ziyi and Tony Leung star in Hero (2002), which will be screened during the retrospective of Chinese films in Britain.

A retrospective of Chinese films will give British moviegoers a chance to see some of the country's most influential works. It's all part of a program to build stronger cultural, trade and business ties between the two nations. Ming Liu reports from London.

Electric shadows light up London

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Electric shadows light up London

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A Chinese film festival will launch in the United Kingdom on June 1, giving British moviegoers the chance to see some of the most popular and influential Chinese films made over the last century.

The initiative is part of Electric Shadows, a yearlong program by the British Film Institute, of creative, cultural, trade and business collaborations with China. The event kicked off in February, with a rare visit by one of China's most successful directors, Feng Xiaogang, and a special gala screening of his Back to 1942, at the BFI Southbank, in London.

Now, as part Electric Shadows - the name is a literal translation of dianying, "movie" in Chinese - the BFI is presenting a four-month-long retrospective of Chinese film, entitled A Century of Chinese Cinema.

Over 80 films will be screened across the UK, many of which have never been shown in the country. There will also be special DVD releases, lectures with academics and filmographers, as well as a library of rare digital content of nonfiction films from China from 1901 to 1949.

A Century of Chinese Cinema is curated in partnership with the Toronto International Film Festival.

"With its poetic images of times gone by, cinema grants us access to the long, varied and complex history of China. The program is a recognition of Chinese filmmaking and a vital way to understand Chinese culture today," says Noah Cowan, season curator of the TIFF, who programed the retrospective.

The retrospective encompasses films from across the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan - an amalgamation that was deliberate. "There are unmistakable connections and shared ideas among these cinemas," Cowan says. "The program celebrates what brings them together."

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