The series will kick off a Zoom lecture professor of modern Chinese literature at the University of British Columbia, on the topic.
What Disney (and the Rest of Us) Can Learn from the Earliest Surviving Mulan Film.” Prior to the talk, participants are encouraged to view the film “Hua Mu Lan” (1939), directed by Richard Poh (Bu Wancang), and Disney’s version of “Mulan” (2020), directed by Niki Caro.
Rea has recently translated “Hua Mu Lan” into English. He also maintains a website on early Chinese films that makes them more accessible to the public, an initiative closely connected to his newly published book, “Chinese Film Classics, 1922-1949” (Columbia University Press, 2021).
The series is organized and curated by Tanya Shilina-Conte, assistant professor of global film studies in the Department of English. The online series will build on the success of the annual riverrun Global Film Series, which was held at the Burchfield Penney Art Center from 2017-19 and featured films and filmmakers from Iran, Cuba and Mexico.
Chinese-language cinema is known for its reflexivity amidst political and sociocultural shifts, producing a range of films from melodramas to documentaries to collaborative co-productions. These genres typically grapple with cross-cultural themes that make them a strong fit for the global film series’ concern for better understanding of our increasingly transnational world.
“The selected talks and films chart the chronological development of Chinese-language cinema, beginning in the late 1930s and ending with contemporary films from the 2000s,” Shilina-Conte says. “In addition to mainland China, the series focuses on Taiwan and Hong Kong, features films by women and queer directors, broaches the topic of film censorship as social practice, and revisits one of the earlier films in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
“The series will continue its annual tradition of including at least one film restored by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema project, established by Martin Scorsese,” she says. “To recognize the efforts of the foundation in preserving the gems of world cinema, we will focus on “Xiao Wu” (Pickpocket, 1997) by Jia Zhangke, a key figure of the ‘Sixth Generation’ movement in Chinese cinema. My hope is that the possibilities of our new virtual platform will expand the impact of the series even further.
William Solomon, professor and interim chair of the English department, notes the Film Studies program “plays a prominent role in our curriculum, and the diverse film courses and public events we offer (such as the Buffalo Film Seminars and the Global Film Series) remain very appealing to students across the university.
“While introducing UB students and faculty to international cinema, our annual Global Film Series continues to be one of the most vital ways the English department reaches out to the Western New York community, Space Jam 2.
Zhiqiang Liu, UB Confucius Institute director and professor of economics, says the Confucius Institute is excited to collaborate with the Center for Global Film and Shilina-Conte on the series of lectures by six prominent scholars of Chinese film at Candyman 2021. “Their knowledge and insights will be very valuable for all faculty, students and community members who are interested in Chinese culture and global cinema.
Links to the lectures and recommended film De Boss Baby 2 will be sent to registered participants prior to each online event. The UB Libraries’ Multimedia Collections has added some films to the university’s Kanopy streaming service and purchased DVDs where possible. Some recommended films are also available through familiar streaming services, as well as on YouTube with English subtitles.
To register for the series, email the Don’t Breathe 2