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Chinese Movie Database Blog » Blog Archive » Spring in a (not so) Small Town
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Spring in a (not so) Small Town

I’m very proud of the fact that I had watched Fei Mu’s 1948 masterpiece Spring in a Small Town (小城之春) in cinema. I can’t help keeping telling my friends at every opportunity that how I watched it with excitement, how I love this film and how I fell for the leading actress instantly. My friends probably have been tired of my bragging, half of them having no faintest idea what I talked about.

Fei Mu's 1948 Spring in a Small Town
I watched Spring in a Small Town Hong Kong, during a retrospective of Fei Mu’s work held in Hong Kong Arts Centre in mid-90s. That was a rare event, because this movie disappeared from the public sight after initial release in Shanghai and was only re-discovered in 80’s, which makes it extremely difficult to locate a copy. The copy I watched was in excellent condition though. After the screening,
I approached Fei Ming Yi, the master’s daughter and one of the organisers of the retrospective, asking her where she got the copy. She said she borrowed it from Beijing Film Archive and, certainly used her influence to get the deal, had to ‘garantee the return on my life’. Afterwards, I always take it as a badget of honour as being in that cosy small theatre that evening.

Cinema China 07 in Edinburgh

There have since been VCDs and DVDs of the movie available. But nothing compares with impact of watching the film on big screen. This film is made for cinema, although it tells a story only involves five characters in a small town.
It has now been regarded as one of the best Chinese films ever made, an excellent and innovative fusion of Chinese literal and opera tradition and western cinema language.

So you can imagine my surprise and delight to see Spring in a Small Town features in the programmes of Chinese Cinema 07 organisied by Edinburgh Unversity and Filmhouse cinema. Claimed to be ‘UK’s the biggest ever festival of Chinese film’, it will show about 30 Chinese films from 1940’s to the latest - a preview of Zhang Yimou’s Curse of the Golden Flower, not mention the presence of Maggie Cheung. For those 1940’s films though, such as Ruan Lingyu’s Goddess (with a specially-commissioned musical accompaniment conducted by my friend Kimho Ip), Crows and Sparrows, and Spring in a Small Town, this is indeed a chance not to miss. So cancel your another engagement, travel by air, land and sea, and come to Edinburgh in the spring.

Cinema China 07

The article first appears on WaterInk

17 Responses to “Spring in a (not so) Small Town”

  1. on 18 Apr 2007 at 3:10 am Jenny

    As you’re a fan of classic Chinese movies, do you happen to know if Malu Tianshi (1937) is a Chinese remake of the American silent classic Street Angel, starring Janet Gaynor?

  2. on 17 Jul 2008 at 11:40 pm N

    Hello

    I remember seeing one Chinese film at Edinburbugh International Film Festival 2001 (or 2002, not so sure). The film tells a story of a young couple who often escape from their families to make journeys across China. Their sojourn journeys are their escape from social expectations. Toward the end, the male returns to his normal life and to sit for college entrance exam, but the female never comes back.

    I don’t recall the name of this film and its director but this film never leaves my mind. Can you help? The film is definitely made in the early half of 2000s. Thanks a lot.

  3. on 17 Nov 2008 at 9:24 am china tour

    It is a movie long time ago. Now it is quite hard to watch it at the regular cinema in China.

  4. on 16 Dec 2008 at 9:44 am tibet train

    The old movies always remind us of the nostalgic feeling.

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