Chinese film evening, 10/01/2017: Mother (Mama 妈妈), dir. Zhang Yuan 张元, 1990.
8 January 2017
The film that inaugurated the 'Sixth Generation' of Chinese cinema.
Time: Tuesday 10 January, 6.30pm
Place: IAS Seminar Room 11, First Floor, South Wing, Wilkins Building
The screening will be followed by a discussion on disability and 'embodied difference' in contemporary China and Taiwan.
As usual, admission is by free ticket, available from:
Tony Rayns writes:
Released in China only after a two-year ban, Zhang Yuan's debut feature looks at first glance like a Ken Loach 'social problem' movie. It centres on the plight of a woman librarian in Beijing who struggles to bring up her teenage son (retarded since a childhood accident) without help from her absent husband or the state, and juxtaposes that fiction with relevant documentary material. But Zhang isn't content with showing street-level realities for their own sake; he pushes his material towards expressionism, using the mother's inevitable mood swings as keys to the tone and texture of the images, a strategy that brings him within breathing distance of film noir by the end. China's 'Sixth Generation' film-makers couldn't have got off to a stronger start.
Time Out, 1991
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Zhang Yuan would go on to make a succession of controversial and daring movies including Beijing Bastards (Beijing zazhong 北京杂种), 1993, and East Palace, West Palace (Donggong, xigong 东宫西宫), 1996.
This event is part of Chinese Film and the Body (2016-2017), a series of workshops exploring social and cultural issues related to health, medicine and the body in 20th and 21st century China, as represented in Chinese cinema.
- The film evenings take place on Tuesdays during term-time, from 15th November 2016 to 7th February 2017.
- Each screening is presented by a specialist and followed by a discussion and/or a live video Q&A session with the director.
- You can find further details of the films and suggestions for background reading here:
- The films are core viewing for the UCL CHH MA module in Chinese Film and the Body.
- Admission is open to all members of UCL as well as registered Friends of the UCL China Centre for Health and Humanity. To register and join our Events mailing list, please follow this link.