The Xi’An Film Studio. Pages of history

Last year we presented a program of the famous film studio of the town Xi’an, which was founded basing to a significant extent on its creative leader, director and producer Wu Tianming’s legacy. This year we continue our introduction to this studio’s works in a larger context. 
 
The program opens with the famous film “Red Sorghum” that paved the way to a triumphant march of Chinese films to world festivals' screens in the late 1980. This movie was released in Russian cinemas and then ran on TV in the show “Cine-marathon”, designed to mark the cinema’s 100th anniversary in 1994. It has preserved its role as a flagship of the fifth generation of the Chinese directors. The film married its outstanding visual culture (incidentally, Zhang Yimou, the director, started his career as a cinematographer) to the traditional dramatic composition and re-evaluation of the country’s history in the first part of the 20th century.  It also introduced actress Li Gong’s talent and beauty to the world. This year’s program combines recently made films of various themes and genres. 
 
“The Distant Tianxiong Mountain” (2013) tells a story of a group of farmers who become woodcutters and try to settle in a new territory. Sudden appearance of two women bring in some romantic touch and optimism to their tedious harsh lives. 
 
The award-winning youth drama “Folk Songs Singing” (2011) is weaved out of the young characters’ erotic desires in Ankang city in Shaanxi province, with folk music serving as a background for love struggles.
 
The title of the film “North by Northeast” (2014) is a clear reference to Alfred Hitchcock’s classic “North by Northwest”. Based on real events happened in the 1970s, this is a detective story about searching a rapist who was able to escape the justice right at the end of the Cultural Revolution.  The investigator who failed the first time rehabilitates and locates the criminal many years later.
 
“A Tibetian Love Song” (2010) closes the program. It’s an unusual lyric hymn to love during the turbulent period of proletarian revolution of the late 1940’s in the land that to this day is torn apart by political conflicts. 
 
 Kirill Razlogov