Fei Mu, Spring in a Small Town, 1948 (still); image: courtesy Alamy

Spring in a Small Town

Saturday, Feb 23, 2019

4 p.m.

Phyllis Wattis Theater

$10 Members

$12 General

“Fei Mu’s film is widely regarded as the finest achievement of Chinese filmmaking before the communist victory in 1949…Set in the aftermath of the long and devastating Sino-Japanese War, the film focuses on a marriage already troubled by apathy, ennui, illness and frustration, and which comes under further threat when a doctor friend of the husband — and, unbeknown to the latter, a former lover of the wife — arrives on an unexpected visit.

The frank treatment of adulterous desire, central to several scenes of quite surprisingly sensuality, is not the only aspect of the film that feels unusually modern. Its cool understatement in terms of narrative and performance, its psychologically illuminating use of interiors and exteriors, and its imaginative use of occasional voiceover to explore — but teasingly never pin down or delimit — the wife’s conflicting emotions: all these are combined to create a sophisticated work of sharp and subtle insights that are as relevant today as when the film was made.” (British Film Institute)

Media Source: British Film Institute

Rights: China Film Archive

Film Details

Year: 1948

Running time: 98min

Format: DCP

Director: Fei Mu

Films and schedules may be subject to change.

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