Yuan Muzhi, Street Angel, 1937 (still)

Street Angel

Friday, Feb 22, 2019

6 p.m.

Phyllis Wattis Theater

$10 Members

$12 General

“Arguably the finest example of Shanghai’s Golden Age, Street Angel is an intoxicating blend of Chinese leftist populism, Hollywood pizzazz, song numbers, French poetic-realist doom, comedic slapstick, and city symphony, all set against one of the world’s greatest, most cosmopolitan backdrops, Shanghai. Amid prostitutes, criminals, and the poor, a good-hearted musician tries to rescue two young sisters from poverty and prostitution, and falls in love with one. Meanwhile, a teahouse service blossoms into song, a street march giddily turns cacophonous, a prostitute lures a client on shadowy street corners, and renters, landowners, and rent collectors go about their day: everywhere, Shanghai life bursts forth from the screen. ‘A film about the lowest strata of society in Shanghai,’ as star Zhao Dan recalled, and made by a left-wing collaborative, Street Angel borrowed from acceptable Hollywood film elements in order to circumvent censorship. Many assume the film is a remake of Frank Borzage’s Street Angel, but only the title itself was used; what also remains, though, is Borzage’s (and other silent-era directors’) sense of artifice, with stark, high-contrast lighting, soaring crane shots, and other techniques used to turn the streets (and street angels) of Shanghai into pure, brilliant cinema.’ (Jason Sanders, Fandor)”

Source: China Film Archive

Film Details

Year: 1937

Running time: 94min

Format: DCP

Director: Yuan Muzhi

Films and schedules may be subject to change.

Modern Cinema’s Founding Supporters are Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein. Generous support is provided by Nion McEvoy and the Susan Wildberg Morgenstein Fund.