Archive for china

Street Angel

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on December 23, 2012 by willontheinternet

I saw “Lincoln” yesterday, and hope to discuss it while it’s still in theaters. Today I’ll just say that it’s damn good, better then I thought it would be… Now, let’s talk about a movie from pre-communist China…

Street Angel (马路天使) is apparently famous in China, though this has not been confirmed by any of the Chinese people I mentioned it to… Probably it’s famous among the same kind of people who liked Dead End in the US.

Houses made from the finest cardboard

Those who live in cardboard houses… should start a revolution.

Like Dead End, the movie begins and ends in the slums, and has poverty as it’s central theme. Apparently it’s a ‘leftist’ movie, although I personally didn’t find it to be any more leftist then Dead End was. The fact that a revolution took place in China a decade later has nothing much to do with our heroes, who spend more time flirting and playing tricks then fighting to overthrow the bourgeois upper class. The characters are poor but optimistic, nothing like the ‘serious’ type of poor people we see in modern ‘important’ movies. In the 1930’s, poverty was more visible. Poor people on screen weren’t ‘tragic’ or ‘controversial’, they were just… well, poor. The male lead is laughable; a bad trumpet player, who also knows magic tricks. Continue reading