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Ruan Ling-Yu: The Goddess of Shanghai (with DVD of The Goddess)
     

Ruan Ling-Yu: The Goddess of Shanghai (with DVD of The Goddess)

by Richard J. Meyer
 

Ruan Ling-Yu: The Goddess of Shanghai tells the story of one of the greatest Chinese movie stars of the silent era from humble origins to tragic death at the height of her career.

Shanghai between the two world wars was a city of intrigues, political change, corruption, vice, social disparities, and creativity. It was here in the Yangtze River Delta

Overview

Ruan Ling-Yu: The Goddess of Shanghai tells the story of one of the greatest Chinese movie stars of the silent era from humble origins to tragic death at the height of her career.

Shanghai between the two world wars was a city of intrigues, political change, corruption, vice, social disparities, and creativity. It was here in the Yangtze River Delta that Chinese movie-making reached its peak. Feeding off the decay of their ancient civilization, and inspired by the frenzy to build a new one, the Shanghai filmmakers captured a crucial transition in Chinese history. Shanghai films of this period established the basic tones, themes, and techniques that would affect the future of the Chinese film industry. In order to appreciate Chinese cinema and its most famous actress, it is essential to understand this rich, formative period when the industry established its standards for creativity and social commentary. The individual whose films best reflected the turbulent times of the period was Ruan Ling-yu. Her life and work symbolized the social currents of Shanghai and the tragedy of China during its long downfall.

This book provides context by describing the political and social conditions of life in Shanghai during this period. It covers Ruan's production company Lianhua and her directors as well as touches upon her fellow performers. The conclusion discusses the legacy of one of the most important actresses of the silent screen.

The book contains photographs from Ruan's most creative films that demonstrate the visual sophistication of her work. It also includes a complete filmography of all of Ruan's films, a bibliography, a list of film archives that have her films, information about where to obtain film copies and pertinent websites.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This newly restored 1934 film features the penultimate performance of screen actress Ruan Ling-yu, who committed suicide in 1935 at the age of 24. Her preeminence during the Chinese silent film era is powerfully conveyed in Richard J. Meyer's fascinatingly informative and accompanying book Ruan Ling-Yu: The Goddess of Shanghai. In The Goddess, Ruan portrays a prostitute and devoted mother compelled by social injustice to ply her trade for the benefit of her young son until prejudice and desperation drive her to murder. Nicknamed "the Chinese Garbo," Ruan was the subject of Stanley Kwan's award-winning 1992 biopic Centre Stage. In addition to detailing the life, death, and legacy of Ruan, Meyer's photo-illustrated book offers background on the social and political environment of 1930s Shanghai. The DVD features an introduction by him as well. Such a rare and informative opportunity for Westerners to become acquainted with Chinese silent film is recommended to most libraries.-Robert A. Sica, Eastern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Richmond Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9789622093959
Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
Publication date:
04/05/2005
Pages:
140
Product dimensions:
5.54(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.91(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Richard J. Meyer is Distinguished Fulbright Chair in Twentieth-Century History of Communications at L'Università del Piemonte Orientale Amedeo Avogadro in Italy, Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Professor of Telecommunications Emeritus at Ball State University, and Visiting Professor at the Center for Journalism and Media Studies at the University of Hong Kong.

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