Revisiting Chinese New Comedy Film

Screening Series February 6th and 9th

During the late 1970s, China transitioned to a market-driven reform era. Both large-scale government policies and the rhythms of everyday life experienced drastic transformation. In this mini-series featuring three comedy films, we delve into the world of New Comedy, which flourished during this pivotal period. Modeling progressive youth during the early reform era, New Comedies experimented with novel media objects, forms, and environments, while also repurposing tropes from socialist era films.

Join us as we laugh our way towards new understandings of how comedies portrayed Chinese youth’s hopes, struggles, and worldviews during a transitional era, as well as how comedy films sought to make sense of other emerging media technologies. This is a rare opportunity to view the following three films in such high quality, on the big screen!

The Young Generation and Twins Come in Pairs depicts 20-something youths in Shanghai, weaving their interpersonal relationships together with urban infrastructure and a groundbreaking emerging technology: television.

Our screening of The Young Generation will be preceded by socialist era classic Today is My Day Off, in order to spark discussion on the influence of socialist era filmmaking on early reform era films.

Today is My Day Off (今天我休息Lu Ren, 1959); The Young Generation (小字辈Wang Jiayi and Luo Qin, 1979); Twins come in Pairs (她俩和他俩 Sang Hu, 1979)

Tuesday, February 6 | 3:45-7 PM | Venue: Cobb Lecture Hall, Room 307 (5811 S Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637)

Double Bill: Today is My Day Off (今天我休息 Lu Ren, 1959); The Young Generation (小字辈 Wang Jiayi and Luo Qin, 1979)

Friday, February 9th | 7-9 PM | Venue: Logan Center for the Arts, Room 201 (915 E 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637)

Screening: Twins Come in Pairs (她俩和他俩 Sang Hu, 1979)

This mini-series is co-sponsored by the Department of Cinema and Media Studies, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Franke Institute for the Humanities, Film Studies Center, Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Chicago, with generous support from a Title VI National Resource Center Grant from the U.S. Department of Education, and Asian Pop-Up Cinema.

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