The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive will be hosting a film series on the history of Chinese cinema, in conjunction with an international film conference hosted by UC Berkeley's Center for Chinese Studies.
Bay Area cinephiles and individuals interested in the history of Chinese cinema now have an extraordinary treasure at their fingertips: the Paul Kendel Fonoroff Collection at the C. V. Starr East Asian Library at UC Berkeley. This recent acquisition represents the largest and most comprehensive Chinese film studies collection in North America, with more than seventy thousand periodicals, posters, photographs, and ephemeral objects.
In celebration of this remarkable resource for the University, a selection of posters from the Fonoroff Collection is on view at BAMPFA during the fall semester. We also showcase seven rare films imported from the China Film Archive that were produced during what has been called the “Second Golden Age” of Chinese cinema (following the industry’s first flowering in the 1930s), a fertile moment preceding the cultural and aesthetic changes that would come as a result of the Chinese Communist Revolution in October 1949. The filmmaking of this period was international in character, embracing diverse styles and genres (epics, melodramas, romances, psychological thrillers) and revealing the connection of Chinese film production of the time to trends in the West.
BAMPFA’s film series connects to an international film conference, Shadow History: Archive and Intermediality in Chinese Cinema (October 12–14), organized by UC Berkeley’s Center for Chinese Studies. We are delighted to welcome scholars, film archivists, and specialists in Chinese cinema, including film historian and collector Paul Fonoroff, who will present a keynote introduction to one of his favorites: the 1947 classic Long Live the Missus, a standout for its presentation of a strikingly modern China.