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Fei Mu, Film Poet

Fei Mu, Film Poet

Fei Mu (1906-1951) is one of the greatest filmmakers of Chinese cinema. Film was introduced to China at a time of national crisis and Fei Mu's life and work embodied that confluence of grave historical turbulence and exciting development of a new art form. Many of his works had been lost, partly a result of the troubled times, but from what had survived, there is much to admire. Fei Mu was not an ideologue but neither was he indifferent to the world around him. He made films that capture the difficult times and express the yearnings of the people and he never stopped searching for the best ways to capture and to express.

Fei Mu was concerned with what it meant to be Chinese and what it meant to be a Chinese filmmaker. He was rare among his peers in taking film seriously as an art and diligently engaged himself in both theory and practice, working hard towards an aesthetics for Chinese cinema. He was well versed in Chinese culture and western thoughts. He worked in theater and loved opera. He funneled all these into his work, realizing a style of poetic beauty and evocative subtlety at once highly personal and uniquely Chinese.

Confucius (1940), an important film in the oeuvre of Fei Mu and long considered lost, was found in Hong Kong a few years back. Last year, the Hong Kong Film Archive's presentation of the film in its first phase of restoration was met with enthusiastic response. The film's rediscovery also filled a significant void in Chinese cinema. This year, taking advantage of our presentation of Confucius in its second phase of restoration, we are holding this retrospective of Fei Mu's work, to share in the art of this great director and to promote better appreciation and understanding of his cinema.

A contributing programme to the 34th Hong Kong International Film Festival


Last Updated On :09-03-2010