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Introduction

Archival Gems:
Worth a Thousand Words: Adaptations of Chinese Literary Classics

Just as a picture can paint a thousand words, a sprawling literary work can be miraculously transformed into a two-hour film. Indeed, film adaptations often serve as a gateway for audiences to explore the world of literary classics that may appear daunting and inaccessible at times. Given significant differences between the two art forms, most notably in terms of the medium of storytelling (words vs. shots), filmmakers employ a variety of approaches when recounting literary narratives on the silver screen. Learning to appreciate the dynamic process and manifold possibilities of adaptation would help us develop a deeper understanding of not only the original work itself, but also literary devices and cinematic techniques in general.

In this chapter of the Archival Gems series, we will present one pair of films based on the same literary classic every month, while inviting film critics and scholars to host in-depth seminars in the hope of enriching the audience's knowledge of film language, adaptation styles, as well as the relationship between literature and cinema.

The contents of the programme do not represent the views of the presenter.
The presenter reserves the right to change the programme should unavoidable circumstances make it necessary.