Renditions no. 71 (Spring 2009)​

Special Issue: Chinese Film
Guest Editor: Paul Clark

Extracts from Chinese film scripts and other texts from the 1930s to this century are included in this issue. They range from The New Woman (1934), starring Ruan Lingyu, to Chunmiao (1975) from the Cultural Revolution, and include a storyboard from Zhang Yimou’s Hero (2001). Fei Mu’s Spring in a Small Town (1948) is a highlight. The issue will explore whether the literary film script (dianying wenxue juben) is a uniquely Chinese invention, written like fiction but reflecting what we see on the screen. The more usual shooting-scripts of several titles will also be included and pages from them will help illustrate the issue.

137 pages


Table of Contents

Editor’s Page 5
Paul Clark Writing with Shadows: The Special Role of Chinese Film Scripts 7
Sun Shiyi The New Woman: scenes 1–9
Translated by Chris Berry
Li Tianji and Fei Mu Spring in a Small Town: excerpt
Translated by Andrew F. Jones
Lin Gu, Xu Jin and Xie Jin Stage Sisters: excerpts from reels nine and ten
Translated by Cao Dongqing and Gina Marchetti
Zhao Zhiqiang, Yang Shiwen and Cao Lei Chumiao: scenes 28–30
Translated by Paul Clark
Zhang Nuanxin and Li Tuo Sha Ou: excerpt
Translated by Zhou Xuelin
Ma Lin, Da Jiangfu and Zhu Mei Neighbours: excerpt
Translated by Yomi Braester
Li Shaohong and Xiao Mao Blood-Red Morning: excerpt
Translated by Paola Voci
Jiang Wen In the Heat of the Sun: excerpts
Translated by Cai Tonghong
Fruit Chan Made in Hong Kong: excerpts
Translated by Esther M. K. Cheung
Wu Ming, based on a screenplay by Li Feng, Zhang Yimou and Wang Bin Hero: a storyboard page
Translated by Paul Clark
Book Reviews 127
Notes on Authors 132
Notes on Contributors 136

Sample Reading

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Stage Sisters: excerpts from reels nine and ten
By Lin Gu, Xu Jin and Xie Jin
Translated by Cao Dongqing and Gina Marchetti


507   medium close-up
The judges whisper among themselves.
Judges: ‘Call the chief suspect—Xing Yuehong!’

508   distant shot
Silence in the courtroom. Everyone looks in the direction of the witness room.

509   wide shot
In the witness room. Yuehong (shot from behind) is sitting on a bench.
Bailiff (off-screen): ‘Call Xing Yuehong!’
Mr Tang takes her arm. There is blood on her face. He takes a clean, white handkerchief out of his pocket.

510   extreme close-up to medium shot, pull-back
Yuehong’s face is pale, and the corner of her mouth is bleeding. (pull-back) Mr Tang roughly wipes the blood away.
Bailiff (off-screen): ‘Call Xing Yuehong!’
Mr Tang pulls her up and pushes her towards the door.

511   wide shot
Yuehong doesn’t want to go. She turns back and stares at Mr Tang with an imploring look in her eyes.

512   medium close-up
Mr Tang looks darkly at her with murderous intent in his eyes.

513   medium shot
Yuehong does not move. Mr Tang (shot from behind) enters the frame.
He says: ‘Get out there or I’ll kill you.’

514   close-up to extreme close-up
Mr Tang steps closer to Yuehong, scowling viciously at her.

515   close-up to wide shot, pull-back
Yuehong, frightened, steps back. As the camera pulls back, Mr Tang (shot from behind) enters the frame and draws closer to Yuehong.

516   wide shot, tracking
In the courtroom. People stare at the doorway and are amazed to see Yuehong walking backwards into the courtroom. She looks down and turns around. The bailiff leads her to the seat reserved for the defendant. As she moves towards her seat, journalists take her picture.