My Memories of Old Beijing

My Memories of Old Beijing

Dir: Wu Yigong
Orig Story: Lin Haiyin
Scr: Yi Ming
Prod Co: Shanghai Film Studio
Cast: Shen Jie, Zhang Fengyi, Zhang Min, Zheng Zhenyao, Yan Xiang
1983 | Colour | DCP | Putonghua | 93min

The original story is about how little girl Yingzi spent her time from ages six to thirteen in the old Beijing town. To preserve Yingzi's innocence, more edits are made to this adaptation so that she does not need to mature. One chapter is deleted in which she would have to save her parents' marriage by tricking the mistress. Likewise, instead of realising she has to grow up at the end, Yingzi in the film remains a child innocent as always even in the face of her father's death, which in turn preserves the film's tonal consistency and the audience's impression of Yingzi's carefree childhood.

Such is actress Shen Jie's innocent bliss that contributes to the success of this 1983 film. Wearing a pretty plump face and unblemished eyes, Shen competently visualises Yingzi's purity. The scene in which she states in the presence of a thief that she ‘cannot tell the sky from the sea, a good guy from a bad one' is rather impressive. As director Wu Yigong once revealed, he had been looking for an actress who could radiate innocence and curiosity about the adult world to play Yingzi and he picked Shen because she still possessed a certain trueness rather than a desire to act and impress.

Date Time Venue
21/11/2021 (Sun) 4:30pm Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive

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.