Beijing on Film, 1980 to the 2000s

2014-06-07 14:00 - 2014-06-15 18:30

Beijing on Film, 1980 to the 2000s

When: 7 - 15 June 2014, 14:00
Where: UCCA Art Cinema

 Beijing Bicycle

Movie: Beijing Bicycle


Tenement courtyards, public bathhouses, temple fairs, honeycomb briquettes, winter-preserved Chinese cabbages, pigeon houses. The UCCA film series "Beijing on Film, 1980 to the 2000s"explores films that capture essential elements of Beijing that are gradually disappearing from public life and memory.

Early footage of Beijing can be found in travelogues shot by Western tourists and newsreels from the May Fourth Movement by cinematographer Zhang Yuting. However, it wasn't until much later that Beijing was used for location shooting in narrative film.

Documentary footage presents Beijing directly, while narrative film portrays the city more casually. "Beijing on Film, 1980 to the 2000s" examines how the city of Beijing, its landscapes, and its residents are depicted in five narrative films from the 1980s through the turn of the century.

In Beijing Bicycle (2001), A Gui, a teenage bike messenger, weaves his way through the crowded city, while in Good Morning, Beijing (1990), young bus driver Zou Yongqiang and ticket saleswoman Ai Hong take the audience on their daily ride. From children participating in the Asian Games in The September of Mine (1990), to a middle-aged man and woman dealing with societal reforms in Sunset Street (1983), to elderly Peking Opera fans in For Fun (1993), the story of Beijing is being written and rewritten with each passing day. These celluloid images transport audiences to a familiar yet estranged Beijing in search of its lost aura.

This film series is presented as a part of "Across Chinese Cities-Beijing," a collateral event of the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale running from 7 June to 23 November. It is curated by Meng Xie, the curator of UCCA's Art Cinema program.



Time Movie
7 June 14:00 Opening Forum: The City of Cinematic Memory
Speakers: Meng Xie (film program curator, UCCA), Sha Dan (curator, China Film Archive)
16:30 The September of Mine
19:00 Beijing Bicycle
14 June 16:30 Good Morning, Beijing
15 June 14:00 Sunset Street
16:30 For Fun


Ticket: 20 (Adult) / 10 (2014 UCCA Member) / 0 (2013 UCCA Member)RMB
Tel: 010-57800200
Add: 798 Art District, No. 4 Jiuxianqiao Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing


*Information provided by Ullens Center For Contemporary Art


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