Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

Subscriber: null; date: 17 September 2019

D. W. Griffith and the Rise of Chinese Cinema in Early 1920s Shanghai

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter argues that the development of the Chinese film industry is inseparable from the success of D. W. Griffith and Lillian Gish in early 1920s China. Touched by the magnificent cinematography of The Birth of a Nation and Lillian Gish’s tragic performance in Way Down East, critics came to recognize cinema as a complex art as well as a powerful medium for mass education and therefore urgently called for the birth of national film. An investigation of advertisements and commentaries in newspapers and popular magazines reveals how issues of race and gender in Griffith’s work were translated into formal terms mediated by local politics and cultural tradition. The cinematic narration of “imagined communities” is enhanced by interactive responses between movie theaters, films, newspapers, and magazines, ramified with cosmopolitan, nationalist, and metropolitan perception and discourses. Moreover, the sensational reception of Lillian Gish in China is characterized by deep layers of sentimental ethos, articulating women’s social mobility of the time.

Keywords: D. W. Griffith, Lillian Gish, Way Down East, Difficult Couple, An Orphan Rescues his Grandfather

When D. W. Griffith’s Way Down East (1920) premiered in the Shanghai Theater on May 22, 1922, an advertisement for the film appeared on the front page of Shenbao 申報, one of the largest newspapers in Shanghai. “Way Down East,” it trumpeted, “was directed by Griffith, the king of the globally known film industry, who spent ten months making this eleven-reel and 12,000-foot movie at the cost of 800,000 U.S. dollars. On the night of its premiere in a grand theater on 44th Street in New York, celebrities and young ladies flocked to watch it, despite tickets that cost ten dollars a seat.”1 Both the film’s advertising rhetoric and its enthusiastic reception were unprecedented, and when the work returned to the same theater in October, another front-page advertisement announced: “The world’s most famous and most sensational movie returns!” Over the next several months, reports from Beijing and Tianjin noted that Griffith’s film had been enthusiastically received there as well.

Way Down East was a pivotal work not only for Griffith and for Hollywood, but also for China. In fact, no Hollywood director exerted more influence than Griffith on Chinese cinema in the silent era. At the same time, however, Griffith also epitomized the ups and downs of Hollywood in China. After 1949, his name virtually disappeared from canonical histories of Chinese cinema,2 and even Jay Leyda, in his pioneering history of Chinese cinema, Electric Shadows, praised Griffith’s Broken Blossoms (1919) for its favorable portrayal of the “Yellow Man,” only to lament that he had “seen no reference to this film being shown in China.”3 In fact, from May 1922 to July 1924, at least nine of Griffith’s works were screened in Shanghai, including Way Down East, Broken Blossoms, Intolerance (1916), The Birth of a Nation (1915), and Orphans of the Storm (1921), each of which aroused considerable excitement (see Appendix 1.1 at the end of this chapter for a list of these works). Beginning in the 1990s, Chinese film historians began to reappraise Griffith’s contribution to early Chinese cinema, though their (p. 24) information about his film exhibitions in China was based on Zheng Junli’s 鄭君里 1936 history of Chinese cinema, in which the first screening of Way Down East is erroneously dated to the spring of 1924, which was actually after the Chinese debuts of most of Griffith’s films.4

Around the time Griffith rose to fame, the Chinese film industry began to flourish following the successes of the nation’s first three feature-length films, Yan Ruisheng (閻瑞生, 1921), The Sea Oath (海誓, 1922), and Red Beauty and the Skeleton (紅粉骷髏, 1922). What did the coincidence mean? By recuperating Griffith’s glamour in the early 1920s, this chapter argues that Griffith signified the dominance of Hollywood, to which Chinese cinema was itself paradoxically indebted. Griffith’s films played an enormous role in helping shape early Chinese cinema, far beyond merely influencing the genre of the “love film” (愛情片), as scholars have generally held.5 Actually, along with the hegemony of classical Hollywood cinema, Griffith’s fame in China grew into a myth that provided, in Miriam Hansen’s terms, “a sensory-reflexive horizon for the experience of modernization and modernity,” along with a kind of “vernacular modernism, as a cultural counterpart and response to technological, economic, and social modernity.”6 By contextualizing this myth, this chapter will discuss a set of related “local” issues, such as the intellectual acceptance of cinema as a superior art form and a dynamic medium for national education, the rise of the film audience and critical film discourse, together with the early 1920s Shanghai film industry’s competition with and appropriation of Hollywood. The urban landscape ramified into nationalist, cosmopolitan, and metropolitan trends, driven by the new momentum of film enterprise. Not the least spectacular among them was the feminist mobilization toward publicness, indebted not only to Griffith but to Lillian Gish, the leading actress in many of Griffith’s films.

Griffith and Accepting Film as Art

It is well accepted that Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation helped make the feature film a crowning genre in Hollywood studios, and that his masterpieces marked the beginning of cinema’s transition from mere entertainment to high art. Likewise, Griffith also played a decisive role in Chinese acceptance of cinema as a noble art. Film arrived in China as early as 1896 and, as suggested by the neologism yingxi 影戲 (literally, “shadowplay”), it was initially viewed as merely a folk amusement. Film scholars correctly attribute the slow development of Chinese cinema to an initial shortage of capital and technology, yet little attention has been paid to the specific intellectual climate that likely played an even greater role in shaping the growth of the industry. This might be clearer if we compare the conditions under which Japanese cinema developed. In 1896, motion pictures also arrived in Japan, where—owing to Japan’s aspirations for Western civilization and capitalist growth in the Meiji period—a nascent film industry developed quickly, as exemplified by the publication of the film magazine Katsudô shashinkai (p. 25) (活動寫真界) in 1909, the establishment of Nikkatsu (日活) Studios in 1912, and the emergence of the “pure film” movement before 1920.7 In the Chinese context, following the conclusion of the Sino-Japanese War in 1894, intellectuals began to embrace Western civilization, but most of them were devoted to pursuing national salvation by means of reform or revolution, and their elite bias against this imported visual novelty was inherited by the May Fourth Movement. Even after the Chinese film industry had begun to flourish in the early 1920s, some moralists still rejected cinema as a pernicious medium.

The Difficult Couple (難夫難妻), a four-reel feature film made by Zhang Shichuan 張石川 and Zheng Zhengqiu 鄭正秋 in 1913, is recognized as a gem of early Chinese cinema. The film looked trendy at the time, but as Du Yun-chih 杜雲之 has pointed out, The Difficult Couple and other works produced by the Asia Film Company “could not be shown in the better movie theaters where Western movies were released. They could only be screened as extra entertainments after the ‘civilized dramas’ (wenming xi 文明戲) had concluded.”8 Indeed, given that at the time foreign-run, Western-style movie theaters in Shanghai were screening dramas like The Last Days of Pompeii (1913), Three Musketeers (1914), Quo Vadis? (1912), and Antony and Cleopatra (1908),9 a film like The Difficult Couple could hardly compete. Moreover, Zheng Zhengqiu, when invited by the Asia Film Company to make films, claimed that he knew nothing about filmmaking, and instead was more committed to directing “civilized dramas.” It is likely, therefore, that The Difficult Couple was used to promote a “new drama,” as seen from advertisements announcing that “for the first time the Chinese stage performance has been filmed.”10 And, in fact, that year Zheng Zhengqiu’s new drama movement had great success, carrying with it his agenda to reform family and society.

At the time, cinema was undergoing what Miriam Hansen has described as a “paradigmatic shift from early to classical cinema,”11 and this shift was reflected in a column that Zhou Shoujuan 周瘦鵑 wrote for the newspaper Shenbao 申報 between 1919 and 1920. In this column, entitled “Discourse on Cinematography” (影戲話), Zhou commented on dozens of the Western films he had watched over the preceding decade, combining his personal viewing experiences with information gleaned from American film magazines.12 Despite his praise of the genres of comedy and detective serials for their popular appeal, Zhou nevertheless reserved judgment on them. It was Griffith’s work, however, that led Zhou to heartily embrace cinema. After watching Intolerance and Hearts of the World (1918), Zhou enthusiastically praised the works’ advanced technology, visual effects, and, most importantly, lyrical style and moral theme that distinguished them from Chaplin’s comedies, which sought mainly to entertain their audience.13 Zhou witnessed film’s development from nickelodeon shorts to feature films, from multinational products to Hollywood domination, and from the idea of cinema as vulgar entertainment to a complicated and sophisticated art form.

In the second decade of the century, a number of essays on motion pictures in Eastern Miscellany (東方雜志) and other periodicals had introduced Chinese readers to recent cinematic innovations and developments in the West. These pieces were mostly translated from foreign sources and sometimes also featured brief comments on their (p. 26) educational function in a modern society. Yet none of these essays could compare with Zhou’s “Discourse on Cinematography” in terms of the latter’s aesthetic observation of early world cinema combined with its local vision in cosmopolitan context. By using the term yingxi to translate cinematography, the acceptance of cinema was modernized. This hybrid notion of yingxi invoked discursive explorations among film theorists in later years. Furthermore, building on Liang Qichao’s 梁啟超 famous turn-of-the-century call for a “literary revolution,” Zhou argued that “not only fiction but film is a major key for mass enlightenment.”14

The Griffith Phenomenon and Commercial War

Beginning around 1922, amid a rapid growth in film audiences, film companies, and movie theaters, film discourses began to come to the fore, and within a few years they had established a ground on which Chinese cinema might compete with Hollywood. There emerged several types of film discourse related to a variety of newspapers and magazines, each with its own goals and readership. Shenbao, for instance, took the lead in opening dedicated film sections that reflected how cinema was rapidly progressing as a modern art medium, as a highly competitive business, and as a new form of consumer culture. Other columns included a monthly report on box-office returns of Shanghai movie houses, film reviews, news from local and American film companies, and discussions of world cinema. Such a fascination with cinema, and particularly Hollywood, was understandable, as the Chinese audience felt that it needed to make up for what it had missed over the preceding decade.

This embrace of Hollywood echoed an expression of cosmopolitanism articulated by Deng Guang 鄧廣 in his 1925 introduction to Motion Picture World (影戲世界), in which he argues that, as a “universal language,” cinema carries with it “cosmopolitanism” (世界主) aimed at “an ideal harmonious world.”15 However, it would be naive to ignore the local concerns implicit in this cosmopolitan perspective. In fact, Chinese cinema had no choice but to compete with Hollywood, given that it could hardly progress unless its audience was firmly secured. In this respect, keeping Hollywood in check was no less important than supporting the Chinese film business. As revealed by the reviews of Chinese movies, a complex psychology had developed, in that most viewers judged Chinese films by the standards of Hollywood, and even when apologizing for local cinema’s shortcomings, they nevertheless applauded it precisely because it was homemade and still in an embryonic stage. In the competition under the shadow of Hollywood, reflected by the market, Chinese film benefited from patriotic support.

Even as Hollywood was establishing its market hegemony, Chinese filmmakers were by no means reluctant to jump into the fray. Advertisements for Chinese films were (p. 27) replete with patriotic sentiment, as exemplified by one on March 14, 1923, for the educational film New Nanjing (新南京). The advertisement covered half a page, larger than those for foreign films, with the headline, “Chinese-Managed Hujiang Movie Theater.” In April, two large advertisements appeared for the French Theatre and the New Helen Theatre, respectively, boasting that they screened Chinese movies. Sometimes there would appear an advertisement for a Chinese movie that was larger than usual, with an urgent call: “Chinese should see their own movies!” Behind this patriotic excitement was a remarkable increase in Chinese audiences and investment. New theaters opened in the Zhabei district, where Chinese films were screened more cheaply, to cater to dense populations from lower economic strata. Not only were China’s first three long features repeatedly screened, comic shorts by the Asia Film Company from the previous decade were circulated with cheery advertisements.

Amid this feverish interest in Hollywood, Griffith became an idol, an inexhaustibly inspirational source and indisputable standard for both foreign and Chinese movies. In 1924, for instance, the director Cheng Bugao 程步高 published a lengthy essay entitled “The History of D. W. Griffith’s Success” (葛禮斐斯成功史) in Movie Magazine (電影雜志), which began by noting that “Griffith is recognized as the foremost film director in the world. As a senior among film directors, no one can compare with him, except for the famous Rex Ingram….Since the release of Way Down East, Griffith has become a household name in Shanghai, and his directing mastery is widely acclaimed.”16 In 1926, the dramatist Tian Han 田漢 noted that Griffith used “literary methods,” such as fragmentary pictures, psychological description, close-ups, juxtaposed images, together with fade-ins and fade-outs, and concluded that, thanks to Griffith’s innovations, “cinema has made great progress.”17

When The Birth of a Nation was first screened in Shanghai in June 1923, it aroused a great sensation. Reviews of the film in newspapers applauded it for its magnificent war settings, spectacular cinematic techniques, virtuosic performances, and humanistic revelation. For refined viewers, this film invited a new perspective on Griffith. Whereas Way Down East was impressive for its romantic and tragic forces, The Birth of a Nation added epic and heroic dimensions. The epic-lyric mode was regarded as Griffith’s signature style, and further expected by Chinese audiences. For example, when The Girl Who Stayed at Home was screened in Shanghai, its title was translated as Ouzhan fengliu shi 歐戰風流史, or literally “a romantic history of the European war.”

The Birth of a Nation aroused considerable patriotism among Chinese audiences. This was expressed by Chen Xiaodie 陳小蝶, a popular writer, who found that Griffith’s Hearts of the World conveyed antiwar sentiments much as Du Fu’s 杜甫 poetry reflected the sociopolitical chaos associated with the Tang dynasty, and The Birth of a Nation was charged with heroic patriotism similar to Lu You’s 陸游 poems from the Song dynasty.18 Even as traditional Chinese classics were used to redeem and elevate Griffith’s cinema, the myth of Griffith was simultaneously being encoded with Chinese ethical and aesthetical values.

It is well known that in America The Birth of a Nation caused a racial scandal that would mark Griffith for the rest of his career, but in China the film’s reception was (p. 28) rather different. Chinese viewers were so excited by the work’s patriotic passion that not only did they ignore its racism, they even celebrated it. Linking the film to China in turmoil, a critic commented: “This movie should wake Chinese people up.” Lamenting that China was under the control of world powers, the author praised the Klan for igniting patriotism in the United States by which freedom was rescued from the hands of blacks.19

Griffith’s reputation in China, therefore, actually benefited from the reception of The Birth of a Nation, and he became even more adored following the release of Broken Blossoms. The latter work tells a sad story in London, where a young Chinese immigrant falls in love with an English girl abused by her father. As if seeking to redeem himself from the controversy following The Birth of a Nation, in Broken Blossoms Griffith depicted not only the father but all of the Westerners as brutal and vicious, in contrast to the good-hearted Yellow Man. The screening of Broken Blossoms in Shanghai also incited a racial controversy, as it had in the United States, though with more complicated implications.

Broken Blossoms premiered at the Carlton Theater on February 19, 1923. It was originally scheduled for a five-day run, but was abruptly pulled on the fourth day and replaced by another Hollywood movie. Although no official reason was given for the disruption, it was said that the authority of the foreign settlement had ordered that the show be stopped, on account of the protests from foreign audience members who were furious at the blasphemous images of the Westerners in the film. And it was said that afterward the film went to Hong Kong and was also banned there.20

The figure of the Yellow Man was also a focal point of the controversy. As Gina Marchetti points out, in the West Broken Blossoms was viewed through the lens of the “yellow peril,” by using the “fantasy of rape and the possibility of lynching to reaffirm the boundaries of a white-defined, patriarchal, Anglo-American culture.”21 In 1920s Shanghai, however, the Chinese who watched Broken Blossoms were surprised by the humane portrayal of the Yellow Man, which stood in stark contrast to what they had observed in other American films, in which Chinese were depicted as being dirty, shameless, and stupid. An anonymous reviewer remarks, “I saw the imported films in which our people are mostly depicted as bandits, thieves, or criminals. It [Griffith’s film] made me so happy, since in it their love is portrayed as noble and pure.”22 Another reviewer, Rui Kaizhi 芮愷之, describes how he watched the show on the first day and was excited by the scene in which the brutal father is killed by the Chinese man, but by the evening show this scene had been cut, and three days later the screenings were halted altogether.23 Later, the same critic reflected, “After watching Broken Blossoms, I developed an even greater admiration for Griffith’s noble idea and [Lillian] Gish’s performance. The reason I admire Griffith is that he has a large heart and dares to practice what he believes. Most Americans despise the Chinese, but Griffith elevates and praises them while depicting Englishmen and Americans as evil and ugly….His insights and moral judgment are far beyond his contemporaries in the spheres of filmmaking and the law.”24

(p. 29) Even as Griffith was being praised, urgent protests were being raised in China against the racism in other American films. On May 16, 1923, for instance, Shenbao printed several photos from Sidney Franklin’s 1922 film East Is West (東即西), which depicted ferocious and disgusting-looking Chinese gangsters, with the comment, “This is a shame for our nation. The bizarre costumes and the heroine’s acting simply made the foreign audiences laugh.” However, the author’s anger was also directed at the Japanese: “In this kind of film, most Chinese characters were played by Japanese actors, who not only represented them in a distorted manner, they also intentionally depicted them with ugly, disgusting manners.” 25 Nearly two weeks later, another photograph showed Japanese actors with a caption that read: “Films in which the Japanese play Chinese people in an ugly manner.”26 Rather than blaming Hollywood or asking why Japanese actors were used, the anonymous author instead condemned the Japanese actors for demonizing the Chinese “national identity” (國體) by wearing Manchu costumes and writing Chinese characters in a shabby fashion.

Lillian Gish and the Gender Problem

Way Down East is generally regarded by American film historians as a second-rate film, yet it meant more than any of Griffith’s other films in terms of its impact on China’s developing film industry, on the genre of “family drama,” and on China’s stardom culture, as well as for the way it articulated Chinese reality related to the issues of love, marriage, domesticity, and women’s social mobility. This tragic story struck a chord for Chinese audiences, for whom the actress Lillian Gish displayed “tragic” power, with a social signification worthy of close observation.

In his 1919 comments on Hearts of the World, Zhou Shoujuan remarked on Lillian Gish, though at the time she was still so obscure that the first advertisement of Way Down East described her character only as a “pitiful girl,” without even mentioning her by name. She nevertheless rose to fame overnight, and in the week following the first Chinese screening of Way Down East, an advertisement in Shenbao for a forthcoming issue of Motion Picture Review asked: “Who appears in Way Down East? It is she! Who is she? She is the girl named Lillian Gish. Her beautiful appearance and gestures have been made by the copperplate and printed in our magazine.”27

Of course, movie stars typically drew more attention than film directors, and there is a sense in which Griffith’s popularity relied heavily on that of Gish. Interestingly, at the same time she was viewed differently in America. Gish does not appear, for instance, in the lists of top male and female actors published in 1924 by the American journals Photoplay and Film Daily.28 In 1925, the Chinese magazine Motion Picture World was inaugurated with a special issue dedicated to Lillian Gish, and in the introduction the author, Li Huailin 李懷麟, noted that “movie actors are enlighteners of human beings, social teachers, cultural vanguards, and advocates of cosmopolitanism,” and singled (p. 30) out Lillian Gish as “a great artist of American cinema, also a great gifted movie star in the world.”29 Most of the other articles in this special issue discussed Gish’s talent, acting career, and artistic achievements. According to Lin Shuyu 林漱玉, the reason for selecting Gish out of hundreds of Hollywood stars was that she could do the same things they could, but they all lacked her gifted talent for tragic performance.30

When film companies emerged in China in the early 1920s, they faced the difficulty of recruiting actresses. They targeted women who were not only good looking but also well educated. But for these women, the road to becoming a movie star was blocked by social bias and familial opposition at a time when urban society aspired to Western civilization yet remained restrained by patriarchal order and traditional values. Under these circumstances, print media’s saturation with Hollywood stars helped to promote not only the careers of Chinese actresses but also broader goals of women’s social mobility. In 1923, for instance, the film section of Shenbao featured countless accounts of Hollywood stars, including nearly a hundred photos and detailed descriptions of how much they earned and how much they spent on summer vacations, cars, clothes, and cosmetics. There were also stories about actresses, such as the autobiography of Mary Pickford and the biography of Norma Talmadge that were both serialized in the film section. Despite their humble origins, both women reached stardom by virtue of their talents. They were envied by Chinese women, not only for their free social activities but also, and more importantly, for their colorful lifestyle. By contrast, the newspaper emphasized Lillian Gish’s higher profile as she talked about her acting theory and experiences. Such an ardent display of Hollywood star culture was intended to encourage an analogous Chinese stardom, while the local strategy of competition was actively enforced. For instance, between April and July 1923, amid the relentless coverage of American child actor Jackie Coogan, there emerged a campaign for his Chinese counterpart, Dan Erchun 但二春, who appeared in Revival of an Old Well (古井重波記) and An Abandoned Child (棄兒), and was praised as a “child prodigy” and a “little star.”

The emphasis on Lillian Gish’s rare talent for tragic acting had nuanced implications in this historical context. Her artistic and career successes certainly inspired Chinese women in search for free choice and social mobility, yet just as Laura Mulvey criticized classic Hollywood movies for representing women as the objects of a male voyeuristic gaze,31 Gish’s girlish image in films satisfied a male fetishistic desire, as her virginal innocence, delicate beauty, and fragile manner were appreciated through a lens of classical Chinese poetics. Anna in Way Down East, for instance, accepts her misfortune and abuse with incredible endurance and finally wins a moral victory, positioning her as the sort of prototypical “good wife and virtuous mother” (賢妻良母) who frequently appears in Chinese “family dramas.”

After directing The Difficult Couple in 1919, Zhang Shichuan and Zheng Zhengqiu collaborated again on An Orphan Rescues His Grandfather (孤兒救祖記), released by Star Motion Picture Company in December 1923,32 which enjoyed unprecedented box-office success and critical acclaim. Zhang and Zheng pursued a picture of cultural localization, in which the players wore Chinese costumes and spoke in a Chinese manner, yet contemporary critics easily discerned the influence of Griffith’s Way Down East. One reviewer (p. 31) observed, “The episode of driving the widow out of her home was borrowed from that of rescuing Anna on the ice-floe,”33 while another declared that the film “was plotted with deep signification, and a tedious life was injected with humor. These were similar to Way Down East, though in different approaches.”34 A third remarked, “This film is a family tragedy. Amid grievances humor was inserted and brought the audience a relief. Griffith had used this method in his Way Down East and Orphans of the Storm in order to comfort the resentful audience. In this respect, the Star Company was a good learner.”35

Categorized as a “family tragedy,” An Orphan Rescues His Grandfather focuses primarily on Yu Weiyu, the widow. After her husband dies in an accident, her father-in-law adopts his nephew as his heir and drives the pregnant and newly widowed Weiyu from their home on account of a rumor about her infidelity. Weiyu subsequently gives birth to a son and endures countless hardships in raising him. Ten years later, as the nephew is plotting to murder his adoptive father to gain control over the family wealth, Weiyu’s son returns to rescue his grandfather. The grandfather apologizes to his daughter-in-law, and the family reunites.

An Orphan Rescues His Grandfather was characterized by an ambiguous gender politics, in which the type of tragic woman was incarnated in a model of “virtuous woman” as a result of her cultural localization. Unlike Anna in Way Down East, Weiyu is confined to the space of the boudoir, and her extraordinary endurance is empowered by Confucian ethical values. As a widow, she is submissive to the patriarchal order but is eventually rewarded for her virtue, investing the money she receives from her father-in-law to build a school. As shown in the ending, when Weiyu uses the family wealth granted by her father-in-law to build a school, the film proposes that a combination of morality and education may provide a solution for society’s problems. In this way, the figure of the virtuous widow is granted a larger significance.

As film historians have pointed out, classical Hollywood cinema was rooted in the bourgeois domestic drama, and Griffith, in adapting Dickens’s novels, shared many of his nineteenth-century Victorian values.36 It was no accident, therefore, that Way Down East was “mid-Victorian in plot” and adapted from an “antique stage melodrama.”37 This feature sheds light on the gender politics behind An Orphan Rescues His Grandfather in the context of urban development in 1920s Shanghai. Weiyu represented a new domestic subject, a self-assertive woman who was economically independent and taking responsibility for educating the younger generation. Similarly, the grandfather’s apology to Weiyu suggests an internal adjustment of patriarchal structure in the modern period. The movie was charged with a bourgeois conservative strategy to stabilize the “nuclear family” in the context of a new urban culture and as a way to respond to the radical trend of women’s emancipation.

Weiyu was played by Wang Hanlun 王漢倫, who grew up in a wealthy family and graduated from St. Mary Girl’s School. After An Orphan Rescues His Grandfather turned out to be a big hit, Wang proved herself deserving of the title of “the leading Chinese actress for tragedy.” If, according to a recent scholarly appraisal, Zheng Zhengqiu was a “Chinese Griffith” for making An Orphan Rescues His Grandfather a perfect melodrama for early Chinese cinema,38 then we may similarly see Wang Hanlun as a “Chinese Lillian (p. 32) Gish.” But, as mentioned above, there was a split between Gish’s theatrical self and her real identity, and if Wang Hanlun’s characters were modeled on Gish’s, the Chinese actress appears to have taken inspiration from Gish’s real-life identity. After An Orphan Rescues His Grandfather, Wang continued to play tragic women in a series of movies, not only because of her recognizable acting but also, it was said, because her bound feet rendered her unfit to play the role of a modern girl. Yet this condition did not prevent Wang from being a “new woman” in reality. Before joining the film circle, she married a bureaucrat in a northern province, but when she discovered his debauchery she left him and returned to Shanghai to work as a professional actress. When Wang’s family opposed her film career, she cut off relations with them and even changed her surname from Peng to Wang.39 When dissatisfied with her low salary, she left the Star Company and joined another company, and in 1926 she launched a new film company under her own given name, Hanlun.40

Conclusion

By contextualizing the relation between Griffith and Chinese cinema in early 1920s Shanghai, this chapter has examined early Chinese film discourses and practices through the lens of cosmopolitan, anticolonial, nationalist, and metropolitan ideologies, with which the myth of Griffith and Lillian Gish was intricately entangled. In semicolonial Shanghai, the racial responses to The Birth of a Nation were so closely imbricated with people of color that they presented a unique spectacle in globally spreading the “vernacular modernism” of Hollywood cinema. A related issue involves a shift in cinema audience, as seen in the fact that, when The Birth of a Nation was shown in the Carlton Theater, the audience was half Chinese and half foreign.41 One critic reported that, unlike earlier comedies or detective serials, Griffith’s films were viewed primarily by “high society.”42

Examining the Griffith legend inevitably leads us to question the concept of “Chinese national cinema,” which has generally been treated in terms of political struggles on behalf of nation-building in twentieth-century China.43 In fact, none of the “influence” was neutrally exerted, but instead was always charged with the receiver’s emotions or ideologies. The emergence of Chinese cinema can hardly be separated from Hollywood, as Andrew Higson points out with respect to European cinemas. As he asserts, for many years Hollywood had been “an integral and naturalized part of the national culture, or the popular imagination, of most countries in which cinema is an established entertainment form.”44 The ideologies of cosmopolitanism, anticolonialism, and nationalism orchestrated by cinematic and print media revealed the public space of women associated with scenarios of everyday modernity in the urban landscapes. Lillian Gish’s significance can be understood not only in terms of her gender, but also insofar as she provided a “sensory-reflexive horizon” in which subtle emotions and lyric tradition played significant roles.

(p. 33) Appendix 1.1 Screenings of Griffith’s Movies in Shanghai, 1923–24

Date

Title

In Chinese

Movie Theater

Feb. 19–23, 1922

The Greatest Question

Zuida zhi wenti

(最大之問題)

The biggest question

Shanghai Theater

上海大戲院

May 22–29, 1922

Way Down East

Laihun

(賴婚)

Cheated marriage

Shanghai Theater

Oct. 16–23, 1922

Way Down East

Laihun

(賴婚)

Shanghai Theater

Feb. 19–21, 1923

Broken Blossoms

Canhua lei

(殘花淚)

Tears of Broken Blossoms

Carlton Theater

卡爾登影戲院

June 25–30, 1923

The Birth of a Nation

Chongjian guangming

(重見光明)

The restoration of brightness

Carlton Theater

Aug. 9; 15–19, 1923

The Girl Who Stayed at Home

Ouzhan fengliu shi

(歐戰風流史)

A romantic history of the European war

Shenjiang Theater

申江大戲院

Oct. 1–7, 1923

Orphans of the Storm

Luanshi guchu

(亂世孤雛)

Orphans in a turbulent world

Carlton Theater

Oct. 1–4

Fatal Marriage

Buxing zhi hunyin

(不幸之婚姻)

Unfortunate marriage

Shenjiang Theater

Oct. 18–23, 1923

Intolerance

Zhuanzhi du

(專制毒)

The evil of dictatorship

Shanghai Theater

Nov. 2–8, 1923

Intolerance

Zhuanzhi du

(專制毒)

Shenjiang Theater

Nov. 9–18

Way Down East

Laihun

(賴婚)

Shenjiang Theater

Dec. 26–29

Love Flower

Xiaonü chenzhou

(孝女沉舟)

A pious daughter in a sinking boat

Carlton Theater

Feb. 10–17

Way Down East

Laihun

(賴婚)

Shenjiang Theater

Feb. 18–24

Way Down East

Laihun

(賴婚)

Hujiang Theater

滬江影戲院

April 1–7

Orphans of the Storm

Luanshi guchu

(亂世孤雛)

Shanghai Theater

Works Cited

Altman, Rick. “Dickens, Griffith, and Film Theory Today.” Silent Film. Ed. Richard Abel. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1996. 145–162.Find this resource:

    Chen Jianhua 陳建華 Cong geming dao gonghe: Qingmo zhi Minguo shiqi wenxue, dianying he wenhua de zhuanxing 從革命到共和–清末至民國時期文學、電影和文化的轉型 [From revolution to the Republic: The transformation of literature, film, and culture in the late Qing and Republican period]. Guilin: Guangxi shifan daxue chubanshe, 2009.Find this resource:

      (p. 37) Chen Xiaodie 陳小蝶 “Yingxi chuyan” 影戲芻言 [A brief note on shadowplay]. Banyue 半月 [Half-moon journal] 3.1 (Sept. 1923): 10–11.Find this resource:

        Cheng Bugao 程步高. “Gelifeisi chenggong shi” 葛禮斐斯成功史 [The history of D. W. Griffith’s success]. Dianying zazhi 電影雜誌 [Movie magazine] 1.1 (May 1924): nos. 1–7, 1925: no. 9. Reprinted in Zhongguo zaoqi dianying huakan 中國早期電影畫刊 [Selected periodicals of early Chinese cinema]. Eds. Jiang Yasha 姜亞沙 and Chen Zhanqi 陳湛綺. Beijing: Quanguo tushuguan wenxian suowei fuzhi zhongxin, 2004. vol. 1, 331–334, 429–431, 524–526, 607–608, 723–724; vol. 2, 89–90, 195–196, 420.Find this resource:

          Cheng Bugao. Yingtan yijiu 影壇憶舊 [Reminiscences of the film circle]. Beijing: Zhongguo dianying chubanshe, 1983.Find this resource:

            Cheng Jihua 程季華 Li Shaobai 李少白 and Xing Zuwen 邢祖文 Zhongguo dianying fazhan shi 中國電影發展史 [The historical development of Chinese cinema]. Beijing: Zhongguo dianying chubanshe, 1963.Find this resource:

              Deng Guang 鄧廣 “Fakan ci” 發刊詞 [Remarks on the inaugural issue]. Dianying shijie 電影世界 [Motion picture world] 1925: no. 1, 1–2.Find this resource:

                Du Yun-chih 杜雲之 Zhongguo dianying shi 中國電影史 [History of Chinese film]. Taipei: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1972.Find this resource:

                  Fu Xiaohong 付曉紅 and Wang Zhen 王真 “Laihun yu Zhongguo zaoqi aiqing pian” 《賴婚》與中國早期愛情片 [Way Down East and the early Chinese love film]. Dianying yishu 電影藝術 [Film art] 342 (Jan. 2012): 138–143.Find this resource:

                    Gerow, Aaron. Visions of Japanese Modernity: Articulation of Cinema, Nation, and Spectatorship, 1895–1925. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010.Find this resource:

                      “Guan Ka’erdun zhi Canhua lei ji” 觀卡爾登之殘花淚記 [An account of watching Broken Blossoms in the Carlton Theater]. Shenbao申報, February 21, 1923, 21.Find this resource:

                        Hansen, Miriam. Babel and Babylon: Spectatorship in American Silent Film. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2001.Find this resource:

                          Hansen, Miriam. “Fallen Women, Rising Stars, New Horizons: Shanghai Silent Film as Vernacular Modernism.” Film Quarterly 54 (Fall 2005): 10–22.Find this resource:

                            Higson, Andrew. “The Concept of National Cinema.” Screen 30.4 (Autumn 1989): 36–47.Find this resource:

                              Hu, Jubin. Projecting a Nation: Chinese National Cinema before 1949. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2003.Find this resource:

                                Jun Ping 君平 “San da mingxing heyan zhi jiapian” 三大明星合演之佳片 [A beautiful film joined by three great stars]. Shenbao 申報, October 1, 1923, 18.Find this resource:

                                  Koszarski, Richard. An Evening’s Entertainment: The Age of the Silent Picture, 1915–1928. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1990.Find this resource:

                                    Leyda, Jay. Electric Shadows: An Account of Films and the Film Audience in China. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1971.Find this resource:

                                      Li Shaobai 李少白 “Zhuchiren daoyan” 主持人導言 [The host’s introduction]. Dangdai dianying 當代電影 [Contemporary cinema] 119 (Mar. 2004): 16.Find this resource:

                                        [Li] Huailin [李] 懷麟. “Lilin zhuanhao yuanqi” 麗琳專號緣起 [Introduction to the special issue on Lillian Gish]. Dianying shijie 電影世界 [Motion picture world] 1925: no. 1, 7–9.Find this resource:

                                          Li Suyuan 酈蘇元 and Hu Jubin 胡菊彬 Zhongguo wusheng dianying shi 中國無聲電影史 [A history of Chinese silent cinema]. Beijing: Zhongguo dianying chubanshe, 1996.Find this resource:

                                            Li Tao 李濤 “Ting Tian Han jun yanjiang hou” 聽田漢君演講后 [After listening to Mr. Tian Han’s lecture]. Zhongguo wusheng dianying 中國無聲電影 [Chinese silent cinema]. Ed. Zhongguo dianying ziliaoguan 中國電影資料館 (China film documents bureau) Beijing: Zhongguo dianying chubanshe, 1996. 498–499.Find this resource:

                                              (p. 38) [Lin] Shuyu [林] 漱玉. “Wo zhi Lilin guan” 我之麗琳觀 [My view of Lillian Gish]. Dianying shijie 電影世界 [Motion picture world] 1925: no. 1, 6.Find this resource:

                                                Marchetti, Gina. Romance and the “Yellow Peril”: Race, Sex, and Discursive Strategies in Hollywood Fiction. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.Find this resource:

                                                  Meyer, Richard J. “The Films of David Wark Griffith: The Development of Themes and Techniques in Forty-two of His Films.” Focus on D. W. Griffith. Ed. Harry M. Geduld. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1971. 109–128.Find this resource:

                                                    Mulvey, Laura. “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema.” Feminism and Film Theory. Ed. Constance Penley. New York: Routledge, 1988. 57–68.Find this resource:

                                                      Qicheng 器成. “Gu’er jiuzu ji zhi xinping” 孤兒救祖記之新評 [New comments on An Orphan Rescues His Grandfather]. Shenbao 申報, January 7, 1924, 17.Find this resource:

                                                        Qin Xiqing 秦喜清 Oumei dianying yu Zhongguo zaoqi dianying 歐美電影與中國早期電影 [European and American cinema and early Chinese cinema]. Beijing: Zhongguo dianying chubanshe, 2008.Find this resource:

                                                          [Rui] Kaizhi [芮] 愷之. “Dianying zatan” 電影雜談 [Miscellaneous remarks on motion pictures]. Shenbao 申報, May 19, 1923, 18.Find this resource:

                                                            [Rui] Kaizhi [芮] 愷之. “Tan yu suo guan you Lilin Ganxu zhi yingju” 談余所觀有麗琳甘許之影劇 [On the Lillian Gish movies I have seen]. Dianying shijie 電影世界 [Motion picture world] 1925: no. 1, 23–28.Find this resource:

                                                              Sansan 三三. “Yu Naishen tan Gelifeisi zhi qi pian” 與乃神談葛禮菲斯之七片 [A conversation with Naishen on seven movies by Griffith]. Dianying zazhi 電影雜誌 [Movie magazine] 1.1 (May 1924): nos. 1–4; 1.2 (June 1924): nos. 1–3. Reprinted in Zhongguo zaoqi dianying huakan 中國早期電影畫刊 [Selected periodicals of early Chinese cinema]. Vol. 1, 317–320; 402–404.Find this resource:

                                                                Standish, Isolde. A New History of Japanese Cinema: A Century of Narrative Film. New York: Continuum, 2005.Find this resource:

                                                                  Wang, Ban. Illuminations from the Past: Trauma, Memory, and History in Modern China. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004.Find this resource:

                                                                    Wang Hanlun 王漢倫 Wo ru dianyingjie zhi shimo 我入电影界之始末 [The beginning and end of my film career]. Zhongguo wusheng dianying 中國無聲電影 [Chinese silent cinema]. Ed. Zhongguo dianying ziliaoguan 中國電影資料館 (China film documents bureau). Beijing: Zhongguo dianying chubanshe, 1996. 357.Find this resource:

                                                                      Yamamoto Kikuo 山本喜久男 Nihon eiga ni okeru gaikaku eiga no eikyo: hikaku eigashi kenkyu 日本映画におけゐ外国映画の影响: 比较映画史研究 [Japanese cinema and the influences of foreign cinemas: A comparative study of film history]. Tokyo: Waseda daigaku shuppanshu, 1983.Find this resource:

                                                                        Yan Kailei 閻凱蕾 Mingxing he ta de shidai: Minguo dianying shi xintan 明星和他的時代: 民國電影史新探 [A movie star and his time: A new exploration of the cinema in the Republican period]. Beijing: Beijing daxue chubanshe, 2010.Find this resource:

                                                                          Zhang Zhen. An Amorous History of the Silver Screen: Shanghai Cinema, 1896–1937. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005.Find this resource:

                                                                            Zheng Junli 鄭君里 Xiandai Zhongguo dianying shilue 現代中國電影史略 [A brief history of Chinese cinema]. Shanghai: Liangyou tushu gongsi, 1936. In Zhongguo wusheng dianying 中國無聲電影 [Chinese silent cinema]. Ed. Zhongguo dianying ziliaoguan. Beijing: Zhongguo dianying chubanshe, 1996. 1385–1432.Find this resource:

                                                                              Zhizhong 志中. “Guanying Chongjian guangming hou zhi yishu” 觀映重見光明後之憶述 [A reflection after watching of The Birth of a Nation]. Shenbao申報, July 3, 1923, 17.Find this resource:

                                                                                [Zhou] Shoujuan [周]瘦鵑. “Hedeng yingxiong” 何等英雄 [How heroes are made]. Youxi zazhi 遊戲雜誌 [Entertainment magazine] 1914: no. 9, 27–44.Find this resource:

                                                                                  Notes:

                                                                                  (1.) Shenbao 申報, May 22, 1922, 1.

                                                                                  (2.) See, for instance, Cheng Jihua 程季華, Li Shaobai 李少白, and Xing Zuwen 邢祖文, Zhongguo dianying fazhan shi 中國電影發展史 [The historical development of Chinese cinema] (Beijing: Zhongguo dianying chubanshe, 1963).

                                                                                  (3.) Jay Leyda, Electric Shadows: An Account of Films and the Film Audience in China (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1971), 32.

                                                                                  (4.) See Zheng Junli 鄭君里, “Xiandai Zhongguo dianying shilüe” 現代中國電影史略 [A brief history of Chinese cinema], in Zhongguo wusheng dianying 中國無聲電影 [Chinese silent cinema], ed. Zhongguo dianying ziliaoguan 中國電影資料館 (Beijing: Zhongguo dianying chubanshe, 1996), 1398. Several recently published scholarly works adopted Zheng’s incorrect dating of Way Down East. See, for instance, Li Suyuan 酈蘇元 and Hu Jubin 胡菊彬 Zhongguo wusheng dianying shi 中國無聲電影史 [A history of Chinese silent cinema] (Beijing: Zhongguo dianying chubanshe, 1996), 148; and Qin Xiqing 秦喜清, Oumei dianying yu Zhongguo zaoqi dianying 歐美電影與中國早期電影 [European and American cinema and early Chinese cinema] (Beijing: Zhongguo dianying chubanshe, 2008), 2–3.

                                                                                  (5.) See Fu Xiaohong 付曉紅 and Wang Zhen 王真, “Laihun yu Zhongguo zaoqi aiqingpian” 《賴婚》與中國早期愛情片 [Way Down East and the early Chinese love film], Dianying yishu 電影藝術 [Film art] 342 (Jan. 2012): 138–143.

                                                                                  (6.) Miriam Bratu Hansen, “Fallen Women, Rising Stars, New Horizons: Shanghai Silent Film as Vernacular Modernism,” Film Quarterly 54 (Fall 2005): 10–11. Also see Zhang Zhen, An Amorous History of the Silver Screen: Shanghai Cinema, 1896–1937 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005), 1–41.

                                                                                  (7.) See Aaron Gerow, Visions of Japanese Modernity: Articulation of Cinema, Nation, and Spectatorship, 1895–1925 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010), 67; and Isolde Standish, A New History of Japanese Cinema: A Century of Narrative Film (New York: Continuum, 2005), 34–35. See also Yamamoto Kikuo 山本喜久男, Nihon eiga ni okeru gaikaku eiga no eikyo: hikaku eigashi kenkyu 日本映画におけゐ外国映画の影响: 比较映画史研究 [Japanese cinema and the influences of foreign cinemas: A comparative study of film history] (Tokyo: Waseda daigaku shuppanshu, 1983), 3–33.

                                                                                  (8.) Du Yun-chih 杜雲之, Zhongguo dianying shi 中國電影史 [History of Chinese film] (Taipei: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1972), vol. 1, 11.

                                                                                  (9.) See the ads in the North-China Daily News for The Last Days of Pompeii (March 3, 1914), 4; The Three Musketeers (April 14, 1914), 4; Quo Vadis? and Antony and Cleopatra (August 9, 1914), 4.

                                                                                  (10.) Shenbao, September 29, 1913, 12.

                                                                                  (11.) Miriam Hansen, Babel and Babylon: Spectatorship in American Silent Film (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2001), 16.

                                                                                  (12.) For a detailed analysis of “Discourse on Cinematography,” see Jianhua Chen 陳建華, “Zhongguo dianying piping de xianqu: Zhou Shoujuan’s Yingxi hua dujie” 中國電影批評的先驅—周瘦鵑《影戲話》讀解 [The vanguard of Chinese film criticism: A reading of Zhou Shoujuan’s “Discourse on Cinematography”], in Cong geming dao gonghe: Qingmo zhi Minguo shiqi wenxue, dianying he wenhua de zhuanxing 從革命到共和–清末至民國時期文學、電影和文化的轉型 [From revolution to the Republic: The transformation of literature, film, and culture in the late Qing and Republican period] (Guilin: Guangxi shifan daxue chubanshe, 2009), 205–236.

                                                                                  (13.) [Zhou] Shoujuan [周]瘦鵑, “Yingxi hua” 影戲話 [Discourse on cinematography], Shenbao, January 20, 1920, 13.

                                                                                  (14.) [Zhou] Shoujuan, “Discourse on Cinematography,” Shenbao, June 20, 1919, 15.

                                                                                  (15.) Deng Guang 鄧廣, “Fakan ci” 發刊詞 [Remarks on the inaugural issue], Dianying shijie 電影世界 [Motion picture world] 1925: no. 1, 1–2.

                                                                                  (16.) Cheng Bugao 程步高, “Gelifeisi chenggong shi” 葛禮斐斯成功史 [The history of D. W. Griffith’s success], Dianying zazhi 電影雜誌 [Movie magazine] 1924: nos. 1–7; 1925: no. 9. Reprinted In Zhongguo zaoqi dianying huakan 中國早期電影畫刊 [Selected periodicals of early Chinese cinema]. Eds. Jiang Yasha 姜亞沙 and Chen Zhanqi 陳湛綺. Beijing: Quanguo tushuguan wenxian suowei zhongxin, 2004. vol. 1, 331-334, 429–431, 524–526, 607–608, 723–724; vol. 2, 89–90, 195–196, 420.

                                                                                  (17.) Li Tao 李濤, “Ting Tian Han jun yanjiang hou” 聽田漢君演講后 [After listening to Mr. Tian Han’s lecture], in Zhongguo dianying ziliaoguan, ed., Chinese Silent Cinema, 498–499.

                                                                                  (18.) Chen Xiaodie 陳小蝶, “Yingxi chuyan” 影戲芻言 [A brief note on shadowplay], Banyue 半月 [Half-moon journal] 3.1 (Sept. 1923): 10–11.

                                                                                  (19.) Zhizhong 志中, “Guanying Chongjian guangming hou zhi yishu” 觀映重見光明後之憶述 [A reflection after watching of The Birth of a Nation], Shenbao, July 3, 1923, 17.

                                                                                  (20.) Sansan 三三, “Yu Naishen tan Geleifeisi zhi qi pian” 與乃神談葛雷菲斯之七片 [A conversation with Naishen on seven movies by Griffith], Dianying zazhi 電影雜誌 [Movie magazine] 1 (May 1924): 1–4. Reprinted in Selected Periodicals of Early Chinese Cinema, vol. 1: 317–320.

                                                                                  (21.) Gina Marchetti, Romance and the “Yellow Peril”: Race, Sex, and Discursive Strategies in Hollywood Fiction (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), 10.

                                                                                  (22.) “Guan Ka’erdun zhi Canhua lei ji” 觀卡爾登之殘花淚記 [An account of watching Broken Blossoms in the Carlton Theater], Shenbao, February 21, 1923, 21.

                                                                                  (23.) [Rui] Kaizhi [芮]愷之, “Dianying zatan” 電影雜談 [Miscellaneous remarks on motion pictures], Shenbao, May 19, 1923, 18. The author’s full name, Rui Kaizhi 芮愷之, appeared in the list of the editorial board members in the first issue of Motion Picture World in 1925.

                                                                                  (24.) [Rui] Kaizhi, “Tan yu suo guan you Lilin Ganxu zhi yingju” 談余所觀有麗琳甘許之影劇 [On the Lillian Gish movies that I have seen], Motion Picture World 1925: no. 1, 28.

                                                                                  (25.) See the captions to four stills from East Is West, in Shenbao, May 16, 1923, 17.

                                                                                  (26.) “Riren miaoyan woguo minsu chouzhuang zhi yingxi” 日人描演我國民俗丑狀之影戲 [The films in which the Japanese play Chinese people in an ugly manner], Shenbao, May 28, 1923, 18.

                                                                                  (27.) Shenbao, May 29, 1922, 19.

                                                                                  (28.) Richard Koszarski, An Evening’s Entertainment: The Age of the Silent Picture, 1915–1928 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1990), 22.

                                                                                  (29.) [Li] Huailin [李]懷麟, “Lilin zhuanhao yuanqi” 麗琳專號緣起 [Introduction to the special issue on Lillian Gish], Motion Picture World 1925: no. 1, 8–9. The author’s full name, Li Huailin 李懷麟, appeared in the tenth issue of Movie Magazine as newly appointed chief editor, and also on the editorial board for the first issue of Motion Picture World.

                                                                                  (30.) [Lin] Shuyu [林] 漱玉, “Wo zhi Lilin guan” 我之麗琳觀 [My view of Lillian Gish], Motion Picture World 1925: no. 1, 6. The author’s full name, Lin Shuyu 林漱玉, was listed in the editorial board for the journal’s first issue.

                                                                                  (31.) Laura Mulvey, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema,” in Feminism and Film Theory, ed. Constance Penley (New York: Routledge, 1988), 57–68.

                                                                                  (32.) A special panel was organized to pay homage to Zheng Zhengqiu and the Star Motion Picture Company, in which many discussions focused on An Orphan Rescues His Grandfather. See Dangdai dianying 當代電影 [Contemporary cinema] 119 (March 2004): 16–41; 120 (May 2004): 44–55.

                                                                                  (33.) Bofen 伯奮, “Gu’er jiuzu ji zhi xinping” 孤兒救祖記之新評 [New comments on An Orphan Rescues His Grandfather], Shenbao, December 24, 1923, 17.

                                                                                  (34.) Qicheng 器成, “Gu’er jiuzu ji zhi xinping” 孤兒救祖記之新評 [New comments on An Orphan Rescues His Grandfather], Shenbao, January 7, 1924, 17.

                                                                                  (35.) Shuangqiu 爽秋, “Ping Gu’er jiuzu ji yingpian” 評孤兒救祖記影片 [Comments on the film An Orphan Rescues His Grandfather], Xinwen bao 新聞報 [Daily news], December 24, 1923, sec. 5, 1.

                                                                                  (36.) Gina Marchetti, Romance and “Yellow Peril”, 11. Also Rick Altman, “Dickens, Griffith, and Film Theory Today,” in Silent Film, ed. Richard Abel (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1996), 145–162.

                                                                                  (37.) Richard Meyer, “The Films of David Wark Griffith,” in Focus on D. W. Griffith, ed. Harry M. Geduld (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1971), 122.

                                                                                  (38.) See Li Shaobai 李少白, “Zhuchiren daoyan” 主持人導言 [The host’s introduction], Contemporary Cinema 119 (March 2004): 16.

                                                                                  (39.) See Wang Hanlun 王漢倫, Wo ru dianyingjie zhi shimo 我入電影界之始末 [The beginning and end of my film career], in Zhongguo dianying ziliaoguan, Chinese Silent Cinema, 357.

                                                                                  (40.) See Yan Kailei 閻凱蕾, Mingxing he ta de shidai: Minguo dianying shi xintan 明星和他的時代: 民國電影史新探 [A movie star and his time: A new exploration of the cinema in the Republican period] (Beijing: Beijing daxue chubanshe, 2010), 32–34.

                                                                                  (41.) Zhizhong 志中, “Guanying Chongjian guangming hou zhi yishu” 觀映重見光明後之憶述 [A reflection after watching The Birth of a Nation], Shenbao, July 3, 1923, 17.

                                                                                  (42.) Bofen 伯奮, “Guan Chongjian guangming hou zhi yijian” 觀重見光明後之意見 [My opinion after watching The Birth of a Nation], Shenbao, June 28, 1923, sec. 5.

                                                                                  (43.) For example, Jubin Hu characterizes Chinese cinema in the 1920s as a form of “commercial nationalism,” emphasizing the emergence of native film industry in this decade. Yet his notion of nationalism is primarily related to a “Chinese political struggle” to engage the cinema with “projecting a nation.” See Hu Jubin, Projecting a Nation: Chinese National Cinema before 1949 (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2003).

                                                                                  (44.) Andrew Higson, “The Concept of National Cinema,” Screen 30.4 (Autumn 1989): 39.