Thursday, 26 March 2009

Chopsticks orchestra

1935 scratch percussion band. Making music with what you have. Life is tough for the peasants but they make the most of it. Some of the people here are real peasants, North China in the 1930's. The actress is Li lili (1915-2005). The film was "Big Road" about young people going into the wild countryside building a road so that the interior could be accessed. "Just as important as being in the army" says the hero. In the New China technology was just as important as traditional warfare. Li lili plays a "modern" girl a tomboy who hangs out with the men. There's a shot where she comes upon the men stark naked bathing in the river and laughs with them wheile the other girl turns away. Eventuyally the whole bunch get mowed down by an aeroplane (fixed wing bi plane) but the hero manages to kill the pilot and bring the plane down. So the troupe are wiped out., but their ghosts rise (superimposed film technique). They're right. Roads open feudal China to the modern world.

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