Lianhua Symphony (simplified Chinese: 联华交响曲; traditional Chinese: 聯華交響曲; pinyin: Lián huá jiāoxiǎng qǔ) (also known as Symphony of Lianhua) is a 1937 Chinese anthology comedy drama film. Produced by the United Photoplay Service, it served as a showcase of the studio's possibilities. It consists of eight segments of various duration and genre, directed by eight prominent directors of the era: Cai Chusheng, Fei Mu, He Mengfu, Situ Huimin, Shen Fu, Sun Yu, Tan Youliu, and Zhu Shilin.
Lianhua Film Company was the biggest film company of China in the 1930s. Eight young directors chosen to participate in the project were already praised for their previous works. Most of them became even more important several years later and today their films are considered classics. Some, like Sun Yu's The Big Road (1934), Cai Chusheng's The Spring River Flows East (1947), Fei Mu's Spring in a Small Town (1948), or Shen Fu's Myriad of Lights (1949) often reappear on many "best Chinese films of all time" lists. Zhu Shilin became a prominent figure in Hong Kong cinema of the 1950s. In this respect, today Lianhua Symphony can be considered an overview of short films created by the most important directors of the so-called "first generation" of Chinese filmmakers.
Lianhua Symphony episodes differ in content and style. The main themes are poverty, social patriotism, friendship. Many segments refer, either directly or indirectly, to Japanese threat of the time. Some may be classified as melodramas and some as comedies, including elements of slapstick. Fei Mu's segment about women having bad dreams, Nightmares in Spring Chamber, is clearly and heavily influenced by German Expressionist cinema.
The film begins with a short introduction sequence, in which Lianhua Film Company personnel sings Song of Big Road, a hit from one of the studio's previous films, The Big Road (1934). Camera zooms out to reveal a microphone, film equipment and a conductor. The film finishes with a similar scene, presenting a different song, The Pioneers. This reminds us, that Lianhua was not only a prolific manufacturer of movies, but also - music.
|No.||English Title||Chinese Title (Traditional)||Chinese Title (Simplified)||Director||Cast|
|1||Two Yuans||兩毛錢||两毛钱||Situ Huimin||Jiang Qing (as Lan Ping), Mei Xi, Shen Fu|
|2||Nightmares in Spring Chamber||春閨斷夢||春闺断梦||Fei Mu||Chen Yen-yen, Lai Cheuk-Cheuk|
|3||The Stranger||陌生人||陌生人||Tan Youliu||Liu Qiong, Bai Lu, Zheng Junli|
|4||Three Friends||三人行||三人行||Shen Fu||Liu Jiqun, Yin Xiucen, Han Langen|
|5||Landscape Under the Moonlight||月下小景||月下小景||He Mengfu||Li Qing|
|6||The Ghost||鬼||鬼||Zhu Shilin||Li Lili|
|7||Rhapsody of a Madman||瘋人狂想曲||疯人狂想曲||Sun Yu||Shang Guanwu, Mei Xi|
|8||Five Little Brothers||小五義||小五义||Cai Chusheng||Wang Cilong, Yin Xiucen|
- 联华交响曲. movie.douban.com (in Chinese). douban.com. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
- http://www.chinesecinemas.org/chinacentury.html. See December 19, 1999 issue of Asia Weekly.
- "Welcome to the 24th Hong Kong Film Awards". 24th Annual Hong Kong Film Awards. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
- "The 100 best Mainland Chinese Films list". TimeOut Shanghai. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
- Zhang, Yingjin. Cinema and Urban Culture in Shanghai, 1922-1943. Stanford University Press, 1999, p. 213.