Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Frontmatter

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. v-vi

Illustrations

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-xii

read more

Foreword

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xiii-xiv

Popular culture is a mirror on the political, economic, and social life of a nation. Richard Meyer’s biography of Jin Yan is an excellent case in point. As Meyer shows us, Jin was the Rudolph Valentino of his day, the 1930s–1950s, when China went through massive upheavals: the Japanese invasion and occupation of China, World War II, the...

read more

Preface

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xv-xvii

When writing my book about Ruan Ling-yu and screening all of her films, I kept coming across the actress’s co-star Jin Yan. He appeared in many forms both on the screen and in her personal life. I could not help but admire him as he performed in her movies, but also as he continued to have an influence on her short and tragic life. Spending three whole days...

Cast of Characters in the Life of Jin Yan

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xix-xxii

read more

Chapter 1 - Growing Up in Exile

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-10

When the State Administration of Radio, Film and TV opened its beautiful National Film Museum to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Chinese film in 2005, the most famous leading man of the pre-Communist era was resurrected from obscurity. There in the main gallery depicting the history of Chinese film was the portrait of Jin Yan with scenes from his most famous...

read more

Chapter 2 -Breaking into the Shanghai Film World

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 11-22

The old steamer headed up-current just before dawn on March 8, 1927. The filthy waters of the Wangpu River splashed against its hull as it passed Japanese, British, and American warships anchored in mid-channel. A tall seventeen-year- old man clung to the railing of the vessel as it pushed aside junks laden with food, lumber, and other goods from the interior...

read more

Chapter 3 - “The Emperor of Film”

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 23-43

Shanghai in late winter was cold and damp. The hazy sun set early bringing a biting wind chill to those who traveled or slept on the streets. Yet as the 1930s began, the city was at its most prosperous peak.1 Lianhua studios had investors’ money to make films and their stable of directors, actors, and writers possessed...

read more

Chapter 4 - The Japanese Strike

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 45-64

The up and coming director Fei Mu, while delighted to have Jin Yan and Ruan Ling-yu assigned to him for his debut film at Lianhua, decided to shock the audience. The director cast Jin in his first role as a screen villain. Fei, who had been educated in a French school in Beijing, was a famous writer before his move to Shanghai in 1932. His directorial bow a few months...

read more

Chapter 5 - The War Years

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 65-80

One month after the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, Jin Yan and his wife Wang Renmei and the cream of Shanghai’s actors appeared in a stage production called “Defending the Lu Gou Bridge.” The play was a sensation in Shanghai and was part of a concerted effort by the inhabitants of the city to demonstrate...

Image Plates

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

read more

Chapter 6 - The New China

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 81-92

Jin Yan returned to a city throttled by the KMT. He discovered that the party had taken over all of the film studios in Shanghai right after the war. They seized the excellent motion picture equipment that the Japanese had left behind. The actors and directors who had remained in the city during the occupation were accused of being “traitorous filmmakers.” Many...

read more

Chapter 7 - Sick and Alone

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 93-116

The Shanghai Movie Company started production soon after the formal establishment of the People’s Republic of China. Although Qin Yi, and to some degree Jin Yan, had been involved in the planning of the CCP production studio, tension developed between their Shanghai culture and those who had arrived from Yan’an, the Communist base area during the civil war.

read more

Chapter 8 - The Legacy of Jin Yan

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 117-122

In death, Jin Yan suddenly took on a new importance. Leading individuals from the Ministry of Culture attended his funeral. Jin’s wife, Qin Yi, his beloved step-daughter Jin Fei Heng, and a handful of film people were there. His son, Jin Jie, was too frightened to attend because his father had not yet been cremated and the son could not bear to view the corpse. The boy...

read more

Interview with Qin Yi

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 123-160

Richard J. Meyer: Where did you see films in the 1930s? Qin Yi: Shanghai. RJM: Do you remember what theater and what year? QY: The cinema downstairs from my office was built in the 1920s and I saw some of them there. RJM: Do you remember how old you were when you saw your first film? QY: I was seven when I started to see movies. Most of the films I saw were ones with Ruan Ling-yu. I particularly remember...

Filmography of Jin Yan

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 161-169

Sources for Jin Yan’s Films

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 171-172

Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 173-185

read more

About the Author

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 187-189

Richard J. Meyer teaches film at Seattle University. He was the Distinguished Research Fellow in the Center for Film, Media and Popular Culture at Arizona State University in 2007 and the Distinguished Fulbright Professor at I’Universita’ del Piemonte Orientale Amedeo Avogadro in Italy for the spring 2005...