Parties A and B


Parties A and B
[Jiafang yifang, 1997]
Film
Written and directed by Feng Xiaogang, this comic feature film is said to be based on Wang Shuo’s story ‘You Are Not an Ordinary Person’ (M bushi yige suren). Using a tourist project called ‘Dreams Come True for a Day’ (Haomeng yiri you), the film puts together seven stories, each characterized by a specific comic situation: a melon pedlar wants to be General Patten, a cook likes to have a taste of being tortured and executed, a wife-abuser requests to be ill treated, a nouveau-riche wishes to live a life of poverty, and a film star desires to be an ordinary person without fame, and so forth.
Funny, mischievous, boisterous and absurd at times, the film tries to mock people with pretentious manners, educate men with male chauvinistic attitudes and praise those who self-lessly help others.
Awarded ‘best film’ at the 21st Hundred-Flowers Film Festival and the first in a series of New Year movies (Hesuipian) made in China, Feng’s Parties A and B was a huge success at the box office. In its first four days, it earned a record 2.5 million yuan in Beijing and Shanghai alone, in sharp contrast to the generally poor audience for Chinese domestic films. Breaking with the didactic film tradition, it was the first successful attempt by Chinese film-makers to make a Chinese movie more entertaining than instructive and to pay more attention to commercial success than either moral enhancement or artistic accomplishment.
FU HONGCHU

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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