본문 바로가기
  • Home

“Old Shanghai" Nostalgia: Focusing on Chinese Legendary Actress Ruan Linyu 阮玲玉(1910-1935)

  • The Journal of Chinese Cultural Studies
  • 2009, (14), pp.301-320
  • DOI : 10.18212/cccs.2009..14.015
  • Publisher : The Society For Chinese Cultural Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Chinese Language and Literature > Chinese Literature > Chinese Culture

Woo Kwang Jung 1

1숙명여자대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study is to illustrate the tragic life of Ruan Linyu 阮玲玉(1910-1935), a legendary movie star in the history of Chinese film, especially focusing on her representative films and the role of depicting women's miseries in those films. While portraying a full of her charming beauty as an accomplished actress and accommodating significantly the cinematic agenda of gender discrimination for women in 1930s Shanghai, she has been regarded as a symbol of people's nostalgia for the 1930s "Old Shanghai"' This study also focuses on analysing her two silent films The New Woman 新女性(1934) and Goddess 神女(1934) with their female characters. The character Wei Ming, a school teacher as well as a woman writer, that Lingyu portrayed in The New Woman has been regarded as the symbol of women's tragedy over their powerless economic position vis-a'-vis Chinese traditional patriarchal forces. In Goddess, she performed a noble-minded mother and a lowly prostitute, expressing her special aura of sensitivity and sensuality. The specific image of prostitute frequently appeared in the 1930s Shanghai film world is a creative metaphor that illustrates the oppression of women and even the Old Shanghai. Both The New Woman and Goddess seem to give the impression that Chinese women's social position and economic independence in 1930s Shanghai proves more formidable than reality. Viewed in this light, it goes without saying that this theme and the characters she portrayed is still the shadow of Old Shanghai as a bustling cosmopolitan metropolis in 1930.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.