We are proud to have had Mark Parascandola lead a lecture: "Once Upon a Time in Shanghai: Behind the Scences of the Chinese Film Industry".
China, poised to become the world's largest film market, is home to an expansive state-supported movie and television industry. On an unparalleled scale, entire towns have been built around making movies. Given film censorship codes in China, period films provide a safe and familiar format to tell stories based around “official” narratives. The movie sets, rivaling real-world cities and monuments in their scale, have themselves become destinations for domestic and international tourists. Despite the fiction, they bear witness to a dynamic and changing China. Photographer Mark Parascandola, has spent five years photographing movie production sites and outdoor sets across China.
“Through his images, Mark Parascandola captures these sites and the people that inhabit them, offering us fleeting images of classical Chinese costumes dramas, modern war films, Republican Shanghai, and the socialist past. It is also through these images that contradictions lurking beneath the surface emerge as we witness a side of China that is both classical and modern, genuine and staged, glamourous and mundane, new and old, deeply tied to history yet continually being remolded.” -- from Michael Berry’s essay Images of a Film Industry in Transition
The GW Confucius Institute