Movie museums celebrate Jackie Chan and Shanghai cinema
By Xu Wei
SHANGHAI, the cradle of Chinese film, will soon open two film museums - the Jackie Chan Film Gallery and the Shanghai Film Museum. Both are in the final stages of preparation and will open next year - Chan's first in early 2013.
"Tens of thousands of props, costumes and items Chan has used in his movies will be put on exhibit and visitors can retrace Chan's footsteps from Hong Kong to Hollywood," museum director Wu Gang recently told reporters. Movers are already putting exhibits in place.
The 4,000-square-meter space in a renovated factory covers the legendary star's film and charity career spanning more than 50 years.
Film clips will be screened and installations, screens and sound effects will recreate famous fight and chase scenes.
Action legend Jackie Chan personally chose the location for this world's first museum bearing his name in Shanghai's Putuo District in the Changfeng Ecological Commercial Zone.
New record holders
Chan was recently awarded two Guinness World Records titles, most credits in one movie and most stunts by a living actor.
Born in 1954 in Hong Kong, Chan started his film career as an anonymous stunt man at the age of 17. He soon became a sensation. To date, Chan has starred in more than 100 movies, which have totally grossed about 20 billion yuan (US$3.2 billion). He is famous for performing all his own stunts, despite pain and injury over the years.
The museum's installations will create scenes from "The Accidental Spy" (2001) in which Chan drives a golf cart and "Police Story" (1985) in which Chan crashes into a brick wall on his motorcycle.
In his latest action movie "Chinese Zodiac" (also known as "CZ12"), to be released next Thursday (December 20), Chan not only acts, but also directs, produces, choreographs the fight scenes and composes parts of the score. In all, he has 15 roles, breaking the previous Guinness World Record of 11 credits held by Robert Rodriguez. In the Chan museum, stories about the making of the film will be told in videos and photographs.
In addition to his screen accomplishments, museum visitors will also see exhibits, including videos and photos, of Chan's charity work over 24 years.
In 1988 the film icon established the Jackie Chan Charitable Foundation, and in 2004 he founded the Dragon's Heart Foundation to help children and the elderly in poor and remote areas of China.
To celebrate the museum's opening, Chan will shoot a video in which he shares his thoughts on life, movies and dreams.
History of Shanghai film
The other museum opening next year is the 15,000-square-meter Shanghai Film Museum on the original site of the Shanghai Film Group Corp in Xujiahui area.
Shanghai was the center of China's film industry and flourished during the golden period of Chinese cinema in the 1920s and 1930s.
The museum will screen films and film clips and exhibit old props, costumes, memorabilia and equipment. Important events in the history of Shanghai cinema, actors, actresses, directors and other figures will be covered in exhibits, including video clips.
Productions by the Lumiere Brothers arrived in Shanghai only a few months after film's world premiere in Paris on December 28, 1895. Major Hollywood film studios such as MGM, Columbia and Paramount, launched distribution agencies in Shanghai to promote movies. Many outstanding Chinese film directors emerged in the early period of cinema.
The museum will explain the production of "Yan Ruisheng" (1921), China's first full-length feature based on a famous Shanghai murder case. Exhibits will cover the first Chinese martial arts film "Burning the Temple of Red Lotus" (1928) and China's first sound film "Sing-song Girl Red Peony," both made by a Shanghai film company.
In 1941, the 80-minute "The Princess of the Iron Fan," China's first animated feature film, was made in Shanghai by the Wan Laiming and Wan Guchan brothers. In 1962, the Shanghai Tianma Film Studio produced China's first color film on a wide-screen "The Adventure of a Magician."
Local film celebrities and their families have donated hundreds of items for exhibition, including books, scripts and letters of famous playwright and screenwriter Xia Yan (1900-1995).
The museum contains a 4D-theater and several film studios in which visitors can be an actor, director or camera man.
Jackie Chan Film Gallery
Address: 525 Daduhe Rd
Shanghai Film Museum
Address: 595 Caoxi Rd N.
Other film venues
Shanghai Film Archive
It contains footage and digital copies of classic Chinese and foreign films. It regularly hosts theme exhibitions and foreign film showcases.
Address: 160 Xinhua Rd
Shanghai Chedun Film Park
The park provided sets and backdrops for "Lust, Caution" (2007), "Perhaps Love" (2005) and "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" (2008). It contains varied styles of architectures and entertainment venues.
Address: 4915 Beisong Rd, Songjiang District
Old Film Cafe
This is the place for people nostalgic for old movies. The cafe owner, a movie buff, is said to have copies of more than 1,000 old films. In addition to continuous screenings all day long, there are old film photos, posters and vintage furniture.