My Memories of Old Beijing, a feature film based on Lin Haiyin’s novel of the same title and directed by Wu Yigong in 1982, is called a prose-like film for its unique artistic pursuit. The film shows the society and the miserable life of the people in the 1920s in Beijing through the eyes of a naive girl. The film is uniquely arranged. Instead of organizing the plot with a beginning, development, climax and conclusion, it features a keynote of sorrows and yearning for the past and a string-styled plot that links three separate stories. Like a multifaceted mirror, it reflects the historical scenes from different angles. The film has its content centering on the characters’ psychology and supplemented with music; an artistic form of expression featuring a gentle rhythm, symbolism, implication, comparison, and repetition; and a tranquil, concise conception similar to a Chinese wash drawing.
My Memories of Old Beijing