SONG OF THE PHOENIX
Directed by Wu Tianming
SONG OF THE PHOENIX, the final film of the late director Wu Tianming, charts the life and trials of You Tianming, a young suona (a Chinese double-reed woodwind instrument) apprentice who goes on to form his very own suona troupe at a time when the presence of traditional instruments declines in Chinese society. Tianming faces the harsh reality that his artistic calling is no longer in tune with a modern, urbanized China. Director Wu Tianming, who just recently passed away, was considered a prominent figure among the Fourth Generation Chinese filmmakers who inspired many well-known Fifth Generation filmmakers such as Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige.
Professor Zhen Zhang, Associate Professor of Cinema Studies and History at NYU Shanghai and Director/Founder of the Asian Film and Media Initiative at the NYU Department of Cinema Studies, will introduce the film.
We are very proud to present this film with our community partner: Chinese American Arts Council.
Wu Tianming (1939 – 2014) was a Chinese film director and producer who was considered one of the leading “Fourth Generation” directors. Born in Sanyuan County, Shaanxi Province, China, Wu Tianming attended the Beijing Film Academy, majoring in film directing after the Cultural Revolution. Wu was the head of China’s renowned Xi’an Film Studio from the beginning of 1984, until political differences forced him to flee to the United States in 1989. At Xi’an Studio he nurtured prominent “Fifth Generation” directors Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige. Wu returned to China from his U.S. exile in 1994, and directed the acclaimed film The King of Masks. He died on March 4, 2014 from a heart attack, at the age of 74.