Time travel back to the 60s with Chinese animation featuring creative minds, technical innovations and the beginning of the cultural revolution.
In the 1960s, Chinese animation carried the torch of the golden era that had been ignited during the previous decade. The workforce at the Shanghai Animation Film Studio climbed up to 380 people and new techniques saw the light of day, revendicating this already well-established innovative spirit.
The first technique, ink-wash animation, was the product of several years of diligent research, which gave life to paintings by influential artists such as Qi Baishi and Li Keran. Although the results on screen were stunning, this new technique was very painstaking and required tremendous artistic and technical abilities.
As for the second, paper folding animation, was a type of stop-motion established by Yu Zhigung. Despite its very simple medium, this technique demanded a true talent for creating credible and endearing characters that could escape from the fragile and simple aspects of paper.
A shadow was cast over this period of productive creation in 1964 with the rise of extreme ideologies. The Maoists criticized the animation industry for their lack of political commitment in their films and started censoring certain cult classics, including The Cowherd’s Flute, The Golden Conch and Havoc in Heaven. Afterwards, production was halted, old films were taken off the market and animators were sent off to the countryside in order to be reeducated; it was the beginning of a ten-year-long cultural revolution.
With a selection from specialist Marie-Claire Kuo-Quiquemelle, the Festival invites you to come and watch some films that pay tribute to Chinese animation’s golden era that was taking off before censorship came along and crashed the party.