by Kevin Dreyfuss
"Shadow Magic" Thaws Chinese-Taiwanese Relations
The international co-production "Shadow Magic," which recently began
principal photography in Beijing, is a remarkable instance of official
cooperation between the governments of China and Taiwan. The film is
based on the true story of the making of the first Chinese movie in
1905, which was directed by down-on-his-luck American nickelodeon man
Raymond Wallace and his Chinese photographer collaborator Liu after
overcoming extraordinary cultural obstacles. "Shadow Magic" itself has
overcome some singular obstacles, finding production funds from America
via Schulberg Productions, from Germany by way of Wim Wenders' Road
Movies, and most intriguingly, from a consortium that includes
quasi-governmental film bodies from both mainland China and Taiwan. The
film is produced, co-written and directed by Chinese filmmaker Ann Hu
("Dream and Memory"), and stars the likes of Jared Harris ("I Shot Andy
Warhol"), Xia Yu ("In the Heat of the Sun"), and Liu Pei Qi ("The Story
of Qiu Ju").
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