Title: 戏梦 The Dream of Peking Opera.
A nice little treat for all the Shi Shi fans, in the way of a short that came out not too long ago. I don’t have all that much time these days to write a lot on here, which also means I don’t have a great amount of time to do all that much watching either. So the fact that this was only about 10 minutes long, it’s pretty much a blessing.
The story depicts Shi Shi as herself, in amongst the celebrity culture we get to see the difference between what used to be one of the most popular forms of art and what we now consider art, along with the fame of celebrity culture. The story depicts how Opera is on the decline, and how that generation are undermined.
The movie begins, with her sort of detached approach to her role as a celebrity, rather than her role as an actor. Almost as if she doesn’t particularly enjoy the constant bombardment of flashing camera’s, and orders from the paparazzi to give them her best shot. Sitting in her van, she decides to take an alternative route.
An elderly place, where they practice the art of opera, while walking in she notices one of the more vibrant personalities at the home, as she falls over while dancing. She walks over to help, and hence finds herself enraptured by this old lady’s eager and lively personality.
Thus as a means of escaping the tiresome life as a celebrity even for a moment, she begins experiencing, art. Art in one of its most purest form. Here at this small home, art isn’t performed for the sake of popularity, or money, but rather art for arts sake, for the mere pleasure of having art in their lives.
And so we see her develop something beyond the façade of a celebrity, and become a part of another woman’s dream. Unfortunately, the place is soon to shut down, before they can perform, and so the elderly lady asks Shi Shi to use her fame to save the little place. And so we see, that despite its connotations towards a rather materialistic status, it’s merely a part of the job she does, she may not like it, but it’s useful, and her role as someone recognisable in society makes an impact, whether she wants to or not.
It’s all wrapped up nicely in 12 minutes, it’s not something with a lot of story but, it has plenty of heart, which is what makes this piece so endearing. It exudes warmth, and I quite like the way it’s shot. I guess there’s two ways you can view this piece, it’s not just about Shi Shi’s character helping out and gaining a new respect for the arts, but, seeing how the elderly lady is still able to maintain that vigour and love for her passion even when she’s old and her body gives in. She’s still determined to experience what makes her heart happy. It’s those little moments of impressionistic life, that she never gives up on.
Gifs via Weibo.