Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Queen of Sports - 1934

Country: China
Language: Mandarin
Director: Yu Sun
Writer: Yu Sun
Stars: Lu Bai, Langen Han and Feiguang He
Young sprinter Lin Ying enrolls in a sports college in Shanghai. As she becomes a sports celebrity, she starts to mangle with the upper class and has gradually forgotten the true essence of sports.
The director is the legendary Sun Yu, and the film stars Li Lili and Bai Lu. Li Lili is in her element here as Lin Ying, a young woman with energy to burn who has come to Shanghai to study at a sports school. As a child, she was fond of climbing trees and running around, and has great natural talent. The focus of the film is clearly on sport, including physical training, study and competition, though while at the school, she becomes rather fond of her coach, the brother of a classmate whom she knew in her childhood, as well as earning the jealousy of some catty classmates.
The film advocates sport and physical health as important for the whole nation, and there is also implicit criticism of the effete manners of the upper-classes in the city. There are also moments of humor that lighten several scenes, including a Laurel-and-Hardy duo of grounds-men. An interesting and entertaining example of an early sports film.

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