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Twins Come In Pairs With Lilian Kong
Curated by graduate student Lilian Kong, Twins Come in Pairs is presented as part of the Film Studies Center’s graduate student curatorial program and marks the first time the film has screened outside of mainland China.
Amid the tumultuous Cultural Revolution in late 1970s China, an understudied genre in the canon of Chinese film rose to popularity: New Comedy. Sang Hu’s Twins Come in Pairs is emblematic of this incipient genre, a film that encouraged audiences to laugh their way towards the era’s emerging market- and media-driven worldviews. The film couples together two twenty-something twin brothers and twin sisters, enmeshing them in farcical circumstances as they experience fresh consumerist desires, parental tensions, and engagements with television production, all in bustling Shanghai. Drawing from a genealogy of socialist-era films, Twins Come in Pairs provides its own uniquely playful theorization of comedy. Immensely popular at its release on the National Day of the People’s Republic of China (October 1, 1979), especially as an early widescreen film, domestic and international screenings of the film have since been exceedingly rare.
This screening is part of “Laughing, We Move Forward: Revisiting Chinese New Comedy Film,” a Quarter-long screening series curated by Lilian Kong taking place across campus. (Sang Hu, China, 1979, 91 min., DCP)
Presented by Center for East Asian Studies, Asian Pop-Up Cinema, and Film Studies Center
Lilian Kong is a graduate student in the department of Cinema and Media Studies. Her research, which most often takes a comparative, trans-cultural approach, centers on contemporary Mainland Chinese film and visual media.