The National Film Center in Tokyo will this week launch a monthlong series of screenings exploring the early years of Chinese cinema.

“A Study of Chinese Cinema: From Silent to Sound” opens at 3 p.m. Tuesday with “Ye Ming Zhu (Glitter of Pearl),” a 1927 silent movie directed by Chen Tian. The film, one of eight in the series to be shown for the first time in Japan, is a slapstick work about a group of people fighting over a precious pearl.

Other movies making their Japan debut include “Hong Xia (Red Swordsman),” a 1928 silent movie by Wen Yimin considered to be the prototype of today’s kung fu movies, and “Jia (House),” a 1941 talkie by Bu Mancang based on the novel of the same name by Chinese literary great Pa Chin.

In total, 31 films made between 1927 and 1941 will be screened, with two showing each day.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

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