Comic Beginnings of Chinese Cinema:
A Screening and Discussion of Laborer's Love (1922) (22 mins)
It's 1922 in Shanghai and love is in the air. An enterprising young man wants to marry the girl across the way, but local bullies and her father, a doctor, stand in his way. What's to be done? Will boy get girl? Will someone finally take the rowdies of the All-Night Club to task? Will business improve for Dr Zhu? Watch how Carpenter Zheng solves all these problems by using the tricks of his trade, in this online copy of the film:

You may watch the film in advance (optionally), then join us for the screening and commentary with Christopher Rea, a professor at the University of British Columbia and author of the book Chinese Film Classics, 1922-1949 (Columbia, 2021), about Laborer's Love's debts to--and departures from--western slapstick masters such as Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton.
Presentation: Thursday, June 17, 2021, 7 - 8pm - Film Screening & Presentation

Informal Chat: Thursday, June 17, 2021, 8 - 8:30pm (separate zoom link)

Cost: Free, and open to the public -- register below
Christopher Rea is Professor of Chinese in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia, as well as former Director of the UBC Centre for Chinese Research. His monograph The Age of Irreverence: A New History of Laughter in China won the Association for Asian Studies 2017 Joseph Levenson Book Prize (post-1900 China). His other books include China’s Literary Cosmopolitans (2015), Humans, Beasts, and Ghosts (2011), The Business of Culture (2015) (with Nicolai Volland), The Book of Swindles (2017) (with Bruce Rusk), Imperfect Understanding (2018), China’s Chaplin (2019), and Chinese Film Classics, 1922-1949 (2021). His translations of over 20 early Chinese films, and a related open-access online course, can be found at