“City Scenes” and Musical Comedy in ’30s Shanghai: Thin slate

Page 6
The story-script, page 3

When suitor Li Menghua hears of the engagement, he runs off to hunt her down to find out what he has done to offend her. (He finds her) in a great rage and insisting that he take his love letter(s) and presents back. Returning to his lodgings, Li then writes a last will and announces that he plans suicide. Hearing of this Xiaoyun rushes over to his rooms to urge him to desist. But when she discovers that he is only putting on an act, she explodes in anger and rushes off.

(But) soon after her marriage to Junsan, his speculative ventures start to lose him money one after the other, and his personal secretary Chen, seeing the chance, embezzles (what is left) and elopes with the maid. Xiaoyun’s father organizes a crowd to chase (the couple) to the railway station, but by the time they get there all they find is a train long departed moving away down the tracks.

(Cut) back to the countryside station, where as the whistle of the approaching (Shanghai-bound) train announces its arrival, several of the countryfolk who had been absorbed in the diorama are propelled back into reality from this grotesque/bizarre picture of city life; they had thought when they left home that they would find a way to earn a (better) living , but now they have no idea where to go.

Of course there is nothing wrong with seeking a comfortable livelihood, but (as they have learned) rewards are earned only by efforts based on (in) reality. Awakening from their fantasy they will not further stumble on in a daze. They have realized that they need to work the soil, or hire out as laborers, or perhaps go off in search of an education, and with this determination in placer they disperse (abandoning ther Shanghai journey).

(end storyscript, version 1)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s