China Film
25 December 2019

The Beijing Film Studio

While little actual film production takes place in Beijing these days, the capital area remains an important center for the film industry, home to the Beijing Film School, the China Film Archive, the National Film Museum, and the central government’s film and television administration. The old Beijing Film Studio in central Beijing, now largely abandoned, was used for classic films such as The Last Emperor (1987) and Farewell, My Concubine (1993). The remaining warehouses and back lot have been slated for demolition. I visited last year to photograph the surviving set pieces, a few small clusters of traditional wooden shops and houses, rapidly decaying and overgrown with weeds. In recent years, modern apartment buildings have sprung up around the site, dwarfing the old houses. Behind one building, two dozen life-size warrior statues (props made of plastic with silver paint) had been left behind.

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