Shanghai is the largest Chinese city by population and the largest city proper by population in the world. It is a global financial center and a transport hub with the world’s busiest container port. Shanghai is a major center of higher education in China with over 30 universities and colleges. A number of China's most prestigious universities are based in Shanghai, including Fudan University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Tongji University, East China Normal University. Because of Shanghai's status as the cultural and economic center of East Asia for the first half of the twentieth century, it is popularly seen as the birthplace of everything considered modern in China. It was also the intellectual battleground between socialist writers who concentrated on critical realism, which was pioneered by Lu Xun, Mao Dun, Nien Cheng. In the past 5 years Shanghai has been widely recognized as a new influence and inspiration for cyberpunk culture. Futuristic buildings such as the Oriental Pearl Tower and the neon-illuminated Yan'an Elevated Road are a few examples that have helped to boost Shanghai's cyberpunk image. Shanghai was the birthplace of Chinese cinema and theater. China's first short film, The Difficult Couple (1913), and the country's first fictional feature film, An Orphan Rescues His Grandfather (1923) were both produced in Shanghai. These two films were very influential, and established Shanghai as the center of Chinese film-making. Shanghai's film industry went on to blossom during the early 1930s, generating great stars such as Hu Die, Ruan Lingyu, Zhou Xuan. Other Shanghainese cultural artifacts include the cheongsam, a modernization of the traditional Manchurian qipao. One uniquely Shanghainese cultural element is the shikumen residences, which are two- or three-story townhouses, with the front yard protected by a high brick wall. Each residence is connected and arranged in straight alleys.