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CHEN 210 Contemporary Chinese Cinema & Society

This guide highlights selected resources for Chinese cinemas

Select Books about Chinese Cinema

China in the mix : cinema, sound, and popular culture in the age of globalization

"Scarce attention has been paid to the dimension of sound and its essential role in constructing image, culture, and identity in Chinese film and media. China in the Mix fills a critical void with the first book on the sound, languages, scenery, media, and culture in post-Socialist China. In this study, Ying Xiao explores fascinating topics, including appropriations of popular folklore in the Chinese new wave of the 1980s; Chinese rock 'n' roll and youth cinema in fin de siècle China; the political-economic impact of free market imperatives and Hollywood pictures on Chinese film industry and filmmaking in the late twentieth century; the reception and adaptation of hip hop; and the emerging role of Internet popular culture and social media in the early twenty-first century. Xiao examines the articulations and representations of mass culture and everyday life, concentrating on their aural/oral manifestations in contemporary Chinese cinema and in a wide spectrum of media and cultural productions. China in the Mix offers the first comprehensive investigation of Chinese film, expressions, and culture from a unique, cohesive acoustic angle and through the prism of global media-cultural exchange. It shows how the complex, evolving uses of sound (popular music, voice-over, silence, noise, and audio mixing) in film and media reflect and engage the important cultural and socio-historical shifts in contemporary China and in the increasingly networked world. Xiao offers an innovative new conception of Chinese film and media and their audiovisual registers in the historiographical frame of China amid the global landscape."-- Provided by publisher.

Screening post-1989 China : critical analysis of Chinese film and television

This unique book investigates the tug-of-war between the free market economy and authoritative state regulation in Chinese culture after 1989. The focus on the socialist spirit exposes inherent contradictions in the current Chinese project of nation-building. This comparative study shines a harsh light on these cultural products and on much more: the confluence between commerce and politics and popular culture, the interaction between state and individuals in popular culture, and the complexity of governmentality in an era of globalization.

Hollywood made in China

"In a race to capture new audiences, Hollywood moguls began courting Chinese investors to create branded entertainment on an international scale--from behemoth theme parks to blockbuster films--after China's 2001 World Trade Organization entry. Hollywood Made in China examines this compelling dynamic, where the distinctions between Hollywood's "Dream Factory" and the "Chinese Dream" of global influence become increasingly blurred. What is revealed illuminates how China's influence is transforming the global media industries from the inside out"--Provided by publisher.

China's encounter with global Hollywood : cultural policy and the film industry, 1994-2013

In recent years, the film industry in the People's Republic of China has found itself among the top three most prolific in the world. When the Chinese government introduced a new revenue-sharing system in 1994 the nation's total movie output skyrocketed with gross box office receipts totaling billions of yuan. This newfound box office success, however, has been built on an alternately competitive and collaborative relationship between the ascendant global power of China and the popular culture juggernaut of America. In China's Encounter with Global Hollywood, Wendy Su examines the intertwining relationships between the Chinese state, global Hollywood, and the Chinese film industry while analyzing the causes and consequences of the rapid growth of the nation's domestic film production. She demonstrates how the Chinese state has consolidated power by negotiating foreign interest in the lucrative Chinese market while advancing its cultural industries. Su also reveals how mainland Chinese and Hong Kong filmmakers have navigated the often-incompatible requirements of marketization and state censorship. This timely analysis demonstrates how China has cannily used global capital to modernize its own film industry and now stands poised to step clear of Hollywood's shadow. The country's debates - on- and offscreen - over cultural change, market-based economic reforms, and artistic freedom illuminate China's ongoing efforts to build a modern national identity.

Children of Marx and Coca-Cola : Chinese avant-garde art and independent cinema

Children of Marx and Coca-Cola affords a deep study of Chinese avant-garde art and independent cinema from the mid-1990s to the beginning of the twenty-first century. Informed by the author's experience in Beijing and New York--global cities with extensive access to an emergent transnational Chinese visual culture--this work situates selected artworks and films in the context of Chinese nationalism and postsocialism and against the background of the capitalist globalization that has so radically affected contemporary China. It juxtaposes and compares avant-garde artists and independent filmmakers from a number of intertwined perspectives, particularly in their shared avant-garde postures and perceptions. Xiaoping Lin provides illuminating close readings of a variety of visual texts and artistic practices, including installation, performance, painting, photography, video, and film. Throughout, he sustains a theoretical discussion of representative artworks and films and succeeds in delineating a variegated postsocialist cultural landscape saturated by market forces, confused values, and lost faith. This refreshing approach is due to Lin's ability to tackle both Chinese art and cinema rigorously within a shared discursive space. He, for example, aptly conceptualizes a central thematic concern in both genres as "postsocialist trauma" aggravated by capitalist globalization. By thus focusing exclusively on the two parallel and often intersecting movements or phenomena in the visual arts, his work brings about a fruitful dialog between the narrow field of traditional art history and visual studies more generally. Children of Marx and Coca-Cola will be a major contribution to China studies, art history, film studies, and cultural studies. Multiple audiences--specialists, teachers, and students in these disciplines, as well as general readers with an interest in contemporary Chinese society and culture--will find that this work fulfills an urgent need for sophisticated analysis of China's cultural production as it assumes a key role in capitalist globalization.

Chinese-language film : historiography, poetics, politics

A comprehensive work on Chinese film, this text explores the manifold dimensions of the subject and highlights areas overlooked in previous studies. Leading scholars take up issues and topics covering the entire range of Chinese cinema.

The Hong Kong filmography, 1977-1997 : a complete reference to 1,100 films produced by British Hong Kong studios

"The Hong Kong Filmography, 1977-1997 is a detailed guide to more than 1100 films produced in British Hong Kong. For each film listed, this A to Z reference provides a wealth of information, including production and cast credits, a plot synopsis, and the author's critical appraisal of the work. Lesser known directors and actors receive the same careful attention as the industry's leading lights - making this book an invaluable guide for confirmed fans of HK cinema as well as those just discovering its pleasures."

Sentimental fabulations, contemporary Chinese films : attachment in the age of global visibility

What is the sentimental and how can we understand it through the cinema of a particular culture in an age of globalisation? Chow explores these questions by examining nine contemporary Chinese directors whose accomplishments have become historic events in world cinema.

Adapted for the screen : the cultural politics of modern Chinese fiction & film

This book is the first to put these landmark films in the context of their literary origins and explore how the best Chinese directors adapt fictional narratives and styles for film. Delving equally into the individual approaches of directors and writers, Hsiu-Chuang Deppman initiates readers into the exciting possibilities emanating from the world of Chinese cinema. The seven in-depth studies include a diverse array of forms (cinematic adaptation of literature, literary adaptation of film, auto-adaptation, and non-narrative adaptation) and a variety of genres (martial arts, melodrama, romance, autobiography, documentary drama). Complementing this formal diversity is a geographical range that far exceeds the cultural, linguistic, and physical boundaries of China. The directors represented here also work in the U.S. and Europe and reflect the growing international resources of Chinese-language cinema.

Hong Kong action cinema

This book tells you everything you ever wanted to know about the high-octane world of Far Eastern film-making: from the balletic to the ballistic, from the grace of Bruce Lee to the bullet-ridden bloodletting of John Woo, from the comedy stunts of Jackie Chan to the action choreography of Ching Siu Tung, from versatile leading man Chow Yun Fat to fighting females Michelle Khan and Cynthia Rothrock, from prolific action director Samo Hung to Tsui Hark, dubbed the 'Steven Spielberg of Hong Kong'. It is also a comprehensive guide to the history of Hong Kong cinema, tracing the background to this exciting film genre from filmed Chinese opera, through the work of the Shaw Brothers and Lau Kar Leung, to the mixture of fantasy and fast-moving action that typifies the present day style.

Memoirs from the Beijing Film Academy: the genesis of China's fifth generation

After graduating from the Beijing Film Academy in 1982, directors like Chen Kaige and Zhang Yimou revolutionized Chinese cinema with Red Sorghum, Farewell My Concubine, Yellow Earth, Raise the Red Lantern, and other international successes. Memoirs from the Beijing Film Academy tells the riveting story of this class of 1982, China's famous "Fifth Generation" of filmmakers. It is the first insider's account of this renowned cohort to appear in English. Covering these directors' formative experiences during China's tumultuous Cultural Revolution and later at the Beijing Film Academy, Ni Zhen--who was both their screenwriter and teacher--provides unique insights into the origins of the Fifth Generation's creativity. Memoirs from the Beijing Film Academy illuminates the Fifth Generation in light of the social and political history of contemporary China. While it addresses the collective identity of the filmmakers, most of whom were born in the late 1940s or early 1950s, it also examines how they view themselves and relate to one another. Ni Zhen has supplemented his personal knowledge of these directors with new interviews conducted for this volume. Intervening in current debates, he argues against mistaken postcolonial criticisms which allege that these filmmakers marketed an exotic image of China to Western audiences. He also demonstrates the diversity of the Fifth Generation, commenting on the breadth of styles and themes explored by its members and introducing a range of male and female directors, cinematographers, and production designers famous in China but less well-known internationally. The book contains vivid descriptions of the production processes of two pioneering films--One and Eight and Yellow Earth.

Once upon a Time in China

From Jackie Chan to Ang Lee, from "Supercop" to "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," Chinese cinema has truly arrived in the U.S. Filled with photos and tidbits, this is the definitive book for anyone who has already fallen in love with Chinese cinema--and all those who are looking to learn more about it.

How to find books

When conducting a search in the online catalog, consider the following search terms:

  • Motion pictures, China
  • Motion pictures, China, History
  • Motion pictures, Hong Kong
  • Motion pictures, Taiwan
  • China in motion pictures

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