Description : What is the sentimental? How can we understand it by way of the visual and narrative modes of signification specific to cinema and through the manners of social interaction and collective imagining specific to a particular culture in transition? What can the sentimental tell us about the precarious foundations of human coexistence in this age of globalization? Rey Chow explores these questions through nine contemporary Chinese directors (Chen Kaige, Wong Kar-wai, Zhang Yimou, Ann Hui, Peter Chan, Wayne Wang, Ang Lee, Li Yang, and Tsai Ming-liang) whose accomplishments have become historic events in world cinema. Approaching their works from multiple perspectives, including the question of origins, nostalgia, the everyday, feminine "psychic interiority," commodification, biopolitics, migration, education, homosexuality, kinship, and incest, and concluding with an account of the Chinese films' epistemic affinity with the Hollywood blockbuster Brokeback Mountain, Chow proposes that the sentimental is a discursive constellation traversing affect, time, identity, and social mores, a constellation whose contours tends to morph under different historical circumstances and in different genres and media. In contemporary Chinese films, she argues, the sentimental consistently takes the form not of revolution but of compromise, not of radical departure but of moderation, endurance, and accommodation. By naming these films sentimental fabulations screen artifacts of cultural becoming with irreducible aesthetic, conceptual, and speculative logics of their own Chow presents Chinese cinema first and foremost as an invitation to the pleasures and challenges of critical thinking.
Description : Depictions within a movie of either filmmaking or film watching are hardly novel, but the dramatic expansion of the reach of the metacinematic into contemporary Chinese cinemas is nothing short of remarkable. To G. Andrew Stuckey, the prevalence of metacinematic features forms the basis of a discourse on film arising from the films themselves. Such a discourse, in turn, outlines the boundaries of the possible for film in China as aesthetic or sociopolitical practice. Metacinema also draws our attention to the presence of the audience, people actively responding to a film. In elucidating the affective responses elicited by the metacinematic mode in the viewers, Stuckey argues that metacinema reflects ways of being in the world that audiences may take up for themselves. The films studied in this book are drawn across the full spectrum of Chinese films made in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan during the 1990s and 2000s, from award-winning conceptual art films to popular crowd pleasers, blockbusters to low-budget productions, and documentary-style social realist exposé projects to studio assembly-line investments. The recurrence of the metacinematic across this broad range of works is indicative of its relevance to Chinese films today, and the analysis of these diverse examples allows us to gauge the cultural, social, and aesthetic implications of Chinese cinemas as a whole. “Stuckey surveys a broad swath of contemporary Chinese cinema, from popular blockbusters to elite art films, around the theme of metacinema, yielding new insights into both previously neglected films and those already acknowledged as contemporary classics. The result is a fascinating dive into the growing and diversifying cinema culture of China today.” —Jason McGrath, University of Minnesota “Stuckey’s brilliant work, Metacinema in Contemporary Chinese Film, offers insightful close analyses of films by key directors from the PRC (Jiang Wen, Lou Ye, Jia Zhangke, and Li Yu), Hong Kong (Peter Chan), and Taiwan (Tsai Ming-liang). This clearly written book is essential reading for scholars and students of Chinese cinemas. Stuckey’s study of genre and metacinema makes it a must-read for anyone interested in cinema.” —Michelle Bloom, University of California, Riverside
Description : Drawing on a variety of film semiotic theories, this book sheds light on works by mainland Chinese directors, Hong Kong New Wave directors, Taiwan New Cinema directors, and overseas Chinese directors. Zeng examines the cultural/historical implications of exile through the detailed analysis of film language and theoretical exploration.
Description : "This is a deeply researched, theoretically sophisticated and organic study. Keya Ganguly's intellectual tour de force in this analysis of the great Indian film maker Satyajit Ray will provide a benchmark for future studies of the subject."--Partha Mitter, author of The Triumph of Modernism: Indian Artists and the Avant-Garde 1922-1947 "What distinguishes Ganguly's book from the more fashionable approaches to non-Western cinema is her willingness to assert the importance of European theory--specifically, writings on film by Eisenstein, Benjamin, Kracauer, Balázs, among others--as a way to elaborate Satyajit Ray's contributions in the larger postwar context of an international New Wave cinema movement. She does this with extraordinary intelligence and finesse, and the result is an illuminating statement on how a cinema that seems nostalgic for a disappearing cultural past can in fact be read, for the first time perhaps, for its intimations of an as-yet unrealized futurity."--Rey Chow, author of Sentimental Fabulations, Contemporary Chinese Films
Description : "Ying Zhu and Stanley Rosen have brought together some of the leading scholars and critics of Chinese cinema to rethink the political mutations, market manifestations, and artistic innovations that have punctuated a century of Chinese screen memories. From animation to documentary, history of the industry to cinematic attempts to recreate history, propaganda to piracy, the influx of Hollywood imports to Chinese-style blockbusters, Art, Politics, and Commerce in Chinese Cinema presents a fresh set of critical approaches to the field that should be required reading for scholars, students, and anyone interested in the past, present, and future of one of the most vibrant and dynamic film industries in the world."-Michael Berry, author, Jia Zhangke's "Hometown Trilogy" and A History of Pain "An excellent collection of articles that together offer a superb introduction to contemporary Chinese film studies."-Richard Pena, Program Director, Film Society of Lincoln Center "This is one of the most important, comprehensive, and profoundly important books about Chinese cinema. As correctly pointed out by the editors of the volume, understanding of the emerging film industry in China requires a systematic examination of arts, politics, and commerce of Chinese cinema. By organizing the inquiry of the Chinese film industry around its local and global market, politics, and film art, the authors place the current transformation of Chinese cinema within a large framework. The book has set a new standard for research on Chinese cinema. It is a must-read for students of arts, culture, and politics in China."-Tianjian Shi, Duke University Art politics, and commerce are intertwined everywhere, but in China the interplay is explicit, intimate, and elemental, and nowhere more so than in the film industry. Understanding this interplay in the era of market reform and globalization is essential to understanding mainland Chinese cinema. This interdisciplinary book provides a comprehensive reappraisal of Chinese cinema, surveying the evolution of film production and consumption in mainland China as a product of shifting relations between art, politics, and commerce. Within these arenas, each of the twelve chapters treats a particular history, development, genre, filmmaker or generation of filmmakers, adding up to a distinctively comprehensive rendering of Chinese cinema. The book illuminates China's changing stat-society relations, the trajectory of marketization and globalization, the effects of China's start historical shifts, Hollywood's role, the role of nationalism, and related themes of interest to scholars of Asian studies, cinema and media studies, political science, sociology comparative literature and Chinese language. Ying Zhu is professor of cinema studies in the Department of Media Culture and co-coordinator of the Modern China Studies Program at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island. Stanley Rosen is director of the East Asian Studies Center and a professor of political science at the University of Southern California.
Description : The first of its kind in English, this collection explores twenty one well established and lesser known female filmmakers from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Chinese diaspora. Sixteen scholars illuminate these filmmakers' negotiations of local and global politics, cinematic representation, and issues of gender and sexuality, covering works from the 1920s to the present. Writing from the disciplines of Asian, women's, film, and auteur studies, contributors reclaim the work of Esther Eng, Tang Shu Shuen, Dong Kena, and Sylvia Chang, among others, who have transformed Chinese cinematic modernity. Chinese Women's Cinema is a unique, transcultural, interdisciplinary conversation on authorship, feminist cinema, transnational gender, and cinematic agency and representation. Lingzhen Wang's comprehensive introduction recounts the history and limitations of established feminist film theory, particularly its relationship with female cinematic authorship and agency. She also reviews critiques of classical feminist film theory, along with recent developments in feminist practice, altogether remapping feminist film discourse within transnational and interdisciplinary contexts. Wang's subsequent redefinition of women's cinema, and brief history of women's cinematic practices in modern China, encourage the reader to reposition gender and cinema within a transnational feminist configuration, such that power and knowledge are reexamined among and across cultures and nation-states.
Description : Lighting performs essential functions in Hollywood films, enhancing the glamour, clarifying the action, and intensifying the mood. Examining every facet of this understated art form, from the glowing backlights of the silent period to the shaded alleys of film noir, Patrick Keating affirms the role of Hollywood lighting as a distinct, compositional force. Closely analyzing Girl Shy (1924), Anna Karenina (1935), Only Angels Have Wings (1939), and T-Men (1947), along with other brilliant classics, Keating describes the unique problems posed by these films and the innovative ways cinematographers handled the challenge. Once dismissed as crank-turning laborers, these early cinematographers became skillful professional artists by carefully balancing the competing demands of story, studio, and star. Enhanced by more than one hundred illustrations, this volume counters the notion that style took a backseat to storytelling in Hollywood film, proving that the lighting practices of the studio era were anything but neutral, uniform, and invisible. Cinematographers were masters of multifunctionality and negotiation, honing their craft to achieve not only realistic fantasy but also pictorial artistry.
Description : Born in Taiwan, Ang Lee is one of cinema's most versatile and daring directors. His ability to cut across cultural, national, and sexual boundaries has given him recognition in all corners of the world, the ability to work with complete artistic freedom whether inside or outside of Hollywood, and two Academy Awards for Best Director. He has won astounding critical acclaim for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), which transformed the status of martial arts films across the globe, Brokeback Mountain (2005), which challenged the reception and presentation of homosexuality in mainstream cinema, and Life of Pi (2012), Lee's first use of groundbreaking 3D technology and his first foray into complex spiritual themes. In this volume, the only full-length study of Lee's work, Whitney Crothers Dilley analyzes all of his career to date: Lee's early Chinese trilogy films (including The Wedding Banquet, 1993, and Eat Drink Man Woman, 1994), period drama (Sense and Sensibility, 1995), martial arts (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, 2000), blockbusters (Hulk, 2003), and intimate portraits of wartime psychology, from the Confederate side of the Civil War (Ride with the Devil, 1999) to Japanese-occupied Shanghai (Lust/Caution, 2007). Dilley examines Lee's favored themes such as father/son relationships and intergenerational conflict in The Ice Storm (1997) and Taking Woodstock (2009). By looking at the beginnings of Lee's career, Dilley positions the filmmaker's work within the roots of the Taiwan New Cinema movement, as well as the larger context of world cinema. Using suggestive readings of both gender and identity, this new study not only provides a valuable academic resource but also an enjoyable read that uncovers the enormous appeal of this acclaimed director.
Description : Before 9/11, films addressing torture outside of the horror/slasher genre depicted the practice in a variety of forms. In most cases, torture was cast as the act of a desperate and depraved individual, and the viewer was more likely to identify with the victim rather than the torturer. Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, scenes of brutality and torture in mainstream comedies, dramatic narratives, and action films appear for little other reason than to titillate and delight. In these films, torture is devoid of any redeeming qualities, represented as an exercise in brutal senselessness carried out by authoritarian regimes and institutions. This volume follows the shift in the representation of torture over the past decade, specifically in documentary, action, and political films. It traces and compares the development of this trend in films from the United States, Europe, China, Latin America, South Africa, and the Middle East. Featuring essays by sociologists, psychologists, historians, journalists, and specialists in film and cultural studies, the collection approaches the representation of torture in film and television from multiple angles and disciplines, connecting its aesthetics and practices to the dynamic of state terror and political domination.