Building a New China in Cinema: The Chinese Left-wing Cinema Movement, 1932-1937

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Rowman & Littlefield, Jan 1, 2002 - Performing Arts - 279 pages
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A study of early Chinese cinema, exploring the history, ideology and aesthetics of China's left-wing cinema movement, a quixotic film culture that was as political as commercial, as militant as sensationalist. Originating in the 1930s, it marked the first systematic intellectual involvement in Chinese cinema. In this era of turmoil and idealism, the movement's films were characterized by fantasies of heroism intertwined with the inescapable spell of impotency, thus exposing the contradictions of the filmmakers' underlying ideology as their political and artistic agendas alternately fought against or catered to the taste and viewing habits of a popular audience. Political cinema became a commercially successful industry, resulting in a film culture that has never been replicated. Drawing on detailed archival research, the author, Laikwan Pang, demonstrates that this cinema movement was a product of the era's social, economic and political discourses. Pang offers a close analysis of many rarely-seen films, illustrated with over 80 stills collected from the Beijing Film Archive.
  

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A fascinating and useful book, depicting a critical movement in China's cinema history. The scholarly work, is wide enough to be used to understand elements of the literacy movement that took place in the 1920s that closely relate and effect the cinema movment of the 1930s, influence by May Fourth themes.  

Contents

The Merging of Histories
19
The Leftwing Cinema Movement
37
The Filmmakers and the Formation of a Collective Subjectivity
72
The Role of Authorship in the Age of Nationalism
73
Masculinity and Collectivism Romancing Politics
91
Womens Stories Onscreen versus Offscreen
113
Spectators and the Film Culture
139
A Commercial Cinema or a Political Cinema?
141
Engaging Realism
197
Epilogue
231
Chinese Leftwing Movies of the 1930s
241
Chinese Films with the Longest FirstRun Screening Periods in Shanghai January 1932 to July 1937
245
Bibliography and Filmography
249
Index
273
About the Author
279
Copyright

A Shanghai Cinema or a Chinese Cinema?
165

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About the author (2002)

Laikwan Pang is lecturer at the General Education Centre of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

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