Women Through the Lens: Gender and Nation in a Century of Chinese Cinema (Google eBook)

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University of Hawaii Press, 2003 - Art - 304 pages
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Women through the Lens raises the question of how gender, especially the image of woman, acts as a visual and discursive sign in the creation of the nation-state in twentieth-century China. Tracing the history of Chinese cinema through the last hundred years from the perspective of transnational feminism, Shuqin Cui reveals how women have been granted a "privileged visibility" on screen while being denied discursive positions as subjects. In addition, her careful attention to the visual language system of cinema shows how "woman" has served as the site for the narration of nation in the context of China's changing social and political climate.

Placing gender and nation in a historical framework, the book first shows how early productions had their roots in shadow plays, a popular form of public entertainment. In examining the "Red Classics" of socialist cinema as a mass cultural form, the book shows how the utopian vision of emancipating the entire proletariat, women included, produced a collective ideology that declared an end to gender difference. Cui then documents and discusses the cinematic spectacle of woman as essential to such widely popular films as Chen Kaige's "Farewell My Concubine" and Zhang Yimou's "Ju Do." Finally, the author brings a feminist perspective to the issues of gender and nation by turning her attention to women directors and their self-representations.

  

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Contents

From ShadowPlay to a National Cinema
3
Reconstructing History The Impossible Engagement between Feminism and Postmodernism in Stanley Kwans Center Stage
30
Socialist Cinema
49
Constructing and Consuming the Revolutionary Narratives
51
Gender Politics and Socialist Discourse in Xie Jins The Red Detachment of Women
79
The New Wave
97
Screening China National Allegories and International Receptions
99
The Search for Male Masculinity and Sexuality in Zhang Yimous Ju Dou
127
Subjected Body and Gendered Identity Female Impersonation in Chen Kaiges Farewell My Concubine
150
Womens Films
169
Feminism with Chinese Characteristics?
171
Desire in Difference Female Voice and Point of View in Hu Meis Army Nurse
200
Transgender Masquerading in Huang Shuqins Human Woman Demon
219
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About the author (2003)

Shuqin Cui is assistant professor at Southern Methodist University.

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