Film in Contemporary China: Critical Debates, 1979-1989

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George Stephen Semsel, Xihe Chen, Hong Xia
ABC-CLIO, 1993 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 204 pages
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Since 1986, Chinese film circles have turned from their study of Chinese film in terms of aesthetics and have begun to explore film in terms of ideological, political and cultural concerns. In particular, this concern has centered on matters of the marketplace, with much debate between film scholars and filmmakers over the qualities of entertainment. Film In Contemporary China draws together the first English translations of recent articles written by the most respected critics, theorists and filmmakers in China who discuss this significant new direction.

Parts One and Two discuss the ideological problems now facing Chinese film scholars and filmmakers, focusing on the Fifth Generation filmmakers whose works brought Chinese filmmaking to international prominence. Part Three is a critical study of the relationship of traditional culture to contemporary aesthetics. The fourth part follows the theoretical and critical debate over the entertainment film which forms the basis for the Third Movement of Chinese film during the New Era. The fifth part concerns the ongoing debate over the values of film theory in relationship to filmmaking, and the final section summarizes developments in film scholarship following the events in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Film In COntemporary China is designed primarily for film scholars, especially those concerned with China, with international film more generally, and with the relationship between film and society.


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The Call for New Social Concepts
The Issue of Culture
The Entertainment Film
The Debate on New Chinese Film Theory
The New Era and Afterward
Contributors Translators and Editors

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About the author (1993)

Geroge S. Semsel, professor of film at Ohio University, worked as a Foreign Expert in the Chinese film industry in Beijing. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Asian Cinema Studies Society and has been its liaison officer with the People's Republic of China and Thailand. Dr. Semsel is the author of Chinese Film: The State of the Art in the People's Republic and Chinese Film Theory: The New Era (Praeger, 1987 and 1990). His experimental and documentary films include works produced in China and in Thailand.

Chen Xihe, a fellow of the China Film Art Research Center, is completing his PhD at Ohio State University. He is a columnist for Beiying Huabao and a special contributor to Film Art (Dianying Yishu). His major works include Film Literature and Theatre.

Xia Hong is on the editorial staff of Film Art (Dianying Yishu), a theoretical journal published by the China Film Association. He was guest editor of Wide Angle's issue on Chinese film and one of the editors of Chinese Film Theory: The New Era (Praeger 1990).

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