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

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Rowman & Littlefield, 2002 - Performing Arts - 279 pages
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Building a New China in Cinema introduces English readers for the first time to one of the most exciting left-wing cinema traditions in the world. This unique book explores 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, Pang demonstrates that this cinema movement was a product of the era's social, economic, and political discourses. The author offers a close analysis of many rarely seen films, richly illustrated with over eighty stills collected from the Beijing Film Archive. With its original conceptual approach and rich use of primary sources, this book will be of interest not only to scholars and fans of Chinese cinema but to those who study the relationship between cinema and modernity.

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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.  


The Merging of Histories
The Leftwing Cinema Movement
The Filmmakers and the Formation of a Collective Subjectivity
The Role of Authorship in the Age of Nationalism
Masculinity and Collectivism Romancing Politics
Womens Stories Onscreen versus Offscreen
Spectators and the Film Culture
A Commercial Cinema or a Political Cinema?
Engaging Realism
Chinese Leftwing Movies of the 1930s
Chinese Films with the Longest FirstRun Screening Periods in Shanghai January 1932 to July 1937
Bibliography and Filmography
About the Author

A Shanghai Cinema or a Chinese Cinema?

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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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