From Underground To Independent / Edition 1

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Overview

This groundbreaking book presents a critical introduction to the cultural and political dimensions of contemporary Chinese cinema. Leading Western and Chinese scholars trace the changing dynamics of Chinese film culture since the early 1990s as it moves away from underground and toward independence in the new century. Yet as the rich case studies illustrate, the sheer variety of alternative film culture itself provides sufficient opportunities for different-at times contradictory-configurations of cinematic products. Drawing on vigorous interdisciplinary scholarship, From Underground to Independent investigates the objects of its study from various methodological perspectives, ranging from historical and literary to sociological and ethnographic. In addition to offering critical readings of specific texts, this book explores alternative film culture through personal interviews, on-site observations, and media interrogations, from traditional print media to the visual media of film, television, and video, including the new digital media of the Internet. The contributors also consider the flourishing independent documentary filmmaking scene, highlighting a crucial part of alternative film that has been previously obscured by an almost exclusive attention on the fifth- and sixth-generation directors of fictional movies. With its fresh and knowledgeable analysis of Chinese underground and independent filmmaking, this book will be essential reading for all those interested in a society caught between socialism and global currents.
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Editorial Reviews

China Journal
A useful collection, with a good balance of established and emerging academic talent amongst its authors. . . . The book offers a readable and stimulating set of thoughts on the meaning of independence in a post-Mao cinematic environment, on the continuities of style and narrational techniques across Chinese film history, and on the ways in which film articulates the delicate play between ideas of freedom and the realities of control in contemporary China.
China Quarterly - March 2008
Pickowicz and Zhang's volume is a timely publication, highly recommended not only for cinema classes but also for any discussion on the relationship between the state and the arts in contemporary China.
Stanley Rosen
This excellent volume is a significant contribution to the existing film studies literature and has instantly become an important baseline study. It offers a variety of methodologies and perspectives in clear and accessible writing that persuasively challenge conventional wisdom. Although film books on China are becoming more common there are none available on this increasingly important subject. I will definitely use it in my classes.
The China Quarterly, March 2008 - .
Pickowicz and Zhang's volume is a timely publication, highly recommended not only for cinema classes but also for any discussion on the relationship between the state and the arts in contemporary China.
The China Journal
A useful collection, with a good balance of established and emerging academic talent amongst its authors. . . . The book offers a readable and stimulating set of thoughts on the meaning of independence in a post-Mao cinematic environment, on the continuities of style and narrational techniques across Chinese film history, and on the ways in which film articulates the delicate play between ideas of freedom and the realities of control in contemporary China.
China Quarterly
Pickowicz and Zhang's volume is a timely publication, highly recommended not only for cinema classes but also for any discussion on the relationship between the state and the arts in contemporary China.
— March 2008
CHOICE
A welcome addition to scholarship on contemporary non-state Chinese filmmaking and its context both in China and globally. . . . This accessible book should appeal to a broad audience. Highly Recommended.
Choice
A welcome addition to scholarship on contemporary non-state Chinese filmmaking and its context both in China and globally. . . . This accessible book should appeal to a broad audience. Highly Recommended.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742554382
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/28/2006
  • Series: Asia/Pacific/Perspectives Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 282
  • Sales rank: 1,182,237
  • Product dimensions: 0.59 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul G. Pickowicz is professor of history at the University of California, San Diego. Yingjin Zhang is professor of literature at the University of California, San Diego.

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Table of Contents

Preface vii

1 Social and Political Dynamics of Underground Filmmaking in China Paul G. Pickowicz 1

2 My Camera Doesn't Lie? Truth, Subjectivity, and Audience in Chinese Independent Film and Video Yingjin Zhang 23

3 "A Scene beyond Our Line of Sight": Wu Wenguang and New Documentary Cinema's Politics of Independence Matthew David Johnson 47

4 "Every Man a Star": The Ambivalent Cult of Amateur Art in New Chinese Documentaries Valerie Jaffee 77

5 Independently Chinese: Duan Jinchuan, Jiang Yue, and Chinese Documentary Chris Berry 109

6 Trapped Freedom and Localized Globalism Tonglin Lu 123

7 Chinese Underground Films: Critical Views from China Chen Mo Zhiwei Xiao 143

8 Film Clubs in Beijing: The Cultural Consumption of Chinese Independent Films Seio Nakajima 161

Appendix 8.1 List of Films Screened at the First Independent Film Festival, Organized by the Film Movement Society 189

Appendix 8.2 List of Films Screened by Culture Salon 194

Appendix 8.3 List of Films Screened by Formula 3 198

Appendix 8.4 List of Films Screened by Studio Z 203

Appendix The Chinese Underground Film Collection at the University of California, San Diego Jim Cheng 209

Filmography 245

Bibliography 249

Internet Resources 259

Index 261

About the Contributors 267

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