Memoirs from the Beijing Film Academy: The Genesis of China’s Fifth Generation / Edition 1

Memoirs from the Beijing Film Academy: The Genesis of China’s Fifth Generation / Edition 1

by Zhen Ni
     
 

ISBN-10: 0822329700

ISBN-13: 9780822329701

Pub. Date: 01/09/2003

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

After graduating from the Beijing Film Academy in 1982, directors like Chen Kaige and Zhang Yimou revolutionized Chinese cinema with Red Sorghum, Farewell My Concubine, Yellow Earth, Raise the Red Lantern, and other international successes. Memoirs from the Beijing Film Academy tells the riveting story of this class of 1982, China's famous "Fifth Generation" of

Overview

After graduating from the Beijing Film Academy in 1982, directors like Chen Kaige and Zhang Yimou revolutionized Chinese cinema with Red Sorghum, Farewell My Concubine, Yellow Earth, Raise the Red Lantern, and other international successes. Memoirs from the Beijing Film Academy tells the riveting story of this class of 1982, China's famous "Fifth Generation" of filmmakers. It is the first insider's account of this renowned cohort to appear in English. Covering these directors' formative experiences during China's tumultuous Cultural Revolution and later at the Beijing Film Academy, Ni Zhen-who was both their screenwriter and teacher-provides unique insights into the origins of the Fifth Generation's creativity.

Memoirs from the Beijing Film Academy illuminates the Fifth Generation in light of the social and political history of contemporary China. While it addresses the collective identity of the filmmakers, most of whom were born in the late 1940s or early 1950s, it also examines how they view themselves and relate to one another. Ni Zhen has supplemented his personal knowledge of these directors with new interviews conducted for this volume. Intervening in current debates, he argues against mistaken postcolonial criticisms which allege that these filmmakers marketed an exotic image of China to Western audiences. He also demonstrates the diversity of the Fifth Generation, commenting on the breadth of styles and themes explored by its members and introducing a range of male and female directors, cinematographers, and production designers famous in China but less well-known internationally. The book contains vivid descriptions of the production processes of two pioneering films-One and Eight and Yellow Earth.

Memoirs from the Beijing Film Academy will be essential reading for international film buffs as well as scholars of contemporary Chinese culture.


About the Author

Ni Zhen is a consultant to the Shanghai Film & TV Company and Visiting Professor at the Shanghai Theater Academy. He was Professor of Art Direction and Professor of Film Theory at the Beijing Film Academy, where he taught from 1980 to 2000. He has written screenplays for films including Raise the Red Lantern and Blush. Chris Berry is Associate Professor in the Program in Film Studies and the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822329701
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
01/09/2003
Series:
Asia-Pacific: Culture, Politics, and Society
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Translator’s Introduction vii

Preface to the English Edition xiii

1. Admission 1

2. Noses to the Grindstone 51

3. First Steps 113

4. Graduation 147

Postscript 192

Character List for Chinese Names 201

Chinese Film Title List 207

Notes 213

Index 225

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