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New Chinese Cinema: Challenging Representations examines the "search for roots" films that emerged from China in the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution. Sheila Cornelius contextualizes the films of the so-called Fifth Generation directors who came to prominence in the 1980s and 1990s, such as Chen Kaige, Zhang Yimou, and Tian Zhuangzhuan. Including close analysis of such pivotal films as Farewell My Concubine (winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes), Raise the Red Lantern, and The Blue Kite, the book also examines the rise of contemporary Sixth Generation underground directors whose themes embrace the disaffection of urban youth.
|List of illustrations|
|1||some recent history||7|
|2||the new wave||34|
|3||dissidence and disguise||53|
|4||confucius and patriarchy||68|
|6||the sixth generation||106|
Posted May 9, 2002
The 11th volume of the Short Cuts series from Wallflower Press covers a lot of territory, both literally, figuratively, and cinematically. More ambitious than Wallflower's other survey of national cinema (Early Soviet Cinema) New Chinese Cinema: Challenging Representations surveys the whole of 20th Century Chinese history and the filmmaking that has reflected and been shaped by that history. Authors Sheila Cornelius and Ian Hayden Smith engage a myriad of topics: a sweeping yet concise narrative of modern Chinese history (always a fascinating subject), the tenets of Confucianism, delineation of the major film 'generations,' the vicissitudes of state control, career summaries, Western filmic depictions of China, the status of women under Confucianism and communism, analyses of key films, and future prospects for a distinctive Chinese cinema. The authors manage to deftly weave historical, cultural, political, thematic, and stylistic analysis throughout. Even the most seasoned film enthusiast is guaranteed to learn something new. Hopefully, subsequent Wallflower editions on national cinemas will be this thorough. Fun-yet- tragic fact: Just as it had in the USSR under Stalin, feature film production in China ground to a halt because of the political pressure and social disarray of the Cultural RevolutionWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.