The first of its kind in English, this collection explores twenty one well established and lesser known female filmmakers from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Chinese diaspora. Sixteen scholars illuminate these filmmakers' negotiations of local and global politics, cinematic representation, and issues of gender and sexuality, covering works from the 1920s to the present. Writing from the disciplines of Asian, women's, film, and auteur studies, contributors reclaim the work of Esther Eng, Tang Shu Shuen, Dong Kena, and Sylvia Chang, among others, who have transformed Chinese cinematic modernity.
Chinese Women's Cinema is a unique, transcultural, interdisciplinary conversation on authorship, feminist cinema, transnational gender, and cinematic agency and representation. Lingzhen Wang's comprehensive introduction recounts the history and limitations of established feminist film theory, particularly its relationship with female cinematic authorship and agency. She also reviews critiques of classical feminist film theory, along with recent developments in feminist practice, altogether remapping feminist film discourse within transnational and interdisciplinary contexts. Wang's subsequent redefinition of women's cinema, and brief history of women's cinematic practices in modern China, encourage the reader to reposition gender and cinema within a transnational feminist configuration, such that power and knowledge are reexamined among and across cultures and nation-states.
About the Author
Lingzhen Wang is associate professor of modern Chinese literature, gender studies, and Chinese film and media at Brown University. She is the author of Personal Matters: Women's Autobiographical Practice in Twentieth Century China and the editor and co-translator of Years of Sadness: Translation Anthology of Wang Anyi's Autobiographical Works.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Transnational Feminist Reconfiguration of Film Discourse and Women's Cinema, by Lingzhen Wang
Part I: Female Authorship Negotiated in Different Times, Spaces, and Genres
1. Socialist Cinema and Female Authorship: Overdetermination and Subjective Revisions in Dong Kena's "Small Grass Grows on the Kunlun Mountain" (1962), by Lingzhen Wang
2. Masochist Men and Normal Women: Tang Shu Shuen and "The Arch" (1969), by Yau Ching
3. Migrating Hearts: The Cultural Geography of Sylvia Chang's Melodrama, by Zhen Zhang
Part II: Gendered Voices: Images and Affect
4. The Voice of History and the Voice of Women: A Study of Huang Shuqin's Women's Films, by Xingyang Li
5. Post-Taiwan New Cinema Women Directors and Their Films: Auteurs, Images, Language, by Yu-Shan Huang and Chun-Chi Wang
6. Affect, Memory, and Trauma Past Tense in Hu Mei's "Army Nurse" (1985) and Xu Jinglei's "Letter from an Unknown Woman" (2004), by E. Ann Kaplan
Part III: The Visual Subject and Feminist Cinema
7. The Encoding of Female Subjectivity: Four Films by China's Fifth-Generation Women Directors, by S. Louisa Wei
8. From Mao's "Continuous Revolution" to Ning Ying's "Perpetual Motion" (2005): Sexual Politics, Neoliberalism, and Postmodern China, by Gina Marchetti
9. Searching for Female Sexuality and Negotiating with Feminism: Li Yu's Film Trilogy, by Shuqin Cui
Part IV: Female Writing, Performance, and Issues of Cinematic Agency
10. To Write or to Act, That Is the Question: 1920s to 1930s Shanghai Actress-Writers and the Death of the "New Woman", by Yiman Wang
11. Gender, Genre, and Performance in Eileen Chang's Films: Equivocal Contrasts Across the Print-Screen Divide, by Yingjin Zhang
12. Chu T'ien-wen and the Sotto Voce of Feminine Expression in the Films of Hou Hsiao-Hsien, by Christopher Lupke
13. To Become an Auteur: The Cinematic Maneuverings of Xu Jinglei, by Jingyuan Zhang
Part V: Migration, Diaspora, and Transcultural Practice of Gender and Cinema
14. In Search of Esther Eng: Border-Crossing Pioneer in Chinese-Language Filmmaking, by Kar Law
15. Transpacific Waves in a Global Sea: Mabel Cheung Yuen-Ting's Cinematic Archive, by Staci Ford
16. Filming One's Way Home: Clara Law's Letters to Oz, by Shiao-Ying Shen
What People are Saying About This
If you thought gender was fading from cinema studies, prepare for a pleasant surprise. Lingzhen Wang's Chinese Women's Cinema puts the topic back under the spotlight. Ranging from mainland China to Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the diaspora, this mind-boggling array of explorations and interventions sparkles with energy. Wang's excellent introduction anchors conceptions of female agency, transnational feminism, and transborder Chinese cinema. The result is a new starting point for gender studies on this subject.