Chinese National Cinema (National Cinemas Series.) by Yingjin Zhang

By Yingjin Zhang

This advent to chinese language nationwide cinema covers 3 'Chinas': mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. ancient and comparative views convey out the parallel advancements in those 3 Chinas, whereas serious research explores thematic and stylistic alterations over the years. in addition to exploring creative achievements and ideological debates, Yingjin Zhang examines how - regardless of the pressures put on the from country keep watch over and inflexible censorship - chinese language nationwide cinema continues to be incapable of projecting a unmarried unified photo, yet particularly portrays many various Chinas.

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Dan was a well-known Shanghai painter who specialized in female figures, especially nudes, and ran a brisk business producing decorated commercial calendars that displayed fashionable beauties (S. Li and Hu 1996: 33, 270). A graduate of the Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts, Dan was skilled in oil painting and watercolors as well, and his hobby of photography led him to purchase a film camera from a foreigner. With no acquaintances around with any knowledge of cinematography, Du decided to disassemble the camera himself and reassemble the pieces.

As early as May 1921, several Chinese Americans were determined to learn film basics out of their irritation at humiliating portrayals of the Chinese in American films. They organized a film company named ‘Great Wall’ based in Brooklyn, New York, and produced two documentaries introducing Chinese costumes and martial arts. After shipping their equipment to Shanghai in 1924, these patriots were disappointed by the dismal reality at home and wanted to intervene in social reform by means of filmmaking (ZDZ 1996a: 85–6).

Just as the film might extend the theater through location shootings, the theater would heighten the artistic impact by introducing singing and chanting at the right moment, something cinema could not deliver in the silent era. But the requirement that the same actors appear both on stage and on the screen proved logistically too difficult to manage and financially too expensive to produce. Consequently, chained-sequence plays went out of fashion (M. He 1956: 49–50). Fairy Maiden (Lingbo xianzi; 9 reels) and Red Rose (Hong meigui) were two chained-sequence plays jointly produced in 1925 by the Shanghai New Stage (Xin wutai) and Xu Zhuodai’s Kaixin Film Company.

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