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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: MFC2023 Module Title: CHINESE CINEMA
Module Provider: Dance,Film & Theatre Short Name: MFC2023
Level: HE2 Module Co-ordinator: HUGHES HA Dr (Dnc Flm Thtr)
Number of credits: 20 Number of ECTS credits: 10
Module Availability
Assessment Pattern
Essay 1 (max. 2500 words) (50%) Essay 2 (max. 2500 words) (50%)
Module Overview
While Chinese Film has achieved a great deal of popularity, because of the recent success of Ang Leeís crossover films and Jackie Chanís collaboration with Hollywood stars, there is much more to be explored about its diverse cinematic culture.
Module Aims
The aim of this course is to both introduce students to work which is radically different from Hollywood fare, while also placing Chinese cinema within a historical and cultural context. On successful completion of the module, students will be able to: SUBJECT-SPECIFIC - Understand the different historical and cultural contexts of Chinese Cinema production - Critique and articulate the stylistic differences between diverse forms of Chinese Cinema - Understand the questions of film language and style which are raised by these films - Strengthen and refine critical awareness of film form GENERAL - Present an introduction to a screening. - Lead and take part in a debate about a film presentation - Write an analysis of an example of a cultural product.
Learning Outcomes
The films have been chosen because they forefront the massive political and social changes which have occurred in the three main centres of Chinese film production which are: China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. The chosen films also raise central questions about the development of form. These films reflect not only the society in which they produce but also film history itself - the issue of what is cinema and what can film do? We will address this through discussion of individual films in conjunction with close reading of secondary literature.
Module Content
After a general introduction to the history of Chinese film the following films will be introduced and discussed as individual films and as films that have made a significant contribution to the history of filmmaking: Wu Yonggang Goddess (1934) Cai Chusheng, Zheng Junli The Spring River Flows East (1947) Fei Mu Spring in a Small Town (1948) Chen Kaige Yellow Earth (1984) Zhang Yimou Red Sorghum (1988) Hou Hsiao Hsien A Time To Live and a Time to Die (1985) Edward Yang The Terrorizer (1986) Alex Cheung Cops and Robbers (1979) John Woo Once a Thief (1991) Wong Kar Wai Fallen Angels (1995) Further films will be discussed in the context of this core list together with the following topics: - The Advent of Sound - Melodrama versus Social Realism - Socialist Realism and propaganda - Art Cinema versus populism - Landscape and Urban Architecture - The influence of European Modernism - Questions of Morality and Social Agency - Nostalgia and Sentiment - Art Cinema and Kitsch - Sentimentality and sincerity
Methods of Teaching/Learning
2 hour seminar, student-led presentation, screening, discussion.
Selected Texts/Journals
RECOMMENDED Chris Berry, China on Screen: Cinema and Nation, (Hong Kong : Hong Kong University Press 2006) Chris Berry (ed) Chinese Films in Focus: 25 New Takes, (London : British Film Institute 2003) Michael Berry, Speaking in images : interviews with contemporary Chinese filmmakers, (New York : Columbia University Press, 2005) David Bordwell, The Planet Hong Kong: Popular Cinema and the Art of Entertainment, (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. 2000) Rey Chow, Primitive Passions: Visuality, Sexuality, Ethnography, and Contemporary Chinese Cinema, (New York: Columbia University Press. 1995) Jubin Hu, Projecting a Nation, (Hong Kong : Hong Kong University Press ; London : Eurospan 2003) Kwok-kan Tam & Wimal Dissanayake New Chinese Cinema, (Hong Kong ; New York : Oxford University Press 1998) Sheldon Hsiao-Peng Lu and Emilie Yueh-Yu Yeh (eds) Chinese-Language Film: Historiography, Poetics, Politics, (Honolulu : University of Hawai'i Press 2004) Sheldon Hsiao-Peng Lu (ed) Transnational Chinese Cinemas, (Honolulu, HI : University of Hawaii Press 1997) Stephen Teo, Hong Kong Cinema: The Extra Dimensions, (London: British Film Institute. 1997) Emilie Yueh-yu Yeh, Darrell William Davis, Taiwan Directors A Treasure Island, (New York ; Chichester, West Sussex : Columbia University Press, 2005) Yingjin Zhang, Chinese National Cinema, (London; New York : Routledge, 2004). A number of articles and related work on the issues to be discussed will also be referred to during the module.
Last Updated
18th November 2008