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Chinese Cinema during the Era of Reform: The Ingenuity of the System Hardcover – August 30, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0275979591 ISBN-10: 0275979598

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Chinese Cinema during the Era of Reform: The Ingenuity of the System + The Genius of the System: Hollywood Filmmaking in the Studio Era
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (August 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0275979598
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275979591
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,621,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Brings the Chinese film industry to life. A virtuoso interpretation of the struggles of Chinese filmmakers to find their voice as State subsidies collapsed and market demands emerged. Deserves the attention not just of academic specialists but all who have an interest in film and where the global film community is going."-Zhao Baohua Editor-in-chief of the Chinese trade magazine Film

Book Description

Offers an insider's account of the rise and fall of Chinese cinema's art and entertainment industry, including its transition to commercialization.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John (Jonathan) Jackson on February 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I came across a glowing review of the book in the Journal of Asian Studies, Nov. 2004, Vol 63, No. 4. Here are a few excerpts--

"Comprehensive in its treatment of the subject matter, the book is well researched, and goes beyond the scholarships of such critics as Chris Berry, Nick Brown, Rey Chow, Shuiqin Cui, Paul Clark, Sheldon Lu, Xudong Zhang, to form a singular critical paradigm of globalization both as restraint and opportunity within which to rethink the Chinese cinema. ... Zhu's analysis of Chinese (national) cinema both as a culture and economy opens important channels of communication between economic reform and cultural production, between popular entertainment and intellectual heritage, between technology and cultural politics, and between local traditions and global markets. ...

The reader is fortunate to have a first-hand and intimate account of how cultural, intellectual and political issues are mediated through film to arrive at the state of Chinese cinema as we find it today. The author knows the ins and outs of the collective struggle of the Chinese film community to master the forces of the market in order to stay in business beyond the pale of socialism. ...

In Zhu's encyclopedic treatment of the topic, we see a rare synthesis of knowledge and understanding."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Ying Zhu's book is a wonderful introduction to the post-Maoist Chinese film industry. Useful to both scholars and in classrooms, it presents a picture of a film world that is relatively unknown to most Americans, but may not be for long. Balancing the impact of globalization and Hollywood with national needs, Chinese cinema, like Chinese industry in general, may be the coming wave. This book will give you a head start in understanding why.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Newman on September 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Zhu's book provides a striking analysis of the Chinese film industry's
transition to a market economy. The book traces the evolution of the
film industry, and especially the film makers, from making art cinema
(as the political atmosphere in post-Mao China relaxed)
to needing to respond to the demands of the marketplace, as
the policies of the Chinese government shifted to decrease subsidies
for films and to encourage privatization, marketization, and
co-production and co-marketing with overseas film producers
and distributors. Key film makers highlighted include Chen Kaige
(Yellow Earth and Farewell My Concubine), Tian Zhuangzhuang
(Horse Thief and The Blue Kite), and Zhang Yimou (Red Sorghum,
Judou, Not One Less). The impact of the re-introduction of blockbuster
Hollywood films into the Chinese marketplace is scrutinized, both from the
perspective of box-office revenue, distribution, and screen time,
as well as the perspective of the impact on these films on Chinese
filmgoers and critics taste and expectations of what constitutes a "quality" film.
As the Chinese film industry continues its transformation, the book
explores the impact of Hollywood and globalization on national
film industries, raising important questions for all national film industries
(not just China) on how they survive and develop a (global) audience.
The book explores the exciting possibility of using the cultural advantages
of a national film industry to develop a global audience.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
I'll only put a brief word here because Dr. Zhu assigned us to read her new book for our class, so I can't exactly give it a fair review.
Although the book has no photographs to see what the films are like (always bad in film books, but sometimes necessary), the book is highly readable and provides a strong overview. A reader could pick it up and have a strong grasp of the history and politics of Chinese cinema. Though her accent can be a bit difficult to understand in class, she is highly readable, well-informed, and did a great deal of first-hand research. If you're interested in Chinese cinema, this is a great starting point. The price and scholarly aim (see design comments below) will not make it stand out on a shelf, if you can find it there.
Book design comments: red, gold-stamped, clothbound book, no dust jacket or illustrations, several glaring typos to fix in next edition.
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