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Chinese National Cinema (National Cinemas) Paperback – July 17, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0415172905 ISBN-10: 041517290X

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Product Details

  • Series: National Cinemas
  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (July 17, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 041517290X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415172905
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,081,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


'A remarkable scholarly achievement, evidenced by the author's extensive research, encyclopedic knowledge of his subject and refreshing interpretations of the major trends and developments in Chinese film history ... this book establishes Zhang as the undisputed authority on Chinese cinema in the West.' - Zhiwei Xiao, California State University

'A model of forward-looking scholarship, and a superb addition to the National Cinemas series ... eminently suited to adoption on courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.' - Julian Stringer, University of Nottingham, UK

'All in all, Chinese National Cinema is a masterly synthesis of a vast subject.' - The China Journal

About the Author

Yingjin Zhang is Professor of Chinese Literature and Film, Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies at University of California San Diego. He is the co-author and editor of Routledge's Encyclopedia of Chinese Film (1998).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By FilG on October 14, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Read the review by Sabrina Q. Yu, University of Nottingham, UK in

Three excerpts:

"The book is divided into eight chapters according to historical periodization. Fully aware of the influence of an ideological viewpoint on Chinese film historiography, Zhang tries to give Chinese cinema a less politicized, but broader periodization. Starting with early cinema (1896-1929) in Chapter Two and the 'golden age' of Chinese cinema (1930-1949) in Chapter Three, the author moves to separately address the cinema of Taiwan, Hong Kong and the PRC before 1978 in Chapters Four, Five, Six, and then investigates new waves in the three Chinas (1979-1989), and concludes with a discussion of transnational imaginary in the three Chinas from 1990 to 2002. This scheme clearly shows Zhang's aim to balance complicated Chinese film history in different temporal and geopolitical locales. On the one hand, the films of the three Chinas are given similar attention, avoiding any priority. On the other hand, a roughly identical periodization is applied to the films in the PRC, Taiwan and Hong Kong."

"As a mainland Chinese critic, it is heartening to see that Zhang, a film scholar from mainland China, pursues an ideological neutrality in his writing of Chinese film history."


"The significance of Zhang's Chinese National Cinema results from its groundbreaking endeavour to establish a less biased history of Chinese cinema, and to "conduct primary research and complete the constructive phase of film historiography before we can proceed with deconstruction and reconstruction in any confident, meaningful way" (12)."
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By jaxx on July 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book covers Chinese cinema in terms of genre, history and genres influenced by political situations. It mostly compares the progressions of Chinese cinema alongside most of the more modern history of China (KMT being overthrown, rise of the ugly CCP, chairman Mao, Post cultural revolution, etc.). The author also touches on certain terminology and various controversies surrounding it. For example, he talks about Chinese cinema can mean anything from movies made in the Peoples' Republic, Hong Kong or Taiwan. Some downsides I supposed I should mention is that for some genres, they don't give you many examples, and they do that bit you always see art/film students doing where they try and bunch everything into a category, when it might overlap with something else, or just shouldn't be categorized. Anyway, I felt this was a very detailed overview of Chinese cinema. However, I will say that this is a very intimidating choice for a textbook. On two or three pages alone, you will have enough information and facts to make an entire exam.
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