Film Studies (FMS) 189: Special Topics – Chinese Cinema
This course focuses on the cinematic traditions of China, from the early silent era through to the twenty-first century. Students explore the themes, styles, aesthetics, and socio-political contexts of particular films as well as the evolution of the entire Chinese film industry. Special emphasis is given to the New Chinese Cinema from the early 1980s to the present moment. The representative directors under discussion include such internationally renowned filmmakers as Chen Kaige, Zhang Yimou, Jia Zhangke, Wang Xiaoshuai, and Ang Lee.
The course examines the New Chinese Cinema as an outgrowth of indigenous, local, and national roots as well as a necessary response to international film culture. The course looks at how films engage in social critique and cultural reflection, and how film artists react to the conditions and forces of socialist politics, capitalist economics, tradition, modernization, and globalization in China and Taiwan. In Fall 2007, UCD’s hosting of the Taiwan Film Festival, October 10-13, allowed the course to offer invaluable perspectives on a vital component of Chinese-language cinema—Taiwanese cinema—through rare opportunities to discuss films with the directors, writers, and producers present at UCD film screenings.