Working questions for assigned readings (please answer each question with a
Rey Chow, "Introduction":
(1) What, according to Chow, is the problem with Owen's approach to Bei Dao's poetry?
(2) Why is it important to avoid regarding foreignness in terms of race, land and language?
(3) What is the role of "white guilt" when dealing with a foreign literature?
Roy Armes, Third World Film Making and the West:
(1) What is the postcolonial state?
(2) What is national culture?
(3) How does capitalism affect art production in the third world?
Rothman, "The Goddess: Reflections on Melodrama East and West":
(1) How is Godess "Chinese"?
(2) Does the camera objectify Ruan Lingyu? How?
(3) How does the article cope with the issue of otherizing China?
Harris, "The New Woman Incident":
(1) What is the relation between Ruan's on-screen persona and real life?
(2) Give examples of specific scenes.
(3) What does Lu Xun think of the role of journalism in Ruan Lingyu's case?
Marchetti, Two Stage Sisters:
(1) What is the plot of Two Stage Sisters?
(2) How does the film relate to earlier films and to Chinese opera?
(3) How was the film used in contemporary political debates?
Clark, "Ethnic Minorities in Chinese Films":
(1) How does Chinese cinema treat the exotic?
(2) What is the significance of the West in Chinese film of the 50s? the 80s?
(3) How is the West employed to criticize Chinese society?
Clark, "Two Hundred Flowers on China’s Screens":
(1) How was film exploited as a political tool in the late 50s? Through what themes?
Zhang and Li , "The Modernization of Film Language":
(2) Give examples of new film language. Why does China need a new film language?
(3) What is the difference between exterior and interior film techniques?
Zhang, "Ideology and Utopia in Zhang Yimou’s Red Sorghum":
(1) How is the heroic cinema of the Maoist era parodied by 5th-generation filmmakers?
(2) What is the role of mythology in Zhang Yimou's films?
(3) What is the relation between desire and the mode of production?
Kaplan, "Reading Formations and Chen Kaige's Farewell My Concubine:":
(1) How does the Peking opera story of Farewell to my Concubine interact with the modern plot?
(2) What is the role of gazing in the film?
(3) How is politics made into a spectacle?
Berry, "A Nation T(w/o)o: Chinese Cinema(s) and Nationahood(s)":
(1-2) How many Chinas are there if one counts governments? languages? ideologies? cinematic traditions?
(3) How does Taiwan cinema define itself?
Ciecko, "Transnational Action":
(1) How is Hollywood film used to create irony in Hong Kong film?
Abbas, "The New Hong Kong Cinema and the deja disparu":
(2) What is the relation between Hong Kong and Chinese identity?
(3) Give examples of how film copes with the threat of 1997.
Dai, "Imagined Nostalgia":
(1) Why is there a need for nostalgia in Chinese film of the 1990s?
(2) What is the significance of the "emergence of the South"?
(3) What is the relation between nostalgia and the need to "catch up"?
Tang, "Configuring the Modern Space":
(1) How is Beijing a different filmic subject?
(2)What is the connection between neorealism and urban cinema?
(3) What strategies does cinema have to portray public spaces critically?
Chen, "The Mysterious Other: Postpolitics in Chinese Film":
(1) What is the difference between the 5th and 6th generations?
(2) Give examples of postmodern phenomena in Chinese culture.
(3) What is "dislocated imagination"?