New Chinese Cinema: Challenging Representations by Sheila Cornelius with Ian Haydn Smith [in Push > for NAATA]
Another slim volume that offers a concise, informative overview of mainland Chinese cinema, with a focus on the last half-decade. Chinese cinema history can be loosely summarized in six generations, beginning with early 20-century pioneer filmmakers, who were followed by predominantly martial arts makers in the 1920s. The ‘30s and ‘40s marked the so-called “Golden Age” of Chinese films, during which Chinese films began to win international awards, while the later “fourth generation” produced Soviet-inspired propagandist films of the early Mao years. The Fifth Generation, however, put Chinese cinema into theaters all over the world – Chen Kaige (Farewell My Concubine), Zhang Yimou (Red Sorghum and Raise the Red Lantern), and Tian ZhuangZhuang (The Blue Kite) – as well as the luminous Gong Li. The Sixth Generation are post-Tiananmen Square filmmakers, who both expose conditions of modern life in China while rebelling against what they perceive as the lush, nostalgic style of the Fifth Generation.