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The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies, 7 Volume Set by Fabienne Darling-Wolf, Radhika Parameswaran, Erica Scharrer, Vicki Mayer, Sharon Mazzarella, Kelly Gates, John Nerone, Angharad N. Valdivia

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15

Chinese Cinema at the Millennium1

Defining “China” and the Politics of Representation

Gina Marchetti

ABSTRACT

Chinese-language cinema has been undergoing dramatic changes since 2000. Many of these changes parallel economic, political, social, and other cultural developments that have radically transformed the Chinese-speaking world. As Chinese cinema develops out of this diverse population, transnational exchanges, diasporic alliances, and immigrant connections complicate any picture of a “national” or unitary Chinese cinema (Zhang, 2004). However, culture, language, ethnicity, and history link Chinese communities together, and the dynamics of a marketplace in which Chinese-language films circulate make the study of Chinese cinema a fecund research topic. From popular commercial features to esoteric exercises in film art for cultured elites, Chinese cinema continues to make a mark on world film screens. In addition to looking at the current scholarship on contemporary Chinese-language cinema, this essay explores the key themes, issues, and concerns found on Chinese screens at the millennium.

Chinese cinema has been undergoing dramatic changes since 2000. Many of these changes parallel economic, political, social, and other cultural developments that have radically transformed the Chinese-speaking world. Under Deng Xiaoping and his successors, the People's Republic of China (PRC) has aggressively developed its economy, eviscerated its socialist “iron rice bowl” institutions, ...

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