The Formation of Chinese Art Cinema

New Book
Yang, Li. The Formation of Chinese Art Cinema: 1990-2003. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.

The Formation of Chinese Art Cinema: 1990-2003 examines the development of Chinese art film in the People’s Republic of China from 1990, when the first Sixth Generation film Mama was released, to 2003, when the authorities acknowledged the legitimacy of underground filmmakers. Through an exploration of the production and consecration mechanisms of the new art wave and its representative styles, this book argues that the art wave of the 1990s fundamentally defined Chinese art cinema. In particular, this vital art wave was not enabled by democratic liberalism, but by the specific industrial development, in which the film system was transitioning from Socialist propaganda into a commercialized entity in the 1990s. Allowing Chinese art film to grow but denying its legitimacy, this paradoxical process shaped Chinese art film’s institutional and aesthetic alternative positioning, which helped to consolidate the art wave into art cinema. Ultimately, The Formation of Chinese Art Cinema is a history of the Chinese portion of global art cinema, one which also reveals the complex Chinese cultural experiences in the Reform Era.

Table of Content

1 Introduction
Part I Institutions
2 The Socialist Film System
3 The Separation of Production
4 Institutions of Consecration
Part II Aesthetics
5 In the Mix: The Early Sixth Generation Cinema
6 The Impulse to Record: The Neorealist Style
7 The World of Psychological and Symbolic Complexity: The Expressionist Style
Conclusion: Pursuing Film Art in the Era of Reform

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Posted by: Li Yang <>

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