Modern history

Imagined China: Research on Chinese Films in the 1980s

Imagined China: Research on Chinese Films in the 1980s

This book explores how Chinese films constructed an image of China in the 1980s through analyzing the characters, composition of space, and conflict patterns of the films. It also examines the relationship between the representations in Chinese cinema and the realities of Chinese society.

The study analyzes the imagery, metaphors, and cultural values of Chinese films in the 1980s to discover the common creative focus of Chinese film directors at the time. It also examines the specific creative elements and cultural significance of Chinese cinema in the 1980s. This book is neither a “period history” of Chinese cinema in the 80s, nor a thematic study of the “fifth generation”. Rather, it is an analysis of films as narrative texts that reflected on history. It uses the perspectives revealed by characters, narrative patterns, and conflicts in films of the 1980s to examine how the era was perceived at that time as well as how China’s national future and individuals’ personal futures were being conceptualized.

This title will be a valuable resource for scholars and students of Chinese Studies, Contemporary China Studies, Film Studies, and those who are interested in Chinese culture and society in general.


Chapter 1. Screen Narration in a Time of Bringing Order out of Chaos

Chapter 2. Mainstream Cultural Trends in Chinese Films of the 1980s

Chapter 3. Reshaping China

Chapter 4. Images of Knowledge and Intellectuals in Chinese Films of the 1980s

Chapter 5. Confusions of Reality


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