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CHIN 226
Chinese Film and Its Significant Others Spring 2020
Division I
Cross-listed COMP 296 / CHIN 226

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From the “wows” that the first short films invoked at a Shanghai teahouse in 1896 to the $527 million (or 3.4 billion RMB) grossed at the box-office by a 3D fantasy in 2016, Chinese films have struck a responsive chord among domestic and foreign audiences. In this survey course, we will explore the evolving relationships between Chinese films and five “significant others” that are central to film and film-making. Roughly following a chronological order, this course will examine 1) the effect of new technological developments (such as photography, sound, color, special FX) on film; 2) the tension between film and traditional modes of public entertainment (such as operas and shadow plays); 3) film’s social role to affirm and contest gender, national, and class identities; 4) the need to garner differing sources of financial support (state funding, cultural entrepreneurs, and transnational capital); and 5) the circulation of Chinese films in the global market. Class materials include various genre films (melodrama, horror, martial arts, comedy, etc.), directors’ notes, contemporary reviews, and scholarship in China and media studies. All materials and discussions are in English.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 20
Expected: 15
Class#: 3408
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: attendance and participation, short response papers (1- 2-pages each), one final project
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: current or prospective Chinese, Japanese, Asian Studies, and Comparative Literature majors
Distributions: Division I
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
COMP 296 Division I CHIN 226 Division I
Attributes: FMST Core Courses

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