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    Examination of Chinese cinematic practices - blockbusters, controversial documentaries and digital microcinema - with a focus on its contribution to world cinema.No knowledge of Chinese language is required.

    Chinese cinema is a rising global phenomenon. By examining what is shown on Chinese screens, who is producing it and who is watching, this paper is also a window to Chinese's modern history and its political, economic and cultural transformations. An understanding of Chinese cinema is, therefore, very important for students who are planning to pursue careers in media or other professions that require a deeper understanding of contemporary Chinese society.

    Note: This paper is also offered as CHIN 242. The content of the paper is the same for both CHIN 242 and CHIN 342, but assessment is differentiated between the two levels and students taking this paper at the more advanced level are asked to produce a longer research essay.

    About this paper

    Paper title Screening Chinese Cinemas
    Subject Chinese
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Not offered in 2024 (Distance learning)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    18 200-level CHIN, MFCO, VISC points
    CHIN 242, CHSX 242, CHSX 342
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music
    Suitable for students specialising in any discipline. This paper is taught in English. No knowledge of Chinese is required.
    Teaching staff
    Convenor: Dr Paola Voci
    Paper Structure
    This paper examines Chinese cinemas (including: Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and other areas of the Chinese Diaspora) thematically. By referring to their cultural context, we will critically examine film genres (eg martial art, melodrama, horror, comedy, art, propaganda, documentary, amateur) and their stars, paying particular attention to gender issues (male and female sexuality in Chinese cinema) and politics of filmmaking (ie the making of national and transnational Chinese identity).
    All required readings are available for you as electronic reserve at the Otago Library as well as on Blackboard.
    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, interdisciplinary perspective, scholarship, critical thinking, research.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes
    By participating in lectures, tutorials and screenings, students will gain
    • An ability to "read" films as both texts and contextualised practices
    • An appreciation of various forms of Chinese cinemas in their historical context and their national/transnational features
    • A critical understanding of mainstream, art, as well as marginal (counter-cultural) Chinese film practices
    By completing the assigned readings/tasks, student will develop
    • A basic understanding of how film studies have understood and examined cinema as a complex cultural practice from a multiplicity of perspectives (eg aesthetic, economic, political, and social)
    • A critical analysis of scholarship on issues related to Chinese film and media studies
    • An ability to independently investigate a particular topic (eg specific film texts, auteurs, film genres, or issues related to film production and distribution, etc)


    Not offered in 2024

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught through Distance Learning
    Learning management system
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