Chinese Literature in Film: People and Culture

Chinese Literature in Film: People and Culture

Winter 2014
Zhejiang University



Prof. FANG Fan

School of International Studies
Research Area:Film Studies

Course Description


This course deals with reflections of Chinese people and culture in Chinese literature film. It provides an overview of major theories and perspectives on the relationship between Chinese contemporary literature and film-making. Topics range from the adaption from Chinese literary books of realism, modernism and postmodernism into films, the life of Chinese people with the political, social and spiritual changes, to the traditional cultural implications in Chinese society. The main goal of the course is to help students understand the conflict between Chinese traditional culture and present Chinese changes, showing the complication of Chinese people and culture in the age of great changes.

Course Objectives

As a result of this course, you will be able to:
1.Learn about the concepts and theories of Chinese adaption of literary books into films;
2.Acquire basic knowledge of contemporary Chinese literature and film-makings;
3.Reach a critical understanding of how Chinese literature film reflects the Chinese traditional culture and life of Chinese people in the age of great changes.

Course Requirements

1. Attendance. As required by CSP. (10%)
2. Completion of 2 critical reviews. You should pick up one article from each week’s film watching and reading and write a critical review (single spaced, 2-3 pages). Each review should consist of (1) a summary of the film, (2) comparison of this film with those you are familiar with in your own country, and (3) One open question and/or idea(s) for future research. Critical reviews are due at the beginning of the class. (60%)
3. Co-leading one discussion session. Each class meeting is divided into two parts. The first is my lecture that provides an overview of that week’s topic. The second is a discussion about the readings co-led by students in groups. Based on one of your critical reviews, you are expected to co-lead a class discussion with your classmates. For your session, your group will give a brief presentation summarizing the main arguments from your assigned reading and film-watching, working out a list of approximately 3-4 analytic and open-ended discussion questions (e.g., contrasting different perspectives, analyzing underlying assumptions, raising questions and new ideas, etc.). Following your presentation, you will facilitate the class discussion and encourage participation by other students. A comparative discussion between China and your country regarding the topic is particularly valued. Students will sign up to lead class discussion in Week 1. (30%)






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