Chinese Cinema: From the Fifth Generation to Now

 Chinese Cinema: From the Fifth Generation to Now


Instructor: Yuanyuan Li, Ph.D. 


Course description:

Since the end of the Culture Revolution (1966-1976), Chinese cinema entered into a phase of transition. The Fifth generation garnered reputations from different international festivals and made Chinese cinema visible in the world. From the launch of the economic reform, Chinese film industry has undergone a subtle shift in many ways. The Chinese film market is by now the second largest film market after Hollywood and its figures are rapidly growing. 

Which were the main phases of the transition from a state industry to one of the major players in the global business? Moreover, Chinese films – from the early screenings at the Shanghai tea houses to recent global successful titles – have raised questions of national and cultural identity. How have films articulated the narrative of China across the 20th and 21st century? How have Chinese films circulated nationally and abroad? 

Through the lens of a set of films, the course will examine Chinese film and the film industry from the raise of the fifth generation to now. Following a historiography/chronological perspective, the different topics will be approached from a multidisciplinary perspective so as to discuss the complexity of the relation between Chinese cinema and Chinese society.



Lectures and screenings, student presentations, assignments and a final paper. Attendance is compulsory according to Zhejiang University regulations.



Deadline for submitting the papers on e-mail to is 24 April 2016. 

The paper is to be 8-10 pages long including list of references and footnotes (2300 characters with spaces per page). The paper has to include: 

1) An introduction presenting the topic and theoretical approach/es; 

2) A brief section presenting the selection of films or written texts relevant for the topic; 

3) At least 3 sections discussing the topic; 

4) A section titled “Conclusion” with the 1-3 main points (conclusions) of the paper; 

5) A “List of references” that include at least some visual material (films or film excerpts) and 5 academic sources that are used in the paper.



Class attendance: 10% + Class participation: 30% + Final Paper 60%


Syllabus & Reading list-Chinese Cinema-spring 2016.pdf

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