The first of its kind in English, this collection explores twenty one well established and lesser known female filmmakers from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Chinese diaspora. Sixteen scholars illuminate these filmmakers' negotiations of local and global politics, cinematic representation, and issues of gender and sexuality, covering works from the 1920s to the present. Writing from the disciplines of Asian, women's, film, and auteur studies, contributors reclaim the work of Esther Eng, Tang Shu Shuen, Dong Kena, and Sylvia Chang, among others, who have transformed Chinese cinematic modernity.
Chinese Women's Cinema is a unique, transcultural, interdisciplinary conversation on authorship, feminist cinema, transnational gender, and cinematic agency and representation. Lingzhen Wang's comprehensive introduction recounts the history and limitations of established feminist film theory, particularly its relationship with female cinematic authorship and agency. She also reviews critiques of classical feminist film theory, along with recent developments in feminist practice, altogether remapping feminist film discourse within transnational and interdisciplinary contexts. Wang's subsequent redefinition of women's cinema, and brief history of women's cinematic practices in modern China, encourage the reader to reposition gender and cinema within a transnational feminist configuration, such that power and knowledge are reexamined among and across cultures and nation-states.
Chinese Women's Cinema offers thoughtful theoretial interventions into feminist film theory and superb analyses of Chinese female filmmakers that will certainly spark additional study of historically constituted Chinese women's cinema and its complex negotiation of female subjectivities.
Tina Mai Chen
AcknowledgmentsIntroduction: Transnational Feminist Reconfiguration of Film Discourse and Women's Cinema, by Lingzhen WangPart I: Female Authorship Negotiated in Different Times, Spaces, and Genres1. Socialist Cinema and Female Authorship: Overdetermination and Subjective Revisions in Dong Kena's "Small Grass Grows on the Kunlun Mountain" (1962), by Lingzhen Wang2. Masochist Men and Normal Women: Tang Shu Shuen and "The Arch" (1969), by Yau Ching3. Migrating Hearts: The Cultural Geography of Sylvia Chang's Melodrama, by Zhen ZhangPart II: Gendered Voices: Images and Affect4. The Voice of History and the Voice of Women: A Study of Huang Shuqin's Women's Films, by Xingyang Li5. Post-Taiwan New Cinema Women Directors and Their Films: Auteurs, Images, Language, by Yu-Shan Huang and Chun-Chi Wang6. Affect, Memory, and Trauma Past Tense in Hu Mei's "Army Nurse" (1985) and Xu Jinglei's "Letter from an Unknown Woman" (2004), by E. Ann KaplanPart III: The Visual Subject and Feminist Cinema7. The Encoding of Female Subjectivity: Four Films by China's Fifth-Generation Women Directors, by S. Louisa Wei8. From Mao's "Continuous Revolution" to Ning Ying's "Perpetual Motion" (2005): Sexual Politics, Neoliberalism, and Postmodern China, by Gina Marchetti9. Searching for Female Sexuality and Negotiating with Feminism: Li Yu's Film Trilogy, by Shuqin CuiPart IV: Female Writing, Performance, and Issues of Cinematic Agency10. To Write or to Act, That Is the Question: 1920s to 1930s Shanghai Actress-Writers and the Death of the "New Woman", by Yiman Wang11. Gender, Genre, and Performance in Eileen Chang's Films: Equivocal Contrasts Across the Print-Screen Divide, by Yingjin Zhang12. Chu T'ien-wen and the Sotto Voce of Feminine Expression in the Films of Hou Hsiao-Hsien, by Christopher Lupke13. To Become an Auteur: The Cinematic Maneuverings of Xu Jinglei, by Jingyuan ZhangPart V: Migration, Diaspora, and Transcultural Practice of Gender and Cinema14. In Search of Esther Eng: Border-Crossing Pioneer in Chinese-Language Filmmaking, by Kar Law15. Transpacific Waves in a Global Sea: Mabel Cheung Yuen-Ting's Cinematic Archive, by Staci Ford16. Filming One's Way Home: Clara Law's Letters to Oz, by Shiao-Ying ShenFilmographyGlossaryBibliographyIndex