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Official views in China and many western scholars had seen Mao's revolution as a "peasant revolution, but their two books, Chinese Village, Socialist State and Revolution, Resistance, and Reform in Village China presented a detailed and dramatic picture of state exploitation.

The volumes explained the seeming success of radical village experiments, such as those at Dazhai , by the discovery that the state had given them extensive subsidies. At the University of California, San Diego, Pickowicz and his colleague Joseph Esherick inaugurated a doctoral program in modern Chinese history which has produced several dozen students whose theses have been published as books. The two books describe the village of Wugong , in Raoyang county , Hebei , some kilometres south of Beijing.

Wugong was designated as a model village, partly to honor its having founded a co-operative at the height of the Second Sino-Japanese war. The first volume is devoted to the s and s, which include the war years and the coming to power of the Communist Revolution and the land-reform campaigns. The second begins with the formation of the commune and the famine of the Great Leap Forward and follows the village through the early years of the next century. In each, the leading figure is Geng Changsuo , the leading cadre.

Lucien Bianco , a French historian who specializes in rural Chinese history, wrote that he did not share the enthusiasm for the first volume, but thought that this second volume was much better.

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He felt that offering a step-by-step chronicle brought a certain lack of focus and did not offer a thematic context. It is a local history told with a critical distance but never bereft of sympathy. It is a sober, concise, incisive account, quite often simply complemented by a final line or concluding phrase. Pickowicz told an interviewer that he was made to feel unwelcome when he first did research in Chinese archives but the situation gradually improved.

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. But for our purposes here, this outline is sufficient. It makes clear that where Lim adds the V to counter any monolithic understanding of Chinese cinema, we removed it to recognize the increasing move away from that monolithic model, but in the form of transnational linkages, as outlined above. Certainly, Chinese film-making remains internally distinguished and multiple, but this may be manifested less in territorial separation than in different modes of film-making and different sectors of film culture.

Paul G. Pickowicz

At the same time, flows of personnel and money between these modes and sectors suggest, if not anything as fixed and integrated as a system, at least a combinatoire of linked operations. This difficulty in pinning down the 'transnational' is one factor leading Zhang Yingjin to prefer 'comparative film studies'. He writes: The term 'transnational' remains unsettled primarily because of multiple interpretations of the national in transnationalism. What is emphasized in the term 'transnational'? If the emphasis falls on the prefix 'trans' i. Zhang, 37 Comparison refers to the existence and separation of distinct entities, but we believe that the relationships among various Chinese film-making communities are mutually penetrating, their borders porous and con- stantly changing.

We understand the frustration of the slippery quality of the 'transnational'. But rather than try to close down its protean quality or move away from it, we have selected essays that pursue it in different directions and push its limits.

There is no question that there are plenty of transborder flows and transcultural appropriations here - from Europe to Hollywood; from Hollywood to Shanghai; from Shanghai to Hong Kong and more. However, Wang's reflection on these transnational objects of study opens up a whole other set of questions. She asks not what transnational Chinese films are as objects, but rather what transnational Chinese film studies is as a method. Here, Wang engages in larger debates about the politics and ethics of the transnational and about globalization in general.

Are the transna- tional and globalization simply other words for globalism - the ideology and practice of neo-liberal economics, and the drive to produce difference as only wage differentials and consumer choices within an otherwise Introduction, or, What's in an V? Wang seeks to mobilize the transnational in a different direc- tion, one that resists simple commodifiability of transnational objects or cultural nationalist celebration of transnational export.

In Zhang's terms, Wang's essay emphasizes the 'national' in the transnational. From her point of view, all the borders - administrative, cultural, theoretical, political and more - in the transnational can enable productive differences and disjunctures. These range from the transforma- tion of local culture enabled by foreign imports thematized in the various Chinese localizations of The Love Parade, to the critical insights produced by views across the borders of culture and academic disciplines.

HEIDI: Pickowicz, Paul G.: China on film

Wang cites Lu's comment that 'Chinese film was an event of transna- tional capital from its beginning' 4. The historical dimension of Chinese transnational cinemas is at the centre not only of her essay, but also of Kenny Ng's. Ng's essay is a detailed empirical account of censorship of films brought in from outside the territory of Hong Kong between and Chinese cinemas may have been transnational from the begin- ning, as Lu claims.

But what Ng's history reveals is that the transnational has a history, and history means change. Hong Kong might be known as a 'free port', but Ng's essay reveals the constructed and often constrained quality of this 'freedom'.

The records that he has accessed and researched reveal the high level of anxiety felt by Hong Kong's rulers during the height of the Cold War and the tensions provoked by the Cultural Revolution just across the border. In fact, Ng's research shows that contrary to many assumptions about Hong Kong, the import and exhibition of films in Hong Kong was strongly if dis- creetly controlled by the government.


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Ng's analysis of film imports under colonialism reminds us that transnational flow, contrary to the metaphor the word invokes, is not a spontaneous force of nature, but shaped and produced by various social, economic and cultural forces. Understanding those different flows and how they relate to different kinds of socio-economic and political regimes - the Communist, the American-aligned, the colonial and more - is another important aspect of the transnational requiring further attention.

The question of how different political regimes participate in and shape the transnational also drives Emilie Yueh-yu Yeh and Darrell William Davis's essay on the China Film Group Corporation in Beijing. This huge government-owned conglomerate retains a monopoly on the highly prof- itable box-office split imports that the Chinese government has allowed since the mids. It has long been the major player in the distribution and exhibition sector.

The revenue it derives from these activities has allowed it also to become a major player in the production of the globally successful Chinese martial arts blockbusters so readily associated with transnational Chinese cinemas at the moment. If the market sector strug- gled to develop against the instincts of the socialist state in the early days, the two work closely together today in a process of mutual strengthening exemplified by the China Film Group.

It also builds on these observations to reverse the usual assumptions about the relationship between the transnational and the national. Many commentators assume that more participation in the transnational means weakening of the nation-state. On the basis of the China Film Group's activities, Yeh and Davis see participation in the transnational as a strategy to strengthen the Chinese nation-state that tends towards the renationalization of the Chinese film industry.

In other words, Yeh and Davis may also eventually want to drop the V in 'transnational Chinese cinema', too, but for reasons rather different from those we have observed at the beginning of this essay. When we hear the term 'transnational Chinese cinemas', most of us think first about the blockbusters like Curse of the Golden Flowers Mancheng Jindai Huangjin Jia, and The Banquet Yeyan, that feature strongly in Yeh and Davis's essay.

The final two essays in the anthology, by Rossella Ferrari and Zakir Hossein Raju respectively, focus on the artistic and geographical outer limits of transnational Chinese cinemas. In the first case, the transnational is linked to the transmedial to stretch the boundaries of what counts as cinema, whereas in the second case the ter- ritory of Greater China is left behind entirely to ask whether the Chinese cinema of Malaysia can be simultaneously of a single nation-state and part of transnational Chinese cinemas.

Ferrari examines the multimedia performances organized through Hong Kong's Zuni Icosahedron art collective. The events were organized on either side of the Handover, and involved artists from Taiwan and the mainland, as well as Hong Kong. She examines how the transmedial zone of multimedia appropriations becomes in these works a zone for the figura- tion and exploration of Chinese transnationality in all its complexity at this crucial juncture.

For example, she notes how, in a time of disappear- ance and efforts to lay down traces, various works play on the contrast between the impermanent presence of live performance versus the ghostly permanence of the film or video performance. In this way, she interrogates the limits of what we should consider as the 'cinema' in 'transnational Chinese cinemas'. Raju's essay also takes in a wide definition of 'cinema', because the films he looks at are almost all shot on digital video.

The Malaysian digital video cinema movement is one of the most vibrant and original to appear in recent years. With one or two exceptions, the main film-makers are all Chinese Malaysians and the films they make are set in Chinese Malaysian worlds with no Malay or Indian characters of significance. In a sense, this is a Chinese cinema made in the diaspora. Raju asks how this phenome- non should be understood in relation to transnationality, for although this cinema is part of diaspora culture, it is also entirely produced within the single nation-state territory of Malaysia.

To answer these questions of cultural geography, he places the films not only in the framework of 'transnational Chinese cinemas', but also in the framework of what he calls 'Mahua or 'Malaysian overseas Chinese' cultural production. Introduction, or, What's in an V? While we are opposed to taking the 'transnational' for granted, we do not approach the 'transnational' as a theoretical concept for which only one precise definition is acceptable. Instead, by understanding the term as multi-functional, we hope that the rich and complex possibilities of the seemingly simple and obvious 'transnational' can begin to crystallize and proliferate.

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Different Aspects of the Country in the Films - Essay Example

In this way, we also hope this issue will stimulate further con- sideration of 'transnational Chinese cinemas' - or 'cinema', whichever is most appropriate! Works cited Lim, S. Zhang, Y. Suggested citation Berry, C. What's in an 's'? Journal of Chinese Cinemas 2: 1, pp. His research is focused on Chinese cinemas and other Chinese screen-based media, with a particular interest in gen- der, sexuality and the postcolonial politics of time and space.

E-mail: c. E-mail: lkpang cuhk. By examining the dual modes of address in a Hong Kong remake of a Lubitsch musical comedy, I demonstrate the importance of scrutinizing border politics and the foreignization of Chinese cinema in its transnational production and reception. Keywords transnational cinema methodology mode of address foreignization remake I. The euphoria of the transnational There is a risk in chanting 'transnational' cinema, just as there is a risk in celebrating 'hybridity'. While the transnational discourse has proliferated over the past decade into what is virtually an academic mantra, the criti- cal parameters of the transnational are often left unquestioned and unex- plored.

Consequently, the discourse elides the 'disjuncture' that Arjun Appadurai emphasizes in his analysis of the transnational scapes, includ- ing the ethnoscape, mediascape, technoscape, finanscape and ideoscape Appadurai In Chinese film studies, this critical lapse has been aggravated since the s by exponentially increasing transnational cinema activities in the form of outsourcing, co-production, simultaneous global exhibition and borderless movie download websites.

Indeed, at one hundred-plus years old, Chinese cinema has never been more transna- tional than now, in the commonly recognized era of globalization that heavily relies upon goods 'made in China' - including films. As Chinese cinema is now revealed to be a site traversed by various internal and exter- nal forces, we feel the prevalent euphoria over the broadened horizon, the relaxed border lines and the newly discovered territories. Nevertheless, instead of summarily disposing of the issue of the border, such euphoric transnational discourse often finds itself encountering questions.

Does a border still exist in the de-territorialized transnational domain, a border across which 'Chinese' status becomes annulled? What are the stakes in maintaining or transcending the border? How may we redefine the border so as to productively re-territorialize de-bordered Chinese cinema? Given the geopolitical 'border', its attendant apparatuses, and the politics that keep on haunting the various vectors of transnational flow, JCC 2 1 pp. After all, Hollywood is the first successful border- crossing model in production and distribution.

Once we place border politics back into the euphoric picture, we realize that the fundamental challenge is not to collect more transnational Chinese films, but rather to interrogate the very concept of 'transnational Chinese cinema'. We need to ask what problems it glosses over, and how we can re-tool this concept in order to address the cultural politics in Chinese film production, distribution and exhibition, especially the cultural politics that has produced what Appadurai describes as 'an altogether new condition of neighborliness', or media- induced 'communities with "no sense of place'" that are 'rhizomic, even schizophrenic' on the one hand, and imbued with 'fantasies or night- mares or electronic propinquity on the other' Appadurai These questions have led to some thought-provoking works.

In her study of cross-Pacific Sinophone articulations, Shu-mei Shih critiques the abstract understanding of heterogeneity for being easily universalizable and containable by 'a benign logic of global multiculturalism' 7. In the field of film studies, Elizabeth Ezra and Terry Rowden propose to use transnational cinema as 'a critical category' rather than just to refer to a body of works in order to 'factor Europe and the US into the problematics of "world cinema'", allowing us to 'recognize the hybridity of much new Hollywood cinema' 2.