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A Reflection on Chinese Films from Comparative Perspective
Based on the films (feature films only, documentaries not included for this assignment) you have watched in this class, what do you find as the most distinctive characteristics of Chinese films?
Needless to say, the number of Chinese films we have watched constitutes but a tiny fraction of the total Chinese film output and it is arguable whether they represent the diverse styles, genres, and approaches in Chinese filmmaking. But in the context of this class, we are going to assume that these films are representative of the mainstream filmmaking in China.
Your discussion should address both the motif (consistent themes, reoccurring sentiments, frequently used imageries, and oft-espoused values, etc.) and the aesthetic dimension (camera angle and movement, types of shots, narrative pace, lighting, etc.). You need to identify some common and consistent patterns in Chinese filmmaking that are distinctive and unique.
Then, there is the historical dimension - please think about the change and continuity in Chinese filmmaking over the years. From Song of China (1935) to The World (2004), that is seventy years of filmmaking (and Song of China is the not the first film they made)! You need to discuss change and continuity in both form and content.