01:165:262 Chinese Cinema

This course is an introduction to Chinese language cinema in Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the transpacific region. It examines the diversity and dynamics of Chinese language cinema across political, linguistic, and ethnic boundaries. We will analyze various film genres such as martial arts cinema, ghost films, new documentary, and urban comedy, film generations and representative figures, as well as film criticism. The Chinese cinema tradition will be examined through such questions as: the foundation of Chinese cinema and the rise of nationalism; the pursuit of modernization; aesthetic responses to political and historical transformations; gender and sexuality; and the issues of revolution, among others. The classes consist of lectures, film screenings, and discussions.

The goal of this course is to study film as a means to explore the richness of Chinese culture. By the end of the course, students will be expected to have a general knowledge of the development of Chinese language cinema, and to learn about Chinese history and culture as reflected in these films.

The course is taught in English, with all films subtitled in English. No knowledge of Chinese or prior coursework in Chinese culture or film are required or expected. The lecture schedule and reading assignments are subject to change.

All films are available as online resources. Students are required to finish watching the films before each session of the class. In class sessions, excerpts of films will be screened for discussion.

Grading: Attendance and class participation: 20%, Three journals (at least 400 words, typed, double-spaced, font 12): 45% (15%*3), Final Project Presentation 10%, Final Project paper (6 pages, typed, double-spaced, font 12): 25%

Attendance for each and every entire class period is mandatory. Throughout the semester, each student is allowed one unexcused absence, and a maximum of two excused absences, which must be accompanied by doctor’s notes or dean’s notes or submitted through the University absence reporting website https://sims.rutgers.edu/ssra/ to indicate the date and reason for your absence. Beyond that, each unexcused absence will result in a lower grade by 5 points (half-hour late arrival OR early departure is counted as half absence; one hour late arrival OR early departure is counted as full absence). Your participation in class discussions will also be reflected in your grade.

Your journals should be thoughtful responses to films examined in class. Please refrain from retelling the plot of the film or lingering too long on personal experiences. A guideline for how to write a journal will be distributed to you in the first class.

You need to discuss with your instructor about choosing a Chinese film for your final project beforehand. Your project is evaluated from two parts: your presentation in class, and your written paper. Your paper should be an analytical essay, in which you construct a coherent argument based on your learning of Chinese cinema over the course of the semester. Research beyond classroom learning is also required.

No late assignments are accepted.

Plagiarism is absolutely not tolerated. When in doubt, please check the following website for the definition of plagiarism. It also contains explanations of other violations of academic integrity that you should avoid: http://www.scc.rutgers.edu/douglass/sal/plagiarism/intro.html
4. All the readings listed for each week should be done before the class. Students should bring with them the readings required at the class meeting.

It is the policy of Rutgers to make reasonable academic accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities. If you have a disability and wish to request accommodations to complete your course requirements, please contact the office of disability services and ask to speak with a coordinator (848-445-6800 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) about accommodations.