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Chinese cinema

Chinese cinema has much to offer, including exciting action cinema, soaring melodramas, musicals more flamboyant than Hollywood or Bollywood, psychological thrillers, crime dramas and social realism. Most importantly, you will find China itself here, its dreams, desires and fears.

We strongly believe that one of the best ways of familiarising yourself with a place is to look at its movies – its entertainments and its art films. No better time exists to get to know China than now when it’s starting to play a greater role in the world.

The wonderful films that we discuss on this website are all from China. Because we want to tell you the whole story of Chinese cinema on this site we cover no less than eight decades. Starting in bustling Shanghai in the 1930s with Goddess, a masterpiece starring Ruan Lingyu, a great but tragic figure who is now almost forgotten. We wish to help bring back her reputation. One of the finest actors of our own period, Maggie Cheung, played Ruan in Centre Stage.

Cinema of the '40s

With China on the Brink of Change, we look at the Mainland Movies of the forties – Fei Mu’s Spring in a Small Town, another masterpiece and the fast-paced social comedy Crows and Sparrows. From here we travel to the 60s, to Hong Kong and Taiwan, where we discover one of the world’s most famous films, The Love Eterne, the action movie The One-Armed Swordsman, and some of the finest works of poetic realism in film.

Next we focus on Zhang Yimou’s Career and the directors of the Fifth Generation. We particularly wish to introduce British audiences to the movies of Xie Fei, one of its professors.

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