The Cinema of Feng Xiaogang

Commercialization and Censorship in Chinese Cinema after 1989


Rui Zhang

ISBN : 978-962-209-885-5

Film, Media, Fine Arts

September 2008

204 pages, 6″ x 9″

  • HK$350.00

Also available in Paperback HK$175.00

Beginning first as a case study of Feng Xiaogang, this book explores Chinese film history since the early 1990s in terms of changes of the Communist Party’s film policy, industry reforms, the official promotion of Main Melody films and the emergence and growth of popular cinema. The image of Feng that will emerge in this book is of a filmmaker working under political and economic pressures in a post-socialist state while still striving to create works with a personal socio-political agenda. In keeping with this reality, this book approaches Feng as a special kind of film auteur whose works must be interpreted with attention to the specific social and political context of contemporary China.

The book will be a useful reference tool for students and scholars in the fields of Chinese studies, Chinese film history and film studies. It could also be used as textbook for classes about Asian cinema, international cinema and Chinese culture/film studies. The extensive use of data about the Chinese film market, and elaborate analysis of the situation of Chinese film industry make this book a valuable volume for classroom and personal use.

Dr. Rui Zhang studied history of art and film at The Ohio State University. She is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at Tsinghua University in China.

“Feng Xiaogang, as the foremost creator of commercial films, is one of the most important directors inside China. Concerned with the daily life of ordinary people, he has not been duly studied in the West. Rui Zhang’s careful analysis of his work is therefore an important addition to the literature on Chinese film.” —Sheldon Lu, Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Davis, author of China, Transnational Visuality, Global Postmodernity (2001) and Chinese Modernity and Global Biopolitics: Studies in Literature and Visual Culture (2007)

“Drawing insights from cultural studies and film criticism, Rui Zhang’s book is a timely study of a quintessential figure in post-socialist popular culture and the flexibility of the Chinese state in balancing market reform with ideological control.” —Yingjin Zhang, Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of California, San Diego, author of Screening China (2002) and Chinese National Cinema (2004)