Book

Young Rebels in Contemporary Chinese Cinema

Xuelin Zhou

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9789622098497
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207707 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789622098497.001.0001
Young Rebels in Contemporary Chinese Cinema

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Has China in the 1980s gone through a phase of “youth rebellion” comparable with that represented in films such as Rebel Without a Cause (1954), Look Back in Anger (1959), or Easy Rider (1969)? This study is an attempt to look for evidence in the “youth-rebellion” films produced over that period of time that may help to answer the question. In the last twenty years of the twentieth century, the People 's Republic of China underwent profound transformations, of which the changing situation of youth was particularly striking. In a society that has traditionally assumed respect for age, the prominence of youth and their new autonomy were conspicuous. A young generation born on the eve of and growing up during the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976) came to depart from the established social norms by the late 1980s and were considered “rebels,” standing in an antagonistic relationship with mainstream ideology. This book analyzes the construction of “youth culture” in 1980s China by examining young-rebel films in terms of three areas: products (rock ‘n’ roll music), belief (or lack of it) and mode of behaviour. The study also contextualizes these films by tracing the relationship between changes in politics and changes in film from the 1950s to the present, with particular reference to the altered portrayal of young adults in the 1980s.

Keywords: 1980s; youth rebellion; films; People 's Republic of China; transformations; Cultural Revolution

Book.  232 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Young Rebels and Social Change in Young Rebels in Contemporary Chinese Cinema

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Re-forming China in Young Rebels in Contemporary Chinese Cinema

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The Apolitics of Rebellion in Young Rebels in Contemporary Chinese Cinema

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The Politics of Lifestyle in Young Rebels in Contemporary Chinese Cinema

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Rock ‘n’ Roll: From Rebellion to Consumption in Young Rebels in Contemporary Chinese Cinema

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A British Comparison in Young Rebels in Contemporary Chinese Cinema

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Conclusion in Young Rebels in Contemporary Chinese Cinema

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