New Year Films and Chinese Cinema at the End of the 1990s

Rui Zhang

in The Cinema of Feng Xiaogang

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9789622098855
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207523 | DOI:
New Year Films and Chinese Cinema at the End of the 1990s

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This chapter discusses the emergence of Feng Xiaogang's New Year films despite the film authority's indecision on the functions of cinema in the middle of the 1990s and the deepening industry reform that was aimed toward market demand. Under this circumstance, Feng's New Year films emerged as a compromise with the Party film policy and as a successful exploration of a genre that appealed to the mass audience. In the chapter, the focus is centered on Feng's three New Year films that were produced from 1997 to 2000. All three films share similarities of subject, narrative, and theme. Along with the narrative of these films are detailed analyses that determine their recurring themes, such as the victory of the “little character,” ridicule of the privileged social strata, representations and image of the West and America, and hidden social commentary. By critically looking at Feng's cinema, the “doubleness” in the ideology of his films and his negotiations with the predominant powers of the film industry are revealed.

Keywords: Feng Xiaogang; New Year; film policy; social commentary; film industry

Chapter.  17162 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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