Tentative Schedule

2020 syllabus


Themes and Methods
1/17 Introduction, excerpts from Image-Music-Text by Roland Barthes; Sheldon Lu: Sinophone Cinema; [must] “If China Can Say No, Can China Make Movies? Or Do Movies Make China?” by Chris Berry, pp. 159-177; view Farewell My Concubine, dir by Chen Kaige; articles by Sheldon Lu: China, Transnational Visuality… and Dialect and Modernity…; [must] “History Lessons” by Pauline Chen, pp.85-7; [must] answer Concubine questions;
Historical Films and Collective/Private Memories
1/19 hand in homework; the argument of End of History argument,quiz on Farewell My Concubine, directed by Chen Kaige; discuss clips 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6; [must] read “To Live Beyond Good and Evil” by Rujie Wang in Asian Cinema, vol. 12 No.1, 2001; read  “Farewell My Concubine”: History, Melodrama, and Ideology in Contemporary Pan-Chinese Cinema; view To Live, directed by Zhang Yimou; [must] answer To Live questions;
1/24 hand in homework; quiz on To Live; discuss clips 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5questions for group discussion; the place of Mao and Chinese history in film; [Must] read “We endure, therefore we are: survival, governance, and Zhang Yimou’s To Live” by Rey Chow; view City of Life and Death; [must] answer Nanjing questions;
1/26 hand in homework; quiz on City of Life and Deathdiscuss clips 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. View clips of historic background of the Cultural Revolution;Historic background of Great Leap Forward; read Peacock Review by Derek Elley; view Peacock, dir. by Gu Changwei; [must] answer Peacock questions;
1/31 hand in homework; quiz on Peacock; discuss clips 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6; view Aftershock, dir. by Feng Xiaogang; [must] answer Aftershock questions; [must] read The Aesthetics of Retroactive Memory by Wang;
2/2 hand in homework; quiz on Aftershock; discuss clips 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6; renegotiating China in post-Mao era and historical film; Read encyclopedic entry to primitivism; watch Postmen in the Mountain dir. by Huo Jianqi; [must] read Wendy Larson’s He Yi’s The Postmen: The Workspace of a New Age Maoist; another Huo’s film “Nuan” is also available in DVD format in the library; [must] answer Postmen questions;
China (Rural)
2/7 hand in homework; Postmen in the Mountains; and the aesthetics of primitivism; discuss clips 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5; a social critique of urbanization; write first paper; view Not One Less; [do not] answer Not One Less questions;
2/9  Not One Less; discuss clips 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6; Wei Minzhi today and interview; first paper due View online the film For the Children and read [must] Fredrick Jameson’s The Third World Literature in the Era of MultiNational Capitalism; [must] answer For the Children questions;
2/14 hand in homework; For the Children; discuss clips 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6; China’s obsession with skyscrapers; Read article review of Qiu Ju; view The Story of Qiu Ju; [must] answer Qiu Ju questions;
2/16 hand in homework; The Story of Qiu Judiscuss clips 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6; View Ermo dir. by Zhou Xiaowen; [must] read “Ermo, Televisuality, capital and the global village” by Ciecko/Sheldon Lu; and “What Will Become of Us if We Don’t Stop?” Ermo’s China and the End of Globilization, [must] answer Ermo questions;
2/21 hand in homework; Ermo, discuss clips 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6; watch Ermo online; [must] read “Introduction to the Probelms of a Sociology of the Novel” by Lucien Goldmann, pp.1-15, read a review of Blind Shaft; view Blind Shaft; [must] answer Blind Shaft questions;
2/23 hand in homework; Blind Shaft, discuss clips 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5; Charlie Chaplin’s dark comedy Monsieur Verdoux, (1947); view Incense[must] answer Incense questions; as you draft your 2nd paper, also familiarize yourself with Marxist critique of capitalism;
2/28 hand in homework; Incense, discuss clips 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7; view The World dir. by Zhangke Jia; read a review of The World, read Interview with Jia Zhangke , [must] read Poetics of Vanishing, the cinema of Jia Zhangke, by Zhang Xudong; [must] answer World question; begin second paper;
China (Urban)

introduce China’s social changes towards market economy

3/2 hand in homework; The World, discuss clips 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5; key events in modern Chinese history; View Happy Times; read New York Times Still Life Review; interview of Zhang Yimou by Jiao Xiongping, 1988, pp.3-11; China’s New Leftist, and A China’s Alternative; and Happy Times Review; [must] answer Happy Times questions;
3/7 hand in homework; Happy Times, discuss clips 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5; Charlie Chaplin’s silent film City Lights; (2) View Together; [must] read “The Theory of the Novel” by Georg Lukacs, pp. 29-39, 56-69; read a review of Together; [must] answer Together questions;
3/9 hand in homework;  Together, discuss clips 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6second paper due; View Shower; read article by Nick Browne entitled “Society and Subjectivity: on the political economy of Chinese melodrama” pp.40-56; read review of Shower; [must] answer Shower questions;
3/28 hand in homework;  Shower discuss clips 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5; the meaning of “O Sole Mio” in the film; view Zhou Yu’s Train; or online; read two reviews: review 1, review 2; and [must] read  “Third-World Literature in the Era of Multinational Capitalism” by Jameson; [must] answer Train questions;
3/30 hand in homework; Zhou Yu’s Train, discuss clips 01, 2, 3, 4, and 5; View A World without Thieves; [must] read Jung The Undiscovered Self pp.3-39 and read a review of Suzhou River; Modern Man in Search of A Soul pp.95-114; answer Thieves questions;
4/4 hand in homework; A World without Thieves discuss clips 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7; View Lost in Beijing, dir. by Li Yu; [must] read  Lost in Beijing by Wing Shan Ho, and [must] read Lost in Beijing by Andrew Stuckey; [must] answer Lost in Beijing questions; not Suzhou River questions;
4/6 hand in homework; Lost in Beijing, discuss clips 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6; view Getting Home based on a true story; [must] answer Getting Home questions;
4/11 hand in homework; Getting Home discuss clips 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5; view Eat Drink Man Woman; [must] read “Breaking the Soy Sauce Jar: Diaspora and Displacement“; read Ang Lee’s Domestic Tragicomedy: Immigrant Nostalgia, Exotic/Ethnic Tour, Global Market by Sheng-mei Ma; write third paper; [must] answer Food Sex questions;
Taiwan/Hong Kong cinemas
4/13 hand in homework; Eat Drink Man Woman discuss clips 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6; Read “Border Crossing: Mainland China’s Presence in Hong Kong Cinema”by Esther Yau View Wedding Banquet; dir. by Ang Lee; [must] answer Wedding questions;
4/18 hand in homework;  Wedding Banquet, discuss clips 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5third paper due Read article entitled “Intersection: Tsai Ming-liang’s Yearning bike boys and Heartsick Heroines” by Chuck Stephens, pp.20-23; view Vive L’amour dir. by Ming-liang Tsai; [must] read article by Jameson entitled “Remapping Taipei” pp.117-49; [must] answer Amour questions;
4/20 hand in homework; Vive L’amour, discuss clips 1 and 2; eighth review due; check the term minimalism in the arts View Chinese Box; [must] read: “Invisible Cities: Wayne Wang” by Alvin Lu, pp.31-7; [must] answer Box questions;
4/25 hand in homework; Chinese Box discuss clips 1, 2, 3, and 4; historical background of Hong Kong as a British colony,Kipling and White man’s burden; song and lyric of “Rose, Rove, I Love You View Comrades, Almost A Love Story read “Cultural Identity and Diaspora” by Stuart Hall, pp.392-403; [must] read “Diaspora, Citizenship, Nationality: Hong Kong and 1997” by Sheldon Lu; read article entitled “Migrancy, Culture, Identity” by Iain Chambers, pp.1-7, 22-9; read Conjugating “Chinese” in Sonophone Cinemas; answer Comrades questions;
4/27 hand in homework;  Comrades, Almost A Love Story, discuss clips 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5; View Happy Together; read A Leap Forward, Or A Great Sellout? by David Barboza; also Nostalgia of the New Wave: Structure in Wang Kar-wai’s Happy Together by Rey Chow; [must] answer Happy Together questions;
5/2 hand in homework;  Happy Together discuss clips 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5; Get ready to present your thoughts and observations on cultural identity; presentation by a small group of threes or fours encouraged; prezi or ppt with film clips welcome;
5/4 Attendance taken in the form of presentations; each person 4 minutes; or 4 x y for groups of y individuals; Final exam online; or take the option of making a short film as an exercise on the formation of identity in film;