Hello and welcome to The Chinese Cinema Blog!
For a lot of Western moviegoers, Chinese cinema has only briefly entered their consciousness, likely through big budget wuxia films of the previous decade such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (臥虎藏龍) and Hero (英雄). If not this kind, perhaps others will associate the films from the heyday of Hong Kong cinema.
However, there is much more to this region and its cinema.
Due to China’s history, politics, and geography, an array of different styles and centres emerged. Ethnically more diverse than most imagine — 56 different ethnicities in the People’s Republic of China — and with a dizzying number of languages and dialects, it’s a cinema that’s easy to lose yourself in exploring.
And that’s without discussing it means to be Chinese, or a Chinese cinema. With thousands of years of history, and thousands of kilometres of territory, the people who now inhabit what we call China have spread throughout the world.
The most well-known cinemas that are defined under the bracket of Chinese cinema come from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Perhaps you’ve heard of all three, or perhaps not. Perhaps you think they’re all China, perhaps not. Regardless, because of history and geography, cinema in all of these places developed on very distinct paths.
But, Chinese cinema has grown beyond even beyond these locations. Besides the Chinese diaspora in South East Asia (Malaysia, Singapore etc.), there is also large-scale Chinese investment into Hollywood productions. Many of your favourite big-budget superhero films are now partially financed by Chinese studios.
So, regardless if you’ve had a previous interest in Chinese cinema, we promise you that the tastes and trends of this region will shape cinema for many years to come.
We hope that this blog will be able to serve as your guide as we explore the past, present, and future of everything Chinese cinema.