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The book examines recent developments in Taiwan cinema, with particular focus on a leading contemporary Taiwan filmmaker, Wei Te-sheng, who is responsible for such Asian blockbusters as Cape No.7, Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale and Kano. The book discusses key issues, including: why (until about 2008) Taiwan cinema underwent a decline, and how cinema is portraying current social changes in Taiwan, including changing youth culture and how it represents indigenous people in the historical narrative of Taiwan. The book also explores the reasons why current Taiwan cinema is receiving a much less enthusiastic response globally compared to its reception in previous decades.?
Following their first tour to Japan in 1966, the Beatles would become an important part of Japan’s postwar cultural development and its deepening relationship with the West. By the 1960s Japan’s dramatic rise in prosperity and the self-confidence of the country’s ‘economic miracle’ period were yet to come; it was not, at this stage, considered a fully-fledged partner of the West. All these potential developments were consolidating around the time of the 1966 tour. The Beatles' concerts in Tokyo contributed to the construction of a new Japanese national identity and introduced Japan as a new potential market to UK and US music producers, broadening the country’s transnational cultural links. This book explores the Beatles’ engagement with Japan within the larger context of the country’s increased global connection and large-scale economic, social and cultural change. It describes the great impact of the Beatles’ contentious 1966 tour, which took place amid public displays of both euphoric ‘Beatlemania’ and angry protests, and discusses the lasting impression of this tour on Japanese culture and identity to the present day. The Beatles’ relationship with Japan did not end after their departure; this book also examines the Beatles’ subsequent contacts with Japan, including John Lennon’s marriage and artistic partnership with Yoko Ono, and Paul McCartney’s later Japanese tours and the warm reception the ex Beatles and their musical legacy have received over the years.
This book examines music entertainment programmes on China Central Television, China’s only national level television network, as well as on nationally-available provincial channels, exploring how such programmes project a nuanced image of China’s identity and position in the world. It shows how the images presented - primarily to domestic audiences - are in step with China’s party-state nationalism, and at the same time flexible and open to change as China’s circumstances change. The book contextualises identity construction in the media by examining the development of television in China and the political struggles between provincial and national television stations, as well as by foregrounding the historical and contemporary role of musical culture in China's nation-building project. It discusses the portrayal of the majority Han Chinese, and of ethnic minorities and their music, which, the author argues, are shown as fitting with the party-state rhetoric of “a unitary multi-ethnic state”. It also outlines how the Chinese of Greater China – Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macao and the overseas Chinese – are incorporated into a mainland centred Chinese identity. In addition, it shows how the performances of foreign personalities on the Chinese television stage emphasise foreigners' attraction to China, the uniqueness of the Chinese nation and Chinese civilisation, and the revitalised role of China in the world. Overall, the book demonstrates how the variations of Chinese identity fit with prevailing political ideologies in China and with the emerging theme of a China-centred world.
Promoting China's cultural soft power by disseminating modern Chinese values is one of the policies of President Xi Jinping. Although, it is usually understood as a top-down initiative, implemented willingly or unwillingly by writers, filmmakers, artists, and so on, and often manifesting itself in clumsy and awkward ways, for example, the concept of "the Chinese dream," intended to rival and perhaps appeal more strongly than "the American dream," modern Chinese values are in fact put forward in many ways by many different cultural actors. Through analyses of film festivals, CCTV, Confucius Institutes, auteurs, blockbusters, reality TV, and online digital cultures, this book exposes the limitations of China's officially promoted soft power in both conception and practice, and proposes a pluralistic approach to understanding Chinese soft power in local, regional, and transnational contexts. As such, the book demonstrates the limitations of existing theories of soft power, and argues that the US-derived concept of soft power can benefit from being examined from a China perspective.
Documentary filmmaking is one of the most vibrant areas of media activity in the Chinese world, with many independent filmmakers producing documentaries that deal with a range of sensitive socio-political problems, bringing to their work a strongly ethical approach. This book identifies notable similarities and crucial differences between new Chinese-language documentaries in mainland China and Taiwan. It outlines how documentary filmmaking has developed, contrasts independent documentaries with dominant official state productions, considers how independent documentary filmmakers go about their work, including the work of exhibiting their films and connecting with audiences, and discusses the content of their documentaries, showing how the filmmakers portray a wide range of subject matter regarding places and people, and how they deal with particular issues including the underprivileged, migrants and women in an ethical way. Throughout the book demonstrates how successful Chinese-language independent documentary filmmaking is, with many appearances at international film festivals and a growing number of award-winning titles.
Director Zhang Yimou's film Hero, released in 2002, is widely regarded as the first globally successful indigenous Chinese blockbuster, touching on key questions of Chinese culture, nation and politics. This book explores the reasons for the film’s popularity with its audiences, and provides fascinating insights into recent developments in Chinese society, popular culture and cultural production.
This ground-breaking book explores the moral dimensions of sexual imagery in contemporary, general-release Asian films. It examines debates that arise over aesthetic styles and the cultural and traditional influences that determine the content and impact of these films. The social and regulatory environments for filmmakers across Asia reflect distinct national and cultural differences. In just the past decade, for instance, Indian cinema has rapidly moved from representations of coy and submissive female protagonists to highly eroticized leading ladies unafraid of flaunting their sexuality. On the other hand, the cinema emerging from the Chinese mainland has been much more circumspect in its representations of overt sexuality, at times in conflict with other Chinese cinemas from Hong Kong and Taiwan. This use of sexual imagery or morally questionable film content raises on-going debates into censorship and the use of state or industry controls to protect certain sectors of society from exposure to particular narratives or images. Film, like all forms of art, fulfils a number of aesthetic functions for local, regional and international audiences. As distribution and technological advances make Asian films more readily available across the globe, an understanding of the different aesthetics at play will enable readers of this book to recognize key cultural motifs in representations of onscreen sexuality and the surrounding controversies found in cinematic texts from Asia.

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