Chinese Cinema.

In response to ‘lactatingbookworm’  – quite by chance I have found and regard as quite good two books:

‘Chinese Cinema – culture and politics since 1945’ author: Paul Clark. ISBN 0 521 32638 9   Readable, not heavy going, tho not a lightweight either.

‘Perspectives on Chinese Cinema’. Edited by Chris Berry. ISBN 0 85170 272 4 pbk.  More like a PhD theses.  Enjoyable and not that heavy going, tho took me a while to get into it.

Postscript: Its a habit of mine to add bits to the last one or two posts. I need to find someone in China that can provide the information we need. I’m keen to know what happened to the Chinese film industry during the years of Mao and his evil twisted wife Jiang Qing. She had been a minor player in films and with gaining influence decimated the industry. Cui Wei and Zhao Dan suffered badly and died of their ill treatment during the Cultural Revolution. I have an e-mail from an expert and hope to learn more.

I see now a distinct difference between this blog of mine (here since Jan 2008)  and my older (Feb 2007) over on the slower tho still loved lj. The latter seems more coherent wheras here I seem to be a bit of a mess. Tho its nice to receive comments.

Both have only tiny mentions of the films and artists referred to so far in this blog so far. I am in touch with a Chinese penpal to find more. Its early days in my exploration, so far I’m very impressed with Zhou Xuan 周旋 , Zhao Dan, Cui Wei (Hong Qi Pu) and Tao Yu Ling (Liu Bao de Gushi).

I had forgotten abt the very useful website, devoted to the history of Chinese cinema. From that site here is an interview which includes recollections of the terrible days for the Chinese film industry during the merciless persecution by Maos wife Jiang Qing.

I’ve known of this excellent site……for a year now. Click on his home page and see the other poems. An excellent read bringing out the humanity and warmth that can be incorporated in a Tang poem. I have the little book ‘170 Chinese Poems’  by the great scholar Arthur Waley. First pub in 1918, my edition 1940’s.  Got it off ebay for £2. Wonderful wonderful little word vignettes of personal outlook and regret, hope, whatever.

However a more recent book, cost me brand new price (I don’t have very much spare money) was to me a dissapointment. ‘Poems of the Masters’ by Red Pine. Sorry Bill I say this, no pinyin is a real drawback. I prefer to choose my own fluid translation, or see perhaps the not rigid possibilities of the translation (most important) and the fixed English translation laid down flat and bare on the page do not open the poem up. These poems are famous as subjects of cogitation and to ponder on.  The characters need to be larger, my sight is not as good. The characters are of great beauty in themselves – they need to be seen.  I’ve never looked at this book since I bought it. This highlights the pitfalls of buying books unseen and believing vacuous Amazon praise.  Still, its got a pretty front cover…..


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2 Responses to “Chinese Cinema.”

  1. lactatingbookworm Says:


  2. lactatingbookworm Says:

    This is an excellent page!

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