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The Evolution of China's War Movie In Five Decades: Factors Contributing to Changes, Limits, and Implications

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In the last few years, China's film has experienced significant changes. As a recent report in Time commented, from theme to production, from content to genre, changes in all aspects were unprecedented and have received worldwide attention (Corliss, 1996). Among the changes, the evolution of military movies has been one of the most phenomenal. Moreover, breakthroughs that have occurred in military movies may have far more profound significance than changes in other movies. It is because in communist China, military movies typically represent: the most important part of the film industry; the strongest part of the film industry; some of the most unique characteristics of the film industry; as well as the political/ideological nature and cultural identity of the film industry. Therefore, it may be said that changes in military movies have symbolized that China's film industry has passed another turning point in its history. Nevertheless, changes in military movies have not yet received the scrutiny that they should.

Keywords: China; cultural identity; film; ideological; military movies; political

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 1998

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  • Asian Cinema is a seminal journal, which has been published since 1995 by the Asian Cinema Studies Society under the stewardship of Professor John Lent. From 2012 Asian Cinema will be published by Intellect as part of our Film Studies journal portfolio. The journal currently publishes a variety of scholarly material - including research articles, interviews, book and film reviews and bibliographies - on all forms and aspects of Asian cinema. The journal's broad aim is to advance understanding and knowledge of the rich traditions of the various Asian cinemas, thereby making an invaluable contribution to the field of Film Studies in general.
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