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Cheng Jihua, Pioneer in Chinese Film Studies: Interview I

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On a rainy Saturday afternoon in 1996, a friend of mine took me to visit Cheng Jihua (1921-) in Beijing. In addition to his official posts, Mr. Cheng has been an actor, film director, teacher and film historian. In my view, his biggest contribution to history is his monumental Zhongguo dianying fazhan shi (History of the development of Chinese cinema)1 that he wrote with the assistance of Li Shaobai and Xing Zuwen. I had heard that Mr. Cheng was jailed during the Cultural Revolution for his involvement in writing this book, but he appeared healthy and was in high spirits. He made us some tea and was pleased to learn that I had come from UCLA. "I taught there in 1983," Mr. Cheng informed me. We chatted for a while, then I started to ask him about the left-wing Chinese films of the 1930s and the current Chinese film industry.

Keywords: Cheng Jihua; actor; director; film historian; interview; teacher

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Davidson College

Publication date: 1999-03-01

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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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