Asian film and media Essay Example

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Аsiаn Film and Mеdiа


As the china became associated with global showground of the post-cold war period, the young and energetic filmmakers, at that time saturated with the internet and personal computers, and china made ease expansion of intercontinental travels, are enthusiastically cosmopolitan in their viewpoint and professional behaviour. The fifth generation of 1980s and 1990s filmmakers benefited from the reputation of the cultural elite, more so the autonomously financed ones. There are various short-film festivals and documentary that offers a magnificent showground with which fifth generation did not bother. The main historical and international awards earned by the fifth generation in 1980s and 1990s because of the generous historical, cultural allegories and melodrama assisted Chinese cinema in the film studies curriculum especially in America (Zhen 23). The involvement of the young filmmakers changed the whole perception of modern Chinese cinema. These filmmakers opened up the space and time of the future Chinese society and its tension, and coeval relativity, with global currents. Therefore, this paper focuses on the contribution of Chinese Fifth Generation Cinema of 1980s and 1990s to the history, national identity, and china’s future.

Most of the Chinese films of Fifth generation are full of Chinese festivals. These festivals are not necessarily predestined fate of these films nonetheless. Most of these festivals embrace the Chinese culture in the most plausible way. They were performed in towns where the participants were mostly of two conflicting groups exhibiting their martial art technique in dragon ceremonies, amid of cosmopolitan audiences. The Tai_Chi Master (1993) JetLI is an example of the Fifth Generation film of 1990s. Film is cantered on two characters, Junbao and his friend Tienbo. At the climax of this film, in the Dynasty of Dragon, we consciously find a festival held to promote the soldiers. This is good evidence that, in Chinese culture, people valued festivals all of which celebrated for various occasions. Most of the festivals were held and organized by the most powerful people in the reign as a way of influencing the subjects.

Additionally, there were other types of festivals such as second-tier festivals that permitted audience responses beyond what was usually known. These second-tier festivals precipitated into Urban Generation online discussions which were composed of young Chinese architects and architecture Chinese students living in Diaspora – New York City. Most of these Urban Generation online discussions were centre on Jia Zhangke’s Xiao Wu where some members offered incisive and lengthy readings of the social and artistic relevance of the films. The urban Generation filmmakers distinguished themselves directly with the urbanization process. This group of Urban Generation largely contributed to urbanization of the contemporary Chinese through subversive aesthetics of the group members. Considering the online discussion, most of the future Chinese and Chinese- American architects wholeheartedly embraced the Urban Generation as naturally designation for the films. Introduction of different media and national boundaries contributed to the formation of the public sphere for Chinese films.

Another contribution of the Fifth Generation films is the Chinese national identity. Most of the films consisted of the defined art of fighting such as kung fu and Tai chi as a form of Chinese karate widely known. In the Tai_Chi Master (1993) Jet Li showed the advanced form of Tai_Chi in a most hilarious and thrilling way. Most of the weapons used were danger, spears and arrows. A prowess mastery of the technique was portrayed through the trainee’s ability to apply either Kung Fu or Tai Chi techniques in a manner in which the people of other nationalities would consider it as incredible. Chinese films are distinct from other films in the world. These films are endowed with martial art fighting, dynasty, festivals, religious rituals, and Chinese food culture. Therefore, these films of the Fifth Generation facilitated Chinese nation identity which cannot be confused with the rest of people such Japanese. Everything is distinct. Chinese language offers many contributions in defining national identity. Virtually, most of the Chinese films are set in a similar manner from the beginning, climax and to the end (Zhu, Ying, & Stanley 31).

In the Tai Chi Master (1993) Jet Li film, the protagonist undergoes series of training from the Shaolin of Temple where he acquires Tai Chi art of fighting and teaching from their masters. The training is not easily attained as witnessed in many Chinese films. The Chinese culture was promoted through these films. These Chinese films created the perception that Chinese are dangerous especially when it comes to fighting. The films portrayed the potent of the Chinese films as one that surpasses all other forms of fighting. Perhaps, we can attribute these perceptions to the rising superpower of the Chinese in our contemporary society. However, there is no much evidence to link these Chinese films to the rising China superpowers (Ying 45).

Most of the Chinese films portray the theme of violence. For example, In the Tai Chi Master (1993) Jet Li film displays a series of fighting between individuals, and between authorities and subjects. Those that mastered the art of fighting faster than others rapidly rose into power and finally rein the dynasty. The Emperor was expected to possess superior technique of fighting for him to defend his kingdom. There was apparently no candidate who came into power through democratic means as we experience today. The candidate has come into power through the hard way – through fighting. For example, Tienbo quickly joins the army because he wanted to be as rich as Eunuch Emperor. After joining the army, they are spotted in many scenes roughing the citizens by asking for protection taxes. After being loyal to the emperor, Tienbo is promoted to lieutenant position. Therefore, most of the Chinese films portray Chinese as violent in nature. However, this misconception may not be the case bearing in mind that China did not take part in the World War. The use of the film is to enhance the Chinese culture of the martial arts. Chinese believed in fight smart and using novel techniques of varied form of karate, fighting using only hands and feet as a weapon in contrary to the fights we experience in West and Africa (Yingjin 475).

The fifth generation of the Chinese films embraced Chinese culture in a number of ways. The delicious foods in China have spread throughout the world. It has been found that most of the cities in the world have a Chinese hotel or two. Through the Chinese films, Chinese culture has been diversified throughout the world. In the Tai_Chi Master (1993) Jet Li film it is clear that Junbao and Tienbo have been attending to hotels and are spotted dishing noodles and other Chinese delicacies. It is seen in most of the Chinese films, Chinese dishing on extraordinary foods such as certain types of frogs, crabs and other sea animals which are not consumed in other societies, in the world. This situation is seen as most thrilling and hilarious as one has to close eyes when a Chinese is dishing on frogs and sea crabs. These incidences in the Chinese films make other people of the world adopt the same habits out of curiosity (Rui 76).

The issue of love and marriage is most emphasized although not publicly exhibit as West. This situation can be expressed by the fact that Chinese are known to stringently preserve and conserve culture. In the Tai_Chi Master (1993) Jet Li film Junbao in love with Miss Li with whom they met at one of the towns conflicting with a young man who was then challenged by the Junbao. The result of this situation is love that develops as the film unfolds. Tienbao is seen with the interest of loving Miss Li as the evidence is reinforced when Tienbo is promoted and seized the girl in pretence of saving her. We then see Tienbo kissing the girl and seducing her until the Eunuch Emperor interrupted. This is an evidence of conflicts involving love circles as exhibited by Chinese film.


Conclusively, Chinese films have contributed in diversification of Chinese culture over the last decades. Chinese films have created milestones over which Chinese national identity, culture and media have developed. Chinese national identity has been enhanced through martial arts, food, love, and Chinese language. Chinese films have also enhanced Chinese festivals throughout the world especially in the West. The festival enhancement has been possible through the occurrence of online Urban Generation discussions which prompted urbanization through sharing of ideas with those Chinese in Diaspora. The Urban Generation has precipitated into what China is currently. Therefore, Chinese films have contributed to the development of china up-to-date through cultural enhancement and film technology in general.

Work cited

Zhang, Rui. The Cinema of Feng Xiaogang: Commercialization and Censorship in Chinese Cinema after 1989. Aberdeen, Hong Kong: Hong Kong university press, 2008. Print. Pp 76

Zhang, Yingjin. A Companion to Chinese Cinema. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2012. Internet resource. Pp 475

Zhang, Zhen. The Urban Generation: Chinese Cinema and Society at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century. Durham: Duke University Press, 2007. Internet resource. Pp-23

Zhu, Ying, and Stanley Rosen. Art, Politics, and Commerce in Chinese Cinema. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2010. Print. Pp-31.

Zhu, Ying. Chinese Cinema during the Era of Reform: The Ingenuity of the System. Westport, Conn: Praeger, 2003. Print. Pp 45