Chinese Film Stars: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Chinese Film Stars

1st Edition

Edited by Mary Farquhar, Yingjin Zhang


264 pages | 61 B/W Illus.

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This volume of original essays fills a significant research gap in Chinese film studies by offering an interdisciplinary, comparative examination of ethnic Chinese film stars from the silent period to the era of globalization. Whereas studies of stars and stardom have developed considerably in the West over the past two decades, there is no single book in English that critically addresses issues related to stars and stardom in Chinese culture.

Chinese Film Stars offers exemplary readings of historically, geographically and aesthetically multifaceted star phenomena. An international line up of contributors test a variety of approaches in making sense of discourses of stars and stardom in China and the US, explore historical contexts in which Chinese film stars are constructed and transformed in relation to changing sociopolitical conditions, and consider issues of performance and identity specific to individual stars through chapter-by-chapter case studies. The essays explore a wide range of topics such as star performance, character type, media construction, political propaganda, online discourses, autobiographic narration, as well as issues of gender, genre, memory and identity.

Including fifteen case studies of individual Chinese stars and illustrated with film stills throughout, this book is an essential read for students of Chinese film, media and cultural studies.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Chinese Film Stars Yingjin Zhang and Mary Farquhar Part I: Early Cinema: Crossing Race and Class Divides 2. Anna May Wong: A Border-crossing ‘Minor’ Star Mediating Performance Yiman Wang 3. Ruan Lingyu: Reflections on an Individual Performance Style Mette Hjort 4. Li Lili: Acting a Lively Jianmei Type Sean MacDonald Part II: Socialist Cinema: From Film Star to Model Worker 5. Mei Lanfang: Facial Signature and Political Performance in Opera Film John Zou 6. Zhao Dan: Spectrality of Martyrdom and Stardom Yingjin Zhang 7. Zhang Ruifang: Modelling the Socialist Red Star Xiaoning Lu 8. Zhong Xinghuo: Communist Film Worker Krista Van Fleit Hang Part III: Taiwan Cinema: Diaspora, Transvestism, Non-professionalism 9. Ling Bo: Orphanhood and Post-war Sinophone Film History ZHANG Zhen 10. Brigitte Lin Ching Hsia: Last Eastern Star of the Late Twentieth Century Tony Williams 11. Lee Kang-sheng: Non-professional Star Michael Lawrence Part IV: Hong Kong and Transnational Cinema: Action, Gender, Emotion 12. ‘Bruce Lee’ after Bruce Lee: A Life in Conjectures Brian Hu 13. Jackie Chan: Star Work as Pain and Triumph Mary Farquhar 14. Chow Yun-fat: Hong Kong’s Modern TV Xiaosheng Lin FENG 15. Leslie Cheung: Star as Autosexual Julian Stringer 16. Jet Li: Star Construction and Fan Discourse on the Internet Sabrina Qiong Yu

About the Editors

Mary Farquhar is a Professor at Griffith University, Australia. She studied at Beijing University and specializes in China studies. Her Children’s Literature in China: From Lu Xun to Mao Zedong (M.E. Sharpe, 1999) won an International Children’s Literature Association Award for the most distinguished, scholarly book. She is the co-author with Chris Berry of China Onscreen: Cinema and Nation (Columbia, 2006).

Yingjin Zhang is Director of Chinese Studies Program and Professor of Comparative Literature and Film Studies at University of California, San Diego, US. Among his eight English books are Encyclopedia of Chinese Film (Routledge, 1998), Cinema and Urban Culture in Shanghai, 1922–1943 (Stanford, 1999), Screening China (Michigan, 2002), Chinese National Cinema (Routledge, 2004), From Underground to Independent (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006), and Cinema, Space, and Polylocality in a Globalizing China (Hawaii, 2009).

About the Series

Routledge Contemporary China Series

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / Film & Video
DRAMA / Asian
PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / General
PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / Guides & Reviews
PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / History & Criticism
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General