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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

EAST2360 Chinese Cinema

20 creditsClass Size: 35

Module manager: Dr Sarah Dodd

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is mutually exclusive with

EAST5090MChinese Cinema

Module replaces


This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

From the earliest film screening at a Shanghai teahouse in August 1896 to recent martial arts blockbusters, Chinese cinema has reflected the country's own tumultuous history, and explored questions of national and cultural identity.Focusing on the ways in which films can be both cultural and social texts, this module analyses the major developments within Chinese cinema, from its beginnings to the present day. It also encompasses transnational Chinese cinema, taking in films from Hong Kong and Taiwan, as well as the mainland, in order to help situate Chinese cinema in its international context.No prior knowledge of Chinese language or cinema is necessary.


This module will:
- Help students understand Chinese film in the context of both Chinese and cinematic history.
- Develop students understanding of Chinese cinema as embedded within a global film industry.
- Encourage students to engage with different genres in Chinese cinema (martial arts; realism; horror, etc).

Learning outcomes
Upon completion of this module, students should:
- Have a good understanding of the development of Chinese cinema throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, and a knowledge of key directors.
- Be able to analyse the way in which changes in Chinese society and politics are reflected in Chinese cinema.
- Have developed the skills to analyse the way in which cinematic techniques are used to support the films’ narratives.
- Understand the relative influence of ‘Western’ cinema and Chinese cultural traditions.


The module will be taught through weekly 2-hour lecture/ seminar sessions, as well as scheduled film screenings. The module starts with an overview of Chinese cinematic history, situating it within the international film industry, and China’s own history. The weekly lectures/seminars then move through the key epochs of the country's cinematic history, examining how each reflects the social and political changes of the time, and focusing on key directors and genres, as well as taking in transnational Chinese cinema in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Film Screenings82.0016.00
Private study hours164.00
Total Contact hours36.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Background reading 65 hrs
Preparation for seminars 16 hrs
Supplementary film viewing 16 hrs
Preparation for and writing essays 67 hrs

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Ongoing monitoring of comprehension and background reading in seminars.
Group discussion of film clip analysis, and feedback on essay plan.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2000 words60.00
AssignmentExtended Film Clip Analysis 2000 words40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 30/06/2021 16:21:24


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