Reading film in China

Speaking in ImagesEarlier this week on Book Bench, the New Yorker‘s blog on books, Evan Osnos recommended some books that might serve as an introduction to filmmaking in China.

We were pleased to see that he mentioned Michael Berry’s Speaking in Images: Interviews with Contemporary Chinese Filmmakers. The book includes discussions with such directors as Ang Lee (read an excerpt from the interview), Zhang Yimou, Chen Kaige, Stanley Kwan, Tsai Ming-Liang, Edward Yang, and Hou Hsiao-hsien.

Osnos offers a lot of other excellent suggestions but we thought we’d take the opportunity to mention some of the other books from Columbia and Wallflower press on Chinese cinema, including the forthcoming The Cinema of China and South East Asia, edited by Ian Haydn Smith, which provides an excellent overview of the region’s cinematic output by looking at twenty-four films.

Also forthcoming but due out very soon is Alexander Huang’s Chinese Shakespeares: Two Centuries of Cultural Exchange, which, in addition to dramatic performances of Shakespeare in China, also looks at film adaptations.

Other staples in our list of books on Chinese cinema include China on Screen: Cinema and Nation, by Christopher Berry and Mary Ann Farquhar and Michael Berry’s A History of Pain: Trauma in Modern Chinese Literature and Film.

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