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The Chinese combat film since 1949: variants of 'regulation', 'reform' and 'renewal'

Stein, Michael (2005) The Chinese combat film since 1949: variants of 'regulation', 'reform' and 'renewal'. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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This thesis examines variations of the Chinese 'combat film', from its origins within cinema in 1949, through to the contemporary period. My argument transposes the critical approach of 'genre', as a popular style within conventional film criticism, to a specific Chinese form. In particular, this study investigates the 'combat film' as a prevailing mode in Chinese cinema, with a particular history, form of progression and set of aesthetics.

The argument initially applies the 'war film' and 'combat genre' categorisations to Chinese forms. Consequently three major variants emerge, manifest in the 'regulated' (1949-1966), 'reformed' (1980s) and 'renewed' (1990s) styles, respectively. These modes are subsequently examined in rigorous narratological and cinematic contexts, resulting in an expanded conception of the Chinese 'combat' film.

This thesis offers an integrative appreciation of variegations of the Chinese 'combat film' since 1949, sutured to wider discursive and socio-political changes within the country. Moreover, this argument produces a framework for a more expansive and complex comprehension of Chinese cinema, one undergoing continual modes of re-negotiation as the medium progresses into the Twenty First Century.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Media, Communication and Culture
Supervisor(s): Chu, Yingchi
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