Fiery Cinema: The Emergence of an Affective Medium in China, 1915–1945

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Abstract

Fiery Cinema is a diligently researched and persuasively argued monograph that fundamentally changes the paradigm of the studies of Chinese cinema and media. Ever since the 1990s, film scholars have debated on the way Chinese cinema before 1949 have been understood in the context of the larger intellectual environment and vernacular culture. Yet most of these works presuppose that cinema, as a mechanical, social, and cultural apparatus, has been constituted since the mid-1920s as an institution that occupies a privileged position in the public sphere. In this book, Weihong Boa reconsiders the cinematic experience as a medium that occupies an intersection among various modes of mediation of human perception and affect, including the theatre, print culture, photography, sound, architecture, scientific discourse, television, and radio. By (re)locating cinema to a set of complex intermedial relationships, and by identifying a thematic strand––fire––that runs through these critical discourses, Bao illuminates new angles of understanding of how the cinema emerged as an affective medium that constantly responded to the shifting ideological apparatus (dispositif) of Republican China (1911–49).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1130–1132
Number of pages3
JournalThe China Quarterly
Volume224
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015

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