My interest in film runs parallel to my professional career as a language instructor knowledgeable of how words are put together to form a sentence or discourse. Film language or aesthetics has basic grammar and syntax as well that determines how images or scenes should be organized to assemble meaning. Like the literary text, narrative films are elaborations on the way the director perceives and interprets the world around him. If literary classics are the intellectual properties of high culture, then feature films are the cultural capital of a mass society. In either case, the reader or viewer must understand the social issues and historical concerns that the work of art addresses. The films selected for my Chinese 223 Cinema reflect a variety of ways Chinese directors critique modernity and social change. They are more often than not wish-fulfilling fantasies and dreams of what does not exist in reality. In this aesthetic space of non-reality, we invariably find answers to questions and preoccupations people have, which are ultimately responsible for how little dramatic details fall into place in a story.
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