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What is transnational cinema? Thinking from the Chinese situation

By Chris Berry

Abstract

This article examines Chinese cinema to think further about defining and researching transnational cinema. Can transnational cinema be defined as a theoretical concept and a set of practices? Can it become something more distinct and specific than just a catch-all category for everything that is not national cinema, or a synonym for existing terms? If transnational cinema is to have any value, it needs to be more than just another way of saying international cinema or world cinema. The article analyses the times and conditions in which the term transnational cinema came into use. On this basis, it argues for understanding transnational cinema as growing out of the conditions of globalization, shaped by neo-liberalism, free trade, the collapse of socialism, and post-Fordist production. In other words, transnational cinema is a different order of cinematic cultures and industries from the old national cinema order. It also argues that this is not the same thing as saying that all cinema produced under the umbrella of this transnational order embodies, promotes or supports neo-liberal global capitalism. Indeed, a full understanding of what transnational cinema is requires an approach that understands that the values and operations of global capitalism are contested by other forces within this order that it has contributed so much to producing

Publisher: intellect
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.gold.ac.uk:5893
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