An Amorous History of the Silver Screen
Shanghai Cinema, 1896-1937
The first sustained historical study of the emergence of cinema in China, An Amorous History of the Silver Screen is a fascinating narrative that illustrates the immense cultural significance of film and its power as a vehicle for social change. Named after a major feature film on the making of Chinese cinema, only part of which survives, An Amorous History of the Silver Screen reveals the intricacies of this cultural movement and explores its connections to other art forms such as photography, architecture, drama, and literature. In light of original archival research, Zhang Zhen examines previously unstudied films and expands the important discussion of how they modeled modern social structures and gender roles in early twentieth-century China.
The first volume in the new and groundbreaking series Cinema and Modernity, An Amorous History of the Silver Screen is an innovative—and well illustrated—look at the cultural history of Chinese modernity through the lens of this seminal moment in Shanghai cinema.
Part One - The Vernacular Scene
1. Vernacular Modernism and Cinematic Embodiment
2. Worldly Shanghai, Metropolitan Spectators
3. Teahouse, Shadowplay, and Laborer's Love
4. Building a Film World: Distraction versus Education
Part Two - Competing Moderns
5. Screenwriting, Trick Photography, and Melodramatic Retribution
6. The Anarchic Body Language of the Martial Arts Film
7. Fighting over the Modern Girl: Hard and Soft Films
8. Song at Midnight: Acoustic Horror and the Grotesque Face of History