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Sounding the Modern Woman: The Songstress in Chinese Cinema

by Jean Ma

From the beginning of the sound cinema era, singing actresses captivated Chinese audiences. In Sounding the Modern Woman, Jean Ma shows how their rise to stardom attests to the changing roles of women in urban modernity and the complex symbiosis between the film and music industries. The songstress--whether appearing as an opera actress, showgirl, revolutionary, or country lass--belongs to the lineage of the Chinese modern woman, and her forty year prevalence points to a distinctive gendering of lyrical expression in Chinese film. Ma guides readers through film history by way of the on and off-screen careers of many of the most compelling performers in Chinese film history, such as Zhou Xuan and Grace Chang, revealing the ways that national crises and Cold War conflict shaped their celebrity. As a bridge between the film cultures of prewar Shanghai and postwar Hong Kong, the songstress brings into view a dense web of connections linking these two periods and places that cut across the divides of war, national politics, and geography.

Still Moving: Between Cinema and Photography

by eds. Karen Beckman Jean Ma

In Still Moving noted artists, filmmakers, art historians, and film scholars explore the boundary between cinema and photography. The interconnectedness of the two media has emerged as a critical concern for scholars in the field of cinema studies responding to new media technologies, and for those in the field of art history confronting the ubiquity of film, video, and the projected image in contemporary art practice. Engaging still, moving, and ambiguous images from a wide range of geographical spaces and historical moments, the contributors to this volume address issues of indexicality, medium specificity, and hybridity as they examine how cinema and photography have developed and defined themselves through and against one another. Foregrounding the productive tension between stasis and motion, two terms inherent to cinema and to photography, the contributors trace the shifting contours of the encounter between still and moving images across the realms of narrative and avant-garde film, photography, and installation art. Still Moving suggests that art historians and film scholars must rethink their disciplinary objects and boundaries, and that the question of medium specificity is a necessarily interdisciplinary question. From a variety of perspectives, the contributors take up that challenge, offering new ways to think about what contemporary visual practice is and what it will become. Contributors: George Baker, Rebecca Baron, Karen Beckman, Raymond Bellour, Zoe Beloff,Timothy Corrigan, Nancy Davenport, Atom Egoyan, Rita Gonzalez, Tom Gunning, Louis Kaplan, Jean Ma, Janet Sarbanes, Juan A. Surez

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