MENLO SCHOOL • SINCE 1915

Advanced Topics in Mandarin: Survey of Chinese Cinema (H)

Biography

Advanced Topics allows students to develop an appreciation and understanding of the complexity and diversity of Mandarin-speaking countries and communities through Chinese cinema. Through a combination of film screenings, lectures, and discussions, students will learn how to interpret and analyze Chinese films in the context of their cultural background. Additionally, students will explore how Chinese cinema has been used to represent and comment on elements of Chinese culture and society, such as gender roles and family relationships. The course will also explore how Chinese cinema has been used to critique and challenge government policies and how it has provided a platform for directors to express their individual visions and values. Prominent directors such as Ang LEE, HOU Hsiao-Hsien, Fruit CHAN, JIA Zhangke, ZHANG Yimou, John WOO, Ann HUI, Stanley KWAN, and FEI Mu will be introduced.

Mandarin will be the primary language of instruction. Topics may include bi/multilingual and bi/multicultural presentations in cinema, culture appropriation, reminiscence of diversity in history, social structure and values, etc. In addition to class discussions, journaling, and reflection, students will research and present projects using the medium of their choice on related topics to demonstrate their understanding. This is a student-centered, project-based learning course.

Prerequisites: Permission of current instructor.