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FTV3670 - Asian Cinema

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: David Hanan


Not offered in 2007


This unit examines key epochs of cinema in Japan, China and the Indian subcontinent, including popular genres and art films. Students will be expected to concentrate on 2 of these 3 countries. The main Japanese directors whose work is explored are Kurosawa and Oshima and Mizoguchi. Contemporary Japanese cinema examined includes examples of Japanese 'anime'. The study of Chinese cinema include films made in the 1950s for the new communist regime in the PRC. Popular genres of Hong Kong cinema will be studied. The discussion of Indian cinema concentrates on the Indian alternative documentary movement.


Upon successful completion of the subject students will be expected to have demonstrated an ability to discuss both Asian art cinema and popular Asian film texts in ways that show some understanding of generic considerations (star and studio systems, and popular film genres), cultural differences and historical specificity (the relation of national cinemas to indigenous cultural forms and changing national ideologies); a general theoretical awareness of the problematic of cross cultural readings ('Orientalism' in the postcolonial era; constructions of 'the Orient' and Asia in Australian culture); some understanding of how cinema has developed in two of the following countries: Japan, India, China and the Chinese diaspora over the last fifty years; and into the so-called 'postmodern' era.


Essay (2700 words): 60%
Class presentation (450 words): 10%
Visual test (80 mins, equivalent to 1350 words): 30%
Third-year students will be invited to demonstrate how the analytical and critical skills they have acquired can be related to broader theoretical and historical frameworks.

Contact hours

4 hours (1 x 1 hour lecture, 1 x 1 hour tutorial and 1 x 2 hour screening) per week


One unit in Visual Culture or Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies at first year level, or VSA2190, or with permission