Lights, Camera, Kai Shi! is more than a book of thorough and revealing interviews with today’s Chinese film directors. Organized thematically, it is an excellent introduction to the contemporary Chinese film industry in the age of the market economy. From Jia Zhangke, winner of Venice Golden Lion for Still Life in 2006 to superstar blogger and female director Xu Jinglei, Lights, Camera, Kai Shi! introduces a new generation of Chinese film directors to the world.
Chris Berry, Goldsmiths, University of London
Lights, Camera, Kaishi offers a unique perspective on the current state of the Chinese film industry and the efforts of 21 leading young filmmakers to move that industry in a positive direction. By choosing to highlight nine broad themes — e.g., whether the “Sixth Generation” label has any utility; how these young filmmakers relate to world cinema; how they adapt to censorship and “the system” in which they have to work — and to have these diverse directors address just one of these themes in each chapter rather than devote separate chapters to each director, produces a volume in which the directors in effect are “talking to each other” about the most pressing issues facing filmmakers and Chinese cinema today. In the course of these interviews we are able to see far more clearly than in previous accounts how these so-called “Sixth Generation” directors differ from each other in personal and professional experiences, as well as philosophical outlook. It would make an excellent choice as a text for classes in contemporary Chinese cinema and will be equally valuable for those conducting research on the current state of the Chinese film industry.
Stanley Rosen, University of Southern California
This book is an insightful study of a new generation of filmmakers that has emerged in mainland China. It contains illuminating interviews with the leading directors and sheds light on a whole range of important issues such as independent cinema, censorship, film industry, and globalization. Sun and Li have made a significant contribution to Chinese film studies. This collaborative work is a useful and invaluable source for both research and pedagogy.
Sheldon Lu, University of California, Davis