CFP: Rethinking Film Genres: East Asian Cinema and Beyond

January 15, 2017

Conference CFP: Rethinking Film Genres: East Asian Cinema and Beyond

University of Hull, UK, 14-15 September 2017

What is film genre? Does it still matter in today’s film production, distribution and consumption? How have some film genres become so closely associated with a nation or region, such as Chinese martial arts films, Japanese horror, and Korean melodrama? The fact that genre is widely discussed by the general public suggests that it is still important. However, the examination of genre theory and the scholarly discussion of genres have remained predominantly focussed on Hollywood and European cinemas, as exemplified by the work of scholars such as Thomas Schatz, Steve Neale, Barry Keith Grant, Rick Altman, Belén Vidal, and Antonio Lázaro-Reboll. Despite their rich screen culture and their influence within and beyond the Pacific region, East Asian cinemas remain underexplored. In today’s context of increasingly international filmmaking, we would aim to explore the ways in which film genres underpin cultural translation between East Asia and beyond.
As the theme of ‘ Rethinking Film Genres: East Asian Cinema and Beyond’ suggests, the conference intends not only to celebrate cinematic creativity through the interrogation of the narrative and aesthetics of film genres developed in East Asian (including mainland Chinese, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwanese, Japanese, and Korean) cinemas, but also seek to expand scholarly discussion of the rich heritage and fast changing landscape of filmmaking of East Asian cinemas by examining the international co-production and cross-cultural consumption of film genres.

We therefore invite papers based on either theoretical research or on case studies to address any of following themes:

• Narrative, style and aesthetics of various genres of East Asian cinemas
• Film genre and local, regional, national and global identities of East Asian cinemas
• Cross-cultural consumption of East Asian film genres
• Fandom and East Asian film genres
• Creative professionals (e.g. stars, directors, producers, production designers) and film genres of East Asian cinemas
• Cross-border mobility (e.g. talents, finance, ideas) and the development of film genres in East Asian cinemas
• International filmmaking, coproduction and genre crossing between East Asian cinemas and other screen cultures
• Remaking and adaptation of East Asian films
• Sound, music and language (e.g. dubbing, subtitles, dialects) of East Asian film genres
• International distribution and exhibition of East Asian film genres
• Genre as a reflection of cultural flow, social economics, media policies, and political history

This is not an exhaustive list of thematic strands that we hope to explore at the conference. We particularly encourage submissions from those whose papers promote cross-disciplinary dialogue and critical debate in area studies, genre theory, film studies and cultural studies.

Confirmed keynote speakers:
Professor Chris Berry, King’s College London
Professor Michael Berry, University of California, Los Angeles
Professor Shaoyi Sun, Shanghai Theatre Academy

Please submit your proposal (maximum 250 words), together with a short biography (maximum 50 words) and affiliation information to Dr. Lin Feng at Eastasiancinema@hull.ac.uk

Deadline: 15 April 2017.


China in 2016: Top 10 Box-Office Hits

January 5, 2017

China’s domestic box office in 2016 finally saw its dramatic slowdown, grossing 45.7 billion yuan (US$6.5 billion), only up 3.73% from 2015 if calculated in Chinese money, but downward from 2015 if calculated in US money (this is because Chinese yuan depreciated quite a bit against US dollars in 2015). The industry talk about China capable of taking over the United States to become the largest film market in the world may quiet down for the time being. As Chinese economy slows down, we’ll probably never see the kind of dramatic growth we witnessed in the past several years or decade again.

Hong Kong-based filmmaker Stephen Chow's sci-fi fantasy "The Mermaid" was China's box-office champion in 2016, grossing US$527 million or 3.4 billion Chinese yuan.

Hong Kong-based filmmaker Stephen Chow’s sci-fi fantasy “The Mermaid” was China’s box-office champion in 2016, grossing US$527 million or 3.4 billion Chinese yuan.

Despite this slowdown, more cinemas and screens were added in 2016. Mainland China now has 41,179 professional screens in total, making it the world’s biggest theater owner.

The following is the list of the Top 10 Box Office Films of 2015 in China (in Chinese yuan/RMB; exchange rate: 1 US$=6.9 RMB):

1. The Mermaid (美人魚;d. Stephen Chow); box office: 3.4 billion yuan;
2. Zootopia (d. Byron Howard, Rich Moore); box office: 1.53 billion yuan;
3. Warcraft: The Beginning (d. Duncan Jones); box office: 1.47 billion yuan;
4. Captain America: Civil War (d. Anthony Russo, Joe Russo); box office: 1.25 billion yuan;
5. The Monkey King II (西游记之孙悟空三打白骨精;d. Cheang Pou-soi); box office: 1.2 billion yuan;
6. Operation Mekong (湄公河行动;d. Dante Lam); box office: 1.184 billion yuan;
7. From Vegas to Macau III (澳门风云3;d. Wong Jing, Andrew Lau); box office: 1.18 billion yuan;
8. Time Raiders (盗墓笔记;d. Daniel Lee); box office: 1.04 billion yuan;
9. Kung Fu Panda III (d. Jennifer Yuh Nelson, Alessandro Carloni); box office: 1.02 billion yuan;
10. The Jungle Book (d. Jon Favreau); box office: 979 million yuan.

Note that Zhang Yimou’s controversial new film The Great Wall starring Matt Damon, which was released in China on Dec. 15, 2016, did not make the list. As of December 31, 2016, it earned 978 million yuan, one million yuan shy of the 10th spot. It has so far passed the 1 billion yuan mark, however. The China-US co-production is scheduled to release in the US market on Feb. 17, 2017.