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Over the years, Chinese cinema has developed into a big industry in terms of viewership, investment in the industry as well as the use of technology. It started around the idea of expression and promotion of Chinese culture, their food, traditions, way of life, martial arts history and their industrious people. Today, Chinese cinema has developed to stimulate other industries and spheres of life. Several books and academic journals have been written about it. It has also inspired some colleges and universities to develop and initiate programs that would assist actors and other players in the industry to boost the quality of their production. The quality of movies has greatly improved; they become widely accepted in the west as well as other regions of the globe (Colson 90).
Chinese movies have one general characteristic in that many of them are directly based on Chinese culture. One thing that features prominently in many movies is various forms of Chinese martial arts. Instead of movies being totally fictitious, many of them are based on the techniques taught in martial arts; characters’ moves are craftily combined with special effects to appear extremely skillful. The movie stars featured in such films are real-life martial-arts specialists such as Bruce Lee, Jet Li and Jackie Chan among others. Chinese films also express other forms of Chinese art and culture such as Chinese calligraphy, languages, food, economic activities. The social lives of the Chinese people also feature in their films (Tong 67). Some movies show important historical events such as the colonial war, the coming of Europeans, colonial government and others. One of the most famous features of Chinese movies are the high flying techniques and otheracrobatic skills. Film directors use harnesses and human counter-weights to lower actors from high structures so that they appear to be flying.
Chinese films compare favorably with the western movies in terms of viewership as well as the capital investment, especially since the 1970s movie Enter the Dragon in which Bruce Lee was among the main actors. Chinese martial arts were accepted by the American film industry; this also generated some demand for Chinese movies by Americans. This changed the perception of Asians and set a stage on which Chinese movies later began to thrive. However, Chinese films differ from western movies in couple of ways. In a good number of the best-selling western movies, the plot is usually about a conflict between the US or Europe and other countries in which producers display the superiority of the former (Chow 32).
On the other hand, Chinese movies do not feature conflicts between countries. The main actor tries as much as possible to uphold the culture or the morals of the Chinese government or people. This is seen in movies such as The Defender by jet Li and The Chinese Zodiac by Jackie chan. The other difference is that some western movies often use vulgar language which seems to be accepted there. The use of curse words is not common in Chinese films. Obscenity is rare in these movies, and the whole family may view them. Chinese films focus on promoting Chinese culture and values all over the globe. Some western movies seem to be focused on promoting western culture too.
Chinese films are superior in promotion of morals, values, humanity, spirituality; they do not try to offend other countries and also seems to shun irresponsible acts. Chinnese cinema is superior not just by depicting Chinese agriculture, trade, social life and martial arts but by providing food for thinking. This consistency creates loyalty among viewers as they know what to expect.
When watching Chinese movies, one may observe certain aspects. One of them is the value which the Chinese attach to their culture and also the great investment which goes into this industry. This is evident by the quality of movies produced as well as the rapid growth that took place in the past few decades. It shows a great leap in development. The industry has developed to support other spheres of life, such as education and art, and also to popularize Chinese culture in the world.
Chinese films could improve in a few ways. Then they will be able to effectively compete with foreign movies, especially western ones. The American film industry benefits from the heterogeneity of plot, scenes and actors. This multiplicity of races involved makes everybody in the world to relate to these movies simply because they feel like they are represented there as well. As much as China is a historically homogeneous country, it needs to find ways of integrating other races into its films, which will increase the acceptance level of Chinese cinema in the world (Zhang & Chengyao 55).
The course about cinema was very interesting and important. It allows one to objectively look into the Chinese film industry and compare it to foreign film industries. It allows one to see areas that need to be improved as well as various successes that have been achieved by the Chinese film industry. One is also able to learn the recent history of the development of Chinese films and China in general.