Chinese Animated Film and Ideology, 1940s-1970s. Fighting Puppets
Publisher: CRC Press (Taylor & Francis Group)
Attendees of the promotional event are eligible to receive 20% discount for acquiring the book at the publisher’s website.
This book examines animated propaganda produced in mainland China from the 1940s to the 1970s. The analyses of four puppet films demonstrate how animation and Maoist doctrine became tightly but dynamically entangled. The first chapter contextualizes the production conditions and ideological contents (the so-called “new democracy” concept) of Chen Bo’er’s The Emperor’s Dream (1947), the first puppet film made at the Northeast Film Studio in Changchun. It then examines the artistic, intellectual, and ideological backbone of the Zhang Chaoqun’s puppet film Wanderings of Sanmao (1958), especially in regard to the tradition of revolutionary visual and comic arts. The final two chapters attempt to outline the output of You Lei, a controversial film director strongly involved in ideologically radical tendencies within Maoism. This discussion presents the means and methods applied in puppet animation filmmaking that complied with the ideological principles established by Mao Zedong in the first half of the 1960s (Rooster Crows at Midnight, 1964) and in the midst of the Cultural Revolution (The Little 8th Route Army, 1973). These four puppet films have reinforced major founding myths of the People’s Republic of China by emphasizing specific contents of the Maoist doctrine at particular stages of its development. At the same time it has to be noticed that regardless animation’s disposition to fully adhere to the propagandistic function of the PRC’s cinema production, the Chinese animated film has never presented itself as an ideological monolith.
The presented publication is the newest in the CRC Press’s Focus Animation series that was initiated by the Professor Giannalberto Bendazzi (1946-2021). The next volume authored by Bobrowska, “Chinese Animated Film and Ideology, 1980s. Festivals and Soft Power” will present the Sino-European opening-up at the festivals in Annecy and Zagreb in the era of Deng Xiaoping’s reforms.
December 2, 2022 – 12 PM
Małopolska Garden of Arts – Small Screening Room
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Olga Bobrowska is a doctor of Humanities in Arts Studies (she obtained her PhD degree at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow in 2020). She is a scholar active in the fields of animation studies, film studies and cultural theory, as well as a film culture activist and curator. Bobrowska’s main fields of interest embrace studies in animation, propaganda, visual discourses of ideological doctrines, problems of politicized representation, theories of narrative, adaptation, feminism and Chinese Studies. Currently she lectures on the subject of animated film history at the Institute of Audiovisual Arts at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. She is a festival director and co-founder of the StopTrik International Film Festival (Maribor, Slovenia / Lodz, Poland). She frequently serves as a juror at various festivals (e.g. Tricky Women/Tricky Realities International Animation Film Festival, Vienna, Austria; Animafest Zagreb World Festival of Animated Film, Zagreb, Croatia; Animateka International Film Festival, Ljubljana, Slovenia; and other festivals in Europe, USA and China), and has also served as a member of selection committees (Krakow Film Festival; Etiuda&Anima International Film Festival, Krakow, Poland). She has participated in nearly 20 international academic conferences, authored 10 academic papers published in monographs and journals and over 30 film critiques, and is also a permanent contributor to Zippy Frames, an online magazine dedicated to international art-house animation. She is a an author of a monograph Chinese Animated Film and Ideology, 1940s-1980s. Fighting Puppets (2022) and a co-editor of two collective monograph books, Obsession, Perversion, Rebellion. Twisted Dreams of Central European Animation (2016), and Propaganda, Ideology, Animation. Twisted Dreams of History (2019).