Advertisement

Codename Cougar: Politics or Entertainment?

  • Xuelin ZhouEmail author
Chapter
  • 565 Downloads

Abstract

This chapter interrogates Zhang Yimou’s early, often overlooked, action thriller Codename Cougar (1987). It situates a textual analysis of the film within the industrial context of the late 1980s, an era that called for the development of “entertainment films” for Chinese audiences. Zhang and many of his Fifth-Generation peers re-orient their approach from making art to achieving commercial success. This reflects the rising power of the market, as well as the growing influence of imported popular culture. The chapter suggests that Zhang’s pioneering though posturing early action film anticipates the director’s later turn to the making of martial arts blockbusters.

Keywords

Entertainment film Foreign imports Action thriller Masculinity Cross-Taiwan Strait relation 

References

  1. Berry, M. (2005). Speaking in images: Interviews with contemporary Chinese filmmakers. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Bly, R. (1990). Iron John: A book about man. Boston: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  3. Bo, Z. (2002). A period of hope in cross-strait relations: 1979–1992. Chinese Law and Government, 35(3), 3–20.Google Scholar
  4. Boggs, C., & Polland, T. (2006). Hollywood and the spectacle of terrorism. New Political Science, 28(3), 335–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cao, W. 曹文彪. (1988). Some thoughts on thriller movies [关于惊险片的一点思考]. Film Art [电影艺术], 3, 35–38.Google Scholar
  6. Chang, Y. 常彦. (1985). Cheering for thriller-esque films [为惊险样式影片呐喊]. Film Art [电影艺术], 3, 18–19.Google Scholar
  7. Chen, H. 陈昊苏. (1991). Notes on entertainment oriented movies and others [关于娱乐片主体论及其它]. China film yearbook 1989 [1989中国电影年鉴] (pp. 7–11). Beijing: Zhongguo dianying chubanshe.Google Scholar
  8. Chen, M. 陈墨. (1995). On Zhang Yimou’s films [张艺谋电影论]. Beijing: Zhongguo dianying chubanshe.Google Scholar
  9. Chi, R. (2007). Taiwan in Mainland Chinese cinema. In D. W. Davis & R. R. Chen (Eds.), Cinema Taiwan: Politics, popularity and state of the arts (pp. 60–74). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Chiao, H.-P. 焦雄屛. (1998). Dialogues with Chinese cinemas [风云际会:与当代中国电影对话]. Taipei: Yuanliou.Google Scholar
  11. China Film Yearbook 1989 [1989 中国电影年鉴]. (1991). Beijing: Zhongguo dianying chubanshe.Google Scholar
  12. Clark, P. (2012). Youth culture in China: From red guards to Netizens. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Contemporary Cinema 当代电影. (1987). Dialogues on entertainment films [对话: 娱乐片] 2, pp. 10–26.Google Scholar
  14. Derry, C. (1988). The suspense thriller: Films in the shadow of alfred hitchcock. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.Google Scholar
  15. Dodds, K. (2008). Screening terror: Hollywood, the United States and the construction of danger. Critical Studies on Terrorism, 1(2), 227–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fang, X. 方西. (2012). Zhang Yimou’s homework [张艺谋的作业]. Beijing: Beijing daxue chubanshe.Google Scholar
  17. Gallagher, M. (2006). Action figures: Men, action films, and contemporary adventure narratives. London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  18. Gateward, F. (2001). (Ed.), Zhang Yimou interviews. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.Google Scholar
  19. Guo, J. 郭景波. (1999). Zhang Yimou: Creation and life [张艺谋: 创作与人生]. Film Art [电影艺术], 3, 8–16.Google Scholar
  20. Holmlund, C. (1993). Masculinity as multiple masquerade: The ‘mature’ Stallone and the Stallone clone. In S. Cohan & I. R. Hark (Eds.), Screening the male: Exploring masculinities in Hollywood cinema (pp. 213–229). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  21. Jia, L. 贾磊磊. (1989). Conversions and taboos: A dual choice of entertainment films [皈依与禁忌: 娱乐片的双重抉择] Contemporary Cinema [当代电影], 2, 22–31.Google Scholar
  22. Jeffords, Susan. (1994). Hard bodies: Hollywood masculinity in the Reagan Era. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Li, E. 李尔葳. (1998). What Zhang Yimou has said [张艺谋说]. Shenyang: Chunfeng wenyi chubanshe.Google Scholar
  24. Li, Y. 李奕明. (1993a). Entertainment film: An inevitable outcome of cultural transformation and market economy, part 1 [娱乐片: 文化转型和市场经济的必然产物 [上]]. Film Art [电影艺术], 5, 21–26.Google Scholar
  25. Li, Y. 李奕明. (1993b). Entertainment film: An inevitable outcome of cultural transformation and market economy, part 2 [娱乐片: 文化转型和市场经济的必然产物 [下]]. Film Art [电影艺术], 6, 52–63.Google Scholar
  26. Liang, L. 梁良. (1998). On films from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mainland China [论两岸三地电影]. Taipei: Maolin.Google Scholar
  27. Lin, H. 林鹤玲. (1986). Symposium on the new wave cinemas from Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Mainland Taiwan [台湾、香港、大陆新电影座谈会]. 400 Blows [四百击], 8, 30–46.Google Scholar
  28. Meng, L. 孟梨野. (1988). New breakthroughs in creating thriller movies: On The Last Frenzy [惊险片创作的新突破 - 《最后的疯狂》观后]. Film Art [电影艺术], 11, 49–52.Google Scholar
  29. Meng, L. 孟梨野. (1985). Individuality of thriller movies and artistic commonalities [惊险片的个性与艺术的共性]. Film Art [电影艺术], 4, 41–44.Google Scholar
  30. Neale, S. (2000). Genre and Hollywood. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  31. Neale, S. (1993). Masculinity as spectacle: Reflections on men and mainstream cinema. In S. Cohan & R. Hark (Eds.), Screening the male: Exploring masculinities in Hollywood cinema (pp. 9–20). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  32. Neuman, L. (2001). Fear of the ‘Alien other’: Cultural anxiety and opinions about Japan. Sociological Inquiry, 71(3), 335–356.Google Scholar
  33. Pang, L. (2012). Post-socialism and cultural policy: The depoliticization of culture in late 1970s and early 1980s China. In N. Otmazqin & E. Ben-Ari (Eds.), Popular culture and the state in East and Southeast Asia (pp. 147–161). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  34. Purse, L. (2011). Contemporary action cinema. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Qiu, S. 丘石. (1989). A pompous ‘puma’: On Codename Cougar’ [貌似威风的“美洲豹”: 《代号美洲豹》观后]. Movie Review [电影评论], 7, 11.Google Scholar
  36. Rui, R. 瑞瑞. (1989). Discussion should carry on and go deeper [讨论应继续深入]. Contemporary Cinema [当代电影], 3, 6–7.Google Scholar
  37. Semsel, G., Chen X., & Xia H. (1993). (Eds.), Film in contemporary China: Critical debates, 1979–1989. Westport: Praeger.Google Scholar
  38. Sha, Y. 沙叶新. (1986). Looking for a real man [寻找男子汉], October [十月], 3, 115–176.Google Scholar
  39. Shao, M. 邵牧君. (1989). A response to issues in contemporary Chinese entertainment films [中国当代娱乐片问题驳议]. Contemporary Cinema [当代电影], 2, 11–21.Google Scholar
  40. Shi, J. 施加明. (1988). Mei Duo thinks that we should not encourage producing more entertainment films [梅朵认为, 多拍娱乐片不宜提倡]. Movie Review [电影评论], 12, 6.Google Scholar
  41. Situ, Z. 司徒兆敦. (1985). Thriller film is not insignificant [惊险片并非雕虫小技]. Film Art [电影艺术], 3, 20–21.Google Scholar
  42. Song, G. (2004). The fragile scholar: Power and masculinity in Chinese culture. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.Google Scholar
  43. Sparks, R. (1996). Masculinity and heroism in the Hollywood ‘blockbuster’. British Journal of Criminology, 36(3), 348–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Tasker, Y. (1993). New Hollywood, genre and the action cinema. Spectacular bodies: Gender, genre and action cinema (pp. 54–72). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  45. Tian, C. 田聪明. (2013). “The big earthquake” in the Chinese film industry: A historical account of film reforms in the 1990s [中国电影业“大地震”: 上世纪九十年代电影改革纪事]. Beijing: Zhongguo chuanmei daxue chubanshe.Google Scholar
  46. Tian, X. 田曦. (1989). In defence of ‘the death of the central hero’ [“消灭英雄”辩]. Movie Review [电影评论], 9, 16.Google Scholar
  47. Wang, S. 王思彤. (1989). Of more style than content: On Codename Cougar [有惊无险 流于形式: 看《代号美洲豹》]. Movie Review [电影评论], 6, 19.Google Scholar
  48. Wang, Y. 王一川 (1998). The end of the myth of Zhang Yimou: Aesthetics and Zhang Yimou’s films in a cultural perspective [张艺谋神话的终结:审美与文化视野中的张艺谋电影]. Zhengzhou: Henan renmin chubanshe.Google Scholar
  49. Wang, Y. (1991). Red Sorghum: Mixing memory and desire. In C. Berry (Ed.), Perspectives on Chinese cinema (pp. 80–103). London: BFI.Google Scholar
  50. Wu, Z. 吴政新. (1985). Thrillers in the eyes of audiences [观众心目中的惊险影片]. Film Art [电影艺术], 3, 22–24.Google Scholar
  51. Xiao, Y. 肖尹宪. (1985). We must promote a new concept for thriller movies [惊险片必须提倡新观念]. Film Art [电影艺术], 4, 39–41.Google Scholar
  52. Yacowar, M. (1989). Die hard: The white man’s mythic invincibility. Jump Cut, 34, 2–4.Google Scholar
  53. Yan, J. 严寄周. (1985). Little talk on thrillers [惊险影片杂谈]. Film Art [电影艺术], 3, 16.Google Scholar
  54. Yu, S. 羽山. (1985). Two thoughts on the thriller-esque genre [惊险样式探索二题]. Film Art [电影艺术], 4, 45–48.Google Scholar
  55. Zhang, H. 张会军. (2010). Creative style—Zhang Yimou’s cinematic creation [风格创造 – 张艺谋电影创作论]. Beijing: Zhongguo dianying chubanshe.Google Scholar
  56. Zhang, L. 张立新. (1989). Narrative analysis of the thriller genre [惊险电影叙事结构分析]. Contemporary Cinema [当代电影], 2, 32–41.Google Scholar
  57. Zhang, W. 章为. (1989). A summary of the symposium on contemporary Chinese entertainment films [中国当代娱乐片研讨会述评]. Contemporary Cinema [当代电影], 1, 4–6.Google Scholar
  58. Zhang, Z. 张智华, & Shi K. 史可扬. (2007). Debates on Chinese films [中国电影论辩]. Nanchang: Baihuazhou wenyi chubanshe.Google Scholar
  59. Zhou, X. 周晓枫. (2015). Destiny: Lonely Zhang Yimou [宿命: 孤独张艺谋]. Wuhan: Yangtze wenyi chubanshe.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations