Codename Cougar: Politics or Entertainment?

  • Xuelin ZhouEmail author


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.


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


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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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