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The Departments of Chinese Studies and Cinematographic Studies of French universities generally devote little space to teaching on Chinese cinema. In the departments of Chinese studies, such as in other departments of languages ​​and civilizations, cinema is often considered to be less important or less “useful” than the other arts to achieve educational goals and is therefore overlooked. Cinematographic studies departments give priority to courses of history teaching the great periods of European cinemas and the US. The courses devoted to Asian cinemas, and more particularly Chinese, are often left on the sidelines, largely for now.

Europocentric cultural reasons, but also because the teaching of the history of cinema represents only one of the components of training, alongside courses devoted to film analysis, economics, theoretical or practical approaches, and that it is, therefore, impossible to propose courses on all world cinematography.

In China, the history of Chinese cinema is obviously more widely treated in film schools. At the Beijing Film Institute, she is approached from the origins to the present day, and courses are dedicated specifically at Hong Kong and Taiwanese cinemas. Chinese cinema courses continental approach its history chronologically, by periods and by directors (Zhang Shichuan, Sun Yu, Fei Mu, Sang Hu, Xie Jin, Zhang Yimou) by emphasizing his films considered the most important.

Courses correspond to a very official vision of the history of cinema

Chinese, a story that puts too much emphasis on directors or films conveying ideas close to communist ideology for example Girls from China (Zhonghua nüer, Ling Zifeng 1949) and who neglect or forget films conveying a different vision of society like La Vie de Wu Xun (Wu Xun chuan, Sun Yu 1950). These courses correspond Christophe Falin approximately to the vision of the history of Chinese cinema broadcast in France until recently in the few pioneering works of Régis

Martial arts movies and Wong Karwai

Among all the cinematographic studies departments of French universities, only a few like those at the Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3 and Paris 8 sometimes devote a course to Chinese cinema. AT the Sorbonne Nouvelle, lessons on Hong Kong cinema are provided by Charles Tesson 15. The latter analyzes visual forms and work on the bodies of actors in martial arts movies. Chang’s movies Che, King Hu or Liu Jialiang, as well as those interpreted by Bruce Lee, are discussed, but the history of Hong Kong cinema, like that of martial arts films is not often mentioned. In Paris Saint Denis, lessons on Chinese cinema have been provided for many years by Jean-Paul Aubert. Until recently, the content of these courses was mainly devoted to the analyzes of films by filmmakers of the fifth generation, appeared in mainland China in the mid-1980s (Chen Kaige, Zhang Yimou). Recently, the course, now entitled “Wong Kar-wai: the history in Chinese cinema “, has evolved towards the analysis of films, widely distributed in France, by this other filmmaker.

Cinema, a reflection of Chinese society

As for the departments of Chinese studies, only Lyon University and INALCO seem to have a particular interest in Chinese cinema. Régis Bergeron, Chinese Cinema 1949-1983, 3 volumes, Paris: L’Harmattan, 1983-1984. Marie-Claire Quinquemelle and Jean-loup Passek, Chinese Cinema, Paris: National Center for Art and Culture Georges Pompidou, 1985. Critic and teacher who played a major role in recognizing France of Hong Kong cinema from the 1960s or 1970s and the new generation continental filmmakers who appeared in the late 1990s.