Welcome to Chinese Film Classics!
Chinese Film Classics is a project, a book, and a website dedicated to making early Chinese films and cinema history more accessible.
Focusing on films made between the 1890s and the 1940s, the website offers:
- English-subtitled versions of over twenty early Chinese films
- A free, self-paced course on Chinese Film Classics, focusing on early Chinese cinematic masterworks from 1922-1949, each module featuring a subtitled film and two video lectures
- Resources for learning more about Chinese cinema history, including further viewings, readings, filmographies, bibliographies, and archival materials
- Information about a textbook about the artistry and history of early Chinese cinema
- Links to the companion YouTube channel, Modern Chinese Cultural Studies
If you are visiting for the first time, start with this brief video introduction to Chinese Film Classics to learn more about what this project has to offer.
This website is a free resource for researchers, students, educators, and anyone interested in:
- World cinema
- Early silent and sound cinema
- Chinese film history
- Modern Chinese history and culture
- Chinese contributions to the cinematic arts
- Contributing to the film studies community
Modern Chinese Cultural Studies YouTube channel
This website integrates with hundreds of films and video clips hosted on the Modern Chinese Cultural Studies YouTube channel. Browse the channel videos, announcements, and comments to discover more about Chinese cinematic and cultural history. For example, check out these playlists:
- Chinese Film Classics: full black-and-white films with English subtitles
- Chinese Film Classics – online course: video lectures on individual films, two lectures per film
- Sounds of early Chinese cinema: Songs, music, and sound effects in Chinese films up to 1949
- Best of early Chinese cinema: Classic and superlative scenes, and exemplary uses of film form
- Early Chinese animation: Cartoons and animated features
- How-tos from early Chinese cinema: Iconic scenarios, problems, and their resolution, as presented in cinema
- Gags and special effects in early Chinese cinema: Comedy, pratfalls, stunts, and camera tricks
- Shared cinematic motifs – China, Hollywood, Europe: Examples of foreign films with intertextual relationships to Chinese films up to 1949
Subscribe to the channel for updates and announcements.
More to come!
New films, film clips, and other material are being added to the website continually. For updates, subscribe to the Modern Chinese Cultural Studies YouTube channel, which hosts the Chinese Film Classics playlist. Please direct any inquiries to the project leader, Dr. Christopher Rea, Professor of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia.
Read more here about the people and organizations who have contributed to this project.
Learn how YOU can contribute!