Title

Wenyi and the branding of early Chinese film

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Journal of Chinese Cinemas

Publication Date

1-1-2012

Volume

6

Issue

1

First Page

65

Last Page

94

Publisher

Routledge

Keywords

Branding, Chinese film, Film and literature, Film marketing, Mandarin ducks and butterfly literature, Wenyi early

Abstract

This article reviews the role of wenyi in Chinese cinema from the turn of the twentieth century to the breakout of the Sino-Japanese war in 1937. Wenyi/letters and arts, a loan word from the Japanese bungei, was associated with western fiction, and concepts of humanism, equality and freedom. These concepts were propagated by translators of Japanese and western literature, many of whom belonged to the Mandarin Ducks and Butterfly School and were key agents in the nascent culture industry, leaving their marks in intertwined fields, including literature and cinema. By tracing their crossover activities we find evidence of the fertility of the wenyi concept in early cinema. Furthermore, our findings show that in order to sell motion pictures, the early film industry tended to brand film as a new type of wenyi commodity, thereby mobilizing wenyi as a marketing strategy to help purvey movies to audiences with cosmopolitan aspirations. © 2012 Intellect Ltd Article.

DOI

10.1386/jcc.6.1.65-1

Print ISSN

17508061

E-ISSN

1750807X

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2012 Taylor & Francis

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Full-text Version

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Recommended Citation

Yeh, E. Y.-y. (2012). Wenyi and the branding of early Chinese film. Journal of Chinese Cinemas, 6(1), 65-94. doi: 10.1386/jcc.6.1.65-1