Pitfalls of cross-cultural analysis: Chinese wenyi film and melodrama

Emilie Yueh yu Yeh

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


This article begins with a review of the debate on cross-cultural analysis and the relationship between Western theory and Asian texts that took place in film studies. Film scholars have often applied theories of melodrama to interpret Chinese family films, romances and art cinema. Given the vast differences between the historical and theoretical construct of melodrama and these Chinese films, it is advisable to locate an intrinsic and, perhaps, more illuminating term to explain Chinese-language cinemas. The second part of the article focuses on Chinese wenyi as an alternative to the concept melodrama in writing Chinese film history and criticism. The review of the term wenyi and its shifting meanings and contexts demonstrates how a new corpus of wenyi cinema may emerge as a distinct historiography in film scholarship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-452
Number of pages15
JournalAsian Journal of Communication
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication
  • Education

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chinese cinema
  • Cross-cultural analysis
  • Film studies
  • Melodrama
  • Wenyi


Dive into the research topics of 'Pitfalls of cross-cultural analysis: Chinese wenyi film and melodrama'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this