Representation of Republican-Era Chinese Cities in State Owned Adaptations Redefining Popular Culture in State Controlled Media

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2022-04-14

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iQiYi, China's largest multimedia company, is deliberate in its depictions of Chinese cities and their historical and geographical context in their state-run media. The goal of my research piece is to analyze Chinese state-run media's depiction of historical settings. Through the juxtaposition of both fictional and actual construction of the Chinese cities of Beiping, Shanghai, and Nanjing my audience may attempt to differentiate artistic expression from deliberate romanticization. My research tries to understand the intentions behind the portrayals of cities, settings, historical sites, and events in state media. Begging the question: Perhaps it was iQiYi's intention to apply the philosophy of Oscar Wilde, 'Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life' to their rendition of Republican-era cities in film adaptations like iQiYi's newest and most well-funded production, Winter Begonia. This research explores just how Art serves the purpose of politics. Through the method of film analysis, I researched the purpose behind tactics employed by the director, screenwriters, as well as through costumes and props. I learned how the setting is achieved through other means than architecture like editing, costuming, props, and soundtrack. Every aspect of a media production is meticulously thought out, and this is more so of state-run media which must abide by the CCP and Ministry of Culture's guidelines at all costs or risk censorship.

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