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Lu, Xiaoning (2017) 'The Might of the People: Counter-Espionage Films and Participatory Surveillance in the Early PRC.' In: Fang, Karen, (ed.), Surveillance in Asian Cinema: Under Eastern Eyes. Abingdon; New York, NY: Routledge, pp. 13-32.

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The increasing penetration of surveillance technology in everyday life as well as the widespread concern for national security in the face of global terrorism in the past decade has not only boosted surveillance studies in general but also fostered critical attention on surveillance cinema. Aside from film narratives and the new realist aesthetics informed by pervasive surveillance in contemporary societies, issues pertaining to the mutual implication of cinema and surveillance are of particular interest to film and media scholars. For instance, Sébastien Léfait in his study of contemporary film and television programs suggests that cinema engages surveillance structurally through its fictional creation of surveillance microcosms. In the meantime, by being a reality-capturing device, the cinematic apparatus “translates the problem of the ambiguity of the visible into terms of mediated watching,” which is also a matter at the heart of surveillance (ix). Similarly, Catherine Zimmer states that surveillance cinema is not simply one of the recurring tropes or iconographies of surveillance, but also concerns “the multiple mediations that occur through the cinematic narration of surveillance, through which practices of surveillance become representational and representational practices become surveillant” (2).

Item Type: Book Chapters
Keywords: Surveillance subject, Panopticon, national security, PRC, Chinese cinema
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of China and Inner Asia
ISBN: 9781317298816
Copyright Statement: © 2017 Taylor & Francis. This is the accepted manuscript of a chapter published by Routledge in Surveillance in Asian Cinema: Under Eastern Eyes, available online:
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2019 16:37

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