The “Introduction” describes the theoretical and practical understanding of what metacinema is and does in the context of Chinese filmmaking. Metacinema is a kind of textual reflexivity that foregrounds the mechanisms involved in the creation or reception of a film. Consideration of metacinema reveals a discourse on film arising from the films themselves. A key, but often overlooked, metacinematic category is genre: collective semiotic codes adopted, adapted, updated, or subverted that allow another vantage on the ways films influence each other. In the context of Chinese cinemas, this discourse ricochets amongst and between the industries of Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the PRC. Further, focus on film audiences within films allows us to theorize the personal and social effects film watching has on viewers. The films provide models for ways of being in the world that characters within the films, and by analogy audiences in the real world, adopt, update, and subvert in their own lives.
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