Publication Date



Open access

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Motion Pictures (Communication)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Christina Lane

Second Committee Member

William Rothman

Third Committee Member

Joel Nickels


Eileen Chang (1920-1995), a legendary female writer in Chinese literature history, lived in the most turbulent time of contemporary China. Her works are all about love. Her characters are all insignificant people, unrealistically invested with illusory dreams of life, but meanwhile, absorbed by worldly pursuits and pleasures. And her tone is desolate. People worship her, both as a great writer and as a mysterious woman. From 1980s, the fascination with her and her literature overtly announces itself in Chinese language cinema. Several critically acclaimed directors have intended to adapt her aura and charisma through adapting her literature. But, the result of their efforts is not optimistic; the disparity between the films and the novels still has been widely sensed. My thesis focuses on the film adaptations of her novels. I intend to explore this woman?s world through cinema; precisely, through the unexpected gap between her novels and their film versions, in order to explore the reality and moods in her mind that are hard to visualize. The same events, moments and situations presented in both the novels and the films also offer great opportunities for the comparison of two different ways of story-telling.


Reality; Subjectivity; Moving Images; Deception