History of Chinese film should be focused on three separate threads of development.
- early era (Shanghai, 20s and 30s or earlier)
- communist propaganda film making sponsored by government (1960s and 70s)
- recent era that incorporated many joint ventures and projects with international investment.
- Cantonese movies era (1950s and 60s), mostly Wu Xia film with cheesy props and special effect using crude animation drawn on top of the film, drama, Cantonese opera on film etc. - e.g. Wah Tat studio.
- Mandarin movies era (1960s on) - e.g. Shaws brothers studio, Golden Harvest studio. A musical genre called Huang Mai Del. Love stories based on novels by Zhung Yau. A new generation of Wu Xia film probably started by The dragon gate inn with a lot of wire work and acrobic moves.
- The come-back of Cantonese movies - (1970s on) - probably spearheaded by Sam Hui with his comedies which brought Cantonese movies back in the spotlight.
- heavily influenced by the Mandarin movies produced in Hong Kong.
Some famous filmmakers for Chinese movies:
- Jackie Chan
- John Woo
- Tsui Hark
- Ringo Lam
- Samo Hung
- Yuen Wo Ping
- Wong Jing
- Yuen Biao
- Stanly Tong
- Michelle Yeoh
- David Chiang