Memory, Subjectivity and Independent Chinese Cinema

Memory, Subjectivity and Independent Chinese Cinema

by Qi Wang


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Memory, Subjectivity and Independent Chinese Cinema provides a historically informed examination of independent moving image works made between 1990 and 2010 in China. Showcasing an evolving personal mode of narrating memory, documenting reality, and inscribing subjectivity in over sixteen selected works that range from narrative film and documentary to experimental video and digital media (even including a multimedia avant-garde play), this book presents a provocative portrait of the independent filmmakers as a peculiarly pained yet active group of historical subjects of the transitional, post-socialist era. Through a connected investigation of cultural and cinematic concepts including historical consciousness, personal memory, narrative, performance, subjectivity, spatiality, and the body, Wang weaves a critical narrative of the formation of a unique post-socialist cultural consciousness that enables independent cinema and media to become a highly significant and effective conduit for historical thinking in contemporary China.

Covering directors such as Zhang Yimou, Chen Kaige, Jia Zhangke, Jiang Wen, Lou Ye, Meng Jinghui, Wang Bing, Wang Guangli, Duan Jinchuan, Cui Zi'en, Shi Tou, and Tang Danhong, this book is essential reading for all students and scholars in Chinese film.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780748692330
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Publication date: 10/01/2014
Series: Edinburgh Studies in East Asian Film
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Qi Wang is an associate professor of Film and Media Studies at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Table of Contents

List of Figures

Understanding Postsocialism on a Personal Scale
Two Siblings or Generational Subjects of Chinese Postsocialism
The Forsaken Generation and Historical Consciousness
Material, Structure and Methodology

Part I From the Past: Subjectivity, Memory and Narrative
1. Toward the Figuration of a Postsocialist Subject
Subjectivity and Spatiality in Yangbanxi and 1980s Cinema
A Ship on a River: The Historical Space in Night Rain in Bashan
The Figure of a Forsaken Child
The Forsaken Generation: Take It Personally and Historically

2. For a Narration of One's Own
Wilful Chance and Futile Subjects in To Live and Farewell, My Concubine
To Figure New Subjects: Independent Cinema and Personal Filmmaking
Self-narrative I: I Love XXX and a Radical Recollection of History
Self-narrative II: Fractured and Fragmented In the Heat of the Sun
The Delirium of a Fool: Narrative Excess and the Subject's Alter Ego
Self-portraits of New Cinematic Subjects out of the Dirt of History

Part II In the Present: Camera, Documentary and Performance
3. Surface and Edge: The Cinema of Jia Zhangke and Lou Ye
Jia Zhangke: A Subjective Metanarrative Vision
Platform: Cinematic Space and Multivalent Subject Positions
Superficial Time: Writing on the Wall
Superficial Space: Debris, Wanderers and Vehicles
Lou Ye: Dwelling on the Edge of the Camera

4. Personal Documentary
Chinese Verité and Duan Jinchuan's Invisible Gaze
Personal Documentary
I Graduated: Subject-ing the Past to the Present
West of the Tracks: Subject-ing the Present to History

5. Performing Bodies in Experimental and Digital Media
Nightingale, Not the Only Voice: A Performance of Inter-subjectivity
Shi Tou: Women, Bodies and Herself
Cui Zi'en: Embodying Realities and Performing Identities
Play with the Body of History: Experimental and Digital Media

Conclusion: China's Luckless but Hopeful Angels of History
Selected Filmography and Bibliography

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