The Post-Classical Art Film

Jean Ma

in Melancholy Drift

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9789888028054
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207172 | DOI:
The                   Post-Classical Art Film

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If the mere naming of influences is rarely adequate to the task of accounting for the significance of these directors' work, it nonetheless also reprises and brings into view the tensions between the national and the international, between cultural particularity and universal value, that have subtended the category of art cinema since its beginnings. This chapter argues that the case of Chinese art cinema demands a reassessment of earlier understandings of art cinema, both in light of the transactions between global and regional film cultures taking place at the present juncture and with a sensitivity to the historically fluctuating development of art cinema as an idiom in dialogue and competition with a larger array of narrative practices. This requires a confrontation with the instability of art cinema as a theoretical category—complicating teleological accounts of origins, influence, and stylistic evolution—as this instability is revealed through the estranging lens of Chinese cinema.

Keywords: Chinese cinema; art cinema; film cultures; New Wave; cultural particularity

Chapter.  9433 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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