Melancholy Drift: Marking Time in Chinese Cinema by Jean Ma

By Jean Ma

This ebook seems heavily at movies by way of the main popular administrators of up to date chinese language paintings cinema: Hou Hsiao-hsien, Tsai Ming-liang and Wong Kar-wai. It argues that those administrators have jointly authored a special cinema of time around the nation-states of nationwide and transnational movie culture.

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Melancholy Drift: Marking Time in Chinese Cinema

This publication appears heavily at motion pictures through the main popular administrators of latest chinese language artwork cinema: Hou Hsiao-hsien, Tsai Ming-liang and Wong Kar-wai. It argues that those administrators have jointly authored a special cinema of time around the nation-states of nationwide and transnational movie tradition.

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Perhaps most striking is the gradual shift in the image from blackand-white to color cinematography as the scene progresses. 53 Beyond the status of doubles of one another, Liang and Jiang are joined into a more total fusion, a singular figuration of the community of widows depicted in the earlier film. ”55 An opposing stance is taken by Yip, who points out that “the disintegration of the patriarchal family structure seems to be a recurring theme in Hou’s films. indd 43 13/04/2010 3:42 PM 44 Melancholy Drift all of his films, the fathers are either absent (Daughter of the Nile, 1987), ill (Dust in the Wind, A Time to Live and a Time to Die), or otherwise debilitated (The Boys from Fenggui).

The scene attaches a visible body to the voiceover and pulls back a curtain to reveal Li as a narrator, directly addressing the camera as he speaks and thereby puncturing the invisible wall of the fiction. Li appears again in five other scenes in the film, all similarly composed and spatially continuous with the diegetic world. These appearances might be described as Brechtian moments of alienation and rupture that undercut the story’s illusionism. On the one hand, they call to mind the presentational format of both early cinema and the live budai xi stage, evoking the many depictions of puppet performance in the film, which have a similarly autonomous quality.

You can fly it either way, unlike the Chinese flag. People argued, should the sun be on top or bottom? But the mayor was adamant. It should be at the bottom. At sunrise, the whole sky is red so the sun had to be at the bottom… But later in the day a man came from the city and said he was wrong and he’d be shot for it. The mayor panicked and broadcast new orders, but it was already sunset. The whole sky was red. The story satirizes the discrepancy between the experience of ordinary people and the realm of power in which historic decisions are made.

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