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Memory, Subjectivity and Independent Chinese Cinema$
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Qi Wang

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780748692330

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748692330.001.0001

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Surface and Edge: The Cinema of Jia Zhangke and Lou Ye

Surface and Edge: The Cinema of Jia Zhangke and Lou Ye

(p.93) Chapter 3 Surface and Edge: The Cinema of Jia Zhangke and Lou Ye
Memory, Subjectivity and Independent Chinese Cinema

Qi Wang

Edinburgh University Press

Chapter 3 approaches the cinema of Jia Zhangke from two angles: first, a complex mechanism of multivalent and metanarrative subject positions in and beyond the cinematic frame compels the spectator to a highly active and conscious process of taking up history and image critically; second, it proposes the concept of “surface” to highlight Jia’s cinematic texture through various figurations of superficial time and superficial space in Xiao Wu, Platform, Unknown Pleasures and Still Life. Lou Ye’s highly expressionist and kinetic works conflate screen subjectivities with directorial and spectatorial ones. An analysis of two films by Lou Ye, Suzhou River and Purple Butterfly, demonstrates that, despite the two auteurs’ difference in style, they share a highly comparable epistemological interest in the relationship between history, representation and subjectivity.

Keywords:   Jia Zhangke, Lou Ye, Metanarrative, Subject Position, Surface, Space, Screen Subjectivity, Platform, Still Life, Purple Butterfly

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