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Melancholy DriftMarking Time in Chinese Cinema$
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Jean Ma

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9789888028054

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888028054.001.0001

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The Post-Classical Art Film

The Post-Classical Art Film

(p.72) (p.73) 3 The Post-Classical Art Film
Melancholy Drift

Jean Ma

Hong Kong University Press

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

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