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Uneven ModernityLiterature, Film, and Intellectual Discourse in Postsocialist China$
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Haomin Gong

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835316

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835316.001.0001

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Geopolitics in Postsocialist Art Film and Beyond

Geopolitics in Postsocialist Art Film and Beyond

Reading Wang Xiaoshuai’s Films

(p.108) Chapter 5 Geopolitics in Postsocialist Art Film and Beyond
Uneven Modernity

Haomin Gong

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines the geopolitics of art filmmaking in postsocialist China by focusing on the work of Sixth Generation director, Wang Xiaoshuai. More specifically, it considers how unevenness shapes contemporary art filmmaking and how young directors such as Wang negotiate their opportunities and position themselves in this new social condition. The chapter first provides an overview of the tension between the social-critical narrative in Wang's films, on the one hand, and the sentimental-universal narrative, on the other. It then shows how this narrative tension reflects larger tensions between artistic pursuits and commercial demands, the domestic audience, and international exposure. Through a geopolitical reading of Wang's art film productions, the chapter explores the symptomatics that are embedded in Western interventions into the productions of Chinese art film and how these uneven conditions are cinematically represented. Two films by Wang are discussed: So Close to Paradise (1996) and Beijing Bicycle (2001).

Keywords:   geopolitics, art filmmaking, postsocialist China, Wang Xiaoshuai, unevenness, art film, social-critical narrative, sentimental-universal narrative, So Close to Paradise, Beijing Bicycle

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