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In-visibility: the sentimental in Chinese cinema since the 1990s

Miao, Hui (2012)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

The greater visibility of Chinese films brought by the wider global access and circulation has not satisfied the culturally specific understanding of Chinese cinema. The subject/object power relations stemming from the legacy of colonial and postcolonial discourse hinders the arrival of a better-balanced cross-cultural reading. The visibility of cinema provides a visual spectacle, it also challenges the audience with a communication of the epistemic side of visibility which feeds the images meaning and imagination and facilitates a more balanced culturally specific understanding. However, the epistemic side of visibility remains invisible under power-engaged cross-cultural reading. This study suggests that the sentimental provides a possibility for a better-balanced cross-cultural understanding through its provision of empathic connection with the culture, history and the psyche.
Home-longing/homecoming is claimed to the basis that the Chinese culture is built upon. Defined as the sentimental, this affective mode has been manifested across Chinese cinema abundantly through visual representation. The various articulations of the sentimental in face of the global and transnational homogeneous force further prove the deep-rootedness of the sentimental. The sentimental fashions as an affective link that establishes an empathic engagement in cross-cultural analysis. Through reading eight Chinese films made since the 1990, this study illustrates the relationship between the visual spectacle and the sentimental in Chinese cinema. Although the eight films are all from mainland Chinese directors, this study is carried out with the awareness of the sharing of Chinese culture within the Chinese language cinema where this study locates.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Aaron, Michele
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of American and Canadian Studies, School of Historical Studies
Subjects:BH Aesthetics
DS Asia
HT Communities. Classes. Races
N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3256
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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