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Moving Figures

Class and Feeling in the Films of Jia Zhangke

Corey Kai Nelson Schultz

Hardback (Forthcoming)
£70.00

Examines how the Chinese ‘Reform Era’ is constructed and felt in the films of Jia Zhangke

Since 1979, China has been undergoing a period of immense social and economic change, transitioning from state-run economics to free market capitalism. This book focuses on how the ‘Reform Era’ has been constructed in the work of the director Jia Zhangke, analysing the archetypal class figures of worker, peasant, soldier, intellectual and entrepreneur that are found in his films. Examining how these figures are represented, and how Jia’s cinematography creates those ‘structures of feeling’ that concretise around a particular time and place, the book argues that Jia’s cinema should be understood not just as narratives that represent Chinese social transition, but also as an effort to engage the audience’s emotional responses through representation, symbolism and the affective experience of specific cinematic tropes.

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Contents

List of Figures
Acknowledgments

Introduction
Approach to Feeling
Class in China
Class Figures and Their Effects
Chapter Outlines

Chapter 1 – The Worker Class: From Leader To The Margins
Introduction
History of the Class
Representation
Cinematic Tropes: Moving Portraits and Interviews

Chapter 2 – The Peasant and the Mingong: From Empathy to Sympathy to Looking Back
Introduction
History of the Class
Representation
Cinematic Tropes: The POV Shot, Observation, Body, and the Gaze

Chapter 3 – The Soldier: From Degraded Reproduction to Avenging Hero
Introduction
History of the Class
Representation
Cinematic Tropes: Wuxia and The Close-Up

Chapter 4 – The Intellectual: Power and the Voice
Introduction
History of the Class
Representation
Cinematic Tropes: Pseudomonologues and Observation

Chapter 5 – The Entrepreneur: From Crook to "New Reform Model"
Introduction
History of the Class
Representation
Cinematic Tropes: Advertisements and the Close-Up

Filmography
Works Cited
Notes

About the Author

Corey Kai Nelson Schultz is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Film at the University of Southampton. He received his PhD from Goldsmiths, University of London, and his research areas are Chinese visual culture, film phenomenology and aesthetics. He has published in Asian Cinema, Film-Philosophy, Moving Image Review and Art Journal, Screen and Visual Communication.

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