Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Book Chapter/Essay Abstract: Two Stage Brothers

Two Stage Brothers: 
Tracing a Common Heritage in Early Films by Xie Jin and Li Xing 

This essay proposes that the most important link between Mainland Chinese director Xie Jin and Taiwan director Li Xing’s films during the Cold War was the influence of Shanghai’s film tradition of realist aesthetics in the 1930s and 1940s. This Shanghai tradition was the root of a common cinematic language that flourished on both sides of the Strait after 1949, even though there were unique parameters inherent to each film culture after the Communist victory in the civil war. This seemingly counterintuitive conclusion shows that conceptions of film as a universal language, or conversely as the expression of a specific national film tradition, do not entirely account for the similarities of these two Mandarin-language filmmakers.

這篇文章主要談到冷戰時期共產黨轄下的中國導演謝晉和避退台灣的國民黨統治下的導演李行,他們彼此之間所慣用的相似電影形式與同樣受到上海現實主義(1930s-1940s)之影響的相關性。我們可以看到,在1949以後的台灣和中國大陸,即使觀念思想上已經逐漸產生差別, 衍生不同的電影文化,上海現實主義仍然是一個共同的根本基礎, 具體賦予這兩位台灣和中國大陸的導演相似的電影語言。這樣的美學性質的探討顯示我們一向認為的電影語言具有世界普同的性質,或者電影語言必然是國家性的這樣的說法,不必然能夠全面說明這兩位中文電影導演相似的電影模式。

Available in: Transnational Representations: The State of Taiwan Film in the 1960s and 1970s (HKUP, 2014).

Also available in: “Two Stage Brothers: Tracing a Common Heritage in Early Films by Xie Jin and Li Xing.” In Modern Chinese Literature and Culture 21 (2009): 174-212.

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