Exploring the soundscapes of real-life in contemporary China: the ubiquitous popular songs and dialects in Jia Zhangke’s films
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AbstractBy focusing on the film soundtrack and diverse voices in dialogue, this article investigates three feature films directed by Jia Zhangke between 2004 and 2013 in order to analyze how he uses the cinematic soundscapes to understand the consequence of rapid urbanization and marketization since China’s political and economic reform process started in late 1978. Facing the social problems appears in the new era, Jia Zhangke engages the aesthetic strategy of much of realism and the avant-garde as his resistance to urban modernity. By discussing the visual representations and narrative modes of his films, scholars tend to trace and illustrate the director’s artistic and political response to the contemporary real-life of Chinese low-class urban residents from visions of character’s living and working environments, dialogues, and settings. However, Emily Thompson and Jonathan Sterne both remind us that in order to better examining the relationship between people and the modern city, we should consider extending our focus from images to sounds, especially the soundscapes created by the combination of music and human voices in different media. Distinct from official realism, the purpose of this article is to examine the alternative realism provided by a variety of popular songs and dialects in Jia Zhangke’s cinema. More importantly, it draws on his works to illustrate that the musical and linguistical elements invite the moviegoers to experience the cultural heterogeneity of different regions between China and the world.
All Author(s) ListZHAO Qing
Name of ConferenceXXIV International Film Studies Conference
Start Date of Conference22/11/2018
End Date of Conference23/11/2018
Place of ConferenceRome
Country/Region of ConferenceItaly
LanguagesEnglish-United States

Last updated on 2020-03-05 at 17:20