Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/16973
Appears in Collections:Communications, Media and Culture Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: The spectral soundscapes of postsocialist China in the films of Jia Zhangke
Authors: Lovatt, Philippa
Contact Email: philippa.lovatt@stir.ac.uk
Issue Date: Dec-2012
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Citation: Lovatt P (2012) The spectral soundscapes of postsocialist China in the films of Jia Zhangke, Screen, 53 (4), pp. 418-435.
Abstract: In recent years, there has been an increasing fascination with the nature of time and the motif of haunting in Asian cinema, as authors such as Bliss Cua Lim have explored how films can offer a critique of the dominant conception of time as homogenous and linear. Asserting that ‘fantastic narratives ... [unhinge] the unicity of the present by insisting on ... the jarring coexistence of other times', she offers a way of thinking about cinematic temporality that is concerned with ethics and a Derridean sense of accountability. While Cua Lim argues that the cinematic apparatus ‘links vision to rationalized time', this essay explores how film sound (like the ghost narrative) might similarly be able to create a sense of multiple, even divergent, temporalities. By creating a perceptible ‘gap' in the seamlessness of a film's narrative and formal structure, sound can be an unruly force in its own right, acting like a mischievous or even belligerent ghost that exposes the progress narrative's conception of time as a myth. This essay explores this use of sound in the recent films of Jia Zhangke to investigate how they reconceptualize lived space-time in postsocialist China as heterochronic, both formally through the disjunctive use of sound and image, and thematically through their exploration of the heterogeneity of subjective and/or cultural memory. In doing so, I hope to be able to provide a useful analytical framework that can be productively mapped onto different cultural and historical contexts.
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/16973
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/screen/hjs034
Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: Communications, Media and Culture

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