Title

Commerce and the critical edge : negotiating the politics of postsocialist film, the case of Feng Xiaogang

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Journal of Chinese Cinemas

Publication Date

11-2009

Volume

3

Issue

3

First Page

193

Last Page

214

Publisher

Routledge

Keywords

commercial films, critical edge, cultural intervention, negotiation, postsocialist condition

Abstract

This article investigates Feng Xiaogang's (b.1958) film-making in the new millennium. Drawing upon his three films, Yi sheng tanxi/A Sigh (2000), Shouji/Cell Phone (2003), and Tianxia wu zei/A World without Thieves (2004), I examine how the uneven postsocialist situation in China fundamentally shapes his film-making and how his films are broadly symptomatic of the current condition and politics of Chinese cinema. I argue that, in the postsocialist condition, Feng's cultural intervention is strategically embedded within its apparently commercial form. My investigation begins with an analysis of the social space in postsocialist China as represented in his films. It then deals with the major focus of his films common people's everyday lives, and it ends with an examination of the most intriguing aspect of his films and the most powerful weapon of his cultural intervention: his humour.

DOI

10.1386/jcc.3.3.193/1

Print ISSN

17508061

E-ISSN

1750807X

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2009 Intellect Ltd. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

Gong, H. (2009). Commerce and the critical edge: negotiating the politics of postsocialist film, the case of Feng Xiaogang. Journal of Chinese Cinemas, 3(3), 193-214. doi: 10.1386/jcc.3.3.193/1