Melancholy Drift: Marking Time in Chinese Cinema

Author: 
Ma, Jean

Utilizes Deleuze's notion of the time-image to explore Chinese films (mostly of the art film type) by Hou, Tsai and Wong. See in particular pp. 4-7.

Ma offers an innovative study of three provocative Chinese directors: Wong Kar-wai, Hou Hsiao-hsien, and Tsai Ming-liang. Focusing on the highly stylized and monlinear configurations of time in each director's films, she argues that these dirctors have brought new global respect for Chinese cinema in amplifying motifs of loss, nostalgia, hauntin, absence and ephemeral poetices Hou, Tsai, and Wong all isist on the significance of being out of time, not merely out of place, as a condition of global modernity. Ma argues that their films collectively foreground the central place of contemporary Chinese films in a transnational culture of memory, characterized by a distinctive melancholy that highlights the difficulty of binding together past and present into a meaningful narrative.

Citation: 
Ma. Jean, Melancholy Drift: Marking Time in Chinese Cinema (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2010).