(2014) ‘The Creative Evolution and Crystallisation of the ‘Bastard line’: Drifting from the Rive Gauche into Suzhou River’

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Deleuze argues that ‘it is never at the beginning that something new, a new art, is able to reveal its essence’; instead, what is tacit at the outset only reveals itself later, after taking a significant ‘detour in its evolution’. This paper argues that Lou Ye's 'Suzhou River' (2000) can be understood as the crystalising détournement of the PRC's 1990s ‘bastard line’ of urban realist cinema, and as such materialises a new modality of mainland time-image cinema. By putting the film into critical relation with Alain Resnais’ 'Last Year in Marienbad' (1961) -across the a-historical vapors of Deleuzo-Guattarian 'event time' - the article also illustrates how Lou's evental film can be understood actively modifying our understanding of the cinematic past.

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Author Name: 
David H. Fleming
Journal of Chinese Cinemas