Sicheng Liu

Publications

1 Under the ‘Fourth World’: A Discussion to the Transformation of Character-Settings in Chinese Ethnic Minority Films

Authors: Sicheng Liu

Abstract:

Based on the key issue of the current fourth world studies, the article aims to analyze the features of character-settings in Chinese ethnic minority films. As a generalizable transformation, this feature progresses from a microcosmic representation. It argues that, as the mediation, films note down the current state of people and their surroundings, while the ‘fourth world’ theorization (or the fourth cinema) provides a new perspective to ethnic minority topics in China. Like the ‘fourth cinema’ focusing on the depiction of indigeneity groups, the ethnic minority films portrait the non-Han nationalities in China. Both types possess the motif of returning history-writing to the minority members’ own hand. In this article, the discussion entirely involves three types of cinematic role-settings in Chinese minority themed films, which illustrates that, similar to the creative principle of the fourth film, the themes and narratives of these films are becoming more individualized, with more concern to minority grassroots.

Keywords: Chinese ethnic minority films, ethnicity and culture reflection, Fourth world, mother tongue (muyu), highlighting to individual spirits

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Abstracts

2 Created Duration and Stillness: Chinese Director Zhang Ming Images to Matrophobia Dreamland in Films

Authors: Sicheng Liu

Abstract:

Zhang Ming is a never-A-listed writer-director in China who is famous for his poetic art-house filmmaking in mainland China, and his complex to spectacles of tiny places in south China. Entirely, Zhang’s works concentrate on the interconnection amongst settlement images, desirable fictional storytelling, and the dilemma of alienated interpersonal relationships. Zhang uses his pendulous camerawork to reconstruct the spectacles of his hometown and detached places in northern China, such as hometown Wushan county, lower-tier cities or remote areas that close to nature, where the old spectacles are experiencing great transformation and vanishment. Under his camera, the cities' geo-cultural and geopolitical implications which are not only a symbolic meaning that these places are not only settlements for residents to live but also representations to the abstraction of time-lapse, dimensional disorientation and revealment to people’s innerness. Zhang Ming is good at creating the essay-like expression, poetic atmosphere and vague metaphors in films, so as to show the sensitivity, aimlessness and slight anxiety of Chinese wenren (intellectuals), whose unique and objective experiences to a few aspects inside or outside their the living circumstance, typically for example, transformation of the environment, obscure expression to inner desire and aspirations, personal loneliness because of being isolated, slight anxiety to the uncertainty of life, and other mental dilemma brought by maladjustment. Also, Zhang’s works impressed the audience as slow cinemas, via creating stillness, complicity and fluidity of images and sound, by decompressing liner time passing and wandering within the enclosed loopback-space with his camera, so as to produce poeticized depiction and mysterious dimensions in films. This paper aims to summarize these mentioned features of Zhang’s films, by analyzing filmic texts and film-making styles, in order to prove an outcome that as a wenren-turned-filmmaker, Zhang Ming is good at use metaphor to create an artistic situation to depict the poetry in films and portray characteristics. In addition to this, Zhang Ming’s style relatively reflects some aesthetic features of Chinese wenren cinema.

Keywords: Chinese wenren cinema, intellectuals’ awareness, slow cinema,  slowness and dampness, people and environment

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1 Under the ‘Fourth World’: A Discussion to the Transformation of Character-Settings in Chinese Ethnic Minority Films

Authors: Sicheng Liu

Abstract:

Based on the key issue of the current fourth world studies, the article aims to analyze the features of character-settings in Chinese ethnic minority films. As a generalizable transformation, this feature progresses from a microcosmic representation. It argues that, as the mediation, films note down the current state of people and their surroundings, while the ‘fourth world’ theorization (or the fourth cinema) provides a new perspective to ethnic minority topics in China. Like the ‘fourth cinema’ focusing on the depiction of indigeneity groups, the ethnic minority films portrait the non-Han nationalities in China. Both types possess the motif of returning history-writing to the minority members’ own hand. In this article, the discussion entirely involves three types of cinematic role-settings in Chinese minority themed films, which illustrates that, similar to the creative principle of the fourth film, the themes and narratives of these films are becoming more individualized, with more concern to minority grassroots.

Keywords: 'fourth world', Chinese ethnic minority films, ethnicity and culture reflection, 'mother tongue' (muyu), highlighting to individual spiritual

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