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The Instant City and the Postspatial Turn in Chinese Cinema

UC Berkeley presents a talk by Yomi Braester on the trope of a city constructed in the blink of the eye in recent Chinese films.

October 22, 2009 4:00pm to 6:00pm

Yomi Braester, Department of Comparative Literature and Program in Cinema Studies, University of Washington

Pheng Cheah, Rhetoric, UC Berkeley, discussant

The trope of a city constructed in the blink of the eye is central to recent Chinese films and stage plays. The instant city is visually represented by miniature models and computerized simulations. The salience of architectural modeling - in the media, on the theater stage, and on the screen - is a symptom of the neoliberal state's need to reify its vision in idealized form. In response, some filmmakers have turned to preserving the present condition of cities in images. Others go beyond recording the pro-filmic, using new media to propose a post-cinematic and post-spatial understanding of the city.