The Impulse to Record: The Neorealist Style



The documentary-inspired realist style has emerged as the dominant aesthetic mode of Chinese art cinema. Cross-fertilized with the New Documentary movement, the neorealist cinematic style resonated with the zeitgeist of the 1990s. The rise to fame of Jia Zhangke, one of the most accomplished neorealist practitioners, testified to the opening up of the general film field as well as the diversification of the art film practice. Jia’s Xiao Wu (1997) and Platform (2000) illustrate the main qualities of the cinematic neorealism: unpolished raw aesthetics, long-shot and long-take minimalism, formalist screen composition, and de-dramatized narrative. His later works, such as The World (2004), Still Life (2006) and 24 City (2008), also incorporate elements that challenge the boundary between reality and fiction.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Li Yang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures Lafayette CollegeEastonUSA

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