The World of Psychological and Symbolic Complexity: The Expressionist Style
The films that display oppositional stylistic tendencies to the dominant neorealism are examined under a general label of “expressionist style.” Instead of striving to present an external social reality, expressionist films explore the fundamentals of human nature and the abstract philosophical issues confronting the characters onscreen. Although the number of such Chinese expressionist films is limited, these films excel at their sophisticated narrative strategies, many of which reflect a certain modernist sensibility. Several notable films, including In the Heat of the Sun (1994), Lunar Eclipse (1999), Postman (1995), Read Beads (1993), and Rainclouds Over Wushan (1996), are analyzed to discuss the narrative highlights of expressionist style—the treatment of reality, psychological focus, and a fixation on the symbolic.
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