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Publications [#357381] of Rey Chow

Articles in a Collection

  1. Chow, R. "The grain of jade: Woman, repression and Fei Mu’s Spring in a Small Town." Chinese Cinemas: International Perspectives. May, 2016, 134-140. [doi]
    (last updated on 2021/10/22)

    A married woman, Zhou Yuwen, serves as the narrator in Fei Mu’s film classic Xiao cheng zhi chun / Spring in a Small Town. A novel experiment in Chinese filmmaking of the 1940s, this feature of the film remains a highly provocative point of interest. Since Fei Mu’s film was rediscovered and its value affirmed beginning in the 1980s, a considerable variety of readings have been advanced. The well-known author Ping-kwan Leung, in a study of lyricism and cinema, suggests that it is Yuwen’s voice that establishes the film’s unique sense of lyricism, a lyricism that, Leung argues, is characteristic of modernist literary aesthetics. In his discussion of the voice’s lyrical reflexivity, Leung underscores self-restraint as the superlative expressive-cum-ethical form. This chapter introduces the somewhat different emphasis of a dream and proposes that what makes the voice distinctive is really it’s irrational that is, dreamlike oscillation among subjective and objective spaces and temporalities.

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