Abstract

Abstract:

This article examines Chinese filmmaker Li Shaohong’s film productions in the 2000s—including Baober in Love, Stolen Life, and The Door—and provides a gender history of post-socialist Chinese femininity and masculinity. Rather than reading the “post” as the transition from socialist to globally commodified femininity, this essay unravels it as a complex cultural field of gender recoding, negotiation, and experimentation. Critiquing the “city” as an expanding network of consumer desires, Li’s urban cinema illustrates the dystopic imaginary of post-socialist home spaces that evoke an invisible system of spatial violence. Adding a gendered twist to Walter Benjamin’s Marxist critique of phantasmagorias of the interior, Li’s feminist interior portrays a post-socialist masculinist urban (bodies-cities) network, where women are seen as displaced, homeless, and disappeared. In the struggle for “space,” both body and city are portrayed as intimate dystopias, where the most familiar things become the most estranging sites of horror.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-8271
Print ISSN
1067-9847
Pages
pp. 333-360
Launched on MUSE
2019-05-31
Open Access
No
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