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Northwest Wind: Folklore, Vernacular, and the Chinese New Waves

Northwest Wind: Folklore, Vernacular, and the Chinese New Waves

Chapter:
(p.18) Chapter One Northwest Wind: Folklore, Vernacular, and the Chinese New Waves
Source:
China in the Mix
Author(s):
Ying Xiao
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496812605.003.0002

This chapter reconsiders Chinese new wave cinema of the 1980s and reinterprets Chen Kaige’s Yellow Earth (1984), The Big Parade (1986), and King of the Children (1987) from a new acoustic and cross-media angle. I adopt the term, “Northwest Wind,” broadly to reassess, juxtapose, and interlace between the various musical, cinematic, literary, and cultural discourses of the 1980s: the prevalent popular musical form that blends the indigenous folk music of northwest China with the western style of disco and rock rhythm; the Fifth Generation filmmakers’ cinematic modernism often identified as the cinematic version of Northwest Wind – the Chinese Western – that showcases the vast, barren, and landlocked northwest China; and the historiographical, self-reflexive impulse of “root-seeking” in literature and popular culture terrains.

Keywords:   Chinese new wave, the Fifth Generation, root-seeking, folk music, Northwest, Wind

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