Over the course of his career, Zhang Yimou has focused on the way in which the cultural—in particular as opposed to the political—works or does not work to form a dynamic and coherent narrative of community in time and space. His position on the viability of culture evolved with domestic and global changes, while remaining a core concern. This talk will address Zhang’s emphasis on the cultural and discuss how it structures several films, including Red Sorghum (1987), The Story of Qiuju (1992), Keep Cool (1997) and Hero (2002).
Wendy Larson is professor of East Asian Languages and Literature at the University of Oregon. Her research monographs include From Ah Q to Lei Feng: Freud and Revolutionary Spirit in 20th Century China (Stanford UP, 2010); Women and Writing in Modern China (Stanford UP, 1998); and Literary Authority and the Chinese Writer: Ambivalence and Autobiography ( Duke UP, 1991). She is working on a book tentatively entitled Zhang Yimou: Globalization and the Subject of Culture,as well as a project on comparative optimism under socialism and capitalism.