Spectral Voice and Operatic Atmosphere: Audiovisual Aesthetic in Spring in a Small Town (1948)

Liza Williams's picture
February 3, 2021
Colorado, United States
Subject Fields: 
Asian History / Studies, Chinese History / Studies, East Asian History / Studies, Music and Music History


The Center for Asian Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder is hosting a variety of virtual events during the 2020-21 academic year. We invite you to join us for "Spectral Voice and Operatic Atmosphere: Audiovisual Aesthetic in Spring in a Small Town (1948)." Details are below. All of our events are listed at https://www.colorado.edu/cas/event-list.

Spectral Voice and Operatic Atmosphere: Audiovisual Aesthetic in Spring in a Small Town (1948)
Wednesday, February 3 at 4:30pm MST (USA)
Register here for ZOOM meeting

Part of the Sound and Noise in Asia Speaker Series.

Building on critical reflections on voice-over and transmedial “national style” during wartime while attending specifically to gender and theater-cinema transference, this talk explores the first-person female voice-over and audiovisual aesthetic in Fei Mu’s films, especially Spring in a Small Town (1948). Drawing inspiration from Beijing opera, spoken drama, and traditional landscape painting, Fei imbues his films with a theatrical tinge and poetic atmosphere, accentuating a fluid female subjectivity and transmedial audiovisual aesthetic. The films’ unstable, figurative narrative and construction of subjectivities—which seem as much in flux as sound itself—stand in tension with strategies that ostensibly indicate static temporality, like long take and slow movement. This talk highlights how “audiovisual redundancy” and gender discourse drew parallels between the human body, landscape, and “national style” in the ruins during the 1940s Civil War.

with Zhang Ling from SUNY Purchase.

Contact Info: 

Liza Williams

Event Coordinator

Center for Asian Studies, CU Boulder

Contact Email: