A reading of the cinematic representation of the global city in Chinese “new urban films” and in rural-migrant films leads this article to focus on the plurality and dialogism among different chronotopes produced collectively across these films. The article argues that the global city is constructed by visible and invisible urban spaces whose representation offers a restructured urban world and captures the profound transformations of the Chinese city since the onset of this century. In redefining mainstream commercial/popular urban cinema via incorporation of rural-migrant films (often regarded as a separate category), this article also argues that new urban and rural-migrant films share many features. One such feature is the articulation of the neoliberal ideology of individualistic striving and personal improvement that is very much in line with socialist values and crucial to achieving the official Chinese vision of a “harmonious society.”

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