Crossing Borders in Taiwan New Cinema: Historiography, Popularity, Postcoloniality
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Reason for embargo
To enable future publication of the research
Focusing on Taiwan New Cinema from its inception in 1982 to the present, this thesis examines the key features of historical representation, dramatic genre and postcolonial discourse. Taiwan New Cinema configures the different political formations of Taiwanese culture, and deals with the historical, social and cultural relations between Taiwanese culture and other cultures such as Mainland Chinese, American and Japanese. I argue that Taiwan New Cinema has become a vital cultural space wherein questions of national borders and identities are being renegotiated. This thesis will investigate Taiwan New Cinema and its historical and cultural phenomena from three directions. First, it aims to develop an understanding of constructed national identities by examining how Taiwanese history has been written within the Taiwan New Cinema movement and by considering Taiwan cinema in the light of the concept of national cinema. Part 1 proposes that Taiwan New Cinema is the site of a dynamic contestation in the representation of Chinese exile, shifting from a monumental style aimed at encouraging a sense of collective identity to a more self-reflexive and critical approach. Second, this dissertation attempts to reevaluate domestic genres by mapping the spaces culturally occupied by selected new wave film texts produced to challenge, in various ways, the dominant realist aesthetics. Part 2 argues that Taiwan New Cinema tackles the issue of American neocolonialism by exploring the significance of popular genre in Taiwan, especially the effects of the Cold War on Taiwan society. Third, this dissertation is concerned with the way in which postcolonial discourse is inscribed in Taiwan New Cinema. Since the 1990s, there have been transnational trends in deploying Taiwan New Cinema as a site of cultural translation for addressing postcolonial subjects or responses to Japanese contemporary culture. Part 3 reveals a diverse landscape in film narrative, subject matter and cinematic style in relation to an attempt to reimagine the colonial past.
Song Hwee, Lim
PhD in Film