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Title: Island in motion : transnational articulations in new Taiwanese cinema and its film culture
Author: Kuan, Wen-chun
ISNI:       0000 0004 5358 6463
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2014
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In the field of Chinese cinemas studies, transnationalism has increasingly begun to draw attention, especially in studies of Taiwanese cinema. However, research regarding the Taiwanese New Cinema (TNC) has still been mainly focused on its national aspects. Why the TNC has been excluded from general studies of transnational Taiwanese cinema and why it has been largely perceived as a national cinematic movement was the initial motivation of this study. The thesis further sets out to explore the transnational nature of, and its key elements embedded within, Taiwanese cinema, focusing on but not limited to the period 1980-2000. A key research question is whether Taiwanese cinema has 'always' been transnational. By exploring this question, I challenge the trend of national cinema studies in Taiwan and conclude that it is perhaps inadequate to limit the field of inquiry; transnationalism may compensate for the critical gap by providing a broader viewpoint from which to analyse a highly hybridised art form: Chinese cinema(s). The thesis is divided into three chapters; in each one I focus on certain films and directors (including in particular Hou Hsiao-hsien and Ang Lee), foregrounding issues, themes, and contexts of transnationality in these works. Examining Taiwanese cinema through the lens of different periods and stages, the thesis employs concepts ofthe transnational at both theoretical and industrial/social levels in order to tie together periods frequently seen as distinct or separate from each other. By employing transnationalism to study Taiwanese cinema, I attempt to illuminate the fact that even the TNC, a seemingly very national movement, has transnational roots and formative elements. The final case study of Ang Lee and his career trajectory draws upon the claims of entire thesis, tying up theoretical and practical strands to show that Taiwanese cinema is not only leading in its transnational approaches, but in many respects always has been.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available