Remapping Taipei : globalization and Edward Yang's films

by Sze, Siu-sin

Abstract (Summary)
(Uncorrected OCR) Abstract of thesis entitled

Remapping Taipei: Globalization and Edward Yang's Films

submitted by

Sze Siu Sin Jean

for the degree of Master of Philosophy at the University of Hong Kong

in August 2003

Edward Yang, who belongs to the first wave of the movement of New

Taiwan Cinema in the 1980s, is best known for his meticulous depiction of the

contemporary life in the city Taipei. While most of the critics discuss his films in

relation to the notion of modernity, few of them have tried to analyze the

relationship between his films and globalization. In light of this, this dissertation

aims at providing a comprehensive study of Yang's films by analyzing how the

Chinese society has transformed in the age of globalization and how individuals try

to negotiate their position in the city. Using theories of globalization as the

theoretical framework, the dissertation explores Taipei through different spatial

images such as Chungshan Hall, glass skin buildings and mirrors found in Yang's

films. In so doing, the dissertation sees how globalization can deterritorialize the

existing ideologies in the city. At the same time, it is also found that the city has

become a placeless space because of the homogenizing effect of globalization. As

spatial images constitute the outer core, or the physical appearance of the city, the

dissertation then turns to the inner core of the city and sees how urban dwellers

experience the city through memories, desires and fantasies. It is noted that while

outwardly the city is likened to a rather rational network society, it is actually

complicated by the human networks internally. In order to locate themselves in the city, individuals therefore turn to a ground-level exploration of the labyrinthine city that we inhabit. From the spatial images to the urban walkers who try to make sense of the city, Yang's films can indeed be seen as a medium that provides critical reactions to the ideologies imposed by the government and to the developments of Taipei ever since the 1980s. As his films are very popular in the international film festivals, the dissertation explores the relationship between cinema and public criticism. In fact, it is observed that with the circulation of Yang's films in the arthouse circuits, there is indeed a positive side of cultural globalization.

An Abstract of 346 words

Bibliographical Information:


School:The University of Hong Kong

School Location:China - Hong Kong SAR

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:yang dechang 1947 2007 criticism and interpretation university of hong kong dissertations motion picture producers directors taiwan globalization


Date of Publication:01/01/2004

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