|In a 4 page paper, discuss at least four of the urban films below from the perspective of an auteur. Critique the uses of the city as a trope for addressing the problems of identity, namely, how the city is synonymous with identity crisis for the urban individual. |
- The World, directed by Zhangke Jia, set in capital city of Beijing
- Chinese Box, dir. by Wayne Wang, set in the city of Hong Kong
- Vive L’amour, dir. by Sai Mingliang, set in the city of Taipei
- Together, directed by Kaige Chen, set in Beijing
- Shower, directed by Yang Zhang, set in Beijing
- Zhou Yu’s Train, directed by Zhou Sun, set in a southern city
- Suzhou River, directed by Ye Lou, is set in Shanghai
- A World without Thieves, dir. by Feng Xiaogang, setin a train
|In a 4 page paper, discuss at least four films by Taiwanese and Hong Kong directors as attempts to address the issues of cultural values or national identity. How do they problemize “Chinese-ness”? How do they contribute to a new self-awareness and redefine what it means to be a Hong Konger and Taiwanese?
- To what degree is the remark by critic Sheldon Lu true? “The globalization of cinema brings with it an erosion of the fixed geographic boundaries of nation-state. Yet it may not necessitate the disappearance and homogenization of cultural and ethnic identity. At times, transnationalism in fact strengthens reasserts a sense of cultural selfhood”.
- How useful is the rubric of “Sino-phone film” as a different venue to talk about Chinese identity? Do you find true “Taiwan’s and Hang Kong’s relations with China are ambivalent, involving both identification with and resistance to ‘Chinese’ culture and the hegemony of the nation-state”?
- How do the narrative films offer alternative modes of self-representation away from ethnocentrism? What aspect(s) of Chinese cultural identity is being problematized?
- Do you agree with critic Yingjin Zhang who points out the limits to the study of “national cinema” and calls for more cultural perspectives with regard to truth, morality, and subjectivity?
- Do you find Taiwan and Hong Kong cinemas different venues to discuss Chinese cultural identity as is “Even the concept of ‘national cinema’ itself has proven to be far from unproblematic, the critics have advocated a shift from national cinema to ‘the national’ of a cinema—a shift that allows for diversity and flexibility rather than unity and fixity.”
- What seems to challenge or problematize Chinese cultural identity the most, language, food, attitudes, values, ethnocentrism, or history of modernization, globalization and Westernization?