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The Age of New WavesArt Cinema and the Staging of Globalization$
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James Tweedie

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199858286

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199858286.001.0001

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The Urban Archipelago

The Urban Archipelago

Taiwan’s New Wave and the East Asian Economic Boom

Chapter:
(p.143) {4} The Urban Archipelago
Source:
The Age of New Waves
Author(s):

James Tweedie

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199858286.003.0005

This chapter introduces the key historical, industrial, and aesthetic dimensions of the Taiwanese new wave. It emphasizes the relationship between this cinematic movement and Taiwan’s economic and spatial transformation in the period leading up to the new cinema. “Healthy realist” films of the 1960s address the circumstances of Taiwanese modernization before retreating into an idyllic countryside, but landmark omnibus films of the early 1980s (In Our Time and The Sandwich Man) confront this modern reality more directly. The chapter concludes with an extended treatment of the “master shot” aesthetic and the urban milieu visible in the work of Hou Hsiao-hsien. While he initially deployed long takes in nostalgic narratives and trained them on the vanishing spaces of rural Taiwan, Hou’s characters and his work as a whole eventually migrate to the city. Usually associated with roots-seeking narratives or historical epics, Hou’s films are equally significant as documents of Taiwanese urbanization.

Keywords:   taiwanese new wave, taiwan new cinema, healthy realism, omnibus films, globalization, east asian economic boom, cities, taipei, kaohsiung, Hou Hsiao-hsien

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