Why has Taiwanese film been so appealing to film directors, critics, and audiences across the world? This lecture proposes that because Taiwan is a nation without hard political and economic power, cinema becomes a form of soft power tool that Taiwan uses to attract global attention, to gain support, and to build allies. It shows how this goal has been achieved by Taiwanese directors whose films win the hearts andminds of foreign audiences to make Taiwan a major force in world cinema. The lecture maps Taiwan’s cinematic output in the twenty-first century through the three keywords in its subtitle. By examining case studies that include Hou Hsiao-hsien, Ang Lee, and Tsai Ming-liang, it argues that authorship is central to Taiwan cinema’s ability to transcend borders to the extent that the historiographical writing of Taiwan cinema has to be reimagined.
Song Hwee LIM is Professor of Cultural Studies at CUHK and author of Taiwan Cinema as Soft Power: Authorship, Transnationality, Historiography (2022), Tsai Ming-liang and a Cinema of Slowness (2014), and Celluloid Comrades: Representations of Male Homosexuality in Contemporary Chinese Cinemas (2006). The TRCCS Lecture is organized by the Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies and the Taiwan Resource Center for Chinese Studies (TRCCS), a cooperation between the National Central Library of Taiwan (NCL) and the University Library Zurich (UBZH).
For online participation via Zoom, please register here.
University of Zurich
University of Zurich, Lecture Hall G-01, Rämistrasse 59, 8001 Zurich