Transnational Representations

The State of Taiwan Film in the 1960s and 1970s


James Wicks

ISBN : 978-988-8208-50-0

Film, Media, Fine Arts

November 2014

192 pages, 6″ x 9″, 17 b&w illus.

  • HK$465.00

Transnational Representations focuses on a neglected period in Taiwan film scholarship: the golden age of the 1960s and 1970s, which saw innovations in plot, theme, and genre as directors highlighted the complexities of Taiwan’s position in the world. Combining a concise overview of Taiwan film history with analysis of representative Taiwan films, the book reveals the internal and external struggles Taiwan experienced in its search for global identity. This cross-disciplinary study adopts a transnational approach which presents Taiwan’s film industry as one that is intertwined with that of mainland China, challenging previous accounts that present the two industries as parallel yet separate. The book also offers productive comparisons between Taiwan films and contemporary films elsewhere representing the politics of migration, and between the antecedents of new cinema movements and Taiwan New Cinema of the 1980s.

James Wicks is associate professor of literature and film studies at Point Loma Nazarene University, USA. He is a co-author of The Annotated Bibliography of Taiwan Film Studies.

“James Wicks’s book offers a most nuanced, sensible, and timely account of the 1960s to 1970s Taiwan films in terms of plot, theme, language, and generic innovations. It zooms in on works by such prominent directors as Li Xing, Bai Jingrui, Song Cunshou, and others, highlighting local, regional, and transnational flows, while not losing sight of the complexities in the island-state’s identity and modernity formation processes.” —Ping-hui Liao, University of California, San Diego

“Wicks’s engaging study forges a comparative approach to Taiwanese cinema that is enlivened and inspired by the possibility of close reading, historical research, and interviews. Most importantly, it draws attention to seminal films so rarely discussed in the English language.” —Brian Hu, artistic director of the San Diego Asian Film Festival