ISSN: 20509790
First published in 2014
3 issues per volume
Volume 5 Issue 1
Cover Date: March 2018
Borders and trajectories: Remapping cities in Hou Hsiao-hsien’s films
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Authors:  Xiao Cai 
DOI: 10.1386/jucs.5.1.35_1

the border,trajectories,outsiders,urbanization,placelessness,replacement,the city map,Hou Hisao-hsein (films)

Taiwan director Hou Hsiao-hsien (1947–present) is widely recognized as one of the foundations of the New Wave of Taiwan film. Melding both cultural analysis and urban theory, this article explores how cities are represented by the vision of border in Hou Hsiao-hsien’s films All the Youthful Days (Hou, 1983), Dust in the Windy (Hou, 1986), Millennium Mambo (Hou, 2000) and A Time for Youth (Hou, 2005). These films draw a spatial topography that maps Taiwan’s history of urbanization and globalization. In the cinematic representation of space, the border is both the geographical space of the rural transforming to the urban and the cultural space of traditional lifestyles transforming to modernity or postmodernity. Hou Hsiao-hsien describes and represents the city from the vision of a ‘rural observer’ who creates an outsiders’ city map. Following Raymond Williams’ theory of the country and the city, the article then approaches Hou Hsiao-hsien’s film works in dialogue with a range of other theorists (Georg Simmel, Barbara Mennel, Fredric Jameson, Micheal de Certeau, Jacques Derrida, Edward Relph, Walter Benjamin, Wolfgang Schivelbusch). Hou’s border worlds enable him to explore change, confusion, alienation and loss. In this way, each of his films can be seen as a microcosm of the changing world in which the rural and the urban open to and interact with each other.
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