SOAS University of London

Centre of Taiwan Studies

Book Launch - The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien: Culture, Style, Voice, and Motion

Christopher Lupke
Speaker: Prof Christopher Lupke

Date: 8 July 2016Time: 2:00 PM

Finishes: 8 July 2016Time: 4:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: 116

Type of Event: Summer Lecture

SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies 2016 Summer School
Day Four
Third Event

CLICK HERE to view the full programme and register to attend free!
The Illusion of Teleology in the Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien
The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien


One thread that runs through most of Taiwanese auteur filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien’s films from beginning to end is the visual display of motion: travel, flight, quest, sojourn, jaunt. Much is made of Hou’s static camera in his early films and the slow pan of his later cinematographic style. But what is enframed in the shot is often some effort to get somewhere. Despite, that what one finds pervading his films is an inability to achieve one’s goals, an inability to get where one wishes to go, or an inability of the movement through space to effect the ends that one had intended. In this presentation, Christopher Lupke, author of The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien, will discuss a range of Hou’s films from throughout his career, suggesting that despite a wide variety of subject matter, settings, and themes, one constant in his film is the illusion of teleology. His films often early on posit a desire to get somewhere but seldom accomplish it.

Speaker's Bio

Christopher Lupke 陸敬思 is Professor of Chinese and Cinema Studies at Washington State University where he has coordinated Asian languages for the past sixteen years and chairs the Center for the Humanities Planning Group. A specialist in modern Chinese culture, Lupke was trained in philosophy at Grinnell College, where he received his B. A., in classical Chinese at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he received his M. A., and in classical and modern Chinese as well as cultural theory and film at Cornell University, obtaining his Ph. D. in 1993. Much of his early scholarship was dedicated to literary studies of Taiwanese authors. He continues to have a strong interest in the culture and society of Taiwan and Sinophone Studies in general. His most recent publication is the book The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien: Culture, Style, Voice, and Motion (Cambria Press, 2016). Lupke has edited two books, The Magnitude of Ming: Command, Life and Fate in Chinese Culture (University of Hawai’i Press, 2005) and New Perspectives on Contemporary Chinese Poetry (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), and edited or co-edited four special theme issues of journals. He also translates. His publications have appeared in Journal of Taiwan Literary Studies, Taiwan Literature, Chinese PEN, boundary 2, Comparative Literature Studies, positions: east asia critique, Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, Journal of Asian Studies, Asian Cinema, Senses of Cinema, Journal of Modern Literature in Chinese, Asymptote, Michigan Quarterly Review, New England Quarterly, Epiphany, Eleven Eleven, Free Verse, Five Points, and other journals and edited volumes.

Organiser: Centre of Taiwan Studies

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Sponsor: Center for Chinese Studies, National Central Library, Taiwan