Spatial intimacies: negotiating place in four films by Wong Kar-wai

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Abstract

[Truncated abstract] This thesis explores the representation of intimate geographies in four films by Hong Kong auteur, Wong Kar-wai. Providing an in-depth examination of Chungking Express (1994), Happy Together (1997), 2046 (2004) and My Blueberry Nights (2007), I interrogate the manner in which Wong appropriates the themes of place and travel to portray complex articulations of emotion. In so doing, I consider Wong’s construction of a cinema of spatial intersection that resides on the threshold of memory and desire.
By situating Wong’s cinema within interstices, this thesis proposes an alternative reading of his oeuvre that shifts the focus of critical attention away from popular theorisations that frame Wong’s films in relation to the socio-historical context of contemporary Hong Kong. Specifically, I argue for a re-mapping that locates meaning within the intimate gestures of each film, as opposed to larger narratives – such as the Sino-British handover in 1997 – that exist beyond the cinematic frame. Accordingly, this thesis marks a significant scholarly shift from temporality to spatiality and from politics to aesthetics. Although these categories cannot be easily extricated, I prioritise a reading of Wong’s cinema through visual details that shed light on how space is produced and traversed cinematically.
LanguageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
StateUnpublished - 2011

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Cinema
Intimacy
Hong Kong
Articulation
Emotion
Gesture
Spatiality
Historical Context
Temporality
Night
Geography
Aesthetics
Auteur

Cite this

@phdthesis{988341d5b4ec4e21a069d73adc8fd0ba,
title = "Spatial intimacies: negotiating place in four films by Wong Kar-wai",
abstract = "[Truncated abstract] This thesis explores the representation of intimate geographies in four films by Hong Kong auteur, Wong Kar-wai. Providing an in-depth examination of Chungking Express (1994), Happy Together (1997), 2046 (2004) and My Blueberry Nights (2007), I interrogate the manner in which Wong appropriates the themes of place and travel to portray complex articulations of emotion. In so doing, I consider Wong’s construction of a cinema of spatial intersection that resides on the threshold of memory and desire. By situating Wong’s cinema within interstices, this thesis proposes an alternative reading of his oeuvre that shifts the focus of critical attention away from popular theorisations that frame Wong’s films in relation to the socio-historical context of contemporary Hong Kong. Specifically, I argue for a re-mapping that locates meaning within the intimate gestures of each film, as opposed to larger narratives – such as the Sino-British handover in 1997 – that exist beyond the cinematic frame. Accordingly, this thesis marks a significant scholarly shift from temporality to spatiality and from politics to aesthetics. Although these categories cannot be easily extricated, I prioritise a reading of Wong’s cinema through visual details that shed light on how space is produced and traversed cinematically.",
keywords = "Wong Kar-wai, Hong Kong cinema, Space, Memory, Desire, Emotional geography, Travel",
author = "{Van de Velde}, Danica",
year = "2011",
language = "English",

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TY - THES

T1 - Spatial intimacies: negotiating place in four films by Wong Kar-wai

AU - Van de Velde,Danica

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - [Truncated abstract] This thesis explores the representation of intimate geographies in four films by Hong Kong auteur, Wong Kar-wai. Providing an in-depth examination of Chungking Express (1994), Happy Together (1997), 2046 (2004) and My Blueberry Nights (2007), I interrogate the manner in which Wong appropriates the themes of place and travel to portray complex articulations of emotion. In so doing, I consider Wong’s construction of a cinema of spatial intersection that resides on the threshold of memory and desire. By situating Wong’s cinema within interstices, this thesis proposes an alternative reading of his oeuvre that shifts the focus of critical attention away from popular theorisations that frame Wong’s films in relation to the socio-historical context of contemporary Hong Kong. Specifically, I argue for a re-mapping that locates meaning within the intimate gestures of each film, as opposed to larger narratives – such as the Sino-British handover in 1997 – that exist beyond the cinematic frame. Accordingly, this thesis marks a significant scholarly shift from temporality to spatiality and from politics to aesthetics. Although these categories cannot be easily extricated, I prioritise a reading of Wong’s cinema through visual details that shed light on how space is produced and traversed cinematically.

AB - [Truncated abstract] This thesis explores the representation of intimate geographies in four films by Hong Kong auteur, Wong Kar-wai. Providing an in-depth examination of Chungking Express (1994), Happy Together (1997), 2046 (2004) and My Blueberry Nights (2007), I interrogate the manner in which Wong appropriates the themes of place and travel to portray complex articulations of emotion. In so doing, I consider Wong’s construction of a cinema of spatial intersection that resides on the threshold of memory and desire. By situating Wong’s cinema within interstices, this thesis proposes an alternative reading of his oeuvre that shifts the focus of critical attention away from popular theorisations that frame Wong’s films in relation to the socio-historical context of contemporary Hong Kong. Specifically, I argue for a re-mapping that locates meaning within the intimate gestures of each film, as opposed to larger narratives – such as the Sino-British handover in 1997 – that exist beyond the cinematic frame. Accordingly, this thesis marks a significant scholarly shift from temporality to spatiality and from politics to aesthetics. Although these categories cannot be easily extricated, I prioritise a reading of Wong’s cinema through visual details that shed light on how space is produced and traversed cinematically.

KW - Wong Kar-wai

KW - Hong Kong cinema

KW - Space

KW - Memory

KW - Desire

KW - Emotional geography

KW - Travel

M3 - Doctoral Thesis

ER -