|Friday, November 9, 2018||2:00PM - 4:00PM||108N, North House, 1 Devonshire Place|
Global Taiwan Lecture Series
If, as Umberto Eco has argued, a work of art can be read as an “epistemological metaphor,” then the fictional world created by a film can also be read as an analogical comment on the knowability of the “real” world. This paper explores two models of cinematic realism, one totalizing and one apophatic, the former represented by Edward Yang’s Yi Yi and the latter by the films of Hou Hsiao-hsien. The former raises the ideal of cinema as a means of revealing even the hidden aspects of reality and thereby providing increased epistemological certainty. In contrast, through techniques including editing ellipses and the mobilization of off-screen space, Hou’s realism paradoxically represents a reality that defies or exceeds representation and therefore can only be represented in a negative or subtractive manner. It will further be argued that the two modes of realism reflect opposing impulses in a central dialectic of modernity.
Jason McGrath is Associate Professor in Asian Languages and Literatures at the University of Minnesota, with affiliations in Moving Image Studies and Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature. His current book project is entitled Inscribing the Real: Realism and Convention in Chinese Cinema from the Silent Era to the Digital Age.
If you are attending a Munk School event and require accommodation(s), please email the event contact listed above to make appropriate arrangements.
Disclaimer: Please note that events posted on this website are considered to be public events – unless otherwise stated – and you are choosing to enter a space where your image and/or voice may be captured as part of event proceedings that may be made public as part of a broadcast, webcast, or publication (online and in print). We make every effort to ensure your personal information is kept and used in compliance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). If you have any questions please get in touch with our office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-946-8900.