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postgraduate thesis: Deconstructing the auteur : a study of the process of value-formation in the cinema of Wong Kar-wai

TitleDeconstructing the auteur : a study of the process of value-formation in the cinema of Wong Kar-wai
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Cheung, EMK
Issue Date2013
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Tse, W. [謝穎軒]. (2013). Deconstructing the auteur : a study of the process of value-formation in the cinema of Wong Kar-wai. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5223997
AbstractFrom a figure of controversy to an illustrious auteur with international renown and widespread critical acclaim, Wong Kar-wai remains unique in the history of Hong Kong cinema. While his films are often box-office failures and criticised for their artistic ostentations at home, Wong enjoys a celebrity status at international film festivals and his films remain a focus in academic studies worldwide. It is this disparity in the reception and value judgment of Wong as a filmmaker that this dissertation is interested in addressing. Thus the central thesis is to explore how critical discourse and institutions confer cultural prestige to his films that positively impact upon their reception and circulation. Existing literature on Wong’s oeuvre focuses eclectically on his artistic merits while side-stepping the material politics behind the reception and circulation of his films, and this dissertation aims to rectify this tendency by foregrounding the site of cultural production where all these cultural debates occur. If aesthetic and critical values are socially constructed, they are also predicated on a complex and changing nexus of multiple social, cultural and institutional factors. Art and their producers do not exist independently of a complex institutional framework which authorises, enables and legitimises them. Thus this dissertation is concerned with exploring how these discursive and institutional frameworks influence what is said and can be said about his films. Chapter 1 looks into how film festival emblematisesa dynamic system where a film accrues values as it circulates among mediators in their struggle for cultural legitimacy, thus exploring issues such as taste-construction and power relations among mediators. Through adopting a Bourdieuian paradigm, this chapter explores the significance of mediators in legitimising cultural values concerning the cinema of Wong Kar-wai in hope of broadening the analysis of festival films into the socio-economic and institutional conditions of their reception and circulation. Chapter 2 explores how the image of the auteur impacts upon the reception and circulation of the cinema of Wong Kar-wai vis-à-vis Corrigan’s idea of the commerce of auteurism which recontextualises auteurism within an industrial and commercial framework and foregrounds the branding of the auteur-star as a commercial strategy. In particular, I examine how the interviews of Wong Kar-wai can be read as a paratextual site where different mediators contribute to the cultural ‘investment’ in the construction of the celebrity sign. Chapter 3 marks a self-reflexive turn into exploring the nature of knowledge production in the formative process of canonisation. Through adopting Greg Urban’s notion of ‘metaculture’, I examine how knowledge production can function as a metacultural sphere that influences the circulation of cultural products such as films. An examination of canon formation not only reveals the values inherent in such assessments, but also foregrounds the cultural and institutional assumptions surrounding cinema’s shifting social and cultural significance. This dissertation therefore aims to broaden the scope of filmic analysis from textual-oriented criticism to exploring the institutional and discursive frameworks that construct cinematic values, also illuminating how these value judgements inform the continuing and evolving canonisation of films.
DegreeMaster of Philosophy
SubjectMotion picture producers and directors - China - Hong Kong
Dept/ProgramComparative Literature
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/206664

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorCheung, EMK-
dc.contributor.authorTse, Wing-hin-
dc.contributor.author謝穎軒-
dc.date.accessioned2014-11-25T03:53:14Z-
dc.date.available2014-11-25T03:53:14Z-
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.identifier.citationTse, W. [謝穎軒]. (2013). Deconstructing the auteur : a study of the process of value-formation in the cinema of Wong Kar-wai. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5223997-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/206664-
dc.description.abstractFrom a figure of controversy to an illustrious auteur with international renown and widespread critical acclaim, Wong Kar-wai remains unique in the history of Hong Kong cinema. While his films are often box-office failures and criticised for their artistic ostentations at home, Wong enjoys a celebrity status at international film festivals and his films remain a focus in academic studies worldwide. It is this disparity in the reception and value judgment of Wong as a filmmaker that this dissertation is interested in addressing. Thus the central thesis is to explore how critical discourse and institutions confer cultural prestige to his films that positively impact upon their reception and circulation. Existing literature on Wong’s oeuvre focuses eclectically on his artistic merits while side-stepping the material politics behind the reception and circulation of his films, and this dissertation aims to rectify this tendency by foregrounding the site of cultural production where all these cultural debates occur. If aesthetic and critical values are socially constructed, they are also predicated on a complex and changing nexus of multiple social, cultural and institutional factors. Art and their producers do not exist independently of a complex institutional framework which authorises, enables and legitimises them. Thus this dissertation is concerned with exploring how these discursive and institutional frameworks influence what is said and can be said about his films. Chapter 1 looks into how film festival emblematisesa dynamic system where a film accrues values as it circulates among mediators in their struggle for cultural legitimacy, thus exploring issues such as taste-construction and power relations among mediators. Through adopting a Bourdieuian paradigm, this chapter explores the significance of mediators in legitimising cultural values concerning the cinema of Wong Kar-wai in hope of broadening the analysis of festival films into the socio-economic and institutional conditions of their reception and circulation. Chapter 2 explores how the image of the auteur impacts upon the reception and circulation of the cinema of Wong Kar-wai vis-à-vis Corrigan’s idea of the commerce of auteurism which recontextualises auteurism within an industrial and commercial framework and foregrounds the branding of the auteur-star as a commercial strategy. In particular, I examine how the interviews of Wong Kar-wai can be read as a paratextual site where different mediators contribute to the cultural ‘investment’ in the construction of the celebrity sign. Chapter 3 marks a self-reflexive turn into exploring the nature of knowledge production in the formative process of canonisation. Through adopting Greg Urban’s notion of ‘metaculture’, I examine how knowledge production can function as a metacultural sphere that influences the circulation of cultural products such as films. An examination of canon formation not only reveals the values inherent in such assessments, but also foregrounds the cultural and institutional assumptions surrounding cinema’s shifting social and cultural significance. This dissertation therefore aims to broaden the scope of filmic analysis from textual-oriented criticism to exploring the institutional and discursive frameworks that construct cinematic values, also illuminating how these value judgements inform the continuing and evolving canonisation of films.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshMotion picture producers and directors - China - Hong Kong-
dc.titleDeconstructing the auteur : a study of the process of value-formation in the cinema of Wong Kar-wai-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5223997-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineComparative Literature-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5223997-

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