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Public Lecture: “Taiwanese-Language Films (Taiyupian): An Alternative Cinema of Poverty?” By Professor Chris Berry

Public Lecture: “Taiwanese-Language Films (Taiyupian): An Alternative Cinema of Poverty?”

Date: 26th March 2018 (Mon)

Time: 12:30 – 14:00

Venue: D2-LP-05, Tai Po Campus, EdUHK




The cycle of over 1,000 low-budget, Taiwanese-language films made between the mid-1950s and early 1970s was neglected and forgotten for many years. By the time people became interested in reclaiming them as Taiwan’s heritage, only 200-plus survived. One reason for their low regard has been their low production quality. In this paper, I propose approaching Taiwanese-language films as an alternative “cinema of poverty.” Recently, Song Hwee Lim has adapted Jerzy Grotowski’s idea of a “theatre of poverty” to analyse Midi Zi’s films. But where Lim and Grotowski see poverty as encouraging a high modernist stripping down to the essentials of the medium, Taiwanese-language cinema is another kind of cinema of poverty. It is characterised by the adoption of methods designed to maximise audience appeal in the shortest production time possible and at a low budget. These methods include sensational plot twists, emotive acting, and an exuberant practice of what Lu Xun in the 1930s called “grabbism” (拿来主义) – borrowing music, plot and anything else that works from overseas to create a locally distinctive bricolage.




Chris Berry is Professor of Film Studies at King’s College London. In the 1980s, he worked for China Film Import and Export Corporation in Beijing, and his academic research is grounded in work on Chinese-language cinemas and other Chinese-language screen-based media, as well as work from neighboring countries. Publications include: Cinema and the National: China on Screen (2006); Postsocialist Cinema in Post-Mao China: the Cultural Revolution after the Cultural Revolution (2004);Chinese Film Festivals: Sites of Translation (2017); Routledge Handbook of East Asian Popular Culture (2016); Public Space, Media Space (2013); Chinese Cinema, 4 vols, (2012); The New Chinese Documentary Film Movement: For the Public Record (2010); Electronic Elsewheres: Media, Technology, and Social Space (2010); Cultural Studies and Cultural Industries in Northeast Asia: What a Difference a Region Makes (2009); TV China (2008); Chinese Films in Focus II (2008); and Island on the Edge: Taiwan New Cinema and After (2005).


All are welcome and no registration is required. Please send any enquiries to Mr. Manni Cheung at 2948 7360 or via email cheungml@eduhk.hk.

Symposium: Re-Thinking  Chinese Language  Film History

Re-Thinking Chinese Language Film History

A Symposium organized by the Centre for Popular Culture in the Humanities at The Education University of Hong Kong

Chinese-language cinema has a long history, almost as long as film itself. The “Re-thinking Chinese-Language Film History” symposium organized by the Centre for Popular Culture in the Humanities at The Education University of Hong Kong, revisits this topic with a wide range of presentations including Cold War era Chinese films, Hong Kong – China film co-productions and Eco-Cinema.



Date : 23 March 2018 (Friday)
Time : 09:45am – 5:30pm*
Venue : Block D2 & D3, Tai Po Campus, The Education University of Hong Kong
Medium : English


*Schedule break down

Panel 1(0945 – 11:45): D2-LP-08

Panel 2(13:45 – 15:15): D3-LP-07

Panel 3(15:30  – 17:30): D2-LP-09


Updated on: 22 Mar 2018



   Programme         Speakers         Transportation           


(Cancellation) “From Journey to the West on the way to Another World (is possible)” by Professor Chen Kuan-Hsing
[Event Cancelled]

We regret to inform you that the following seminar has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. Please accept our apologies.

Date : 9 March 2018 (Friday)
Time : 3:30pm – 5:30pm
Venue : B3-LP-05, Tai Po Campus
Medium : English


Since the 19th Century, our modes of thought and knowledge, in Africa, Asia and Latin America, have been shaped by imperial and colonial encounters. For critical intellectuals in particular, the historical sources of thought (practices, institutions, worldviews/cosmologies, etc) have become untouchable. The desire to be “modern” has generated self-hatred, made us look down on our own peasant-centered family/clan histories and popular faith, as if these were superstitions to be abandoned and relegated into the garbage can of history. However, at the present conjuncture of global transformations, as Marx would have it, the ghosts have begun to resurface, becoming twilights of hope guiding us on our path of uncertainties. This presentation attempts to reclaim the past as systems of reference via “personal” trajectories of re/discovering ancestral stories contiguous with world history. Tang Sanzang 唐三藏 (602-664; Xuanzang 玄奘 or Chen Hui 陳禕), the main protagonist of Journey to the West 《西遊記》, who, according to Prof. Tan Chung 譚中, invented the term “India” and the term “China” was coined by an Indian monk, has turned out to be my ancestor. What I have done in the past 30 years or so is merely an extension of what he had decisively opened up. This “re/turn” is not a nostalgia (which is also legitimate) but a possibility to reground ourselves to imagine that “another world is possible.” This is one of the leftover tasks of intellectual work today.


Professor Chen is the founding chair of Taiwan’s Cultural Studies Association and founding member of the Association for Cultural Studies and Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Society (and its Consortium). He is a core member of the Taiwan: A Radical Quarterly in Social Studies, he has been a co-editor of the journal, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies: Movements (2000-) and Renjian Thought Review (mandarin Chinese; 2010-). A writer, editor, reporter, cultural organizer, curator, karaoke singer, and iPhone photographer, he is a Tibetan Buddhist.


All are welcome to join the seminar and no registration is required. Should you have any enquiries, please feel free to contact Mr. Manni Cheung at 2948 7360 or via email cheungml@eduhk.hk. For other information regarding Professor Chen’s visit at EdUHK during 6 – 10 March 2018, please contact Ms. Emily Mang at 2948 6142 or via email ewlmang@eduhk.hk.


We look forward to seeing you there!

Conversation with Serrini: “Kong Girl, Everyday Life and Creative Processes”

An independent local singer-songwriter, Serrini will talk about her own sentimental “self-writing” process from a creator’s perspective. She will also analyze her Cantopop writing in relation to the perception of the zeitgeist spirit(s) of Hong Kong. Serrini is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Hong Kong, where she also serves as the tutor for the course “Introduction to Cantopop lyrics.” Her academic background is always in conversation with her “artist” endeavor.


Date : 1 March 2018 (Thursday)
Time : 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Venue : D2-LP-09, Tai Po Campus
Medium : English supplemented with Cantonese

All are welcome and no registration is required. Seats are available on a first come, first serve basis.