Asian cinemas are connected to global networks and participate in producing international film history while at the same time influenced and engaged by spatial, cultural, social and political transformations. This interdisciplinary study forwards a productive pairing of Asian cinemas and space, where space is used as a discursive tool to understand cinemas of Asia.
Concentrating on the performative potential of cinematic space in Asian films, the contributors discuss how space (re)constructs forms of identities and meanings across a range of cinematic practices. Cities, landscapes, buildings and interiors actively shape cinematic performances of such identities and their significances. The essays are structured around the spatial themes of ephemeral, imagined and contested spaces. They deal with struggles for identity, belonging, autonomy and mobility within different national and transnational contexts across East, Southeast and parts of South Asia in particular, which are complicated by micropolitics and subcultures, and by the interventions and interests of global lobbies.
Foreword Ryan Bishop 1. Asian Cinemas and the Potential of Cinematic Space Lilian Chee and Edna Lim 2. Between the Visible and the Intelligible in Asian Cinema Ackbar Abbas Part 1: Ephemeral Space 3. Notes from Elsewhere: Spaces of Longing in Trần Anh Hùng’s Vertical Ray of the Sun Christophe Robert 4. Between Demolition and Construction: Performing Drifting Identities in Jia Zhangke’s Films Esther M.K. Cheung 5. Chasing Inuka: Rambling around Singapore through Tan Pin Pin’s Films Lilian Chee 6. Chiang Mai and the Cinematic Spaces of Thai Identity Adam Knee Part 2: Imagined Space 7. The Superflat Space of Japanese Anime Deborah Shamoon 8. Imagining Nanyang: Hong Kong and Southeast Asia in Wong Kar-wai movies Lai Chee Kien 9. Air Hostess and Atmosphere: The Persistence of the Tableau Charles Leary 10. Space and Verisimilitude in the Films of Singapore’s "Golden Age" Timothy R White Part 3: Contested Space 11. Performing the Multicultural Space in Opera Jawa: The Tension Between the National and Transnational Stage Ugoran Prasad and Intan Paramaditha 12. Cinema as Ritual Space: O Meul’s Jiseul Sohl Lee 13. Counter-Performance: The Heartland and Other Spaces in Eating Air and 15 Edna Lim 14. Ismene and Antigone in Sri Lanka’s Black Cinema Anoma Pieris