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Rereading the Cultural Significance of Taiwan's Cinema of the 1990's

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Although it has been only four short years since Taiwan's cinema entered the 1990s, the cultural significance it has manifested is inordinately complex. Firstly, the two-way mutually sustaining market relationship with Hong Kong suffered a rift in the mid 1980s, and evolved into the one-way dominance of Hong Kong pictures of today. Secondly, Taiwan and Hong Kong, following changes in the political and economic situation on the Chinese mainland, moved from confrontation to contact.

In light of the forthcoming return of Hong Kong to mainland sovereignty from its colonial status, the development of cinema in these three places as of late are gradually forming a compound mentality production system, both in terms of vertical separation of co-production and level-type release for exhibition and distribution. This compound mentality has effectively pushed Taiwan's films onto the international motion picture stage where they have won a great deal of acclaim. However, there seems to be no way to stem the crushing failure at the box office time after time and the sharp decline in production output year after year, leaving the entire market in the sad state of being swallowed up by Hollywood and Hong Kong pictures.
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Keywords: 1990's; Taiwan; cinema; economic; phenomena; political

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Fu Jen University, Taipei

Publication date: 2012-07-31

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  • Asian Cinema is a seminal journal, which has been published since 1995 by the Asian Cinema Studies Society under the stewardship of Professor John Lent. From 2012 Asian Cinema will be published by Intellect as part of our Film Studies journal portfolio. The journal currently publishes a variety of scholarly material - including research articles, interviews, book and film reviews and bibliographies - on all forms and aspects of Asian cinema. The journal's broad aim is to advance understanding and knowledge of the rich traditions of the various Asian cinemas, thereby making an invaluable contribution to the field of Film Studies in general.
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