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Monogamorphous Desires, Faltering Forms: Structure, Content, and Contradiction in The Personals (Zhenghun Qishi) (Taiwan, 1998)

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In this essay, I will argue that there is a formal contradiction at the heart of The Personals: the intensely serious content and austere presentation of Du’s private life stand in striking opposition to the comical content and playful presentation of her interviews with prospective suitors. Following this, I explore the desires underlying this contradiction, and contextualized the film’s representational strategies and within contemporary discourses of gender and sexuality. I follow this with a brief discussion of the film’s generic qualities, namely resonances between The Personals and some similarly-structured Taiwan films of recent years. Finally, I conclude with information on the film’s marketing strategy and international circulation.
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Keywords: Taiwan film; The Personals; gender; patriarchal desire; sexuality; vignettes

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-03-01

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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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