Deftly guiding readers on a cross-strait tour of prominent shooting locations for the New Chinese Cinemas, this book shows how auteurs sought out their disappearing cultural heritage by reenacting lived experiences of nation building, homecoming, and cultural salvage while shooting on-location. This was an especially daunting task when auteurs encountered the shooting locations as spaces of unresolved historical, social, and geopolitical contestations, tensions which were only intensified by the impact of filmmaking on rural communities. This book demonstrates how these complex circumstances surrounding location shooting were pivotal in shaping both representations of the rural on-screen, as well as the production communities, institutions, and industries off-screen. Informed by cutting-edge perspectives in cultural geography and media anthropology, The Authorship of Place both revises Chinese-language film history and theorizes groundbreaking approaches for investigating the cultural politics of film authorship and production.
“This extraordinary book discusses the uses of location shooting in films by contemporary Taiwanese and Mainland Chinese directors ranging from Li Xing to Jia Zhangke. It highlights the ways in which place, memory, and identity stances respond to social changes and geopolitical disparities. In a world full of uncertainty, the argument about the imaginary homeland as an experienced cinematic reality only renders it more urgent and universally relatable.” —Ping-hui Liao, University of California, San Diego
“The Authorship of Place is certainly a welcome intervention into the study of Chinese cinemas and their auteurs that further contributes to the wider study of location shooting as well as cultural geographies and place-based imaginaries of film. It is rare to find a book dealing with space/place in and around cinema that is this inventive and nuanced in its methodologies.” —Stephanie DeBoer, Indiana University