Hong Kong and Taipei in the 1990s: From Wong Kar Wai's to Tsai Ming-Liang's Cinematic Works Articles uri icon

publication date

  • October 2023

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1543-5326


  • Wong Kar-Wai's and Tsai Ming-Liang's 1990s films are essential works to understand how cinema addresses the representation of the global city. Firstly, this article focuses on Wong¿s mid 1990s episodic efforts, Chungking Express and Fallen Angels. These films offer multi-speed representations of the Hong Kong time-space in a key historical era, right before the Chinese take over. Wong fractures the material fabric of the cinematic frame to draw a series of chance encounters between city inhabitants, situating them within Hong Kong¿s global multiculturality. Secondly, it addresses several Tsai's Taipei films that feature the unbearable weight of day-to-day instances of interpersonal exchange. These films place city dwellers in a variety of both interior and exterior spaces where interpersonal forms of communication fail. Both filmmakers call attention to the conceptualization of the human body as an active tool in the generation of the urban. Simultaneously, they establish the inseparability of the city itself and the individuals' bodies that it encompasses, highlighting their active role in re-articulating how the city evolves. Cinema is a key tool to address and shape social formations. Consequently, cinema also produces urban spaces such as the global city and the structures through which we come to comprehend it.


  • Information Science