Event Details

Monday, November 14, 2016, 5:00 PM
Department of Comparative Literature
Event: (No) Action Cinema: Sound and Agency in Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s The Assassin


Message from Department of Comparative Literature Event Poster (No) Action Cinema: Sound and Agency in Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s The Assassin Speaker: Professor James Steintrager Date: 14 November 2016 (Monday) Time: 5:00pm - 6:30pm Venue: 4.36, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU About the Talk: A stunning artistic success or a failure to fulfill the generic contract of wuxia cinema? An allegory of contemporary Chinese politics or the filmic transposition of a literary legend? The questions and apparent choices that Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s 2015 film has generated tend to focus on its visual and narrative aspects. Juxtaposing these to sound—music, voice, and noise—I will be examining how listening to the film opens up new questions and choices about cinematic and political agency. The sounds of wind, water, insects, birds, and other beasts play a crucial role in the film: organizing the so-called viewer’s perceptual experience and disrupting actions from sword thrusts to carefully measured vocal expressions and musical gestures. About the Speaker: James Steintrager is professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine, and director of UCI Critical Theory. His recent publications include The Autonomy of Pleasure: Libertines, License, and Sexual Revolution (Columbia UP, 2016) and a translation of and critical introduction to Michel Chion’s Sound: An Acoulogical Treatise (Duke UP, 2016). He publishes on a range of topics, including Hong Kong and world cinemas. For registration: https://goo.gl/forms/zMnHW7qy4LVUZdGA3 All are welcome Co-organized by: The Department of Comparative Literature Center for the Study of Globalization and Cultures, HKU

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