Screening Asia

Screening Asia

Answer one of the following questions. In your essay, compare two films from different
countries. Do not write about a film you discussed in either your PPT presentation or
your film reviewing assignment.
1. One function of several Asian national cinemas is to deal with traumatic memories
of political and/or military terror, and by depicting a “post-traumatic” identity to
help viewers remember what is too painful to recuperate. Examine the significance
of trauma in two films.
2. A common concern in many contemporary films from Asia is that masculinity is in
crisis. Male characters are frequently dysfunctional, unable to communicate,
lacking any direction. To what extent do contemporary films use this crisis to
imagine a functional male?
3. The new woman in Asian cinema may be depicted as struggling between
autonomy and subordination. The situation of such female characters may further
suggest that they are used as an allegory of nation. Discuss two examples where
female and national images coincide.
4. Most Asian countries are, in some sense, postcolonial nation-states, and their
history is apt to produce everyday lives regulated by the enduring habits and
assumptions of colonialism. Examine two films which reflect on postcolonial
experience, and explore how these films show the impact of colonial histories
upon contemporary society. In your answer, focus on social regulation and
normalization with regard to one or two of race, class, gender or religion.
5. Modernity’s characteristic mode is ephemerality (here today gone tomorrow,
nothing lasts nothing matters), the ceaselessly replacing of shifting social
practices: in what ways do contemporary Asian films use tradition to resist
ephemerality?
6. Film production in the Asian region is increasingly transnational. Can any particular film still be understood within its own terms of national reference, or
must we now view all films against the cinemas of other countries and thus in
transnational contexts? What differences in understanding are indicated by these
opposed possibilities?