Chapter

Identity as Static: Surveillance, Psychoanalysis, and Performance

Gina Marchetti

in Andrew Lau and Alan Mak's Infernal Affairs - The Trilogy

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print April 2007 | ISBN: 9789622098015
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882206601 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789622098015.003.0005
Identity as Static: Surveillance, Psychoanalysis, and Performance

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In Infernal Affairs III, Lau becomes obsessed with controlling the voice, i.e. with finding and destroying the tapes of his conversations with Sam. In other words, he tries desperately to control an identity from which he has become totally alienated — and, of course, this endeavor proves futile. In his search for power over his own identity, he has lost any sense of the location of power within his environment. There is an insistent use of surveillance video throughout the trilogy and broadcast television acts as an important medium for the shaping of identity in Infernal Affairs. Infernal Affairs brings the performance ensemble together to cover all the bases — Hong Kong, People's Republic of China (PRC), Taiwan, overseas Chinese, radio, television, Cantopop, rock, radio, art film, and indies. Moreover, this motley group manages to pull together and play off of each other's performances in order to tell a coherent story presented within a unified visual design.

Keywords: Infernal Affairs; identity; Lau; surveillance video; psychoanalysis; performance; Sam; power

Chapter.  11399 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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