Chapter

Urban Nomads, Exilic Reflections:

Esther C. M. Yau

in Hong Kong Screenscapes

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9789888028566
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882206991 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789888028566.003.0005
Urban Nomads, Exilic Reflections:

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Patrick Tam's astute grasp of Hong Kong's nascent consumerist manifestations, his sensitive probing of its material culture and image culture, and the urban nomadic consciousness in the characters of his television films are markers of his “cine-modernism.” Starting with television's Seven Women series, Tam set his focus on the consumer society's lifestyles and relationships. Highly sensitive to the changing urban landscape, Tam turned his lens onto the colony's postwar facelifts, capturing the ecstatic states and anxieties of his middle-class characters within an expanding commercial setting displaying appealing commodities. His characters register the arousals and shocks of sexual liberations and material desires without any traditionalist or humanistic filters. The existential conditions faced by different social classes in these works often veer towards the extreme. These half-hour and one-hour films are, in hindsight, the cultural memories of urban reality with little disguise for Hong Kong's postwar generations.

Keywords: Patrick Tam; Hong Kong; material culture; image culture; urban nomadic consciousness; cine-modernism; Seven Women; urban landscape; existential conditions; social classes

Chapter.  7154 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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