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The absent father of Sino-French cinema: contemporary Taiwanese cinema and 1950s French auteurs


In contemporary Sino-French cinema, father characters who are dead, long lost or geographically distant leave gaping holes in the lives of the offspring left behind. The absent fathers in Sino-French films by Taiwanese auteurs Cheng Yu-chieh, Hou Hsiao-hsien and Tsai Ming-liang serve as metaphors for French auteurs. French New Wave films constitute the majority of the intertexts; however, early 1950s French cinema and even late nineteenth-century painting reflect the expansiveness of French influence. Despite the possibility of an orientalist dynamic, Taiwanese auteurs not only pay homage to their French 'fathers', and especially New Waver Franc¸ois Truffaut, but also strike out on their own, contributing innovative work to contemporary transnational cinemas.

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