Distant Intimacy: Stardom and Moving Image Cultures on the Post-2000 Screen
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Distant Intimacy: Stardom and Moving Image Cultures on the Post-2000 Screen

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This dissertation tackles the issue of star-audience relationship by investigating the ways that audiences engage with stardom and celebrity pertaining to the imagined, the resurrected, the disembodied, and the dislocated in contemporary media industries in Taiwan and mainland China. Situated at the intersection of media and cultural studies, this project bears three objectives. First, it revises the boundary between Star studies and Celebrity studies by merging these two fields through the portal of moving image culture. Second, it theoretically enriches media and cultural studies with a new understanding of screen-based spectatorship which is associated with the awareness of technological mediation. Finally, it pushes beyond investigations based solely on Western examples by providing a thorough account and new insights of stardom in the East Asian context.In this dissertation, I adopt an audience-oriented perspective that examines how the new technologies and cultural trends have shaped and altered our sensational and embodied viewing experience. Chapter 1 examines the concept of cinematic glamour in the case of Taiwanese actress Kwei Lun-Mei, whose embodiment of xiaoqingxin represents a new measurement of glamour beyond the existing system dominated by Hollywood. I argue that Kwei’s cinematic body is an idealized space for emotional resonance independent from the film plots. In Chapter 2, through a close reading of Taiwanese pop diva Teresa Teng’s resurrected performances in the hologram, I argue that the hologram of the virtual Teng redefines authenticity as a consequence of the materiality of affect, rather than as a consequence of the materiality of Teng’s biological body. Chapter 3 interprets various roles played by viewers of Chinese reality talent TV shows such as Super Girl, Idol Producer, and The Coming One. Here I illustrate that the viewer is an essential character who not only blurs the boundary between viewing and performing but also supports the narrative as a performing spectacle and practical interpreter. The last chapter delves into the dislocated stardom of internet video bloggers (aka. vloggers) in relation to camera technologies. I argue that the camera is not only a chain of medium apparatus along with the screen and film/video, but also exceeds the medium-body interaction and facilitates techno-corporeality that extends or dislocates the human point-of-view.

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This item is under embargo until September 16, 2024.