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Hong Kong ScreenscapesFrom the New Wave to the Digital Frontier$
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Esther M. K. Cheung, Gina Marchetti, and See-Kam Tan

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9789888028566

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888028566.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HONG KONG SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hongkong.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hong Kong University Press, 2022. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HKSO for personal use.date: 24 May 2022

Urban Nomads, Exilic Reflections:

Urban Nomads, Exilic Reflections:

The Cine-Modernism of Patrick Tam

(p.75) 5 Urban Nomads, Exilic Reflections:
Hong Kong Screenscapes

Esther C. M. Yau

Hong Kong University Press

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

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