Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Transnational Representations: New Book Release

My monograph, Transnational Representations: The State of Taiwan Film in the 1960s and 1970s, has been released with Hong Kong University Press!

Available for purchase at these links:

There are few more fascinating methods for investigating the ways in which Taiwan’s Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang, KMT) Government defined itself as the representative government of all of China in the 1960s and 1970s than to consider its state-sanctioned film industry. Transnational Representations: The State of Taiwan Film in the 1960s and 1970s both excavates Taiwan’s socio-historical context and studies the cinematic form of the era employing an original transnational, comparative framework.

The title “transnational representations” refers to the text’s cross-border comparisons such as those between Taiwan films and films produced in Mainland China in the early 1960s, between Taiwan films and concurrent films from Germany and Senegal that represented the politics of migration, and between Taiwan New Cinema and global new cinema movements. The “state of Taiwan film in the 1960s and 1970s” refers to both the historical-material conditions in Taiwan during these two pivotal decades and the Chinese Nationalist Party’s presentation of itself as the representative government of all of China in terms of: its relationship to the People’s Republic of China (Chapter 2), film form and content (Chapter 3), depictions of gender identity (Chapter 4), and filmic adaptations of nativist literature (Conclusion).

Sunday, November 9, 2014

San Diego Asian Film Festival, Nov. 8, 2014

The "Taiwan Film Showcase," part of this year's San Diego Asian Film Festival, continued on Saturday November 8th with a string of films that represent the current state of Taiwan youth culture.

The short film segment was particularly impressive. Starting with THE BUSY YOUNG PSYCHIC 神算 (Chen Ho-Yu, 2013), a 29 minute film about a young woman who splits her time between two competing concerns, only one of them atypical: channeling spirits in a local temple and hanging out with her friends at high school. The film uses parallel editing so deftly that I intend to use it in my future film classes. Without a trace of irony or a heavy hand, the film juxtaposes our heroine on a night when she performs her duties as a priestess instead of going to a birthday party she desperately wants to attend. In the end, her intention to be a regular teenager is sacrificed by duty to her community.

THE POOL MAN 泳漾 (Kaidi Zhan, 2013), which runs a bit over 30 minutes, brings together an unlikely friendship between a swimming instructor who lives in the past and an overweight teenager who wants to learn how to swim.

PARTNERS IN CRIME 共犯 (Chang Jung-chi, 2014),a high school crime thriller that reminded me of Chan-wook Park's Stoker (2013) at times, was the film of the day. Boasting an impressive soundscape and slick soundtrack which I may also use as an example in future film courses, this film--like the brilliant, dark, and under-appreciated River's Edge (Hunter, 1986 -- with Crispin Glover)--tells the story of high school students dealing with the death of a classmate with little logic, supervision, or guidance to prevent their imaginations from spiraling out of control.

CAMPUS CONFIDENTIAL 愛情無全順 (Lai Chun-yu, 2013) was an excellent way to conclude the day of films--a legitimate crowd-pleasing romantic comedy that effortlessly earns its laughs as well as its surprises. Variety magazine claims that the film could likely be remade into other languages, so we'll stay tuned to that potential development.

With Director of KANO Umin Boya at the San Diego Asian Film Festival (11/7/2014)

Saturday, November 8, 2014

San Diego Asian Film Festival, KANO on Nov. 7, 2014

This year the "Taiwan Film Showcase" kicked off at the San Diego Asian Film Festival with KANO (2014), written by Wei Te-Sheng, and directed by Umin Boya who was in attendance.

A baseball film that represents real-life events that occurred in 1931, KANO depicts a local Taiwanese team from Jiayi (嘉義) that nearly wins the Japanese High School Baseball Championship in Japan during a time when Taiwan was a colony under Japanese imperialism. Almost entirely in Japanese, the film remains distinctly Taiwanese. And it is wonderfully paced--all of its 185 minutes zip right by.

We've seen films where a team earns the adoration of 50,000 fans. But have you seen a film in which a team stuns 50,000 into reverent silence?

Kano (dir. Umin Boya, 2014)

Friday, October 24, 2014

A Brief History of Cinema in China

Cinema in China is visually, sociopolitically, and historically significant. Here is a link to my encyclopedia entry on cinema in China, an historical overview that provides a conceptual framework to understand the changes and rhythms of the medium and its appeal to audiences worldwide: "Cinema in China: A Brief History" (2009).

The entry is arranged as follows:

First-Generation Cinema, 1896– 1929 // Second-Generation Cinema, 1930– 1949 // Silent to Sound // Cinema Nationalized // Third-Generation Cinema, 1949– 1965 // Fourth-Generation Cinema, 1966– 1983 // Mandarin Films // Hong Kong Cinema // Cantonese Films // Taiwan Cinema // Fifth-Generation Cinema, 1984– 1993 // Sixth-Generation Cinema, 1994 to Present // Cinema Inside and Outside China // Further Reading

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Midnight After (Fruit Chan, 2014): Mini-Film Review

The Midnight After (2014) is a film in which the inexplicable and the peculiar intersect in the most unexpected ways. Fruit Chan, one of my favorite directors in the early 2000s with films like Durian Durian (2000) and Hollywood Hong-Kong (2001), tells a story here in which a handful of passengers on a Hong Kong mini-bus pass through a tunnel only to find that, once they reach the other side, they are the only survivors in a deserted urban landscape--the reason?--possibilities include time travel/zombies/nuclear radiation/a deadly virus. We are as uncertain as the characters. All we know is that we are witness to the most heinous acts of violence and horror alongside impromptu music videos and wacky humor--all rolled together as only Fruit Chan can do.

At one point the passengers ruminate about the fate of Hong Kong after the upcoming 2017 elections, which is all too relevant considering the occupy movement currently unfolding. In the end, it seems that Fruit Chan is one of only a few directors unafraid to mix genres to this extreme and to this degree of success.

The Midnight After is an adaptation of a web novel by online writer Pizza entitled Lost On A Red Minibus To Taipo. The film has been characterized as post-apocalyptic and as a satire.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Hong Kong Student Protest Banners: "Strike or Nothing"

While in Hong Kong during the week of Sept. 15-21, 2014 I had a chance to visit both the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology--below are some pictures I took previous to the 9/22 student protests.

For more information on the protests in Hong Kong, see this link (via and this link (via; an historical contextualization can be found at this link (via

 Student protest banners on the CUHK campus.

Hong Kong student protest banners at HKUST.

Another protest banner pic I took at HKUST on 9/20.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Cold War Conference: Hong Kong, Sept. 15-16, 2014

It was wonderful presenting, and participating with colleagues, at the "Cold Front: Reflections on the Chinese Cold War Experience and Comparison" Conference presented by The Research Institute for the Humanities at the Chinese University of Hong Kong on September 15-16, 2014. Dr. Adam Cathcart's summary of the event can be read on the Sino-NK website here.

The paper I presented is an exploration of martial arts director King Hu's films in a transnational context. Placing King Hu’s films within the framework of the Cold War reveals that analyses of the director’s films are not entirely exhausted by accounts of important studios such as the Shaw Brothers in Hong Kong or Lian Bang Ying Ye Gong Si (Union Film) in Taiwan, editing stylistics, or social contextualizations in terms of the rise of modernization. My paper is tentatively/currently entitled: "Hot Wars on Screen during the Cold War: King Hu’s Martial Arts Films in a Transnational Context."

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Monga (Doze Niu, 2010): Mini-Film Review

Doze Niu's successful Taiwan film Monga (艋舺) from 2010 features a naive high school age protagonist who enters into an urban gangster world of 1980s Taipei, taking the audience along with him into unfamiliar spaces. An excellent cast, including the director who plays his role superbly, Rhydian Vaughan from Winds of September (九降風, dir. Lin, 2008), and Ma Ju-Lung from Cape No. 7 (海角七號, dir. Wei, 2008), who is Gene Hackman-esque in his ability to lend credibility to any film he shares a role in, helps create a filmic space that feels real in spite of a fair amount of over-emotionalism and slo-mo melodrama. The film works best when the cinematography draws attention to itself and when the film's allegorical potential is realized. After all, Taiwan's transitions during the 1980s depicted here are analogous to other historical transitions in both Taiwan and China's respective histories.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Wu Wenguang, Artist in Residence at UC San Diego 2014

From June 16-22, 2014 it was a pleasure to attend and participate in "The Tangled Dynamics of Independent Filmmaking in Contemporary China: Wu Wenguang 吴文光 as Artist in Residence at UC San Diego" conference at UCSD, attended by Director Wu Wenguang.

The conference entailed a series of forums and Q and A sessions with Director Wu, the screening of an incredible collection of Wu Wenguang films and independent films from China that are a part of the USCD library collection, and the following public event which occurred on Tuesday, June 17th: "Documentary and Memory (记录与记忆) A special film screening with Wu Wenguang."

Wu Wenguang speaking at UCSD, June 17, 2014

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

King Hu Films at the San Diego MOPA, June 2014

On June 5-7, 2014 three films by the innovative, acclaimed kung fu film director King Hu (胡金銓, 1932-1997) were screened at the San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts. A link to the event can be found here, and a biographical account of director King Hu, written by film scholar Stephen Teo, can be found here on the Senses of Cinema website.

King Hu's films are now restored with new subtitles and were presented on these dates:

Thursday, June 5th: Dragon Inn 龍門客棧(1967)
Friday, June 6th: A Touch of Zen 俠女 (1971)
Saturday, June 7th: The Valiant Ones 忠烈圖 (1975)

King Hu screenshot from Dragon Inn (1967).

I attended the event on June 5th as part of a panel that took audience questions during a Q and A session after the screening of Dragon Inn (1967).

I had an opportunity to interview the star of the film, Shi Juan, in 2008 while completing my dissertation research in Taiwan on 1960s and 1970s Taiwan cinema, so it was a pleasure participating in the event and listening to feedback from the audience. It was fun to see the images on the big screen for the first time, solidifying for me why the film was such a hit in its day.

  Post-screening Q&A panel alongside Dr. Brian Hu & martial arts expert Dr. Craig Reid

Friday, May 9, 2014

San Diego Surf Film Festival, 2014

The San Diego Surf Film Festival (May 7-10) mixes three of my favorite things into one event--this coastal city, surfing, and film. As I found out while attending last year, it's pretty much impossible for magic not to happen with these ingredients. A lot of incredible work by the festival organizers--see an interview of Pierce Kavanagh by Bobby Oliver here--and film contributors makes this an annual event not to be missed.

On Thursday (May 8th) the film that stood out to me the most was The Cradle of Storms (dir. Bryce Lowe-White & Ben Weiland, USA), a short which documents a two-week journey to the Aleutian Islands and unexpectedly good surf. I have always wondered what it must have been like to see surf films in the 1970s with stoked audiences cheering when Gerry Lopez came shooting out of a barrel--it must be something like the hoots that erupt spontaneously during a packed out SDSFF set.

Post-screening Q and A with directors at SDSFF 2014.

On Friday and Saturday (May 9 & 10) there were cheers for brothers traveling through Patagonia, surfing in Norway and the Atlantic Coast of Europe, the gay surfing community, inspiring stories of inner-city children loving life in the waves, surfing in Japan, crazy waves and slabs in UK and Ireland, and my son's favorite film on Saturday: surfing life in New Hampshire ... among others.

The surf film industry is a strange creature: corporations pump out film after film--you see them playing in clothing stores in malls like television commercials. But the industry never knows when it is or isn't posturing. Unlike Hollywood, it seems incapable of creating illusions that can, even in spite of themselves, strike a universal chord. So it becomes a joke to see their self-conscious image-things, trying so hard to be earnest, never knowing when they get IT right even when production values and surfing talent are through the roof.

But here there can be moments when a creative connection between audience, film-maker, and film-object just seems to work.

Soul of a Carnation, Heart of Surf trailer subtitles from heliovalentim on Vimeo.


... some reviews of last year's SDSFF 2013 here: posts 1, 2, 3, & 4.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Exploring the Transnational in Hou Hsiao-Hsien's Café Lumière

Key topics within transnational studies include immigration, mobility, temporary and permanent forms of displacement, and cultural flow. Within film studies the transnational approach may be used as a corrective to the national paradigm by calling into question singular national allegiances (linguistic, "common blood," language, race, soil...). It is an approach that might critique certain premises of globalization (that the "capitalist world-economy has no single political center", etc.) and its many guises (imperialism, hegemony, commodification, racialization, gender discrimination).

What happens when we view Hou Hsiao-Hsien's Café Lumière through such a lens? It seems fitting to do so, for Café Lumière, in terms of capturing on film various flows of culture, is a transnational film: a Taiwan director "pays homage to one of the masters, Yaujiro Ozu, commemorating the centenary of Ozu's birth" (as stated on the DVD cover) by making a film in Japan with characters who are connected in interesting ways to Taiwan, Thailand, and China. During the course of the film, the main character Yoko, a young Japanese writer, researches the work of a Taiwanese composer named Jiang Wen-Ye who recorded music in Japan in the 1930s.

The slow pacing of the film, a celebration of the mundane at times, suggests that the film, in a Daoist sense is an attempt to describe The Way, or it is trying to find or depict "IT" as the Beat Poets might say -- or, perhaps this is too much of a stretch, but this quotation that David Bordwell cites in his blog post here seems to describe the style of Hou Hsiao-Hsien's film, especially when: "A moment comes when everything is exactly right, and you have an occurrence—it may be something exquisite or something unnameably gross; there is in it an ecstasy which sets it apart from everything else." -- Gilbert Seldes, The Seven Lively Arts, 1924. Hou succeeds in capturing these moments "when everything is exactly right," moments when, as Roland Barthes wrote, there is a "presence" as both the signifier -- created by a previous system of knowledge -- and the signified overlap.

This overlapping of cultural signifiers occurs in multiple ways, but the one I am thinking about today are those moments in which there may be little difference between the two spaces in the film: the Japan of the film's imagery, and the potential that careful descriptions of these locations could at the same time serve as appropriate descriptions of a place or places that the film does not represent: Taiwan. Is Café Lumière a film -- like Wong Kar-Wai's Happy Together (1997) which is set in Argentina yet might be taking place in Hong Kong -- a film which is set in Japan yet seems to be set in Taiwan? And if so, in what way/s could this dual set of meanings lead one to reflect on Taiwan's heritage of Japanese colonialism?

Café Lumière's final scene -- set in Japan, or is it Taiwan?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Grandmaster (Wong, 2013): Mini-Film Review

Wong Kar Wai's award winning film The Grandmaster reveals how much there is left to explore in the martial arts genre, even for those who enjoy everything from the 1976 Master of the Flying Guillotine, Jackie Chan's 1980s films, Stephen Chow's Kung Fu Hustle, and Donnie Yen's Ip Man, which -- like The Grandmaster -- recounts the life of Bruce Lee's martial arts master from a different perspective. Wong presents Ip Man in terms of motivation and desire. To do so, the director includes familiar techniques he has used past films such as In the Mood for Love, for example fragmented images of his characters through mirrors, and a strategic use of slowmo. While the use of intertitles in The Grandmaster creates a strange documentary feel, I find the film very much worth seeing -- the film's color palette alone is both visually overwhelming and appealing. Is a kung fu film with perfect lighting, classical music, and exquisite sets adorned with late-Qing opulence too much to ask for?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

SCMS Conference Notes, Fri./Sat. (3/21-22), Post 3

Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference, Seattle, 2014

During SCMS this year I was interested primarily in three topics circulating in film studies today: the transnational, Chinese cinema, and Cold War cinema. Below I have captured a few of the panel presentation titles and representative discussions that I attended on Friday and Saturday during the conference, thanks to the incredible work organized and presented.

K18 "Revisiting Kurosawa"
Chair: Olga Solovieva - University of Chicago

Olga Solovieva - University of Chicago “War Photography and Avant-garde Performance in
Dolores Martinez - University of Oxford “Revisiting Kurosawa’s Women”
Michael Bourdaghs - University of Chicago “Hearing the Cold War: Kurosawa Akira’s Soundtracks and Soviet Film Theory”
Respondent: Victor Fan - King's College London 

Michael Bourdaghs' presentation historicizes the work of Kurosawa within a Cold War framework rather than a post-war framework, leading to an interesting question, among others: do we see a leftwing/ left-leaning Kurosawa when using a Cold War lens? The presentation analyzed the film One Wonderful Sunday (1947).

L16 "A Queered China: Making Sense of Gender and Sexuality in Chinese Popular Culture"
Chair: Jing (Jamie) Zhao - Chinese University of Hong Kong

Charlie Zhang - South Dakota State University: “Queering the National Body of Neoliberal China”
Erika Junhui Yi - University of Kansas: “An Insider’s Reflection on Chinese Boys’ Love Fan Girls: Friendship, Romance, and Public Image”
Jing (Jamie) Zhao - Chinese University of Hong Kong: “Something Unfathomable to Others: Fantasies of BDSM, Rape, and Incest"
Shuzhen Huang - Arizona State University: “Fanning the Queer: Transnational Slash Flows and Gender Politics in Contemporary China”
Respondent: Xiqing Zheng - University of Washington

Charlie Zhang's presentation, using the queer as methodology, interestingly discussed gendered representations of China in media presentations in parades, dances, and public performances that perform the nation, noting that gender is the hinge in the relationship between gender, class, and state in the transition from Maoism to neo-liberalization.

N12 Workshop "Melodrama through a Transnational Lens: Questions of Methodology"

Chaired by Christine Gledhill - New York University, this panel included a fascinating and informative presentation by Jason McGrath - University of Minnesota, which looked at melodramatic films made in China after 1949, including socialist realism films in their various permutations. (Since this panel is listed as a workshop in the program, I don't have all of the presentation titles listed here).

Friday, March 21, 2014

SCMS Conference Notes, Thursday (3/20), Post 2

Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference, Seattle, 2014

Additional highlights from Thursday's panels on filmmaking in China, Hong Kong, and East Asia that I had a chance to attend, include:

G5 "The Cold War in East Asian Cinema" chaired by Man Fung Yip with presentations by:
Han Sang Kim - Harvard University: “Projecting the ‘Free World’ on the Colonial Screen”
Man Fung Yip - University of Oklahoma: “The Age of Lost Ideals: The Cultural Revolution, Modernization, and the Demise of Hong Kong’s Leftist Cinema”
Michael Baskett - University of Kansas: “Terminally Entertaining: Japanese Cold War Nuclear Holocaust Films for Mainstream Audiences.”

Michael Baskett's presentation focused on a fascinating early 1960s Japanese nuclear holocaust film that tapped into concurrent fears of nuclear war. The presentation framed the discussion within the context of the Cold War and the "aesthetics of destruction," among other intriguing topics and discussions.

H5 "Moviegoing Cultures and Film Exhibition in China," chaired by Yi Lu with presentations by:
Yoshino Sugawara - Kansai University: “Birth of Moviegoing: Separation, Succession, and Transformation from Traditional Theatergoing in Shanghai”
Yi Lu - University of Texas at Austin: “Promoting Motion Picture Consumption: Chinese Multiplexes and Movie Theater Marketing in the New Millennium”
Zhiwei Xiao - California State University San Marcos “Official Propaganda and Audience Appropriation: Moviegoing in China, 1949–1966.”

Zhiwei Xiao focused on the disjunction between propaganda film intention and actual audience response. Archival research reveals a multiplicity of responses to the films that did not necessarily adhere to the Communist Party's ideal to use cinema to educate rather than merely entertain during the Cold War.

Dr. Zhiwei Xiao presents at SCMS, 2014.

SCMS Conference Notes, Thursday (3/20), Post 1

Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference, Seattle, 2014

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend a number of excellent panels, including: E5 "Colonialism in Chinese Cinema: Reconfiguring the Past; Renegotiating Its Global Future." I was drawn to the panel's presentations on both the Cold War period in Asia as well as the use of transnational theory. Highlights, in my view, include the following:

Chair: Yanhong Zhu - Washington and Lee University

Victor Fan - King's College London
“Politics at Play: Jazz and Chinese Cinema, 1937–1949”
What I enjoyed about this presentation is the way Victor Fan locates the use of jazz music in Shanghai films from 1937-49 as a site where "colonial and national subjectivities" intersect. An historical contextualization of the Shanghai music, literary, and art scene -- for example, the KMT New Life movement and Japanese occupation -- was carefully interwoven into the analysis.

Jing Jing Chang - Wilfrid Laurier University
“The Cold War Project of the Southern Film Corporation: Film Distribution and Censorship in British Hong Kong”
Jing Jing Chang's presentation described the Southern Film Corporation's distribution of communist ideology, in cinematic form -- particularly historical films -- in Hong Kong and abroad during the Cold War. Her presentation highlighted the film topics that caused the most anxiety among the British colonizer's censorship apparatus, leading the censors to alter and ban certain Southern Film Corporation films.

Wei Yang - University of the South
"My Blueberry Nights Revisited: Wong Kar-wai and Transnational Auteurism”
Using Wong Kar-wai's My Blueberry Nights (2007) as case study, Wei Yang's interesting presentation critiques Wong's foray into filmmaking in English, as well as the critical response to his film. Placing Wong Kar-wai alongside other auteur directors who make films outside of their initial localities leads to a fascinating discussion on the "transnational auteur."

Frederik Green - San Francisco State University
“The Twelve Chinese Zodiacs: Jackie Chan, Ai Weiwei, and the Aesthetics (and Politics) of Revisiting a National Wound”
The panel concluded with an enlightening comparison and contrast of the presentation of China's zodiac heads as they are presented, with very different intentions, in Jackie Chan's film Chinese Zodiac (2012) and Ai Weiwei's artwork on this subject.

Post-panel discussion, Seattle 2014.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

High and Low (Kurosawa, 1963): Mini-Film Review

Akira Kurosawa's 1963 film High and Low, based on the Ed McBain's 1959 novel King's Ransom, contains one of the best film resolutions ever captured on film. In the film's final scene, a wealthy business man confronts a kidnapper in a prison--only separated by a window in a visiting room, the reflection of each man on the screen suggests that the business man is a criminal, and the criminal is a business man, among other possible psychological interpretations--including the idea that the two men are actually one person. The first half of the film portrays the business man's perspective (high), and the second half--which is so slow that one might contemplate the ideas of the film rather than the narrative thread--is taken from the criminal's perspective (low). See Mitsuhiro Yoshimoto's excellent account of the film in his book Kurosawa: Film Studies and Japanese Cinema and A.O. Scott's take, below.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Whale Rider (Caro, 2002): Mini-Film Review

Whale Rider (Caro, 2002), based on the novel by Witi Ihimaera, is an accessible coming of age film that I have watched a number of times with my children -- it presents the life of a girl named Paikea (excellently portrayed by Keisha Castle-Hughes) who belongs to the Whangara community in northeast New Zealand. Paikea's family believes that the next chief must be a boy, but Paikea challenges this stereotype by demonstrating all of the correct attributes of a chief -- the tension of the film is generated by the fact that it takes so long for others to accept this reality. The film asks questions of identity such as: "Where are we from?" & "What's wrong with me?" And in the end it is the narrative development itself that really captivates, despite some interesting stylistic moves with both sound and underwater photography.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

In the Mood for Love (Wong, 2000): Mini-Film Review

It's difficult to say anything that has not already been said about Wong Kar-Wai's 2000 film In the Mood for Love. It is also difficult not to say anything about this film that remains at the forefront of my idea--and many of our ideas--of film. What a perfect representation of the manipulation of: temporal reality by witnessing time in the form of memory (sequentially rather than chronologically), the duration of story as the film jumps around in time and place (noting the concluding sequence in Cambodia rather than in Hong Kong), and the film challenges linear notions of time by representing the same event repeatedly, or at least allowing us to question the recurrence of events.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Lingzhen Wang Quotation from "Chinese Women's Cinema"

I find inspiration from Lingzhen Wang's writing on feminist transnational theory in Chinese Women's Cinema: Transnational Contexts, including the following observation:

"In film studies, the concept of transnational cinema has emerged in response to increasing economic and media globalization and the acceleration of technological development. As a relatively new conceptual category, transnational cinema is mobilized to address the significance of transnational financing, production, distribution, and reception of films, to express the need to go beyond the limitations of national cinema, to draw attention to films made by film-makers living in cosmopolitan centers or in the diaspora, and to denote a transnational and hybrid cinematic aesthetics and emotional identification. Some scholars of transnational media have projected an apolitical and utopian vision of transnationalism by arguing that it unfolds as an essentially self-motivated, and apparently amoral, cultural force and that the real world is no longer defined by its colonial past (or its neocolonial present), but by its technological future, in which people will gain greater access to the means of global representation. Transnational feminism, on the other hand, argues the opposite by directing our attention to dis-proportioned movements across borders, and by exposing the underbelly of the "the global village": racism, illegal border crossing, forced economic migration, political exile, and xenophobia."