Author

Erik Kersting

Publication Date

2018

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

First Advisor

Balcerzak, Scott

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Department

Department of English

LCSH

Motion pictures--Study and teaching

Abstract

This study considers how Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar-wai's use of music reinforces a transnational relationship between film and audience. The director's employment of preexisting music offers a compelling view into the psyche of his female characters and privileges their subjectivies, even when male protagonists have narrative supremacy. Through this lens of transnationalism and gendered subjectivity, this thesis examines five of Wong's best-known films, looking at how they employ music in distinctive ways. As Tears Go By (1988) displays the beginnings of Wong's "MTV aesthetic," and shows his unique use of music can be seen even in his earliest work. Wong's use of music in Chungking Express (1994) is the centerpiece of this study, illustrating how music functions as an extension of female voice and how gendered subjectivity is given primacy through music, subverting and transforming the film's narrative and focus. In an interesting gendered variation, Happy Together (1997) uses music to communicate the dysfunctions of a queer relationship and express the dissonance of two gay male characters hopelessly in love. In the Mood for Love (2000) goes beyond music signifying a single character's subjectivity, and expresses the shared subtle emotions of a heteronormative couple. Finally, 2046 (2004), Wong's postmodern epic, presents a narrative that is fractured and layered; similarly, the music is layered, complicated, and fractured, yet still narratively significant and communicating characters' subjectivity.

Comments

Advisors: Scott Balcerzak.||Committee members: Joe Bonomo; Mark Van Wienen.||Includes bibliographical references.

Extent

52 pages

Language

eng

Publisher

Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type

Text

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