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Women, Consumption and Popular Culture (Vol. 4 No. 1); Life, Community, and Ethics (Vol. 4. No. 2)

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Transatlantic Literary and Cultural Relations, 1776 to the Present (Vol. 11 No. 2). 


The foundational infrastructure of the Taiwanese film industry is generally viewed as having being established during the period of Japanese colonization, when the Japanese colonial government in Taiwan recognized film’s potential for disseminating propaganda to promote the realization of assimilation (dōka). In the 1960s Taiwan, the popularity of Japanese films sometimes outranked that of those imported from Hollywood, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, both during and after the colonial period. Film historians of taiyu pian, or Taiwanese-dialect cinema, have argued that the adoption of many of the conventions of Japanese cinema reflected a consequence of colonization, and that this indirectly boosted the popularity of Taiwanese-dialect cinema in the 1950s and the 1960s, since its main audience consisted primarily of the ex-colonized. While the influence of Japanese cinema was undeniably profound, it would be simplistic to categorize Taiwanese-dialect cinema as merely post-colonial. This paper proposes a rethinking of the affinity between Japanese cinema and taiyu pian by comparing Japanese melodramatic cinema and its Taiwanese-dialect adaptations. I argue that taiyu pian deviates from its Japanese predecessor by addressing the culturally specific experiences of modernity in Taiwan and by incorporating other international cinemas to enhance its competitiveness. This comparative study challenges the assumed predominance of the colonial legacy that has exerted a strong influence on the construction of the history of Taiwanese-dialect cinema and reveals the social and political factors that affect the decisions on what to adopt and what to modify.

KEYWORDS: Taiyu pian, Taiwanese-dialect cinema, Japanese cinema, melodrama, modernity, women in film

摘 要

台灣電影的放映基礎始於日治時期,但在製作上的參 與卻是鳳毛麟角;戰後台灣的電影製作,則由民間產製的台 語電影帶動。台語電影除了以歌仔戲與民間故事為題材之 外,也大規模的翻拍日本電影。因此,迄今有關台語電影的 研究普遍咸認為台語電影本身即是殖民遺緒的展現,並將日 本電影之所以成為台語電影主要摹仿對象的現象歸因於殖 民歷史所造成的文化相近性。本文透過比較日本電影與台語 電影的通俗劇類型(以家庭倫理與愛情文藝為敘事主軸), 從兩者的異同之處重新檢驗單從殖民歷史的脈絡論述台語 電影型塑的侷限,並論證日本電影僅是採取文化食人主義途 徑的台語電影的其中一個素材來源,但不是唯一亦非主要, 台語電影事實上也受到其他如好萊塢電影的影響。本文也將 指出台語電影對現代性、性別、家庭等主題不同於日本電影 的更動緊緊鑲嵌於 1960 年代的戰後台灣的社會脈絡。