Wijaya, Elizabeth: Travel Grant - 2017-2018

College of Arts and Sciences
Comparative Literature
Project Title: 
Cinema after the Death of Cinema: Fu Hou Grand Theater in New Taipei City
Project Abstract: 
The night before its permanent closure, Fu Hou Grand Theater in Taipei is screening King Hu's Dragon Inn (1967). This fictional event forms the premise of Taiwanese/Malaysian director Tsai Ming-Liang's Goodbye, Dragon Inn (2003). As a mixed development in New Taipei City, connected to a temple and narrow residential flats, Fu Hou Grand Theatre's remnants after its actual closurein 2002forms an accidental archive of the materiality of cinema and its technical processes of production, exhibition and storage. The crystallization in time of the abandoned second-run cinema testifies to both the current crisis in arthouse Taiwanese cinema and the persistence of the cinematic even after the closure of the cinema hall. This project surveys the environs, inhabitants and history of this abandoned exhibition site in order to consider the afterlives of cinema in light of the general decline of the movie theater as a privileged site of cinematic exhibition.