Cinema as a Sensory Circuit: Film Production and Consumption in Contemporary Taiwan

Mon, Ya-Feng. 2014. Cinema as a Sensory Circuit: Film Production and Consumption in Contemporary Taiwan. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

Using post-2000 Taiwan queer romance films as a case study, this thesis examines the relationship between the film industry and its audience. It revisits scholarly distrust of the culture industry to address how, and to what extent, the power of capitalism has privileged the industry at the expense of the audience’s freedom or personality.

Ethnographically informed, the thesis deems political economy and cultural studies approaches to the research question to be unsatisfactory. Both neglect the sensory aspects of cinematic communication. Drawing inspiration from actor-network theory and the analysis of late capitalism by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, it approaches the film industry-audience relation as a volatile, affective (dis)connection mediated by physical entities, including media technologies. This (dis)connection reflects an era in which the film industry invests in technoscience, tie-in products, ancillary markets and media convergence in order to seduce the senses of the audience.

Core arguments are pursued along two lines. The first revolves around film text and cinematic apparatus, the second around film marketing and computationalnetworked communication. Looking at productive and consumptive activities, the main chapters reconsider issues of cinematic embodiment, genre filmmaking, film value production, and the (un)productivity of the human body. They locate cinematic embodiment in object-refracted bodily citation of film content, and define genre filmmaking as body-inflected reiteration of formulaic language. Due to the specificity of the Internet medium, which extracts valuegenerative labour from communicative actions by the audience and the industry, the thesis argues that Internet film marketing is a collaborative project of film value production. The productivity of such collaboration is, however, potentially hindered since bodily agency, manifested in the capability of action, retains an ultimate quality of unpredictability.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


culture industry; prosumption; cinematic communication; affect; affectivity; embodiment; object agency; biopolitical governance

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies



Item ID:


Date Deposited:

07 Feb 2014 15:42

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 15:58


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