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如日月光,当我们面对人生的十字路口

14 10月 , 2019  

看到这个标题时,我甚至可以从字里行间嗅到丝丝的芬芳,优雅袅袅的味道,虽然我是女人,还是无法从这美丽的词句中挣开。为什么叫这个名字原本是以为故事会以赫本这样的女子为中心展开的,然而不是,中心是个硬汉,外加一个年轻人。为什么喜欢这部片子,是因为太喜欢那段煽情的tango了,一段可以俘获心扉,深入内心的曲子,如果有人肯在邀请我跳这样一段探戈时向我求婚,我想我一定会说yes,那也许不是我再说,而是我的灵魂在说,也正是这样的桥段回答了第一个问题,也许只是片段,却精彩到点睛全剧。

    这部电影本名叫作《scent of a
woman》,中文翻译过来也有几种,最得到广泛认定的是《闻香识女人》。疑问主要来自于影片的名字。因为虽然影片的名字无论中文还是英文都涉及到了“女人”,但看过影片之后我们都知道这只是写了两个男人之间的事情,跟女人或者美丽的爱情无关。

天呀,我竟然只改了一个字,就把给《攻壳》的评论移过来了,犯罪呀。
不过这个论文实在牛,看看原文链接吧,带图片,很说明问题。

        很多人都说这部影片很经典,大部分原因是为帕西诺的那段探戈所吸引,他们对影片的评论也有很多种角度的理解,但我认为大多数评论都不是影片所真正想表达的。让我来说一下我的感想,并以此来解释片名的真正含义。

巅峰之作,如日月光,转发高文,以享同道
  
  
  这是深刻论述攻壳和BLADE RUNNER中场景构造的论文,由此可知BLADE
RUNNER的那一个虚拟世界的来龙去脉,一个艺术作品是不会凭空出世的。
  
  特译简介如下(不是别人发过的吧?:-》)
  向作者致敬:Wong Kin Yuen
  原文请见:
  
  
  简介:
  在世纪交替的之时,向刀锋猎手和攻壳特工队这样的科幻影片都对香港的城市景观产生了浓厚兴趣。因为他的离陆的移民的和边缘化的殖民历史,香港成为“未来黑世”型科幻影片中的那种现代城市。它的拥塞的离散的市景为后现代的语境中的多文化主义提供了完美的背景。
  
  
  Wong Kin Yuen
  On the Edge of Spaces: Blade Runner, Ghost in the Shell , and Hong
Kong’s Cityscape
  
   Colonial cities can be viewed as the forerunners of what the
contemporary capitalist world city would eventually become. For … in
the colonial and paracolonial societies and especially Asia, Africa and
Latin America … the representatives and institutions of industrial
capitalism first confronted those of ethnically, racially, and
culturally different pre-industrial and pre-capitalist societies at any
significant scale. — Anthony King, Global Cities (38)
  
   The gigantic mass is immobilized before the eyes. It is transformed
into a texturology in which extremes coincide — extremes of ambition
and degradation, brutal oppositions of races and styles, contrasts
between yesterday’s buildings, already transformed into trash cans, and
today’s urban irruptions that block out its space…. Its present
invents itself, from hour to hour, in the act of throwing away its
previous accomplishments and challenging the future. — Michel de
Certeau, “Walking in the City” (152)
  
   1. It is now widely acknowledged that Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner
(1982/ 1992) initiated a whole tradition of cult movies later grouped
under the label “cyberpunk.” Blade Runner’s style draws its images from
urban spaces all over the world, including such Asian cities as Tokyo
and Hong Kong. Science fiction film critics are less aware, however,
that when anime film director Mamoru Oshii was looking for a model of
the city of the future in a computerized world, he turned for his
primary inspiration to the cityscape of Hong Kong. Through his art
designers, actual spots in the city of Hong Kong were transformed into
the mise-en-scène of Ghost in the Shell, first released in the United
States in March 1996.
  
  Science fiction has not fared well in Hong Kong (either in terms of
production or consumption), nor is there a cyberpunk culture among Hong
Kong’s young computer users. So the question arises: what elements in
Hong Kong provided inspiration for this cinematic representation of a
near-future city characterized by decadence, anarchy, and fantasy on the
one hand, and a mistrusted, high-tech hyper-reality on the other? Taking
up this question, I will first suggest a reading of a shopping complex
in Hong Kong that emphasizes its fragmentation, disjunctiveness, and
ephemerality. Like Blade Runner’s “Ridleyville,” this Hong Kong shopping
complex intertwines past and future, memory and desire. Finally, I will
analyze the setting of Ghost in the Shell, especially the parts that are
clearly modeled on Hong Kong street scenes and architecture. I hope to
validate Anthony King’s argument that colonial cities have the best
chance of establishing a cityscape of the future that embraces racial
and cultural differences.
  
  Before going any further, let me address the politics of
representation, especially in the visual media of cyberpunk art and
films. Following the success of Blade Runner, such cyber-thrillers as
Johnny Mnemonic (1995), Hackers (1995), Lawnmower Man 2 (1996), and
Strange Days (1995) have also selectively used motifs of “Asian” design
environments, together with their visual icons, to portray cultural
difference and to create visual pleasure from postmodern pastiche. As in
Blade Runner, the most popular model for artists’ and filmmakers’ dark
and sprawling cities of the future is an Asian-dominated metropolis.
Cyberpunk novels, including Gibson’s Neuromancer (1984) and Stephenson’s
Snow Crash (1992), likewise emphasize Asian culture and urban style,
suggesting (as John Christie has argued) “the replacement of the
hegemonic state apparatus by multinationals, its cultural pluralism”
(173). Whereas Snow Crash’s “Mr. Lee’s Greater Hong Kong” is set in
cyberspace, Neuromancer’s Night City, The Sprawl, coffin hotel, and
Ninsei are based on the Tokyo Bay area. In his recent novel, Idoru
(1996), Gibson even presents organic buildings in a 21st-century Tokyo.
(In this case, there must also be some connection to Hong Kong as well,
since in his acknowledgment to a Japanese director, Gibson mentions
“Kowloon Walled City,” which has “continued to haunt him” [n.pag.]
ever since the latter told him about it.)
  
  For sf illustrator Barclay Shaw, the merging of cyberspace with the
sleazy, neon-lit visual passion in Neuromancer closely resembles a
chaotic Hong Kong street. Commissioned as cover art for the 1986
Phantasia Press edition of the novel, the painting chooses some Chinese
characters (presumably taken from Hong Kong shop signs) for the
foreground, highlighting not only a sense of ethnic and cultural
confusion and hybridity but also a continuous process of the
destructions and reconstructions so characteristic of contemporary
cityscapes. This is certainly in line with the cyberpunk convention of
“the run-down inner-city slum-cum-tent settlement, overcrowded, trashed
and graffiti-ridden” (Bonner 194), reminding us at the same time of
Blade Runner’s Ridleyville.
  
  We also find visual icons relating to Chinese characters, obviously
within a “Chinatown” setting, in cyberpunk films such as Strange Days.
Set in Los Angeles a few days shy of the millennium, the film sustains
film noir tradition through dark and explosive scenes of riots and
chaos. In between these hybridized sites and battle zones on the
streets, Chinatown’s glittering lanterns (not the authentic kind with
real candlelight, of course), together with the profusion of shops and
commercial sign boards characteristic of a normal busy Hong Kong street,
juxtapose visual alternatives and establish a tone somewhere between
eroticism and dreariness. This kind of design, which marks the
unmistakable miscellaneity of a metropolis, suggests a near future where
centers and peripheries do not hold and where racial conflicts are at
the point of explosion; it also provides an appropriate way to exhibit
an “inverted millennarianism” (Jameson 53). Scenes from a kitchen in a
Chinese restaurant depict violence and intrigues played out among
individuals, while collective racial protests and riots are taking place
in the streets. It is curious that such “Chinese” vignettes have become
a favorite among recent Hollywood filmmakers. Compared to the front of
the restaurant in Strange Days, where decor and orderliness prevail, the
kitchen is filmed as a clandestine negative space signifying hiddenness
and disorder. In the restaurant kitchen, the flawed character Nero plays
out his drama of fighting back against corporate crimes, providing a
contrast with the public atrocities committed in front of millions of
people during the New Year countdown celebration at the movie’s
conclusion.
  
  In Strange Days, “Chinese” spaces are represented as hidden within
the context of the future urban setting. Is there any cultural or
ideological significance in this — beyond the fact that a Chinese
restaurant kitchen is an exotic spot? Does this added element of
Chineseness (contrasted with the exploding warfare among races and
social classes in Strange Days) help to bring out the theme of the
intertwining relations between social space and media space? Finally,
since Chinatown settings are spaces famous for being inhabited by
illegal immigrants, we will need to follow Homi Bhabha’s critique of the
“metropolitan histories” of the west, “the anomalous and discriminatory
legal and cultural status assigned to migrant, diasporic, and refugee
populations” who “find themselves on the frontiers between cultures and
nations, often on the other side of the law” (Bhabha 175).
  
   2. We must be careful, however, in interpreting the ways the Hong
Kong cityscape is appropriated by cyberpunk literature and films; we
must remember that Hollywood has had a long history of misrepresenting
Hong Kong, from white-male fantasies about oriental girls (The World of
Suzy Wong [1961]) to exploitative soft-core pornographic eroticism
(the Emmanuelle films). More recently, a quick shot in the low-budget
Lawnmower Man 2 shows a yellow rickshaw pulled by a Chinese man on the
street of yet another Los Angeles of the future. An offensive example of
“non-equivalent sites of representation” (Bhabha 176), this rickshaw
scene exemplifies a brutal seizure of a cultural sign by the west, a way
of “evoking … savage colonial antecedents” for the sake of presumed
“ideals of civility” (Bhabha 175).1 Whether cyberpunk film directors are
themselves free from this mire of distortion in their renderings of Hong
Kong’s urban images is of course an important question to ask here.
  
  Blade Runner’s cultural references are indirect, yet I propose to
compare the design of the film’s city setting with an actual spot in
Hong Kong that may provide a paradigm for future global cities. The
incredibly detailed Los Angeles of 2019 in Blade Runner creates a
futuristic noir atmosphere by heavily borrowing from Asian motifs,
albeit vague and general ones, in its design of city icons and social
spaces. With the artful “retro-fitting” and “layering” of the Japanese
sushi bar, the gigantic media screen of the geisha girl ad, and a
Chinese bio-engineer who “only does eyes,” the city, critics are quick
to point out, looks like “Chinatown in Tomorrowland” (Hunter 225); the
sleazy cinematography results in a hybrid and fractal combination of
“Hong Kong, New York, [and] Tokyo’s Ginza district” (Sammon 101). I
would argue that considering Hong Kong as among the cinematic models for
the future city may inspire not only a further look at Hong Kong at this
present moment of political transition but also its potential for
developing into a “forerunner of what the contemporary capitalist world
city will eventually become” (King 38).
  
  Perhaps because of its recent reabsorption by China, Hong Kong has
drawn enormous interest from urban scholars and social critics.
Struggling historically between traditional Chinese culture and British
imperialism, and at this moment adjusting its full-fledged capitalism in
order to be embraced by socialism, Hong Kong’s postmodern identity has
been singled out as a unique case in the world, characterized by
“disappearance” and “hyphenation” (Abbas 1994; 1996) or dealt with in
terms of “discourses in collision under the volcano” (Cuthbert 1995).
  
  As someone who grew up in Hong Kong, I am particularly fascinated by
the dazzling visuals of Blade Runner’s Ridleyville, its seamless weaving
together of the futuristic and the traditional, as well as its
paradoxical delighting of the eye through an emphasis on urban squalor.
Other aspects — hybrid architectural spaces, crowdedness, the polyglot
or mishmash city-speak, the chaotic proliferation of neon billboards
above futuristic shopping arcades, the rain-soaked streets and dragon
signs — invite me to conclude that this Los Angeles of 2019 can indeed
be read as “Hong Kong on a bad day” (Salisbury 96; Doel and Clarke
163).
  
  The questions remain to be asked: what illumination does Blade
Runner offer us for envisioning the 21st century cityscape, and what
role will Hong Kong play in shaping our expectations of the city of the
future? This film’s “radical eclecticism or ad hoc-ism” (Bruno 66)
catches my eye and inspires me to think about the evolving scenes of my
own city, freeing me from clichés (Hong Kong is a dynamic and
international city with post-industrial and postmodernist
characteristics, etc.). Let me go right to a specific Hong Kong space
for a detailed description, to demonstrate the value of placing
Ridleyville and Hong Kong together.
  
  The place is located at the juncture of Happy Valley and Causeway
Bay around Russell Street and Sharp East Street, one of the most densely
populated areas of Hong Kong. Perhaps no other place can demonstrate so
well the strange mix of global and local in truly cosmopolitan downtown
development. The space occupies half a square mile of streets, shops,
flyovers, and the recent addition of a mall, “Times Square.” It is
certainly an “urban secret located at the intersection of postmodern and
science fiction” (Bukatman 12).
  
  Apparently no parody was intended by naming the place after New
York’s Times Square, but the name does reflect and even reaffirm its own
historicity and timeliness — albeit the kind of schizophrenic
temporality that Fredric Jameson uses in his famous reading of the
Bonaventure Hotel (80-85). The complex itself, built on top of a busy
metro station, stretches from several levels underground to skyscraper
height, looking down on the adjacent, much older buildings, “indifferent
to its surrounding” (Abbas 1996, 221). For city-planners, especially
visitors, the awkward and abrupt sense of discrepancies on all levels is
impossible to miss. The complex was built on a former tram-depot skirted
by an old-style street market and the quarters for lower echelon
tram-company employees. Thus an area once inhabited by comparatively
low-income locals has been transformed by commercialism into a high-tech
wonder, a bewildering collage of signs and patterns with enough anarchic
elements remaining (a small part of the market and old style shops) to
create a sense of pastiche. Yet nothing unusual or uncanny is felt by
the people who live there; and in general the logic of capitalism, in
which “shopping is an aesthetic experience” (Webster 212), works
beautifully, since the spot has become (with its advantages of proximity
and diversity, its availability and variety of consumer goods) one of
the busiest and most prosperous places in Hong Kong.
  
  
  
  But who are these inhabitants? They are shoppers, blue- and
white-collar workers, tourists of all nationalities, and an
ever-changing population of new immigrants (some of them illegal),
working mostly in the old shops. The people of “Times Square” are both
rich and poor, young and old. More than Disneyland, this phoenix in the
rubble is patronized by practically all walks of life; and this absolute
accessibility to the fairyland of diversity and display accounts for its
success. This is of course the exact opposite of the kind of cityscape
deliberately designed “to wall off the differences between people,
assuming that these differences are more likely to be mutually
threatening than mutually stimulating” (Sennet xii). To walk in this
area is to float with, through, and against the crowd, always on one’s
way to somewhere else. This may well be an indication of a degree of
pedestrian movement and flow unique to Hong Kong. Arjun Appadurai’s
comments on the landscape of people (as constituting this shifting world
of ours) is particularly pertinent to description of Hong Kong’s Times
Square:
  
   [T]ourists, immigrants, refugees, exiles, guestworkers and other
moving groups and persons constitute an essential feature of the world
and appear to affect the politics of (and between) nations to a hitherto
unprecedented degree. This is not to say that there are no relatively
stable communities and networks, of kinship, of friendship, of work and
of leisure, as well as of birth, residence and other filiative forms.
But it is to say that the warp of these stabilities is everywhere shot
through with the woof of human motion, as more persons and groups deal
with the realities of having to move or the fantasies of wanting to
move. (7)
  
  This postmodern architectural environment in Asian cities may have
been the source of their fascination for cyberpunk film designers. I
doubt that Ridley Scott knew of the existence of the Hong Kong Times
Square when he was conjuring up his Los Angeles set in Blade Runner, but
I would like to juxtapose an early sketch of his with a couple of photos
for comparison. What first catches the eye, besides striking
resemblances in the busy streets, the futuristic shopping arcades, the
neon-lit billboards, the garbage, the drunkards, and so on, is the huge
9 x 6 meter video screen acting almost as the backdrop, an immense icon
of power. This gigantic screen hanging above busy streets in future
cities has been a common and almost indispensable motif among cyberpunk
films. From Running Man (1987) to Johnny Mnemonic and Hackers to Strange
Days, this screen has become the hallmark of postmodern cities, a mirror
of information networks, an entrance into cyberspace. Scott’s screen is
later changed into an even bigger one showing a close-up of an alluring
Japanese geisha who is always trying to sell something, set in contrast
with a flying blimp beaming with flashing lights to advertise off-world
immigration. At Hong Kong’s Times Square, however, the screen shows more
than animated advertisements: since it is also connected to the cable TV
channels, it broadcasts local and international news to passers-by.
Indeed, for several months the cable TV channels have presented a live
talk show on the square below the screen: hyperreality in its extreme
comes into reality.
  
  
  
  Much has been said about the relationship between cyberpunk culture
and our so-called post-information age. Theoretical studies such as
Debord’s Society of the Spectacle and Bukatman’s Terminal Identity have
illuminated the significance of such a gigantic screen as an alternative
space of the visual. Starting from the Lacanian concept of
subject-formation through the image in a mirror, critics have noticed
that with the advent of optical technology, this mirror is turned into,
say, the video camera, which does the work of at once creating,
reflecting, and distorting the image of the self. All city dwellers,
especially regular shoppers in modern malls, have had the experience of
walking by a camera shop, leisurely looking, and then suddenly seeing
their own image also walking by and looking on but from the opposite
direction and angle. They then realize that this is the video camera set
to automatic and placed behind the shop window, shooting outward.
  
  Edward Soja has explained how some critics provide insights “on how
fragmentation, ruptures, deviation, displacements, and discontinuities
can be politically transformed from liability and weakness to a
potential source of opportunity and strength.” He describes how the
feminist critic Anne Friedberg, during her “window shopping” in Paris,
focuses on those “machines of virtual transport” that “break us out of
our constraining spatio-temporal containers, starting with the panorama
and the diorama and ending with the ‘virtual tourism’ provided by cinema
and its extensions, most notably the television and the VCR” (Soja 117).
In this context, the activities surrounding the screen on the square can
be considered an extreme enlargement of the automatic video camera
experience just mentioned.
  
  Incidentally, there is at least one camera shop on one of the levels
in the Times Square complex that does film the passers-by. I would
suggest, following Baudrillard’s assertion, that we are the first
generation who actually live in science fiction: such experiences have
become sf experiences, or even cyberpunk experiences.
  
   3. At this point, a more careful reading of the differences in the
architectural layout of Blade Runner and Times Square in Hong Kong is
called for. Unlike Scott’s near-future Los Angeles, Hong Kong is not
disintegrating or in ruins. Yes, there is a lot of garbage on the
streets; but it is not technological waste or post-industrial decay, at
least not the “height of exhibition and recycling” (Bruno 64). In
addition, whereas the postmodern, hybridized, mismatched architectural
styles in Blade Runner convey banality by an uneasy combination of
pastiche quotations (Chinese-dragon characters and Egyptian decor in a
Mayan pyramid), in Hong Kong’s Times Square, the extravaganza of
hybridity only reflects a grotesque piecing together of disparate times
and styles — the temporality of architectural efforts. Instead of
Sebastian’s and Deckard’s nearly empty 97th-floor apartments overlooking
the deserted city, what we can see, through the glass-encased escalator
from the mall, are shattered flats occupied by poor people. Yet although
these are run-down buildings, they are not deserted and soon they will
be pulled down to make space for new ones.
  
  Besides, Blade Runner emphasizes the likely explosion of the Asian
population of Los Angeles in the 21st century. Such domination by Asian
elements contributes to the film’s emphasis on an “explosion of
urbanization, melting the futuristic high-tech look into an
intercultural scenario, recreat[ing] the third world inside the first”
(Bruno 66). How can this Los Angeles-becoming-Chinatown be put alongside
the transformation of Hong Kong’s urban spaces? While these
discrepancies may discourage our attempt to juxtapose Blade Runner’s
future Los Angeles and Hong Kong’s evolving urban topography, I would
still like to argue that the “fragmented temporality” or the Jamesonian
“perpetual present” as seen in the mixing of the old and the new for an
effect of future noir in Blade Runner can be used to interpret
postmodern Hong Kong, especially at this historical moment. Although
most recent changes in architectural layout are expressions of the logic
of commercialism, it is also true that major construction projects such
as the new airport and the surge in real-estate values are tinged with
political intentions and discourses. By inspiring us to think through
the future of urban development in terms of social space, Blade Runner
reminds us to turn our attention to the importance of both spatializing
history and historicizing geography, as suggested by Soja.
  
  Perhaps Hong Kong’s citizens are replicants in a sense, lacking a
history of identity. Maybe through art, film, and architecture, we can
become more equipped to take a closer look at our environment and our
relation to it. Is our historical space, our evolving hybridity and
urbanism, just an index of our looking for a genuine history of our own?
In my subsequent use of Soja’s theory of the “thirdspace,” I will work
towards defining the radical possibilities inherent in Hong Kong’s
evolving cityscape.
  
  Edward Soja, who started out as a geographer, has been an important
advocate of critical studies of social space. He is an appropriate
figure to be enlisted in our “tale of two cities,” for he has been
writing about the postmodernization of Los Angeles for fifteen years.
After his Postmodern Geographies (1989), he continued his research on
cities and power in a major work entitled Thirdspace (1996). Expanding
on Henri Lefebvre’s concept of the “trialectics” of spatiality in The
Production of Space (i.e., perceived, conceived, and lived space), Soja
works out a similar “trialectics of Being, of spatiality, historicality
and sociality” (71) to delineate a way of interpreting urban space and
its social significance beyond the traditional dualism (the same and
“other”) in spatial thinking. By focusing on an act of
“thirding-as-othering,” Soja is able to introduce into analysis of urban
studies an emphasis on “radical openness” or a “multiplicity of space
that difference makes” that joins forces with “a polyvocal postmodernism
that maintains a political commitment to radical change” (93). As
“spaces in the margins of hegemonic discourses” (111), they can then be
reconceptualized to embrace Foucault’s ideas of “heterotopias,” feminist
geography, and such post-colonial critiques as Homi Bhabha’s Politics of
Location. Soja’s theory of the spatiality of human life emphasizes the
creative and artistic side of spatial discourse, especially when he
describes the kind of thirdspace that is linked to the “underground side
of social life.” He also draws our attention to what feminists have done
to create artful space in the city:
  
   [T]he alternative spaces of the visual, kinetic, and aesthetic
imagination — in films, photography, advertising, fashion, museum
exhibitions, murals, poems, novels, but also in shopping malls and
beaches, factories and streets, motels and theme parks — are being
creatively evoked by other spatial feminists as ways of seeing, hearing,
feeling, interpreting, and changing the city. (115)
  
  For Vivian Sobchack, however, who traces the historical development
of urban sf films, in the 1980s “the idealized and lofty city of SF is
imagined as completely decentered and marginalized” (13). She thinks
that, seen from this “new urban exorcism, the Los Angeles of Blade
Runner unifies its outmoded and vastly disparate material signifiers
into new retrofitted and eroticized architectural forms”(16). But this
is as far as this imaginary city can go, since for her the film “is not
really capable of envisioning its future.” By celebrating visual
heterogeneity, these cities:
  
   function as virtual ghettos — or wishing upon the same bourgeois
star, effectively effac[ing] those differences that do make a
difference … that is, gender, race, class. Positing, on the one hand,
a new and liberating model of the city and, on the other, buying back
into its failed model by merely reversing (rather than altering) its
terms and values, the imaginary and postmodernist city of the American
SF film is truly a city on the edge of time. (17)
  
  Sobchack seems to be arguing that in emphasizing the pleasure of
viewing through an “erotics of commodification and consumerism,” the
merely scenic is emphasized at the expense of history, since “the
pastiche of new and old and recycled material objects, aesthetic styles,
and even the narrative itself in Blade Runner constituted Los Angeles’s
temporal mode as neither past nor future but as literal and increasingly
collective present” (16). If we look hard for possible “thirdspace”
elements in the city design of Blade Runner, however, there are
suggestions of historicity in the decaying cosmopolitan urban spaces, no
matter how gloomily the picture is painted on screen. If nothing else,
Blade Runner at least “posits questions of identity, identification, and
history in post-modernism” (Bruno 73).
  
  To be sure, historical allusions in Blade Runner are eclectic, but
“pastiche is ultimately a redemption of history, which implies the
transformation and reinterpretation in tension between loss and desire”
(Bruno 74). This tension is expressed through the positing of so-called
“prosthetic memory,” which seeks “to rewrite history by means of
architectural pastiched recycling” (Bruno 74). In the artistic rendering
of a dystopic future in Blade Runner, a point is made about the
thirdspace of “the ramble city” (Bruno, Doel). We can also say that all
the architectural motifs of hybridity and geographical displacement have
been designed to provide an existential context for the plight of the
replicants in the film. The cinematography, with its celebrated
dominance of visual representations, functions to bring out “fragmentary
temporality” and “schizophrenic vertigo” — the setting in which the
replicants are destined to seek in vain for the meaning of their lives.
Even Deckard is seen running for his life on the rooftop of a
hundred-story building, a place where one’s being is lifted up from the
firm ground and exposed to the destructive power of the machine. As a
blade runner,2 Deckard is supposed to be someone who “runs on the
knife’s edge between humanity and inhumanity,” “someone who scampers
along the thin edge of life” (Sammon 379). Blade Runner, especially in
the 1992 director’s cut, ambiguously suggests that Deckard himself is a
replicant who has dreams of the unicorn as symbol of purity. Through
such “knife’s edge” images and hints, a radical space is opened up for
the sort of counter-site Soja speaks of, a space created for
“oppositional practices,” for “critical exchange,” and for “new and
radical happenings” (Soja 129).
  
  Dreaming/constructing an identity while perched on a rooftop
establishes one’s past through memory, even if that memory be
prosthetic. Refuting both Jameson’s and Baudrillard’s positing the
existence of the “real” as a result of “a nostalgia for a prelapsarian
moment,” Alison Landsberg goes straight to the ability of cinema (mass
media and photography included) to “provide individuals with the
collective opportunity of having an experiential relationship to a
collective cultural past they either did or did not experience”
(Landsberg 178). True, implanted memories could be used as a means of
surveillance and control, as is demonstrated in Blade Runner by Tyrell,
who explains to Deckard that “If we give them a past we create a cushion
for their emotions and consequently we can control them better.” But in
Deckard’s incredulous response — “memories, you’re talking about
memories” — we glimpse the kind of significance the film attaches to
this memory motif and its power to produce identity.
  
  To support her argument for the “portability of cinematic images,”
Landsberg draws our attention to the scene in Blade Runner in which
Rachel, after playing a few notes on the piano, says “I don’t know if
it’s me or Tyrell’s niece, but I remember lessons.” When Deckard
responds by saying “you play beautifully,” Landsberg notes that at this
point Deckard, in effect, rejects the distinction between “real” and
prosthetic memories. “Her memory of lessons allows her to play
beautifully, so it means little whether she lived through the lessons or
not” (185). With all this, and especially with Batty’s “tears in the
rain” dying moment, viewers of the film are asked to identify themselves
with the “primary object of our spectatorial investment and engagement”
(183) — in a word, with the replicants, Rachel and Deckard and all, who
are, like Donna Haraway’s cyborgs, subjects living at the edge of
time.
  
  The rooftop chase, the Bradbury ledge where the showdown between
Batty and Deckard takes place, and the jump between the edges of
buildings, all are examples in the film of what Lefebvre calls spaces of
representation or lived space. They are, as Soja explains, “linked to
the ‘clandestine or underground’ [high, high up above the ground in
Blade Runner] side of social life” (Soja 67). In this light, one might
argue that the city dwellers of Hong Kong are all Blade Runners
(notwithstanding that this is not a perfect analogy, since they’re not
required to retire any replicants), living not only on the edge of time
but also on the edge of empires. Moreover, one might see, in the
architectural pastiche in Blade Runner, that the Hong Kong Times Square
demonstrates the very postmodern condition that denotes both a crisis of
identity and, at the same time, an attempt to accommodate alterity.
  
  Regarding the sort of future Hong Kong’s people are facing, Abbas
writes that “The ‘end of Hong Kong’ is therefore in another sense its
beginning, the beginning of an intense interest in its historical and
cultural specificity, a change from the hitherto almost exclusive
fascination with its economic success” (“Building” 444). But this mixing
of the old and the new within the shocking rate of changes, this putting
aside the sense of historical and cultural sequentiality, may well give
Hong Kong’s people the potential to develop a new sense of identity. For
Abbas, Hong Kong’s space is “both autonomous and dependent at the same
time, both separate from and connected to other space” (“Hyphenation”
215). Maybe, just maybe, this particular urban site, so unique in its
social and economic hybridity and accessibility, could function as a
global symbol (or model) for diaspora in post-colonial narratives. As
with all big cities, “ordinary shopping districts frequented by ordinary
people,” Sharon Zukin believes, “are important sites for negotiating the
street-level practice of urban public culture” (191). In the midst of
settlements and political flux, such complex issues as the “brain drain”
of the 1980s, the “right of abode” in the early 1990s, and the present
problem of displaced and repatriated families, Hong Kong’s citizens may
be able to transform themselves to become “world-travelers” par
excellence, positioning themselves flexibly “on the edge of empires.”3
  
  The big screen at Hong Kong’s Times Square suggests the close
relation between social space and identity; it illustrates how the place
(as a postmodern city of information and hence with the profusion and
confusion of images and icons that we mentioned earlier) also provides a
public space for the construction of identity. As mentioned before, the
most unique characteristic of this square is that, unlike anywhere else
in Hong Kong, it is accessible to all. It is a work place, a festive
space, a real location and a hyperreal site for information-exchange —
all at once. We can of course look at the place as part of Paul
Virillo’s “overexposed city,” where “the city has become a space of
simultaneous dispersion, as public space loses it relevance” (quoted in
Bukatman 132); and we can consider the screen as similar to those in
Blade Runner, which become “the proliferation of walls” or sites of
projection and terminal inscription (Bukatman 132). On the other hand,
the screen on the wall of Hong Kong’s Times Square can also be made to
realize its potential as a possible “countersite” of a radical
cityscape. In fact, the live TV talk-show can be viewed as a social
forum where all political and cultural issues are brought up for open
argument.4 In a commercial depicting a gathering of 40,000 people on
screen with lit candles in hand, a voice-over announces: “On June 4 tens
of thousands of people will gather at Victoria Park. They are students,
businessmen, workers, housewives. They will come to remember the victims
of the Tienanmen massacre as they have done for the past eight years,
and cable TV will be there.”5 A more radical side of the public sphere
may possibly be opened up by an alternative practice of spatiality in
Hong Kong.
  
  
  
  4. I now turn to Ghost in the Shell to expand on my discussion of
the relation between urban space, high-tech information, and cyberpunk
films. Mamoru Oshii’s full-length animated feature is based on Masamune
Shirow’s popular manga series; it employed artists and designers who had
great success in Akira (1987). The year is 2029 and the world is a vast
net of electronic information data in which computer wars are fought.
During the hot pursuit of a phantom criminal nicknamed the Puppet
Master, our hero Major Kusanagi, a female cybernetic organism, discovers
that she has been targeted by the Puppet Master, who wishes to merge
with her as a unified life form “on a higher consciousness.” Released in
theaters worldwide late in 1995 and 1996, Ghost in the Shell soon became
the topic of critical controversy. Some criticized the plot as too
complicated and murky, or for its tendency to over-philosophize; others
saw it as borrowing too much from Blade Runner and William Gibson. But
in general, Ghost in the Shell has been welcomed by most fans as the
most “soulful” anime to date, with great visuals and a central moral
that asks what it is for a female cyborg to be human in the age of
machines. As for myself, I am impressed with the seriousness of
production, the hyperrealistic rendering, the soulful mood, and above
all the uniquely dreamlike quality. But what actually riveted my eyes to
the screen during my first viewing of the film was the Hong Kong
cityscape featured as the setting.
  
  So we are back to our initial question: what is so unique about Hong
Kong’s urban landscape that it has aroused the interest of cyberpunk
filmmakers? In The Analysis of Ghost in the Shell, a beautiful Japanese
picture book covering the film, the director, Mamoru Oshii, and his art
designer, Takeuchi Atsushi, explain why the Hong Kong cityscape is
significant in the film.6 Note what the director has to say:
  
   As a model for the setting of Ghost, it is because Hong Kong, just
like Singapore, is a unique city. It will, as it moves towards the 21st
century, become a center of world development and the model for cities
in Asia. My prediction is that all the energies possessed by Asia will
continue in the next century. When I was in search of an image of the
future, the first thing that came to my mind was an Asian city. At first
I did not think it was possible to create a perfect cityscape for the
future; and what was done in the past seems unconvincing to me now….
The only way, if one is to be true to the methodology of animation, is
to use real streets as models, so I thought of Hong Kong. It is like the
Los Angeles of Blade Runner; what has been achieved in that city set
will be of use to later films. (Nozaki n.pag.)
  
   The designer Atsushi adds:
  
   Ghost in the Shell does not have a definite chosen set, but in
terms of street scenes and general atmosphere, it is obvious that Hong
Kong is the model. Such a choice has, of course, something to do with
the theme: on the streets there flows an excess or a flood of
information, along with everything this excess brings out. The modern
city is swamped with billboards, neon lights and symbols…. As people
live [unaware?] in this information deluge, the streets will have to
be depicted accordingly as being flooded…. There is a sharp contrast
between old streets and new ones on which skyscrapers are built. My
feeling is that these two, originally very different, are now in a
situation where one is invading the other. Maybe it is the tension or
pressure that is brought about by so-called modernization! It’s a
situation in which two entities are kept in a strange neighboring
relationship. Perhaps it is what the future is. (Nozaki n.pag.)
  
   Water imagery is used in Ghost in the Shell as a symbol for the
flood or sea of data, its massive communication system in a new urban
topography, with its complex electronically-controlled switchboard and
fluorescent 3-D scanner images of road maps or grids. This, of course,
seems to be an accurate projection of the political uniqueness of Hong
Kong’s mediascape, “complicated in particular by the growing diaspora
(both voluntary and involuntary) of Hong Kong intellectuals who
continuously inject new meaning-streams into the discourse of democracy
in different parts of the world” (Appadurai 11). This figuration of the
city reminds us of Bukatman’s “fractal geography” interpretation of
Blade Runner: a sense of aesthetic order can be drawn out from the
de-centered and dispersed space that is seemingly confusing and even
chaotic at first glance. Noting the play with scale and density by
designers Syd Mead and Lawrence Paull, Bukatman adds together such
elements as wall-like screens, “multiple layers of traveling matter”
(132), and “a chaos of intersecting lines” from a high-angle view,
concluding that fractal geometry may have been at the core of the visual
aesthetics of Blade Runner.
  
  The Analysis emphasizes that Ghost in the Shell ‘s artists made
meticulous sketches on location before actual shooting, sketches that
emphasized chaotic crowdedness and a mad profusion of signs and icons.
Hong Kong seems to be the only city in the world with such a degree of
confusion — with gigantic signs and neon lights protruding into the
space on and above the street and fighting for limited and precious
visual space. The artist remarks on this phenomenon:
  
  
  
   In the midst of the profusion of signs and the heat of the messy
urban space, the streets are remarkably chaotic. Passers-by, shouts,
cars, all kinds of mechanical noises and human “sound pollution,” all
merging into one, forcing itself into humans’ central nervous systems
through their ears. But why do people succumb to this “destructive”
environment? Now that the artificial has replaced the natural, humans
are like animals in the past, deprived of the characteristics of being
human as a whole. Pulled directly into the whirlpool of information
through the stimulation of visual and auditory senses, their feelings
are henceforth numbed. On the other hand, countless mutually interfering
and uncertain data pass through cables at light speed. This is the way
informatics continues to expand its domain. Are people then like tiny
insects caught in an enormous spider web? No, it cannot be. Humans are
not tiny insects trying to escape from the web. It’s not like that. In
fact humans have willy-nilly become part and parcel of the spider web.
Humans now have no idea of what their destination might be; they are
like one of the silky-threads of the spider web. (Nozaki n.pag.)
  
  An imploded iconography as an aesthetics of scale can also be
detected in the architectural design both within the Hong Kong Times
Square and the surrounding streets outside. The traumas of
de-territorialization that Hong Kong’s people are facing, as presented
through their lived experience of the “other spaces,” will have to be
dealt with by a general theory of global cultural processes. For Arjun
Appadurai, chaos theory is the answer, since he considers “the
configuration of cultural forms in today’s world as fundamentally
fractal.” In order to “compare fractally shaped cultural forms which are
also polythetically overlapping in their coverage of terrestrial space
… we will need to ask how these complex, overlapping, fractal shapes
constitute not a simple, stable (even if large-scale) system, but to ask
what its dynamics are.” In other words, Appadurai proposes that “in a
world of disjunctive global flows, it is perhaps important to start
asking … [questions] in a way that relies on images of flow and
uncertainty … ‘chaos,’ rather than an older images of order, stability
and systemacity” (Appadurai 20).
  
  But it is not just on this large scale of global cultural flows
(particularly of technoscape, mediascape, and ideoscape) that fractal
aesthetics are relevant to Ghost in the Shell. On a smaller level —
namely, that of the body — the idea of the fractured body of the
humanoid hybrid has been popular in cyborg films; and it receives rather
interesting if not controversial treatment in this Japanese anime.
Corporeality, as we remember, is one of the four Cs listed by Frances
Bonner to delineate a general pattern of plotting in cyberpunk films,
which emphasize the wetware of mutable bodies. For Baudrillard, the body
is now an infinite set of surfaces — a fractal subject — an object
among objects (Baudrillard 40). In cyberpunk’s hyper-techno culture,
“the centrality of body” is paradoxically represented by “the
fragmentation of the body into organs, fluids and ‘bodily state,'” and
“fractured body parts are taken up as elements in the constitution of
cultural identities” (Balsamo 216). The cyborg woman warrior in Ghost in
the Shell, following in this tradition, speaks also to the “emergence of
cyborg identities” that is predicated on “the fractured, plural,
decentered condition of contemporary subjectivity” (Robins 8). Yet
because Major Kusanagi is presented in a “perfect” female body (often
sans clothes), she can be criticized, especially by feminist critics who
interpret her as a commercial object for the male gaze. Indeed, if one
looks through the original comic strip by Masamune Shirow, one will find
more occasions for such an objection. Moreover, by simply noting the
bifurcation of the title, we may assume that the so-called “theme” of
the film remains confined to a Cartesian duality-of-body-and-mind
paradigm, and by extension, the binarisms surrounding gender issues. As
one of the reviewers notes, corporate work in Japan nowadays is “so
exhausting and dehumanizing that many men (who form the largest part of
the animation audience) project both freedom and power onto women, and
identify with them as fictional characters” (Ebert). Whereas I have no
quarrel with such an argument, the fact remains that a tough woman
protagonist in sf action movies, especially in the Hollywood tradition,
will stir up some kind of emotion marking masculine anxieties:
  
   Cinematic images of women who wield guns, and who take control of
cars, computers and the other technologies that have symbolized both
power and freedom within Hollywood’s world, mobilize a symbolically
transgressive iconography. (Tasker 132)
  
   The problem here is that despite its mode of presenting a perfect
female body in the nude, the film as a whole is strangely de-gendered in
the sense that sexuality is minimized. Through images that “speak of
both bodily invincibility and vulnerability,” the so-called Angst of the
protagonist revolves around what it means to her, as a 90% cybernetic
organism, to be a free human consciousness. One can of course complain
in the vein of cyberfeminism, as Nicola Nixon has done, that we are here
faced with a strong cyborg who is “effectively depoliticized and sapped
of any revolutionary energy” (Nixon 222, see also Silvio). But Major
Kusanagi, for all her bravado, is not an avenger in the style of
Gibson’s Molly Millions in “Johnny Mnemonic” (1981) and Sarah in Walter
Jon William’s Hardwired (1981). By representing her as a perfect female
body, the film, in a peculiar way, avoids the complex problem of the
“masculinisation of the female body,” (139) as Yvonne Tasker observes of
Hollywood films.
  
  The only scene in Ghost that dramatizes the Major’s bodily
transformation into a muscular hulk soon exposes her mechanical interior
with wires and steel, so that the issue of gender is pushed aside in
favor of a militaristic/cyborg iconography. And throughout the film,
from the opening ritual of birth (or manufacture) in a feast of visuals
dominated by images of numerals and water or fluid, to the later horror
of the mutilated torso and limbs registering the monstrosity of
cybernetic organisms, corporeality is closely linked first to the sea of
information and then to the human-machine interface, both of which are
firmly grounded in and contrasted with the background of a future Hong
Kong cityscape. Instead of dwelling on the gender politics of the body,
the poetic rendering of the birth scene, which highlights both the
hardness of the mechanical and the softness of cybernetics, gears itself
towards a process of merging the born and the made in becoming one soft
machine, as Kevin Kelly predicts (qtd. in Dry 20).
  
  The monstrous, mutilated and deviant body, shattered by violence,
comes close to Donna Haraway’s notion of “regeneration after injury” for
salamanders, though the “regrown limb can be monstrous, duplicated,
potent” (Haraway 100). This production of horror, according to Judith
Halberstam in her study of the gothic and the technology of monsters,
makes strange “the categories of beauty, humanity, and identity that we
still cling to” (Halberstam 6). In a sense, the final scene of horror of
mutation and the attempt by the “Ghost” of Puppet Master to merge with
the “Shell” of our heroine is symbolic of the entanglement of “self and
other within monstrosity and the parasitical relationship between the
two” (Halberstam 20).
  
  As for the image of the shell, the great phenomenologist of space,
Gaston Bachelard, meditated about the dream-like effect produced by its
infinite spiral surfaces that form both house and body:
  
   A creature that comes out of its shell suggests day dreams of a
mixed creature that is not only “half fish, half flesh,” but also half
dead, half alive, and in extreme cases, half stone, half man. (109)
  
   Moreover, a “creature that hides and ‘withdraws into its shell,’ is
preparing a ‘way out’ … by staying in the motionlessness of its shell,
the creature is preparing temporal explosion, not to say whirlwinds of
being” (Bachelard 111). Bachelard’s poetics of this particular space of
the shell suggests another interpretation of Ghost in the Shell: when
the heroine spends her spare time diving into the “ocean” (the ocean of
information which Hong Kong urban space comes to symbolize), she tells
us that “I feel fear, cold, alone, sometimes down there I even feel
hope.” Her philosophic probing into her very being as an individual
seems congruent with Bachelard’s ruminations on the poetics of the
house:
  
   And I feel sorry for myself. So there you are, unhappy philosopher,
caught up again by the storm, by the storms of life! I dream an
abstract-concrete daydream. My bed is a small boat lost at sea; that
sudden whistling is the wind in the sails. (28)
  
   For Mazzoleni, the body is a basic cultural imaginary beyond
language, and the city is its shell-like extension outside itself. For
her, the postmodern cosmopolis is like a “grotesque body”:
  
   In the metropolis there is something rather more similar to a
shell: the spiral pattern. Absence of symmetries and segmentations,
because there are no (for the moment, or forever?) results, conclusions
of the growth processes. The metropolis reactivates modalities of
organization vital at a level deeper than what we call “life”: it is a
structure of structures&emdash;but this even at the limits between
organic and inorganic: it resembles, in its spiral nature, features such
as gorges, galaxies and whirlwinds. (297)
  
   Such a spiral pattern of the shell can well be placed alongside the
idea of fractal geometry used earlier to describe the sense of order in
the disorder of urban space as well as the hybrid form of the cyborg
body. One artistic achievement of Ghost in the Shell is a deliberate
juxtaposition of shots of electronic road maps on the computer and idle
people wandering as we see these actual “walkers” (in the sense de
Certeau presents them): these Wandersmänner roam the city in “the chorus
of idle footsteps” (153, 157).
  
  The spiral of Ridleyville in Blade Runner may be decaying, but the
poetic negotiation of such a space belongs to the “social practice” that
exposes the fact that it is rather “the concept-city” which “is
decaying” (de Certeau 156). By concept-city, de Certeau refers to the
collective administrative side of city planning, as opposed to the lived
space, the everyday practice of “the disquieting familiarity of the
city” (157). This dialectics of transparency and opacity can also be
seen as parallel to the Enlightenment in its rational mapping of cities
on the one side, and the Baudelairean flâneur wandering in labyrinthine
urbanity on the other. For Walter Benjamin, especially in his
Passagen-Werk, the “new urban phantasmagoria” is a dream world of
dazzling, crowd-pleasing total environments (Buck-Morss 6):7 these
oneiric figurations are best represented by the cinema with its
ingenious special effects. These urban dream images in the “irredeemable
opacity of the social” become, according to James Donald, “particularly
evident in the anti-documentary representation of urban space that runs
from Metropolis (1927) and King Kong (1933) to Blade Runner, Brazil
(1985), Batman Returns (1992) and the manga animation to Akira (1988)”
(Donald 90). Had Donald seen Ghost in the Shell before writing his
article, no doubt he would have included it.
  
  The voluptuous pleasure afforded by both city walking and cinema can
finally be bought to bear on our discussion of both Blade Runner and the
Hong Kong cityscape. For in the dream of Deckard, the ultimate replicant
in Blade Runner, and the walkers who find Hong Kong a habitable space, a
thirdspace of unassimilated otherness is created. Governed by “another
spatiality,” Hong Kong citizens follow what de Certeau calls “ways of
going out and coming back in” on the edge of empires. In their
“travelings,” which again in de Certeau’s perambulatory rhetorics
represent “a substitute for the legends that used to open up space to
something different” (de Certeau, 160), Hong Kong’s city dwellers are
crossing between worlds as they traverse their cityscape. As a
postmodern city par excellence, a mega-pastiche, Hong Kong has the
potential to transform itself into an international culture based not on
the exoticism of multiculturalism or the diversity of cultures, but on
“the inscription and articulation of culture’s hybridity.” Instead of
being dissolved “in a universal melting pot or a pluralist jumble of
equals” (Soja 141) in the name of the international city, Homi Bhabha
teaches that we should take it upon ourselves to choose “the ‘inter’ —
the cutting edge of translation and negotiation, the in-between space.”
(Bhabha 39)
  
  Hong Kong’s citizens might create narratives that reflect their
“subject’s self-positioning and social agency in a cosmopolitan context”
(Ong 755); they might make Hong Kong a model for the global megalopolis
of the future. I think that it is Hong Kong’s urbanity in embracing
racial and cultural differences on the edge of empire that has caught
the eye of cyberpunk writers and filmmakers. It may be true that
everyone in Hong Kong lives, as it were, on a boat: they have been
repeatedly warned against rocking it. But for Foucault a boat is the
“heterotopia par excellence, given over to the infinity of the sea.” It
will float “as far as the colonies in search of the most precious
treasure they conceal in their gardens.” “In civilizations without
boats,” Foucault concludes in his “Of Other Spaces,” “dreams dry up,
espionage takes the place of adventure, and police take the place of
pirates” (Foucault 27).
  
  NOTES
  
  1. In Hong Kong the “rickshaw” phenomenon has been vigorously
preserved until very recently, perhaps for the sake of tourism. In
delineating a theory that Hong Kong is a “space of disappearance,”
Ackbar Abbas points to another long-enduring representation, “a Chinese
junk in Victoria Harbour against a backdrop of tall modernistic
buildings,” and notes that “a stylized red junk is also the logo of the
Hong Kong Tourist Association.” According to him, the issue at stake is
“how an image of Hong Kong’s architecture and urban space supports a
narrative that implicitly attributes the colony’s success to the smooth
combination of British administration and Chinese entrepreneurship.” He
calls this discourse “decadent,” since “it manages to make complex space
disappear into a one-dimensional image, structured on a facile binarism”
(“Building” 445).
  
  2. In an interview with Paul Sammon in 1995, Ridley Scott said that
when he and his designers “began to create the architecture of the film”
he thought it was not futuristic enough to call Deckard a “detective”;
the term “blade runner” was taken from William Burroughs’s short novel
(Sammon 379).
  
  3. In “On the Edge of Empires: Flexible Citizenship among Chinese in
Diaspora,” Aihwa Ong argues that, “as postcolonial transnational
subjects,” Hong Kong’s Chinese can turn their experience of having been
“caught between British disciplinary racism and Chinese opportunistic
filial claims, between declining capitalism in Britain and surging
capitalism in Asia” into an advantageously “flexible position among the
myriad possibilities (and problems) found in the global sphere” (752).
Ong cites Los Angeles as a case in point, arguing for the existence of
“self-orientalizing discourses” by Asian-Americans who have “created an
explosion of cultural codes” or a “new hybrid role for Asian Americans.”
Ong then uses Michael Woo, the first Asian mayor of Los Angeles, to
illustrate the self-narratives of what Woo calls “bridge-builders,” a
metaphor of “corporate Chinese as they shift through multinational sites
of operations.”
  
  4. This hyperrealistic blending of screens and social space can be
considered as an everyday practice of what Mark Poster calls the second
media age. In his book of this title, Poster arrives at the conclusion
that
  
   as the second media age unfolds and permeates everyday practice,
one political issue will be the construction of new combinations of
technology with multiple genders and ethnicities. These technocultures
will hopefully be no return to an origin, no new foundationalism or
essentialism, but coming to terms with the process of identity
constitution and doing so in ways that struggle against restrictions of
systematic inequalities, hierarchies and asymmetries. (42)
  
   5. This is impressive since other TV channels seem to have started
a self-censorship process by toning down the incident. It should be
mentioned here that despite the plea made by Tung Chee-hwa, the Chief
Executive-designate, that Hong Kong people should put the “baggage” of
June 4 behind them, and in the midst of fears that this might be the
last candlelight vigil allowed in the territory, over 70,000 (compared
to the 50,000 last year) came to mark the tenth anniversary of China’s
pro-democracy movement. Yet it remains to be seen whether the “Pillar of
Shame” sculpture by Dane Jans Gakchiot, which symbolizes suffering from
oppression (already refused by the municipal councils of some urban
parks), will itself find a “place” in Hong Kong.
  
  6. Since I don’t read Japanese, I would like to thank Ms. Doo Suen
for her translation of the relevant parts of the commentaries. Please
also note that my quotations from this book are general and rough and
should not be considered as the official translation of the original.
  
  7. This aspect of Benjamin’s thought is summarized by Mike Savage.
According to Savage, Benjamin’s interest in the city was linked to its
role as a labyrinth where dreams, hopes, artifacts, past, and present
mingle together for the urban wanderer to explore.
  
  
  
  WORKS CITED
  
  Abbas, Ackbar. “Building on Disappearance: Hong Kong Architecture
and the City.” Public Culture 6.3 (1994): 441-59.
  
  —–. Hong Kong: Culture and the Politics of Disappearance. Hong
Kong: Hong Kong UP, 1997.
  
  —–. “Hyphenation: The Spatial Dimensions of Hong Kong Culture.”
In Walter Benjamin and the Demands of History, ed. Michael P. Steinberg.
Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1996. 214-31.
  
  Appadurai, Arjun. “Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural
Economy.” Public Culture 2.2 (1990): 1-24.
  
  Bachelard, Gaston. The Poetics of Space, trans. Maria Jolas. Boston:
Beacon, 1958.
  
  Balsamo, Anne. “Forms of Technological Embodiment: Reading the Body
in Contem- porary Culture.” In Cyberspace, Cyberbodies, Cyberpunk:
Cultures of Technological Embodiment, eds. Mike Featherstone and Roger
Burrows. London: Sage, 1995. 215- 37.
  
  Baudrillard, Jean. The Ecstasy of Communication, trans. Bernard
Schutze and Caroline Schutze. New York: Semiotext(e), 1988.
  
  Bhabha, Homi K. The Location of Culture. London: Routledge, 1994.
  
  Bonner, Francis. “Separate Development: Cyberpunk in Film and TV.”
In Fiction 2000: Cyberpunk and the Future of Narrative, eds. George
Slusser and Tom Shippey. Athens: U of Georgia P, 1992. 171-82.
  
  Bruno, Giuliana. “Ramble City: Postmodernism and Blade Runner.”
October 41 (1987): 61-74. Reprinted in Alien Zone: Cultural Theory and
Contemporary Science Fiction Cinema, ed. Annette Kuhn. London: Verso,

       其实这部影片真正所要表达的并不是什么做人要正义正直之类的,Charlie不供出恶作剧主使,这并不是正直的表现,因为那些捣蛋的学生确实是做了坏事,按照我们的道德标准应该是“勇于揭发这种错误的行为”。而影片也不是在宣扬一种“不能出卖朋友”的价值观,它是在说“不能为了获得私利而出卖朋友”。

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      ABSTRACT
      
      Sf films such as Blade Runner and Ghost in the Shell take a deep
    interest in the Hong Kong urbanscape at the turn of the century. With
    its history of dislocation, migration, and marginality in its colonial
    days, Hong Kong emerges as a model city for the sf genre of “future
    noir”; its overcrowded, disjunctive cityscape provides a perfect setting
    for multiculturalism in a postmodern context. This article takes readers
    on a guided tour of a unique shopping mall at the hub of Hong Kong
    urbanscape, Times Square, as an illustration of how we can read out of
    it an “urban secret located at the intersection” of sf and the
    postmodern
      

       这部影片真正想要表达的是:在人的一生中,我们可能会因为自己的或者别人的错误而遭遇人生困境,在困难面前,我们所应该做的是勇于面对它,不被困难所打到,如果你用一颗光明的心态来面对它,我们一定会找到出路。


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