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Supporting Data Reimagining 2046: Translanguaging Sinophone Articulation in Wong Kar-wai’s Films

posted on 2022-06-23, 07:22 authored by Minhans Liu

Using a multimodal approach and textual analysis from sociolinguistics and film studies, this thesis resituates Wong Kar-wai’s ‘idiosyncratic’ on-screen languaging practices in a discussion of Translanguaging and Sinophone theories. 

The analysis collects in-film speech data, dialogues, visual, and audio data from Wong Kar-wai’s nine feature films As Tears Go By (1988), Days of Being Wild (1990), Chungking Express (1994), Fallen Angels (1995), Happy Together (1997), In the Mood for Love (2000), Ashes of Time (Redux) (1994/ 2008), 2046 (2004), and The Grandmaster (2013). The main focus of research is put on the Translanguaging Sinophone agenda in Wong Kar-wai’s 2046 (2004). 

The thesis concludes that the multimodal Translanguaging practices form part of a wider destabilising and deterritorialising experience. The film imagines a freely conversable Sinophone utopia which treats mutually unintelligible Sinitic languages as mutually intelligible while excluding speakers of non-Sinitic languages from co-articulating this illusionary crossing of linguistic boundaries. 

Such a filmic experience encourages a more active role from the audience, beyond just ‘viewing’ and ‘listening’, by reworking what can be deemed ‘(in)authentic’ in the on- and off-screen world. At the same time, this transformative agenda is fragile and susceptible to erasure by the national Mandarin dubbing. Looking at 2046 (2004) from a Translanguaging Sinophone perspective offers a different view of negotiating the Hong Kong-China relationship by normalising mutually unintelligible, dissonant Sinophone voices without the need to dub them over, creolise, or compromise them. 


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