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Taking PlaceLocation and the Moving Image$
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John David Rhodes and Elena Gorfinkel

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816665167

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816665167.001.0001

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Doing Away with Words: Synaesthetic Dislocations in Okinawa and Hong Kong

Doing Away with Words: Synaesthetic Dislocations in Okinawa and Hong Kong

(p.277) 12 Doing Away with Words: Synaesthetic Dislocations in Okinawa and Hong Kong
Taking Place

Rosalind Galt

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter situates the aesthetics of cinematographer, photographer, and director Christopher Doyle in terms of their material locations and engagement with geopolitical space. It focuses on his directorial debut Away with Words (1999)—set in Hong Kong and Taketomi Island in Okinawa, Japan—which stages questions of transnational location both narratively and in their formal dialogue with the profilmic. The first half of the chapter explores synaesthesia as the means by which Doyle articulates place. It is important to understand how place is expressed in Away with Words in order to recognize the significance of specific locations, not least because synaesthesia as a representational mode is not a random choice but is itself bound up with the histories of both cinema and East Asian aesthetics. The second half turns to the film’s narration of Okinawa (and, to a lesser degree, Hong Kong) to consider why these places need to be imagined synaesthetically and, more broadly, how these places matter.

Keywords:   geopolitical space, aesthetics, Christopher Doyle, Away with Words, Hong Kong, Taketomi Island, synaesthesia

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