A Study of Pan Lai'S Film Aesthetics: Female Desire, Space, and Political Allegory

Project Details


This project intends to study director Pan Lai's film aesthetics as demonstrated in his most important directorial film TYPHOON, which was released in 1962 under Central Motion Picture Corporation (CMPC). Pan Lai was already a renowned writer in the 1950s and started writing film scripts after he was employed by CMPC. He later left CMPC and began to make his own films. The astounding achievement of TYPHOON, the third film he directed, attracted the attention of Run Run Shao, who immediately hired him and let him make films for Shao Brothers in Taiwan. Pan was therefore more known as a Hong Kong director and rarely mentioned in this scholarships of Taiwan cinema. Due to its unavailability as home video and the poor quality of the screening print, TYPHOON remained totally forgotten until the Taiwan Film Institute digitally restored it in 2018. This project will take a close critical look at this impressive film, which is praised to be a first art film made in Taiwan. The focus will be on the representation of female desire, which was not dealt with in other contemporary films of the 1950s and 1960s. The remarkable arrangement of the space both visually and symbolically will be the other focus of this project. The historical period in which the film was made saw the height of the White Terror, the nationalist government's political purge of individuals and organizations related to communism and communist China. The film seems to have included scenes and sequences suggesting the political background of White Terror. The project will also try to analyze the film's political implications and provide a reading of the film as a political allegory.
Effective start/end date1/08/2031/12/21

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality


  • Pan Lai
  • film aesthetics
  • female desire
  • space
  • political allegory
  • railway


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