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Poisoned Cornucopia

Excess, Intemperance and Overabundance across Cultures and Literatures


Edited By Ryszard Wolny and Stankomir Nicieja

This volume explores the notions of excess, intemperance and overabundance in cultures and literatures of both the English- and Chinese-speaking worlds. It concentrates on some aspects of literary and cultural meanings of excess(es) in various theories and practices of these antipodean territories of human experience and consciousnesses, bringing together what is common between them and what sets the West apart from the East: eroticism, drug abuse, alcoholism, urban concepts, music, food, etc. In times of a serious crisis of Western-style capitalism, growing consumerism and the collapse of traditional values, the eyes of the world are now turned to the East, seeking solutions in China, Taiwan, Singapore or Hong Kong for what may come as Eastern-style neopostmodernism.
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The East-Asian Megacity as a Trope in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner and Sophia Coppola’s Lost in Translation


← 328 | 329 → Stankomir Nicieja University of Opole

Cinema and the city have always been bound by a complex and intimate relationship. Cities have traditionally been the most common locations in mainstream film productions, while urban audiences have been the main target for film industry. What is more, these two complex phenomena are directly involved in shaping one another. As David Clarke observes, “the histories of film and the city are imbricated to such an extent that it is unthinkable that the cinema could have developed without the city, and […] the city has been unmistakably shaped by the cinematic form” (Clarke 1). Sometimes, cities depicted on the screen are nonspecific and it is irrelevant in which particular urban location the story unfolds. More frequently however, the placement of the action within a recognizable geographical space is central to both the plot and the symbolic significance of a film. In those cases, films draw heavily on the stereotypes and images associated with a given urban centre, but they also contribute to the reproduction of those impressions. As James Donald reminds us, the way we experience cities is moulded by the images, words and myths built around them. The immaterial constructs have real, material consequences because through them we learn not only how to see cities, but also how to live in them (Donald 47). Understandably, the cinematic representations of cities in Europe and America have been dominated by the Western experience of urbanism. Nevertheless, within the cinematic traditions of the...

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