About Dennis Lo
Dennis Lo is an Assistant Professor of Global Cinemas in the English Department at James Madison University. He received a Ph.D. in Cinema Studies at UCLA in 2015, and currently teaches histories of global cinema, film and media theories, media industries, and transnational authors and genres, with a specific focus on Chinese-language cinemas. His research explores the intersections of Chinese-language film aesthetics, film authorship, location shooting, media anthropology, cultural geography, and cinematic ecocriticism.
He is the author of The Authorship of Place: A Cultural Geography of the New Chinese Cinemas, which explores the politics and aesthetics of rural location shooting in Chinese-language cinemas. His work has also been published as a chapter in Production Studies, The Sequel!, as well as in numerous refereed journals, including New Cinemas, Film-Philosophy, and Asian Cinema.
Hardback (Oct 2020), E-Book (early 2021)
The Authorship of Place is the first monograph dedicated to the study of the politics, history, aesthetics, and practices of location shooting for Taiwanese, Mainland Chinese, and coproduced art cinemas shot in rural communities since the late 1970s. Dennis Lo argues that rural location shooting, beyond serving aesthetic and technical needs, constitutes practices of cultural survival in a region beset with disruptive and disorienting social changes, including rapid urbanization, geopolitical shifts, and ecological crises. In response to these social changes, auteurs like Hou Xiaoxian, Jia Zhangke, Chen Kaige, and Li Xing engaged in location shooting to transform sites of film production into symbolically meaningful places of collective memories and aspirations. These production practices ultimately enabled auteurs to experiment with imagining Taiwanese, Mainland Chinese, and cross-strait communities in novel and contentious ways.
Directed by Dennis Lo, this realist docudrama follows a long haul trucker’s journey over the road from California to Utah. Two years in the making and produced by a fifteen person team from Stanford University and the Bay area, Overloaded presents a provocative juxtaposition of the urban and rural deserts of the American West. Winner of the 2008 Best Cinematography Prize at the Stanford Student Festival.