As the waves of Occupy movements gradually recede, we soon forget the political hope and passions these events have offered. Instead, we are increasingly entrenched in the simplified dichotomies of Left and Right, us and them, hating others and victimizing oneself. Studying Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement, which might be the largest Occupy movement in recent years, The Appearing Demos urges us to re-commit to democracy at a time when democracy is failing on many fronts and in different parts of the world.
The 79-day-long Hong Kong Umbrella Movement occupied major streets in the busiest parts of the city, creating tremendous inconvenience to this city famous for capitalist order and efficiency. It was also a peaceful collective effort of appearance, and it was as much a political event as a cultural one. The urge for expressing an independent cultural identity underlined both the Occupy movement and the remarkably rich cultural expressions it generated. While understanding the specificity of Hong Kong’s situations, The Appearing Demos also comments on some global predicaments we are facing in the midst of neoliberalism and populism. It directs our attention from state-based sovereignty to city-based democracy, and emphasizes the importance of participation and cohabitation. The book also examines how the ideas of Hannah Arendt are useful to those happenings much beyond the political circumstances that gave rise to her theorization. The book pays particular attention to the actual intersubjective experiences during the protest. These experiences are local, fragile, and sometimes inarticulable, therefore resisting rationality and debates, but they define the fullness of any individual, and they also make politics possible. Using the Umbrella Movement as an example, this book examines the “freed” political agents who constantly take others into consideration in order to guarantee the political realm as a place without coercion and discrimination. In doing so, Pang Laikwan demonstrates how politics means neither to rule nor to be ruled, and these movements should be defined by hope, not by goals.
China’s rise as a global power is one of the major economic and political developments of the past fifty years. One seemingly inevitable outcome of industrialization is urbanization, and this definitive study surveys the key aspects of China’s massive wave of urbanization with an emphasis on the changes to the quality of life of urban dewellers. With contributions from authors in a variety of fields, Aspects of Urbanization in China creates a resonant and rich portrait of China’s global ambitions, as well as their culture, architecture, and economy. While the volume deals with disparate aspects of urbanization, the articles included are unified by a deep concern for Chinese citizens.
An original and incisive account of one of the world's most exciting cinemas.
Breathtaking swordplay and nostalgic love, Peking opera and Chow Yun-fat's cult followers-these are some of the elements of the vivid and diverse urban imagination that find form and expression in the thriving Hong Kong cinema. All receive their due in At Full Speed, a volume that captures the remarkable range and energy of a cinema that borrows, invents, and reinvents across the boundaries of time, culture, and conventions.
At Full Speed gathers film scholars and critics from around the globe to convey the transnational, multilayered character that Hong Kong films acquire and impart as they circulate worldwide. These writers scrutinize the films they find captivating: from the lesser known works of Law Man and Yuen Woo Ping to such film festival notables as Stanley Kwan and Wong Kar-wai, and from the commercial action, romance, and comedy genres of Jackie Chan, Peter Chan, Steven Chiau, Tsui Hark, John Woo, and Derek Yee to the attempted departures of Evans Chan, Ann Hui, and Clara Law.
In this cinema the contributors identify an aesthetics of action, gender-flexible melodramatic excesses, objects of nostalgia, and globally projected local history and identities, as well as an active critical film community. Their work, the most incisive account ever given of one of the world's largest film industries, brings the pleasures and idiosyncrasies of Hong Kong cinema into clear close-up focus even as it enlarges on the relationships between art and the market, cultural theory and the movies.
Contributors: Jinsoo An, David Bordwell, Rey Chow, Steve Fore, Elaine Yee-Lin Ho, Law Kar (Lau Yiu-kuen), Kwai-cheung Lo, Linda Lai Chiu-han, Gina Marchetti, Hector Rodriquez, Bhaskar Sarkar, Marc Siegel, and Stephen Teo.
Esther C. M. Yau is associate professor of film and new media at Occidental College.
In 2014, the Sunflower Movement in Taiwan grabbed international attention as citizen protesters demanded the Taiwan government withdraw its free-trade agreement with China. In that same year, in Hong Kong, the Umbrella Movement sustained 79 days of demonstrations, protests that demanded genuine universal suffrage in electing Hong Kong’s chief executive. It too, became an international incident before it collapsed. Both of these student-led movements featured large-scale and intense participation and had deep and far-reaching consequences. But how did two massive and disruptive protests take place in culturally conservative societies? And how did the two “occupy”-style protests against Chinese influences on local politics arrive at such strikingly divergent results?
Challenging Beijing’s Mandate of Heaven aims to make sense of the origins, processes, and outcomes of these eventful protests in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Ming-sho Ho compares the dynamics of the two movements, from the existing networks of activists that preceded protest, to the perceived threats that ignited the movements, to the government strategies with which they contended, and to the nature of their coordination. Moreover, he contextualizes these protests in a period of global prominence for student, occupy, and anti-globalization protests and situates them within social movement studies.
This book contrasts experiences of mainland China and Hong Kong to explore the pressing question of how governments can transform a culture of widespread corruption to one of clean government. Melanie Manion examines Hong Kong as the best example of the possibility of reform. Within a few years it achieved a spectacularly successful conversion to clean government. Mainland China illustrates the difficulty of reform. Despite more than two decades of anticorruption reform, corruption in China continues to spread essentially unabated.
The book argues that where corruption is already commonplace, the context in which officials and ordinary citizens make choices to transact corruptly (or not) is crucially different from that in which corrupt practices are uncommon. A central feature of this difference is the role of beliefs about the prevalence of corruption and the reliability of government as an enforcer of rules ostensibly constraining official venality. Anticorruption reform in a setting of widespread corruption is a problem not only of reducing corrupt payoffs, but also of changing broadly shared expectations of venality. The book explores differences in institutional design choices about anticorruption agencies, appropriate incentive structures, and underlying constitutional designs that contribute to the disparate outcomes in Hong Kong and mainland China.
This volume features new work on cinema in early twentieth-century Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Republican China. Looking beyond relatively well-studied cities like Shanghai, these essays foreground cinema’s relationship with imperialism and colonialism and emphasize the rapid development of cinema as a sociocultural institution. These essays examine where films were screened; how cinema-going as a social activity adapted from and integrated with existing social norms and practices; the extent to which Cantonese opera and other regional performance traditions were models for the development of cinematic conventions; the role foreign films played in the development of cinema as an industry in the Republican era; and much more.
A rich ethnography of ecopolitics in Hong Kong in the late 1990s, as the region shifted to Chinese sovereignty, Ecologies of Comparison describes how ecological concepts of uniqueness and scale resonated among environmentalists, including those seeking to preserve a species of white dolphin, to protect an aging fishing village from redevelopment, and to legitimize air quality as an object of political and medical concern. During his research, Tim Choy became increasingly interested in the power of the notion of specificity. While documenting the expert and lay production of Hong Kong’s biological, cultural, and political specificities, he began comparing the logics and narrative forms that made different types of specificity—such as species, culture, locality, and state autonomy—possible and meaningful. He came to understand these logics and forms as “ecologies of comparison,” conceptual practices through which an event or form of life comes to matter in environmentalist and other political terms. Choy’s ethnography is about environmentalism, Hong Kong, and the ways that we think about environmentalism in Hong Kong and other places. It is also about how politics, freedom, culture, expertise, and other concepts figure in comparison-based knowledge practices.
In an engaging, revisionist study, John M. Carroll argues that in the century after the Opium War, Hong Kong's colonial nature helped create a local Chinese business elite.
By the end of the nineteenth century, the colonial government saw Chinese businessmen as allies in establishing Hong Kong as a commercial center. The idea of a commercially vibrant China united them. Chinese and British leaders cooperated on issues of mutual concern, such as the expansion of capitalism and political and economic directions for an ailing China.
These Chinese also found opportunities in the colonial system to develop business and commerce. In doing so, they used Hong Kong's strategic position to underscore their own identity as a distinctive group unlike their mainland counterparts. Nationalism took on a specifically Hong Kong character. At the same time, by contributing to imperial war funds, organizing ceremonies for visiting British royalty, and attending imperial trade exhibitions, the Chinese helped make Hong Kong an active member of the global British Empire.
In Edge of Empires, Carroll situates Hong Kong squarely within the framework of both Chinese and British colonial history, while exploring larger questions about the meaning and implications of colonialism in modern history.
In parts of Asia, citizens are increasingly involved in shaping their neighbourhoods and cities, representing a significant departure from earlier state-led or market-driven urban development. These emerging civic urbanisms are a result of an evolving relationship between the state and civil society. The contributions in this volume provide critical insights into how the changing state–civil society relationship affects the recent surge of civic urbanism in Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, and Taipei, and the authors present eighteen cases of grassroots activism and resistance, collaboration and placemaking, neighbourhood community building, and self-organization and commoning in these cities. Exploring how citizen participation and state–civil society partnerships contribute to more resilient and participatory neighbourhoods and cities, the authors use the concept of civic urbanisms not only as a conceptual framework to understand the ongoing social and urban change but as an aspirational model of urban governance for cities in Asia and beyond.
Action movie stars ranging from Jackie Chan to lesser-known stunt women and men like Zoë Bell and Chad Stahelski stun their audiences with virtuosic martial arts displays, physical prowess, and complex fight sequences. Their performance styles originate from action movies that emerged in the industrial environment of 1980s Hong Kong. In Experts in Action Lauren Steimer examines how Hong Kong--influenced cinema aesthetics and stunt techniques have been taken up, imitated, and reinvented in other locations and production contexts in Hollywood, New Zealand, and Thailand. Foregrounding the transnational circulation of Hong Kong--influenced films, television shows, stars, choreographers, and stunt workers, she shows how stunt workers like Chan, Bell, and others combine techniques from martial arts, dance, Peking opera, and the history of movie and television stunting practices to create embodied performances that are both spectacular and, sometimes, rendered invisible. By describing the training, skills, and labor involved in stunt work as well as the location-dependent material conditions and regulations that impact it, Steimer illuminates the expertise of the workers whose labor is indispensable to some of the world's most popular movies.
This volume argues that using social capital to eradicate poverty is unlikely to succeed because its mainstream approach mistakenly assumes that social capital necessarily benefits poor people. The inadequacy of that assumption, Sam Wong argues, calls for a reassessment of human motivations, institutional dynamics, and the complexity of structures in social capital building. Proposing a “pro-poor” perspective, in which poverty-specific outcomes are highlighted, he suggests an exploration of “unseen” social capital is in order—not only to challenge the mainstream understanding of “seen” social capital, but to demonstrate the need for everyday cooperation, which is shaped by social norms, influenced by conscious and unconscious motivations, and subject to changes in priority based on livelihood. A useful volume for both policy makers and practitioners, Exploring ‘Unseen’ Social Capital in Community Participation offers a fresh perspective in thinking about civic and social agency.
There is nowhere else in the world quite like Chungking Mansions, a dilapidated seventeen-story commercial and residential structure in the heart of Hong Kong’s tourist district. A remarkably motley group of people call the building home; Pakistani phone stall operators, Chinese guesthouse workers, Nepalese heroin addicts, Indonesian sex workers, and traders and asylum seekers from all over Asia and Africa live and work there—even backpacking tourists rent rooms. In short, it is possibly the most globalized spot on the planet.
But as Ghetto at the Center of the World shows us, a trip to Chungking Mansions reveals a far less glamorous side of globalization. A world away from the gleaming headquarters of multinational corporations, Chungking Mansions is emblematic of the way globalization actually works for most of the world’s people. Gordon Mathews’s intimate portrayal of the building’s polyethnic residents lays bare their intricate connections to the international circulation of goods, money, and ideas. We come to understand the day-to-day realities of globalization through the stories of entrepreneurs from Africa carting cell phones in their luggage to sell back home and temporary workers from South Asia struggling to earn money to bring to their families. And we see that this so-called ghetto—which inspires fear in many of Hong Kong’s other residents, despite its low crime rate—is not a place of darkness and desperation but a beacon of hope.
Gordon Mathews’s compendium of riveting stories enthralls and instructs in equal measure, making Ghetto at the Center of the World not just a fascinating tour of a singular place but also a peek into the future of life on our shrinking planet.
Hong Kong Art is the first comprehensive survey of contemporary art from Hong Kong presented within the changing social and political context of the territory’s 1997 handover from British to Chinese sovereignty. Tracing a distinctive and increasingly vibrant art scene from the late 1960s through the present, David Clarke discusses a wide range of media, including painting, sculpture, photography, video, and installations, as well as other kinds of visual production such as architecture, fashion, graphic design, and graffiti. Clarke shows how a sense of local identity emerged in Hong Kong as the transition approached and found expression in the often politicized art produced. Given the recent international exposure of mainland Chinese contemporary art, this book considers the uniqueness of the art of China’s most cosmopolitan city. With a modern visual culture that was flourishing even when the People’s Republic was still closed to the outside world, Hong Kong has established itself as an exemplary site for both local and transnational elements to formulate into brilliant and groundbreaking art. The author writes about individual artists and art works with a detail that will appeal to artists, curators, and art historians, as well as to postcolonial scholars, cultural studies scholars, and others.
Since the 1960s, Hong Kong cinema has helped to shape one of the world’s most popular cultural genres: action cinema. Hong Kong action films have proved popular over the decades with audiences worldwide, and they have seized the imaginations of filmmakers working in many different cultural traditions and styles. How do we account for this appeal, which changes as it crosses national borders?
Hong Kong Connections brings leading film scholars together to explore the circulation of Hong Kong cinema in Japan, Korea, India, Australia, France, and the United States, as well as its links with Taiwan, Singapore, and the Chinese mainland. In the process, this collection examines diverse cultural contexts for action cinema’s popularity and the problems involved in the transnational study of globally popular forms, suggesting that in order to grasp the history of Hong Kong action cinema’s influence we need to bring out the differences as well as the links that constitute popularity.
Contributors. Nicole Brenez, Stephen Chan Ching-kiu, Dai Jinhua, David Desser, Laleen Jayamanne, Kim Soyoung, Siu Leung Li, Adrian Martin, S. V. Srinivas, Stephen Teo, Valentina Vitali, Paul Willemen, Rob Wilson, Wong Kin-yuen, Kinnia Yau Shuk-ting, Yung Sai-shing
In 1997 the United Kingdom returned control of Hong Kong to China, ending the city’s status as one of the last remnants of the British Empire and initiating a new phase for it as both a modern city and a hub for global migrations. Hong Kong is a tour of the city’s postcolonial urban landscape, innovatively told through fieldwork and photography.
Caroline Knowles and Douglas Harper’s point of entry into Hong Kong is the unusual position of the British expatriates who chose to remain in the city after the transition. Now a relatively insignificant presence, British migrants in Hong Kong have become intimately connected with another small minority group there: immigrants from Southeast Asia. The lives, journeys, and stories of these two groups bring to life a place where the past continues to resonate for all its residents, even as the city hurtles forward into a future marked by transience and transition. By skillfully blending ethnographic and visual approaches, Hong Kong offers a fascinating guide to a city that is at once unique in its recent history and exemplary of our globalized present.
Commercial aviation took shape in Hong Kong as the city developed into a powerful economy. Rather than accepting air travel as an inevitability in the era of global mobility, John Wong argues that Hong Kong’s development into a regional and global airline hub was not preordained. By underscoring the shifting process through which this hub emerged, Hong Kong Takes Flight aims to describe globalization and global networks in the making. Viewing the globalization of the city through the prism of its airline industry, Wong examines how policymakers and businesses asserted themselves against international partners and competitors in a bid to accrue socioeconomic benefits, negotiated their interests in Hong Kong’s economic success, and articulated their expressions of modernity.
Inconvenient Strangers: Transnational Subjects and the Politics of Citizenship draws attention to how intersecting networks of power—particularly race and ethnicity, gender, and social class—marginalize transnational subjects who find themselves outside a dominant citizenship that privileges familiarity and socioeconomic and racial superiority. In this study of how neoliberal ideas limit citizenship for marginalized populations in Hong Kong, Shui-yin Sharon Yam examines how three transnational groups—mainland Chinese maternal tourists, Southeast Asian migrant domestic workers, and South Asian permanent residents—engage with the existing citizenry and gain recognition through circulating personal narratives.
Coupling transnational feminist studies with research on emotions, Yam analyzes court cases, interviews, social media discourse, and the personal narratives of Hong Kong’s marginalized groups to develop the concept of deliberative empathy—critical empathy that prompts an audience to consider the structural sources of another’s suffering while deliberating one’s own complicity in it. Yam argues that storytelling and familial narratives can promote deliberative empathy among the audience as both a political and ethical response—carrying the affective power to jolt the dominant citizenry out of their usual xenophobic attitudes and ultimately prompt them to critically consider the human conditions they share with the marginalized and move them toward more ethical coalitions.
"How do we apply Chairman Mao's Thought to get fat pigs?" Squad Leader Ho (who knew the most about pigs) replied that, according to Chairman Mao, one must investigate the problem fully from all sides, and then integrate practice and theory. Ho concluded that the reason for our skinny pigs had to be found in one of three areas: the relationship between the pigs and their natural environment (excluding man); the relationship between the cadres and the pigs; and the relationship among the pigs themselves.
And so the city slickers, sent down to the countryside for political reeducation, set out to find the Thousand-Dollar Pig, much to the bemusement of the local peasants.
The sixteen stories collected in this remarkable book give firsthand accounts of daily life in contemporary China. From 250 interviews conducted in Hong Kong between 1972 and 1976, Mr. Frolic has created charming vignettes that show how individuals from all parts of China led their lives in the midst of rapid social change and political unrest. We hear about oil prospectors, rubber growers, and factory workers, Widow Wang and her sit-in to get a larger apartment, the thoroughly corrupt Man Who Loved Dog Meat, the young people who flew kites to protest antidemocratic tendencies.
As fresh and original as the individual accounts are, common and timeless themes emerge: the sluggishness of an agrarian society in responding to modernization; the painful lack of resources in a poor and gigantic country; the constraints imposed on common people by the bureaucracy; the way in which individuals outwardly support the system and inwardly resist it; the limitations of heavy and conflicting doses of ideology in motivating individuals.
But there are also recurrent motifs of economic and social progress: production rises, illiteracy declines, and socialist values have impact. A new China has emerged, though change is occurring far more slowly than its leaders had intended.
Mao's People contains much new information on China both for the general reader and for specialists in the field. Above all, it is a completely engrossing and vivid glimpse into the ways of a nation we are only beginning to discover.
This book analyzes how collective memory regarding the 1989 Beijing student movement and the Tiananmen crackdown was produced, contested, sustained, and transformed in Hong Kong between 1989 and 2019. Drawing on data gathered through multiple sources such as news reports, digital media content, vigil onsite surveys, population surveys, and in-depth interviews with activists, rally participants, and other stakeholders, it identifies six key processes in the dynamics of social remembering: memory formation, memory mobilization, memory institutionalization, intergenerational transfer, memory repair, and memory balkanization. Memories of Tiananmen demonstrates how a socially dominant collective memory, even one the state finds politically irritable, can be generated and maintained through constant negotiation and efforts by a wide range of actors. While the book mainly focuses on the interplay between political changes and Tiananmen commemoration in the historical period within which the society enjoyed a significant degree of civil liberties, it also discusses how the trajectory of the collective memory may take a drastic turn as Hong Kong's autonomy is abridged. The book promises to be a key reference for anyone interested in collective memory studies, social movement research, political communication, and China and Hong Kong studies.
In Planet Hong Kong David Bordwell trains virtually every critical weapon in the cinema studies arsenal on a film industry that has, ironically, been marginalized by its own popular success. Film scholars will be grateful for its theoretical breadth and acuity; film fans will be happy with the graceful way Bordwell weaves into his chapters an extraordinary amount of telling anecdote; and filmmakers will be thrilled with his wonderfully revealing frame-by-frame analyses of Hong Kong cinema's most exemplary moments.
Table of Contents:
1. All Too Extravagant, Too Gratuitously Wild Hong Kong and/as/or Hollywood 2. Local Heroes Two Dragons: Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan 3. The Chinese Connections 4. Once upon a Time in the West Enough to Make Strong Men Weep: John Woo 5. Made in Hong Kong A Chinese Feast: Tsui Hark 6. Formula, Form, and Norm Whatever You Want: Wong Jing 7. Plots, Slack and Stretched 8. Motion Emotion: The Art of the Action Movie Three Martial Masters: Zhang Che, Lau Kar-Leung, King Hu 9. Avant-Pop Cinema Romance On Your Menu: Chungking Express
Further Reading Notes Acknowledgments Index
Reviews of this book: One of our most inventive film scholars, Bordwell takes on one of the most over-the-top cinemas. For 20 years, the Hong Kong film industry was one of the world's most commercially successful and prolific. Recently Western critics have begun to recognize it as possessing a level of creativity almost equal to its financial success--despite its deep roots in genre traditions aimed at a mass audience, Bordwell examines how these elements interact in Hong Kong films to produce an art that is at the same time both popular and significant. He outlines the history, economics, and production techniques of the Hong Kong studios, particularly focussing on the genres that are most closely associated with their success (the kung-fu film, the swordplay epic, the gangster film, and the urban comedy)...By rooting his analyses in detailed readings of the film texts, he is able to convey--as much as mere words can--how this audaciously visceral cinema works...Bordwell is not well known outside academic film circles, but he should be; perhaps this volume will give him the exposure he deserves.
"Bordwell's volume is the most comprehensive Western work on its topic to date. Bordwell first considers how the Hong Kong industry has functioned in its local context, then examines how it captured the East Asian market and achieved cult status in the West...[Bordwell] demonstrates that academic film scholarship can itself be fun, spirited, and of interest to a broad audience."
--Neal Baker, Library Journal
"The wildly popular Hong Kong cinema at last inspires an informed analysis. David Bordwell is the most valuable and readable film scholar in America. He makes a persuasive case for Hong Kong movies as great entertainment and sometimes great art."
--Roger Ebert, Pulitzer-prize winning film critic, Chicago Sun-Times
"Planet Hong Kong offers an exuberant appreciation of the life and times of Hong Kong's highly commercial--and rapidly-cut--cinema."
--Alissa Quart, Lingua Franca
"David Bordwell unpacks the shameless delights of Hong Kong cinema with one eye on the vitality of pop culture and the other on surprises and discoveries which redraw the map of film form and grammar. Here, the road of excess really does lead to the palace of wisdom."
--Tony Rayns, film critic, Sight and Sound
"In Planet Hong Kong David Bordwell trains virtually every critical weapon in the cinema studies arsenal on a film industry that has, ironically, been marginalized by its own popular success. Film scholars will be grateful for its theoretical breadth and acuity; film fans will be happy with the graceful way Bordwell weaves into his chapters an extraordinary amount of telling anecdote; and filmmakers will be thrilled with his wonderfully revealing frame-by-frame analyses of Hong Kong cinema's most exemplary moments."
--James Schamus, producer and writer, The Ice Storm, The Wedding Banquet, Eat Drink Man Woman, Ride with the Devil and the forthcoming Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
"This is the first serious attempt by a distinguished American film academic in dissecting the popular aesthetics and entertainment precepts of the Hong Kong film industry. Planet Hong Kong will certainly be an important work in the growing literature on Hong Kong cinema."
--Stephen Teo, author of Hong Kong Cinema: The Extra Dimensions
"Through rigorous and colorful analysis, Bordwell situates Hong Kong within the mainstream of world film history and, more specifically, as a parallel to a tradition most readers will already be familiar with: Hollywood. Planet Hong Kong will be extremely precious for film students and film scholars alike."
Reviews of this book: The wildly popular Hong Kong cinema at last inspires an informed analysis. David Bordwell is the most valuable and readable film scholar in America. He makes a persuasive case for Hong Kong movies as great entertainment and sometimes great art. --Roger Ebert, Pulitzer Prize-winning flint critic, Chicago Sun-Times
Reviews of this book: A must-read for film students as well as Hong Kong movie fans. And for Hong Kong's moviegoers quick to dismiss mass-market productions as too commercial, uninspired or just plain lowbrow, Planet Hong Kong offers inspiration for a rethink on Hong Kong's homegrown film industry. --Tim Youngs, dotlove.com
Reviews of this book: When new acolytes of Hong Kong cinema sit down to describe it, normally dry writers get juiced on the energy of the films...They want to convey in words the jolt of discovery, the ecstasy of cultdom...Even a relatively staid critic such as structuralist guru David Bordwell seems to be typing in his shorts, with a beer on his desk, in Planet Hong Kong...Combining the study of film form and movie economics, analysis and field work, [he] cogently evokes what separates Hong Kong's buccaneer directors from Hollywood's current storytellers. --Richard Corliss, Time Magazine
Reviews of this book: Rather than simply labeling Hong Kong action movies 'over-the-top,' [Bordwell] offers a close reading of the way they tend to use 'technical tricks'...calling attention to the use of the zoom lens and sound editing as rhythmic devices, rather than simple means of imparting information or telling a story...For all his emphasis on visual style, Bordwell also does justice to the important role of Hong Kong's stars. --Steve Erickson, Senses of Cinema
Reviews of this book: David Bordwell is a scholar who writes as a fan. He is in love with the crazy rip-roaring, vulgar confusion that is Hong Kong cinema, but he also knows how and why it works and explains it in words the layman can understand. --The Economist
Reviews of this book: [This book] is among the best of the recent batch of books on Hong Kong cinema. Much of this ground has been covered before, but Bordwell applies his formalist approach to a broad range of films while never losing sight of the crazy energy that makes them so likeable in the first place. --Film Comment
Reviews of this book: The most sober and thorough book yet on the topic. --Paul F. Duke, Variety
Reviews of this book: A valuable book...vividly written and set out in short, punchy chapters with handsome and well-used film stills...Never inclined to interpret films through a social, political or psychological lens, Bordwell prefers to get at the industry, the systems, craft and style that sustain Hong Kong filmmakers. In a sense, he is after the everydayness of an amazingly vital and driven film colony...What fuels Planet Hong Kong and makes it special is Bordwell's critical belief that any self-sustaining commercial cinema is a particular art in itself, and one astonishingly rare in the history of the medium. A film book this good is likewise almost as rare. --Bart Testa, Globe & Mail
Reviews of this book: Bordwell has written the first informed analysis of one of the greatest success stories in cinema history: Hong Kong, dominant force in Asian film making and an enormous influence on movies around the world...Bordwell loves Hong Kong movies and writes about them with enthusiasm and flair...[He] never loses sight of the fact that Hong Kong's movies, like Hollywood's, are an immensely successful transcultural, popular-culture art form--almost a contradiction in terms--epitomizing the mystery of the movies. --R. D. Sears, Choice
Reviews of this book: Beijing Opera meets hyper-Eisenstein in this sublime orchestration of rapid (constructive) editing, percussive rhythms and patterns of stasis and dynamic movement. This more than anything is Bordwell's great contribution to the study of Hong Kong cinema, and the reason why this is essential reading. --Poshek Fu and David Desser, Scope
Reviews of this book: Planet Hong Kong is...like a conversation with a good friend. Bordwell's voice is personable and intelligent, and he makes history and film more palatable than The Cinema of Hong Kong does for the novice. Bordwell focuses on the art of entertainment...In doing so, the effects are understood beyond language and cultural barriers. --Okden Johnny, Pacific Reader
The desire of the people of Taiwan and Hong Kong to exercise democratic self-rule, fully embody their local identities, and become global citizens challenges the big-power politics between China and the United States. Occupying a critical stance on the margins, the local perspectives and international relations of these two cosmopolitan and postcolonial societies challenge both narratives centered on China and those focused on the U.S.–China power struggle. Taking a culture-centered approach to the communicative process of “glocalized resistance” in an era of rising nationalisms, the chapters in this volume address topics ranging from the rhetoric of political leaders and the language games of mass protesters on social media to resistant street performance. These chapters showcase the geocultural identity-in-the-making of the Taiwanese and Hong Kong people and offer insights into societies under imminent threat by an aggressive neighbor.
The Rise of Cantonese Opera
Wing Chung Ng University of Illinois Press, 2015 Library of Congress ML1751.C5N45 2015 | Dewey Decimal 782.10951275
Defined by its distinct performance style, stage practices, and regional and dialect based identities, Cantonese opera originated as a traditional art form performed by itinerant companies in temple courtyards and rural market fairs.
In the early 1900s, however, Cantonese opera began to capture mass audiences in the commercial theaters of Hong Kong and Guangzhou--a transformation that changed it forever. Wing Chung Ng charts Cantonese opera's confrontations with state power, nationalist discourses, and its challenge to the ascendancy of Peking opera as the country's preeminent "national theatre." Mining vivid oral histories and heretofore untapped archival sources, Ng relates how Cantonese opera evolved from a fundamentally rural tradition into urbanized entertainment distinguished by a reliance on capitalization and celebrity performers. He also expands his analysis to the transnational level, showing how waves of Chinese emigration to Southeast Asia and North America further re-shaped Cantonese opera into a vibrant part of the ethnic Chinese social life and cultural landscape in the many corners of a sprawling diaspora.
In Sexuality and the Rise of China Travis S. K. Kong examines the changing meanings of same-sex identities, communities, and cultures for young Chinese gay men in contemporary Hong Kong, Taiwan, and mainland China. Drawing on ninety life stories, Kong’s transnational queer sociological approach shows the complex interplay between personal biography and the dramatically changing social institutions in these three societies. Kong conceptualizes coming out as relational politics and the queer/tongzhi community and commons as an affective, imaginative means of connecting, governed by homonormative masculinity. He shows how monogamy is a form of cruel optimism and envisions state and sexuality intertwining in different versions of homonationalism in each location. Tracing the alternately diverging and converging paths of being young, Chinese, gay, and male, Kong reveals how both Western and emerging inter- and intra- Asian queer cultures shape queer/tongzhi experiences. Most significantly, at this historical juncture characterized by the rise of China, Kong criticizes the globalization of sexuality by emphasizing inter-Asia modeling, referencing, and solidarities and debunks the essentializing myth of Chineseness, thereby decolonizing Western sexual knowledge and demonstrating the differential meanings of Chineseness/queerness across the Sinophone world.
This volume examines the most spectacular struggle for democracy in post-handover Hong Kong. Bringing together scholars with different disciplinary focuses and comparative perspectives from mainland China, Taiwan and Macau, one common thread that stitches the chapters is the use of first-hand data collected through on-site fieldwork. This study unearths how trajectories can create favourable conditions for the spontaneous civil resistance despite the absence of political opportunities and surveys the dynamics through which the protestors, the regime and the wider public responses differently to the prolonged contentious space. *The Umbrella Movement: Civil Resistance and Contentious Space in Hong Kong* offers an informed analysis of the political future of Hong Kong and its relations with the authoritarian sovereignty as well as sheds light on the methodological challenges and promises in studying modern-day protests.
This volume examines the most spectacular struggle for democracy in post-handover Hong Kong. Bringing together scholars with different disciplinary focuses and comparative perspectives from mainland China, Taiwan and Macau, one common thread that stitches the chapters is the use of first-hand data collected through onsite fieldwork. This study unearths how trajectories can create favourable conditions for the spontaneous civil resistance despite the absence of political opportunities and surveys the dynamics through which the protestors, the regime and the wider public responses differently to the prolonged contentious space. The Umbrella Movement: Civil Resistance and Contentious Space in Hong Kong offers an informed analysis of the political future of Hong Kong and its relations with the authoritarian sovereignty as well as sheds light on the methodological challenges and promises in studying modern-day protests. This new edition includes a preface on Hong Kong’s ‘summer of dissent’ in 2019, arguing that the movement’s dynamics and resilience cannot be detached from the learning curve of the protesters and the hidden networks developed after the Umbrella Movement.
The rapid development of Hong Kong has occasioned the demolition of buildings and landscapes of historic significance, but film acts as a repository for memories of lost places, vanished vistas, and material objects. Location shoots in Hong Kong have preserved many disappearing landmarks of the city, and the resulting films function as valuable and irreplaceable archives of the city’s evolution.
Far more than a simple collection of movie locations, this book delivers a rare glimpse into the history of film production practices in Hong Kong. The locations described here are often not the most iconic; rather, they are the anonymous streets and back alleys used by local film studios in the 1960s and 70. They are the garden cafes with outdoor seating near the Chinese University of Hong Kong where moments of conflict in romantic comedies erupt and dissipate. They are the old Kai Tak Airport, which channels rage and desire, and the tenement housing, which splits citizens into greedy landlords and the diligent working class and embodies old-day communal values. Modern Hong Kong horror films draw their power from the material character of home-grown convenient stores, shopping arcades, and lost mansions found under modern high rises.
As in the films of Wong Kar-wai and Johnnie To, readers will drift and dash through the streets of Central to the district’s periphery, almost recklessly, automatically, or for the sheer pleasure of roaming. The first of its kind in English, this book is more than a city guide to Hong Kong through the medium of film; it is a unique exploration of relationship between location and place and genre innovations in Hong Kong cinema.