Hong Kong Connections

Transnational Imagination in Action Cinema

Hong Kong Connections

Book Pages: 360 Illustrations: Published: January 2006

Asian Studies, Cultural Studies, Media Studies > Film

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


“[I]nsightful and well written. . . . [T]he best essays offer unique insights. . . . The volume is remarkable not only for its excellent analysis and theorizing of Hong Kong cinema, but also as a model of how to understand global cinema from local and intercultural contexts that do not exclude or disavow the influence of Hollywood yet are not centered by it. Fans will enjoy this book, but scholars will value it even more. Essential.” — K. J. Wetmore Jr., Choice

“[T]his volume of essays offers something for everyone: from the fanboy to the scholar and even to those who have ever swooned while watching Chow Yun-Fat or Michelle Yeo kick some butt.” — Raquel Laneri, PopMatters

“Given its timely contents and its self-awareness as a space-clearing gesture, Hong Kong Connections stands as a challenge and an inspiration to students and teachers alike.” — Robert Chi, Journal of Asian Studies

“The primary strengths of this volume are its forward-looking, transnational outlook and its adoption of an interdisciplinary, non-Hollywood perspective to reconsider the nature and direction of international cultural currents. . . . Surpassing the ‘imagination’ referenced in its title, this volume successfully establishes a ‘cosmopolitan model’ (p. 13) for exploring global cinema rooted in local contexts.” — Ruby Cheung, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television

“As electrifying as the action cinema it illuminates, Hong Kong Connections delivers an elegantly choreographed and deadly volley of blows against the myth that global popular cinema begins and ends with Hollywood. These essays by a glittering array of leading scholars from around the world reveal Hong Kong cinema’s role in shaping other action cinemas, pioneering transnational filmmaking, and invigorating Chinese cultures. In the process, Hong Kong’s cinema becomes as firmly established as a global meeting as Hong Kong itself.” — Chris Berry, coeditor of Mobile Cultures: New Media in Queer Asia

“This book examines the historical evolution of Hong Kong action cinema as well as its emergence as a transnational film genre in the era of globalization. It is the most well-organized, theoretically sophisticated, and critically engaging study of the subject that we have seen. It is a pleasure to read each of the essays, which are both erudite and interesting.” — Sheldon Lu, coeditor of Chinese-language Film: Historiography, Poetics, Politics


Availability: In stock
Price: $28.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Meaghan Morris is Chair Professor of Cultural Studies and Coordinator of the Kwan Fong Cultural Research and Development Programme at Lingnan University in Hong Kong.

Siu Leung Li is an Associate Professor in the Department of Cultural Studies at Lingnan University in Hong Kong.

Stephen Chan Ching-kiu is a Professor and Director of the Master of Cultural Studies Programme at Lingnan University in Hong Kong.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments ix

Contributors xi

Introduction: Hong Kong Connections / Meaghan Morris 1

Part 1: History, Imagination and Hong Kong Popular Culture 19

1. Moving Body: The Interactions Between Chinese Opera and Action Cinema / Yung Sai-shing 21

2. Interactions Between Japanese and Hong Kong Action Cinemas / Kinnia Yau Shuk-ting 35

3. The Myth Continues: Cinematic Kung Fu in Modernity / Siu Leung Li 49

4. The Fighting Condition in Hong Kong Cinema: Local Icons and Cultural Antidotes for the Global Popular / Stephen Chan Ching-kiu 63

5. Order/Anti-Order: Representation of Identity in Hong Kong Action Movies / Dai Jinhua 81

Part 2: Action Cinema as Contact Zone 95

6. Genre as Contact Zone: Hong Kong Action and Korean Hwalkuk / Kim Soyoung 97

7. Hong Kong Action Film and the Career of the Telugu Mass Hero / S. V. Srinivas 111

8. Hong Kong-Hollywood-Bombay: On the Function of "Martial Art" in the Hindi Action Cinema / Valentina Vitali 125

9. Let's Miscegenate: Jackie Chan and His African-American Connection / Laleen Jayamanne 151

10. The Secrets of Movement: The Influence of Hong Kong Action Cinema upon the Contemporary French Avant-garde / Nicole Brenez 163

11. At the Edge of the Cut: An Encounter with the Hong Kong Style in Contemporary Action Cinema / Adrian Martin 175

Part 3: Translation and Embodiment: Technologies of Globalisation 189

12. Wuxia Redux: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon as a Model of Late Transnational Production / Stephen Teo 191

13. Hong Kong Film and the New Cinephilia / David Desser 205

14. Action Cinema, Labour Power and the Video Market / Paul Willemen 223

15. Spectral Critiques: Tracking "Uncanny" Filmic Paths Towards a Bio-Poetics of Trans-Pacific Globalization / Rob Wilson 249

16. Technoscience Culture, Embodiment and Wuda pian / Wong Kin-yuen 269

Notes 287

Index 327

Sales/Territorial Rights: North America, South America, & Europe

Rights and licensing
Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-1-932643-01-5 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-932643-19-0
Publicity material