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Re-Dreaming China: Reflexivity, Revisionism, and Orientalism in the Wuxia Cinema of Chor Yuen

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Re-Dreaming China: Reflexivity, Revisionism, and Orientalism in the Wuxia Cinema of Chor Yuen

Campbell, Zachariah (2016) Re-Dreaming China: Reflexivity, Revisionism, and Orientalism in the Wuxia Cinema of Chor Yuen. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Although significant scholarship has been devoted to Hong Kong martial arts cinema in recent decades, with emphasis on King Hu and Change Cheh as key creative figures, relatively little attention has been devoted to Chor Yuen, who directed over forty-seven feature films for the Shaw Brothers studio between 1971 and 1985, most of them in the wuxia genre. In this paper I argue that a critical investigation of Chor Yuen’s work through an auteurist lens reveals a director with a distinct vision and formal sensibility, and encourages a reconsideration of his role in shaping the development of the genre. Through a reading of Chor Yuen’s directorial style and his ludic deployment of Chinese cultural tropes in his wuxia films, this paper will illustrate how these produce a form of reflexive and self-orientalizing cinema that both affirmed and subverted the 'dream of China' proffered by Shaw Brothers to the Chinese diaspora. By heightening the factitious, orientalist dimension of this nostalgic production, Chor interrupted its capacity to work in pure ideologically nationalistic terms. Communicating this transmuted ‘dream’ forward, influencing future directors and variations of the genre, Chor Yuen has contributed meaningfully both to the development of Hong Kong’s cultural hybridity, and to promoting new, essentialized, mobile permutations of ‘Chineseness.’

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Campbell, Zachariah
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Film and Moving Image Studies
Date:February 2016
Thesis Supervisor(s):Rist, Peter
Keywords:Hong Kong Genre Chor Yuen Chu Yuan Wuxia Shaw Brothers Martial Arts Cinema Orientalism Reflexivity Postcolonial
ID Code:981123
Deposited By: ZACHARIAH CAMPBELL
Deposited On:02 Jun 2016 13:29
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:52
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