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Hong Kong Cinema Through a Global Lens

About This Course

Hong Kong Cinema has a global reach. Let’s explore how it reached you… Perhaps you know the films of martial arts icons Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan or the heroic bloodshed films of John Woo.

Perhaps you are a fan of stars such as Maggie Cheung or Chow Yun Fat. Maybe you admire works by directors such as Wong Kar Wai.

Whatever you know and wherever you are we invite you to join us on a journey to consider how the local and the global intersect to make Hong Kong cinema an integral part of popular culture around the world as well as a leading force in the development of world cinematic art.

In this course you’ll learn how flows of capital, people, technologies, ideas and creativity circulate and shape the cultural industry of filmmaking, resulting in transnational co-productions and cross-cultural co-operations. You’ll see how these dynamic processes are inflected in characterization, plot development, and space-time configurations on Hong Kong screens.

Our location in the cultural crossroads of Hong Kong allows us to introduce you to film professionals such as director Mabel Cheung and Andrew Lau, producer John Sham, film festival director Roger Garcia, and other guests, talking candidly about the industry.

During your weeks with us you’ll see demonstrations of martial arts choreography, participate in close analysis of film techniques, investigate Hong Kong global stardom, uncover the reasons for the worldwide appeal of genres such as the kung fu film, and nurture a comparative and critical understanding of issues of gender, race, migration. Best of all you’ll partner with leading researchers in the field to appreciate Hong Kong’s contribution to world cinema.

Please watch these films so that you can get the most out of the course content. Please note that you will need to acquire and watch the films on your own. We advise you see the films before each week’s material.

Here is the list of films for each week.

Week 1 – any Jackie Chan film (optional)
Week 2 – any Bruce Lee film (optional), but we suggest Fist of Fury / The Chinese Connection (dir. Lo Wei, 1972), or Enter the Dragon, (dir. Robert Clouse, 1973)
Week 3An Autumn’s Tale (dir. Mabel Cheung, 1987)
Week 4 The Killer (dir. John Woo, 1989)
Week 5Infernal Affairs (dir. Andrew Lau and Alan Mak, 2002)
Week 6In the Mood for Love (dir. Wong Kar Wai, 2000)

Prerequisites

None

Course Staff

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Gina Marchetti

Gina Marchetti teaches courses in film, gender and sexuality, critical theory and cultural studies. Her current research interests include women filmmakers in the HKSAR, China and world cinema, and contemporary trends in Asian and Asian American film culture.
 
Her books include Romance and the “Yellow Peril”: Race, Sex and Discursive Strategies in Hollywood Fiction (University of California, 1993), Andrew Lau and Alan Mak’s Infernal Affairs — The Trilogy (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2007), From Tian’anmen to Times Square: Transnational China and the Chinese Diaspora on Global Screens (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2006), and The Chinese Diaspora on American Screens: Race, Sex, and Cinema (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2012). She has co-edited several anthologies, including Hong Kong Film, Hollywood and the New Global Cinema, with Tan See-Kam (London: Routledge, 2007), Chinese Connections: Critical Perspectives on Film, Identity and Diaspora, with Peter X Feng and Tan See-Kam (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2009), Hong Kong Screenscapes: From the New Wave to the Digital Frontier, with Esther M. K. Cheung and Tan See-Kam (HKUP, 2011), and most recently A Companion to Hong Kong Cinema, co-edited with Esther M.K. Cheung and Esther C.M. Yau (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell Press, 2015). Online articles include: Handover Women: Hong Kong Women Filmmakers and The Intergenerational Melodrama of InfidelityFeminist Media Studies 16:4 (June 2016), The Gendered Politics of Sex Work in Hong Kong Cinema: Herman Yau and Elsa Chan (Yeeshan)’s Whispers and Moans and True Women for Sale.” Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media 10 (Winter 2015); and The Blossoming of a Revolutionary Aesthetic: Xie Jin's Two Stage Sisters, Jump Cut #34 (March 1989), pp. 95-106. Affiliations include Women’s Studies Research Centre, and websites include Hong Kong Women Filmmakers since 1997.

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Aaron Magnan-Park

Aaron Han Joon Magnan-Park is Assistant Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Hong Kong. He received his Ph.D. in Film Studies from the University of Iowa. He specializes in pan-Asian cinema with a focus on Hong Kong action and contemporary South Korean cinema. He engages with film aesthetics, culture, theory, history, and sound from an Asian-centric perspective.

Previous academic appointments include the University of Iowa, Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV), the American University of Paris, Illinois State University, Illinois Wesleyan University, Victoria University of Wellington, and the University of Notre Dame. He is a member of the editorial board for The Journal of Korean Studies, The Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema, Film Matters, and the Hong Kong University Press. He has published in peer-reviewed journals such as The Journal of Korean Studies, Post Script, and The Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema. He also has chapters in the following anthologies: Towards Sustainable Economics and Security Relations in East Asia: U.S. and ROK Policy Options; Korean Wave; Chinese Connections: Critical Perspectives on Film, Identity, and Diaspora; Hong Kong Film, Hollywood and New Global Cinema: No Film is an Island; New Korean Cinema; and The Politics of Community.

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Stacilee Ford

Dr. Staci Ford has lived in Hong Kong since 1993 and teaches cultural history and transnational American studies in the Faculty of Arts. Her scholarship focuses on the intersection between gender, national identity, generation, and historical context. An interest in Hong Kong film has been the source for scholarship on the Cathay Studio films produced during the Cold War, Hong Kong's migration melodramas from the 1980s and 1990s, and recent Hong Kong/PRC/ROC/Hollywood co-productions. She is particularly interested in how people are changed by their cross-cultural encounters through travel, migration, and popular culture. Her first book, Mabel Cheung Yuen-Ting’s An Autumn’s Tale (Hong Kong University Press, 2008) has been an important resource for her work in the MOOC. However, she has also published several articles about Hong Kong film as it is in conversation with Hollywood romantic comedies, food culture, transnational feminism, and globalization. Three generations of Hong Kong films and filmmakers are discussed in her book, Troubling American Women: Narratives of Gender and Nation in Hong Kong (HKUP, 2011), She earned a Bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University; a Master’s degree from Harvard University; and doctorates from Columbia University (Ed.D.), and The University of Hong Kong (Ph.D.).

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