The Generic Features of Wuxia Film and the Problem of Transculturation (funded by National Science Council).

    Project: Research project

    Project Details

    Description

    Wuxia film is a major genre in Chinese-language cinema. Although wuxia production in the last decade can hardly rival the golden age of the 1960s, because of transnational cooperation in terms of capital, talents and so forth some recent big-budget wuxia films enjoyed great success and became classic examples of the globalization of the film industry. This proposed study of the wuxia genre is divided into 2 stages as follows –

    I. The initial stage: studying the evolving generic features of the genre
    My focuses will fall on:
    a) 3 classic scenes: namely, the bamboo grove fight, encounter in an inn, and the duel
    b) The historical development of cinematic skills and related technologies: focusing on the classic scenes below, I will trace such developments from the 1960s to the late 1990s, including in my research will be such things as mise-en-scene, special effects and other technological aspects of film making (including those found in post-production)
    c) Narrative structure: a preliminary structuralist approach followed by a more poststructuralist and psychoanalytically-informed exploration of the curious “narrative logic” involved
    d) Themes: of the various themes I will pay particular attention to the idea of “xia” or chivalry, detailing the changing meanings concerned in the wake of East-West cultural conflict and interchange

    II. The difficulty of “transculturation”

    I am especially interested in how, because of differences in aesthetics and ideologies, a wuxia film cannot circulate freely across cultural boundaries. Having worked out the generic features of the genre, I will examine the success or failure of a number of post-Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon wuxia films which deliberately aim at a more global audience. Through such examples, I wish to find out what aesthetic and cultural factors account for the facility and which for the difficulty of transnational filmic circulation. I hope my concrete examples in reception will contribute to the often abstract and theoretically-oriented current debates on globalization of the cultural industry.
    StatusFinished
    Effective start/end date01/08/1131/07/12

    Keywords

    • film genre, wuxia film, globalization, cinematic technologies, transculturation

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