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postgraduate thesis: Reinventing the real: transfigurations of cinematic kung fu in the 21st century

TitleReinventing the real: transfigurations of cinematic kung fu in the 21st century
Authors
Issue Date2011
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Wong, K. [黃競東]. (2011). Reinventing the real : transfigurations of cinematic kung fu in the 21st century. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4784988
AbstractKung fu is a cinematic genre investing on the discourse of the “real”. From Kwan Tak Hing, Bruce Lee, Jacky Chan, Jet Li to Donnie Yen, cinematic representations of kung fu are inextricably intertwined with realism – real techniques, real fighting and real body. This paper is a theoretical reflection of “real kung fu” as a cultural imaginary and its transfiguration since the 1950s. The discussion will focus on recent developments of the genre in two major industries – digitalization of kung fu in Hollywood and recent return of kung fu masters in Hong Kong through coproduction. Through a parallel analysis of kung fu productions in a global context, this project outlines and predicts possible reinventions of the genre in the first decade of the 21st century. On the one hand, the notion of “real kung fu” is reinvented by digital technology. By applying Jean Baudrillard’s idea of “simulacra and simulation” to the context of kung fu cinema, Leon Hunt’s tripartite scheme of authenticity and Edward Said’s Orientalist discourse are (de/re)constructed in an age of digital production. Through a scrutiny of The Matrix (1999) and Kung Fu Panda (2008), I will demonstrate that the convergence of digital cinema and digital gaming creates a new spectatorship that redefines kung fu with an alternative understanding of body, time and space. On the other hand, the Ip Man trilogy (2008-2010) and Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen (2010) show that there is a possible return of kung fu masters in local martial arts co-productions. Instead of a nostalgic return to the established genre in the 1970s, these realist kung fu films reinvent the genre by synthesizing different paradigms of realist styles and renegotiating the longstanding difficult relationship between nationalism and modernity.
DegreeMaster of Philosophy
SubjectMartial arts films - History and criticism.
Kung fu.
Dept/ProgramComparative Literature

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorWong, King-tung.-
dc.contributor.author黃競東.-
dc.date.issued2011-
dc.identifier.citationWong, K. [黃競東]. (2011). Reinventing the real : transfigurations of cinematic kung fu in the 21st century. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4784988-
dc.description.abstractKung fu is a cinematic genre investing on the discourse of the “real”. From Kwan Tak Hing, Bruce Lee, Jacky Chan, Jet Li to Donnie Yen, cinematic representations of kung fu are inextricably intertwined with realism – real techniques, real fighting and real body. This paper is a theoretical reflection of “real kung fu” as a cultural imaginary and its transfiguration since the 1950s. The discussion will focus on recent developments of the genre in two major industries – digitalization of kung fu in Hollywood and recent return of kung fu masters in Hong Kong through coproduction. Through a parallel analysis of kung fu productions in a global context, this project outlines and predicts possible reinventions of the genre in the first decade of the 21st century. On the one hand, the notion of “real kung fu” is reinvented by digital technology. By applying Jean Baudrillard’s idea of “simulacra and simulation” to the context of kung fu cinema, Leon Hunt’s tripartite scheme of authenticity and Edward Said’s Orientalist discourse are (de/re)constructed in an age of digital production. Through a scrutiny of The Matrix (1999) and Kung Fu Panda (2008), I will demonstrate that the convergence of digital cinema and digital gaming creates a new spectatorship that redefines kung fu with an alternative understanding of body, time and space. On the other hand, the Ip Man trilogy (2008-2010) and Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen (2010) show that there is a possible return of kung fu masters in local martial arts co-productions. Instead of a nostalgic return to the established genre in the 1970s, these realist kung fu films reinvent the genre by synthesizing different paradigms of realist styles and renegotiating the longstanding difficult relationship between nationalism and modernity.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B47849885-
dc.subject.lcshMartial arts films - History and criticism.-
dc.subject.lcshKung fu.-
dc.titleReinventing the real: transfigurations of cinematic kung fu in the 21st century-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb4784988-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineComparative Literature-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b4784988-
dc.date.hkucongregation2012-

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