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postgraduate thesis: The cinema of development: class factors and global trends in Hong Kong cinema

TitleThe cinema of development: class factors and global trends in Hong Kong cinema
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Marchetti, G
Issue Date2013
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Lam, H. D. [林瀚光]. (2013). The cinema of development : class factors and global trends in Hong Kong cinema. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4985872
AbstractThis study attempts to understand, within a global and comparative context and with an emphasis on issues related to class, a number of representative aesthetic approaches and narrative forms to be found in a particular regional cinema – that of Hong Kong – as so many characteristic forms of artistic or cultural responses to the social phenomena that inevitably arise in accompaniment to a society’s process of modernization or development. The assumption is that the modernization of a society – when it is open to global trends and currents and follows a Western-led, capitalist direction – brings with it a host of shared, inevitable social transformations that filmmakers, with the formal and stylistic resources that are current and available to them at a given time and place, respond to with the aim of intervention, reflecting changes that are taking place in society even as they play a role in effecting those very changes. The foreground of the study is the postwar development of Hong Kong cinema as a site of multiplicity from the Fifties to the present, but it is seen against the background of the myriad practices – classical Hollywood, European art cinema, various national or Third World cinemas – that make up the system of world cinema as a whole. A number of issues central to the modernization of a society are considered in five thematic chapters – on poverty, social advancement, the lives of women, intellectuals, and youth culture – that explore how filmmakers from different periods and locations have addressed such issues in their work. The method is at once structuralist and historicizing – by situating individual texts within a comparative context that synoptically scans the variety of significant options available in the treatment of a particular subject matter, the formal possibilities and limitations – as well as the social and political implications – of a particular conception of the cinema become much more apparent. This desire to “spatialize” (to borrow Jameson’s notion) film history by suggesting a social community of texts or a synchronic set of options is complemented by a temporal or diachronic concern for changes in the zeitgeist, for generational differences and paradigm shifts, that allow for some sense of the relationship of an individual film to the history of cinema to emerge. This study can be considered, then, as an experiment at envisioning one possible way of practicing film history at a macro level and in a comparative and cross-cultural manner, whereby the paradigmatic shifts or epistemic revolutions of world cinema are viewed from a semi-peripheral and unexpected perspective (a location such as Hong Kong), in a way that relates what appear to be representational dilemmas of a purely local nature to more universal concerns, while embedding an account of a particular territorial cinema’s evolution within the larger narrative of regional and global cultural developments.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectMotion pictures - China - Hong Kong.
Dept/ProgramComparative Literature

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorMarchetti, G-
dc.contributor.authorLam, Hon-kong, Derek.-
dc.contributor.author林瀚光.-
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.identifier.citationLam, H. D. [林瀚光]. (2013). The cinema of development : class factors and global trends in Hong Kong cinema. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4985872-
dc.description.abstractThis study attempts to understand, within a global and comparative context and with an emphasis on issues related to class, a number of representative aesthetic approaches and narrative forms to be found in a particular regional cinema – that of Hong Kong – as so many characteristic forms of artistic or cultural responses to the social phenomena that inevitably arise in accompaniment to a society’s process of modernization or development. The assumption is that the modernization of a society – when it is open to global trends and currents and follows a Western-led, capitalist direction – brings with it a host of shared, inevitable social transformations that filmmakers, with the formal and stylistic resources that are current and available to them at a given time and place, respond to with the aim of intervention, reflecting changes that are taking place in society even as they play a role in effecting those very changes. The foreground of the study is the postwar development of Hong Kong cinema as a site of multiplicity from the Fifties to the present, but it is seen against the background of the myriad practices – classical Hollywood, European art cinema, various national or Third World cinemas – that make up the system of world cinema as a whole. A number of issues central to the modernization of a society are considered in five thematic chapters – on poverty, social advancement, the lives of women, intellectuals, and youth culture – that explore how filmmakers from different periods and locations have addressed such issues in their work. The method is at once structuralist and historicizing – by situating individual texts within a comparative context that synoptically scans the variety of significant options available in the treatment of a particular subject matter, the formal possibilities and limitations – as well as the social and political implications – of a particular conception of the cinema become much more apparent. This desire to “spatialize” (to borrow Jameson’s notion) film history by suggesting a social community of texts or a synchronic set of options is complemented by a temporal or diachronic concern for changes in the zeitgeist, for generational differences and paradigm shifts, that allow for some sense of the relationship of an individual film to the history of cinema to emerge. This study can be considered, then, as an experiment at envisioning one possible way of practicing film history at a macro level and in a comparative and cross-cultural manner, whereby the paradigmatic shifts or epistemic revolutions of world cinema are viewed from a semi-peripheral and unexpected perspective (a location such as Hong Kong), in a way that relates what appear to be representational dilemmas of a purely local nature to more universal concerns, while embedding an account of a particular territorial cinema’s evolution within the larger narrative of regional and global cultural developments.-
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/B49858725-
dc.subject.lcshMotion pictures - China - Hong Kong.-
dc.titleThe cinema of development: class factors and global trends in Hong Kong cinema-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb4985872-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineComparative Literature-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b4985872-
dc.date.hkucongregation2013-

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