Hong Kong Connections

Transnational Imagination in Action Cinema


Edited by Meaghan Morris, Siu Leung Li, and Stephen Ching-kiu Chan

ISBN : 978-1-932643-19-0

Film, Media, Fine Arts

October 2005

360 pages, 6″ x 9″

For sale in Asia, Australia, and New Zealand only

  • HK$395.00

Also available in Paperback HK$195.00

Since the 1960s, Hong Kong cinema has helped to shape one of the world’s most popular cultural genres: action cinema. Hong Kong action films have proved popular over the decades with audiences worldwide, and they have seized the imaginations of filmmakers working in many different cultural traditions and styles. How do we account for this appeal, which changes as it crosses national borders?

Hong Kong Connections brings leading film scholars together to explore the uptake of Hong Kong cinema in Japan, Korea, India, Australia, France and the US as well as its links with Taiwan, Singapore and the Chinese mainland. In the process, this collective study examines diverse cultural contexts for action cinema’s popularity, and the problems involved in the transnational study of globally popular forms suggesting that in order to grasp the history of Hong Kong action cinema’s influence we need to bring out the differences as well as the links that constitute popularity.

Contributors: Nicole Brenez; Dai Jinhua; Stephen Chan Ching-kiu; David Desser; Laleen Jayamanne; Kim Soyoung; Siu Leung Li; Adrian Martin; S. V. Srinivas; Stephen Teo; Valentina Vitali; Paul Willemen; Rob Wilson; Wong Kin-yuen; Kinnia Yau Shuk-ting; and Yung Sai-shing.

The editors are all working at the Department of Cultural Studies, Lingnan University, Hong Kong. Meaghan Morris is Chair Professor of Cultural Studies, and Co-ordinator of the Kwan Fong Cultural Research and Development Programme. Siu Leung Li is Associate Professor, and Stephen Chan Ching-kiu is Professor and Director of the Master of Cultural Studies Programme.

“As electrifying as the action cinema it illuminates, Hong Kong Connections delivers an elegantly choreographed and deadly volley of blows against the myth that global popular cinema begins and ends with Hollywood. These essays by a glittering array of leading scholars from around the world reveal Hong Kong cinema’s role in shaping other action cinemas, pioneering transnational filmmaking, and invigorating Chinese cultures. In the process, Hong Kong’s cinema becomes as firmly established as a global meeting as Hong Kong itself.” —Chris Berry, Goldsmiths College, London

“This book examines the historical evolution of Hong Kong action cinema as well as its emergence as a transnational film genre in the era of globalization. It is the most well-organized, theoretically sophisticated, and critically engaging study of the subject that we have seen. It is a pleasure to read each of the essays, which are both erudite and interesting.” —Sheldon Lu, University of California, Davis