Yesterday Once More : Hong Kong-China Coproductions and the Myth of Mainlandization

Bettinson, Gary (2020) Yesterday Once More : Hong Kong-China Coproductions and the Myth of Mainlandization. Journal of Chinese Cinemas, 14 (1). pp. 16-31. ISSN 1750-8061

[thumbnail of Bettinson_Post_Hong_Kong_Cinema]
Text (Bettinson_Post_Hong_Kong_Cinema)
Bettinson_Post_Hong_Kong_Cinema.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial.

Download (275kB)


Since Ackbar Abbas theorized Hong Kong as a space of cultural ‘disappearance’ in the mid-1990s, critics have debated the extent to which local cultural forms have continued to recede, particularly as a corollary of Hong Kong’s increasing subjection to mainlandization. For several critics, the region’s cinema has already vanished from view, only to re-emerge in a brand new, distinctly Sinicized guise – that of ‘post-Hong Kong cinema,’ a mode of predominantly coproduced filmmaking that effaces traditional Hong Kong aesthetics and routines of film practice. So thoroughly has Hong Kong cinema been subsumed to China that its once ‘unique’ and ‘singular’ identity is no longer discernible. The shackles of PRC censorship now stifle free expression; Hong Kong’s classic genres have become obsolete; and the PRC’s vogue for ‘main melody’ films and the dapian (‘big film’) has straitened Hong Kong cinema’s range of storytelling options. Today, critics contend, Hong Kong filmmakers are severely constrained by Mainland bureaucracy and the exigencies of the China market. This article seeks to challenge these assumptions, contesting a set of apparent truisms concerning Mainland censorship, Hong Kong-China coproductions, and the dissipation or disappearance of Hong Kong’s local cinema and identity. The theory of mainlandization, I submit, denies the durability of Hong Kong’s standardized craft practices; its aesthetic traditions; and the facile ingenuity of its filmmakers.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Chinese Cinemas
Additional Information:
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Chinese Cinemas on 16/01/2020, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? hong kong-china coproductionsmainlandizationhong kong localismprc censorshiphong kong film stylefilm authorshipcommunicationvisual arts and performing arts ??
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
17 Jan 2020 16:20
Last Modified:
15 Jan 2024 00:17