Hong Kong puzzle films : the persistence of tradition

Bettinson, Gary John (2016) Hong Kong puzzle films : the persistence of tradition. In: The Poetics of Chinese Cinema :. East Asian Popular Culture . Palgrave Macmillan, New York, pp. 119-145. ISBN 9781137566089

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This chapter examines the fate of traditional modes of practice, as well as of local storytelling norms, in contemporary Hong Kong cinema. It contests some widely-held yet arguably specious assumptions: first, that the "Mainlandization" and "Hollywoodization" of Hong Kong cinema eradicate local filmmaking practices and aesthetic norms; and second, that the local routine of piecemeal script construction yields slapdash plotting, and thus is inferior to the screenplay practices advocated in Mainland China and Hollywood. This chapter argues that not only have local work routines endured in spite of institutional change, but that those practices yield films of considerable complexity and ambition. The chapter's major case studies - Wu Xia (2011), Mad Detective (2007), and Blind Detective (2013) - can be assimilated to a nascent puzzle film trend in Hong Kong cinema. Disputing claims of a "post-Hong Kong cinema," this chapter draws on primary interviews with Hong Kong filmmakers in detailing both the PRC coproduction system and the characteristic script practices employed by Peter Chan, Johnnie To, and the Milkyway Image film studio.

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18 Oct 2016 12:34
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16 Jul 2024 03:56