Chinese-Language and Hollywood Cinemas

A special issue of Arts (ISSN 2076-0752).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2024 | Viewed by 10243

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, Hamilton College, Clinton, NY 13323, USA
Interests: Chinese-language cinemas; Hollywood cinema; Chinese revolutionary culture; literary adaptation; modern Chinese history
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Asian Studies, Randolph-Macon College, Ashland, VA 23005, USA
Interests: modern and contemporary Chinese media culture; film and literature in colonial Taiwan; early cinema

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue features a comparative study of Chinese-language films and Hollywood cinema. Hollywood cinema has represented the idea of an effective formula in making blockbusters since the 1930s, a powerful industrial system that inspires and challenges filmmakers around the world. The popular formula has been practiced, both successfully and not, in Chinese-language film studios in the Republic of China, the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia, or through transnational collaborations. The formula has also been resisted or revised by filmmakers who questioned Hollywood’s global domination and turned to explore alternative styles of visual representation and storytelling. This Special Issue invites scholars to submit papers that explore the relationships between Chinese-language cinema and Hollywood cinema. Suggested topics include but are not limited to the following list:

  • A study of the Hollywood-inspired Chinese-language film industries, such as the popular genres, studio system, stardom, or franchise in transnational Chinese film histories.
  • Chinese-language cinema’s resistance, revisions, or alternatives to the Hollywood formula in a specific period such as the left-wing cinema in the 1930s or the individual film projects of the digital age.
  • A comparative study of Chinese-language cinema and Hollywood cinema in terms of narrative, style, or their sociopolitical implications in global film networks.
  • A study of the mutual influences between Chinese-language and Hollywood cinema. A potential focus may be Chinese-language remakes of Hollywood films or the other way around.
  • A study of transnational collaborations between Hollywood and Chinese-speaking film industries.
  • An examination of the global expansion of Hollywood media conglomerates to Chinese-speaking markets and how such expansion culturally, politically, and/or economically impacts both the local environment and the transnational network.
  • A study of the reception of Hollywood blockbusters in Chinese-speaking societies, or a study of Hollywood-accustomed audiences’ reception of Chinese-language films.

Prof. Dr. Zhuoyi Wang
Dr. Laura Jo-Han Wen
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Arts is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Chinese-language cinema
  • Hollywood cinema
  • genre studies
  • studio system
  • stardom
  • blockbusters
  • global film networks
  • remakes

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

18 pages, 372 KiB  
Article
Learning to Speak Chinese: Defining the Sino-American Film Paradigm
by Benjamin Ruilin Fong
Arts 2024, 13(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts13010018 - 18 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1783
Abstract
This article proposes a new paradigm, Sino-American film, that is centered on Chinese language in American films. Sino-American films comprise two generations. The First Generation includes Pushing Hands (1993), Take Out (2004), and Saving Face (2004) and is characterized by independent production, limited [...] Read more.
This article proposes a new paradigm, Sino-American film, that is centered on Chinese language in American films. Sino-American films comprise two generations. The First Generation includes Pushing Hands (1993), Take Out (2004), and Saving Face (2004) and is characterized by independent production, limited distribution, and creation during a period when Asian Americans were rarely represented on film. The Second Generation includes The Farewell (2019), Tigertail (2019), Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings (2021), and Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022) and is characterized by a Hollywood production model, widespread distribution across streaming services, and creation during a period of growing Asian American cultural representation. Sino-American films negotiate both Chinese-language film and Hollywood by focusing on overlooked characters— Chinese-language-speaking Americans. This article contributes to conversations in Chinese film studies and Asian American studies by bringing Asian American film into exchanges with three Chinese film studies paradigms: transnational cinema, Chinese-language film, and Sinophone film. This cross pollination uncovers new areas for further study. Sino-American film demonstrates the importance of Sino-American language, ethnicity, and culture within the subsuming category of Asian American film. Furthermore, pairing Sino-American films with Chinese film studies uncovers a new category of Chinese-language film outside assumed contexts and paradigms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chinese-Language and Hollywood Cinemas)
12 pages, 287 KiB  
Article
Revising the Noir Formula in the Chinese Context: Black Coal, Thin Ice and Beyond
by Dinghui Zhou
Arts 2024, 13(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts13010012 - 08 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1340
Abstract
Noir can be seen as a formula with a set of distinguishable thematic, narrative, and aesthetic elements matured in postwar Hollywood and later recycled, refined, or resisted by filmmakers worldwide. In the past decade, a handful of noirish crime films produced in People’s [...] Read more.
Noir can be seen as a formula with a set of distinguishable thematic, narrative, and aesthetic elements matured in postwar Hollywood and later recycled, refined, or resisted by filmmakers worldwide. In the past decade, a handful of noirish crime films produced in People’s Republic of China particularly reworked this formula to articulate local concerns, one example being Black Coal, Thin Ice. By attempting a comparative analysis of this movie’s characterization with the noir formula’s conventional portrayal, this essay argues that Black Coal, Thin Ice revises the noir formula by drawing more attention to the noir killer’s plight as a demoralized state worker and deconstructing the formulaic presence of the femme fatale as a deadly and powerful seductress. Moving beyond the Black Coal, Thin Ice case, the essay also posits that the recent Chinese noirish crime films’ fusing of stylized chiaroscuro with color lighting to register various existential and psychological concerns enriches the chiaroscuro aesthetic of the noir formula. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chinese-Language and Hollywood Cinemas)
12 pages, 827 KiB  
Article
When State-Endorsed Cinema Meets Marvel: A Study of Wolf Warrior II’s Global Superhero Vernacular
by Lilian Kong
Arts 2023, 12(6), 252; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12060252 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1632
Abstract
Chinese state-endorsed films have transformed in the past decade. These films make up the “new mainstream”, a genre defined by its ability to match strides with Hollywood commercial cinema. But, what exactly comprises Hollywood’s impact on official Chinese media? How does it manifest [...] Read more.
Chinese state-endorsed films have transformed in the past decade. These films make up the “new mainstream”, a genre defined by its ability to match strides with Hollywood commercial cinema. But, what exactly comprises Hollywood’s impact on official Chinese media? How does it manifest onscreen? Exploring the relationship between state-endorsed blockbusters and Hollywood, this article analyzes a pioneer of the “new mainstream”, Wolf Warrior II (2017). This film stands out as the inaugural collaboration between Chinese media conglomerates and Marvel Cinematic Universe directors. From this collaboration emerges the film’s protagonist, Leng Feng, an ex-soldier who saves civilians from rebel forces in Africa. As Leng enacts justice at home and abroad, however, affective portrayals of his feats foreground ambiguity over coherence and unresolvable impulses over a singular agendum. These melodramatic sites of contradiction, I argue, culminate in the film’s own “global superhero vernacular”. Such a vernacular aligns with transnationally circulating serial franchise logics, pushing the film’s connection with Marvel beyond local–global and state–market binaries. Ultimately, my analysis complicates the smooth thread that links together the superhuman individual, nationalist sovereign power, and international order, thereby re-evaluating state-endorsed cinema’s role within Chinese media cultures and social fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chinese-Language and Hollywood Cinemas)
13 pages, 345 KiB  
Article
Hollywood Genre, Cultural Hybridity, and Musical Films in 1950s Hong Kong
by Xiao Lu
Arts 2023, 12(6), 237; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts12060237 - 08 Nov 2023
Viewed by 2797
Abstract
Following the trauma of the Second World War, Hong Kong, under British governance, enjoyed considerable economic and political freedom to establish a local entertainment industry. Musical films became a major genre of Hong Kong’s film releases in the 1950s. Local melodramas, Hollywood musicals, [...] Read more.
Following the trauma of the Second World War, Hong Kong, under British governance, enjoyed considerable economic and political freedom to establish a local entertainment industry. Musical films became a major genre of Hong Kong’s film releases in the 1950s. Local melodramas, Hollywood musicals, celebrities, and ideals of female beauty were all present in the growth of Hong Kong musical films, which culminated in a glorious display of cinematic art. This article aims to provide insight into the popularity of Chinese-speaking musical films by examining the social, economic, and political complexity of 1950s Hong Kong, including post-war migration and colonial censorship. An in-depth analysis of Li Han-Hsiang’s The Kingdom and the Beauty demonstrates how Hong Kong studios adapted the Hollywood musical to tell Chinese stories and how Hong Kong musical films incorporated Chinese literature and music to represent cultural memory, local identity, and modern aesthetics. This case study sheds light on the localization of a Hollywood genre and the hybridization of Chinese and Western entertainment forms to appeal to a Chinese audience, thereby broadening the definition of cultural hybridity and informing the practice of Hong Kong’s musical filmmaking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chinese-Language and Hollywood Cinemas)
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