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Film Style and Performance: Comedy and Kung Fu From Hong

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As a fan of Hong Kong movies, I've known for several years that no other films can pack the punches or the bullets that a Hong Kong film can; no other cinema delivers such stunning moments of intense physical combat, comic hijinx, and melodramatic irony--all in the same 10-minute final segment of a film. I've struggled to understand another culture and its films; what makes the film industry and its product work the way they do, what distinguishes the industry from Hollywood and popular European cinemas. As a teacher, I've struggled again to articulate my excitement about these films to students who are often fans like me, and who sometimes have had more exposure to Hong Kong and China than I have: they've seen more films, know the culture, speak the language. So I consider myself anything but an expert; a mix of fan and academic who is quite happy to have found a cinema which offers intellectual stimulation and a few visceral whollops in every film.
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Keywords: Comedy; Hong Kong movies; Kung Fu; Western persective; film performance; intellectual stimulation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1998-09-01

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  • Asian Cinema is a seminal journal, which has been published since 1995 by the Asian Cinema Studies Society under the stewardship of Professor John Lent. From 2012 Asian Cinema will be published by Intellect as part of our Film Studies journal portfolio. The journal currently publishes a variety of scholarly material - including research articles, interviews, book and film reviews and bibliographies - on all forms and aspects of Asian cinema. The journal's broad aim is to advance understanding and knowledge of the rich traditions of the various Asian cinemas, thereby making an invaluable contribution to the field of Film Studies in general.
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