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Big Shot’s Funeral: China, Sony, and the WTO

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Released on December 21, 2001, just days after China formally gained its WTO admittance on December 11, Big Shot’s Funeral (Da Wan’r) was not only the most anticipated He Sui Pian (New Year’s Movie) of 2002 in China; it was also a highly reflexive film registering some of the mixed emotions in China toward the long-awaited admittance and its implications. In addition, the film is the first Sino-American co-production1 released after the WTO accession, bearing witness to an important historical moment. The many layers of meanings embedded in this postmodern text of self-conscious mockery, cynicism, and pastiche also reflect a general sense of anxiety, ambiguity, and uncertainty associated with the new market economy in China and its consequences. Issues of nationalism, cross-cultural imagination, Sino- American relations, and piracy are also touched on in this social satire.

Keywords: Big Shot’s Funeral; New Year’s films; VCD; WTO accession

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2003-09-01

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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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