Something Borrowed, Something New: Ye Ban Ge Sheng (Song at Midnight) and the Cross- Cultural Reinterpretations of Horror in Twentieth Century China

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Abstract:

This paper traces how one horror story served as a blank canvas that allowed filmmakers across cultures, decades, and the political spectrum to utilize it as a remake and a medium for conveying their positions, as well as a vehicle that would allow them to cross national borders. Thus I explain how the lineage of Ye Ban Ge Sheng can provide a critical perspective on the intersection of politics, movies, and commerce in 20th Century China. In particular, an examination of Ye Ban Ge Sheng and its 1941 sequel shows how Maxu Weibang is adept at shifting his message according to the political tides.

Keywords: Chinese horror film; Phantom of the Opera; Ye Ban Ge Sheng; horror; the supernatural

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/ac.16.2.122_1

Affiliations: Shoah Foundation

Publication date: September 1, 2005

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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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