Lost Heroes: A Comparative Study of Contemporary Japanese and Hong Kong Gangster Films

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In this paper, I shall examine the depiction and portrayal of masculine heroism of Woo's and Kitano's works, namely A Better Tomorrow and Sonatine (1993), and analyze the thematic concerns in these two films. This comparison will highlight the high evaluation of loyalty in the homosocial world of Woo, if not Hong Kong Noir, and how Kitano, and with him contemporary Japanese society, lost belief in heroism.

Keywords: A Better Tomorrow; Sonatine; gangster films; heroism; homosocial

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/ac.16.2.147_1

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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