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Three Films about Food by Fruit Chan: Allegories of Hong Kong-China Relations after 1997

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This article will discuss Fruit Chan's films Durian Durian (2000), Hollywood Hong Kong (2001), and Three… Extremes: Dumplings (2004). The prominent reference to edibles is evident in the titles of the first and the third films; the second film is set in a shanty town below a luxury apartment complex called Plaza Hollywood, featuring, among others, a family of roast pork mongers. Although vastly different in style, all three works employ food as a vehicle to explore the interplay between Hong Kong society and mainland Chinese, and as this essay argues, they also symbolize a phobic undercurrent that has gathered strength with the growing Hong Kong-China co-dependency since the 1997 handover.
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Keywords: Canto-pop; Fruit Chan; Hollywood; Hong Kong; food as a leitmotif; local history; uniqueness

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Brandeis University, Massachusetts

Publication date: 2005-09-01

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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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