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Star discourse and the cosmopolitan Chinese: Linda Lin Dai takes on the world

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In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the two major Mandarin-dialect studios of the Hong Kong film industry, Shaw Brothers and Motion Picture & General Investment Limited, looked to brand themselves as cosmopolitan to both its regionally scattered Chinese audiences and to its potential Euro-American co-producers. To achieve this, the studios used the figure of the cosmopolitan female star and the musical genre, which provides a showcase for the actress's ability to sing, dance and strut in the musical and fashion styles of the world. This article looks specifically at actress Linda Lin Dai, who both studios, through their films and fan magazines, built up as an exceptional student of all things cosmopolitan and a well-travelled, universally beloved superstar in time and in step with the world of global tourism, haute couture culture and the international stage.

Keywords: Linda Lin Dai; MP&GI; Shaw Brothers; cosmopolitanism; film musicals; film stars

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/jcc.4.3.183_1

Affiliations: University of California, Los Angeles.

Publication date: November 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Chinese Cinemas is a major refereed academic publication devoted to the study of Chinese film, drawing on the recent world-wide growth of interest in Chinese cinemas. An incredibly diverse range of films has emerged from all parts of the Chinese-speaking world over the last few years, with an ever increasing number of border-crossing collaborative efforts prominent among them. These exciting developments provide abundant ground for academic research.
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