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Entering the cinema of attractions’ Matrix: Yuen Wo-Ping’s merging of Hollywood spectacle with kungfu choreography

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On its ascension to its current status as Hollywood’s chief competitor and collaborator, mainland Chinese cinema has benefited from a select group of filmmakers who contributed to blockbuster films overseas. Many of these filmmakers, including Yuen Wo-Ping, returned home and fused the awe-inducing visual effects (e.g. ‘the bullettime effect’) of the new wave of Hollywood’s cinema of attractions with the acrobatics of Chinese wuxia and kungfu films. This article will look closely at Yuen’s work in Hong Kong cinema before moving onto an analysis of his work on films such as The Matrix trilogy and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I will then demonstrate how his experience abroad brings a transnational aesthetic to mainland Chinese cinema that proffers new senses of global identity and being amidst its thrills.
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Keywords: True Legend; Yuen Wo-Ping; action choreography; cinema of attractions; phenomenology; transnational Chinese cinema

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Independent Scholar

Publication date: April 1, 2018

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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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