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Hong Kong Cinema and Sinophone Transnationalisms

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EDINBURGH STUDIES IN EAST ASIAN FILM Series Editor: Margaret Hillenbrand Available and forthcoming titles Independent Chinese Documentary: Alternative Visions, Alternative Publics Dan Edwards The Cinema of Ozu Yasujiro: Histories of the Everyday Woojeong Joo Eclipsed Cinema: The Film Culture of Colonial Korea Dong Hoon Kim Moving Figures: Class and Feeling in the Films of Jia Zhangke Corey Kai Nelson Schultz Memory, Subjectivity and Independent Chinese Cinema Qi Wang Hong Kong Neo-Noir Esther C. M. Yau and Tony Williams ‘My’ Self on Camera: First Person Documentary Practice in an Individualising China Kiki Tianqi Yu Worldy Desires: Cosmopolitanism and Cinema in Hong Kong and Taiwan Brian Hu Tanaka Kinuyo: Nation, Stardom and Female Subjectivity Irene González-López and Michael Smith Killers, Clients and Kindred Spirits: The Taboo Cinema of Shohei Imamura Lindsay Coleman and David Desser Sino-Enchantment: The Fantastic in Contemporary Chinese Cinemas Kenneth Chan and Andrew Stuckey Hong Kong Cinema and Sinophone Transnationalisms TAN, See Kam www.edinburghuniversitypress.com/series/ESEAF

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Hong Kong Cinema and Sinophone Transnationalisms

TAN See Kam

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To Hong Kong, for its inspiration and courage

Edinburgh University Press is one of the leading university presses in the UK. We publish academic books and journals in our selected subject areas across the humanities and social sciences, combining cutting-edge scholarship with high editorial and production values to produce academic works of lasting importance. For more information visit our website: edinburghuniversitypress.com © TAN See Kam, 2021 Edinburgh University Press Ltd The Tun – Holyrood Road 12(2f) Jackson’s Entry Edinburgh EH8 8PJ Typeset in 10/13 Chaparral Pro by IDSUK (DataConnection) Ltd, and printed and bound in Great Britain A CIP record for this book is available from the British Library ISBN 978 1 4744 7636 2 (hardback) ISBN 978 1 4744 7638 6 (webready PDF) ISBN 978 1 4744 7639 3 (epub) The right of TAN See Kam to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, and the Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 2003 (SI No. 2498).

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Contents

List of Illustrations

vii

Acknowledgements

xi

A Note on Language

xiii

Preface

xvi

PART I NEW BEGINNINGS 1 Locating Sinophone Cinema 2 The Sinification of Early Shanghai and Hong Kong Cinema

3 22

PART II NEW DIRECTIONS 3 Huangmei diao pian

61

4 Caizi/Jiaren Romance in Disguise

85

5 Fanchuan Acting: Cross-dressing and Performative Transsexualities

105

PART III NEW IMAGINARIES 6 Tongzhi Articulations in Fengyue Films

129

7 Transnesss: Hong Kong’s Bond Movies (Bangpian)

154

PART IV NEW WAVES 8 Tsui Hark: Accented Cinema

175

9 Tsui Hark: Time-bomb Cinema

189

10 Tsui Hark: New Localisms

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Afterword

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Appendix 1: A Selection of Chinese-language Opera Film Avatars

238

Appendix 2: Glossary of Chinese-language Film Titles

244

Appendix 3: Glossary of Chinese-language Persons, Film Companies/ Studios, Opera Troupes and Media

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Appendix 4: Glossary of Chinese-language Terms and Phrases

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Filmography and TV Resources

285

References and Further Reading

296

Index

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Illustrations

Figures Figure 1.1

Figure 2.1 Figure 2.1A Figure 2.1B Figure 2.1C

Figure 2.1D

Figure 2.1E Figure 2.1F

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Shaw Brothers’ annual Mandarin and Cantonese productions (1958–88). Source: Hong Kong Film Archive, Hong Kong. Representing the Imperial Japanese Military. Source: The March of the Guerrillas (1939). A Japanese soldier carries the Japanese flag on the battlefield (00:03:08). The Japanese commander has raped a Chinese woman (00:13:03). Male protagonist Wang Zhiqiang (Lee Ching) is delirious, while recovering from a bullet wound inflicted by a Japanese soldier. He has nightmares about the Japanese military (00:26:08). Zhiqiang’s father tells his son: ‘The Japanese devils [Riben guizi] are rounding up able-bodied men. They have killed many people’ (subtitle) (00:32:36). Zhiqiang’s younger brother remains tied to beams, after the Japanese soldier has whipped him (00:42:03). Hanjian says: ‘Yes! Yes! I am a scoundrel and a slave’ (subtitle). A hanjian (standing) tells the commander the whereabouts of the guerrillas. Elsewhere in the film he is seen giving advice to the commander to burn down the villages and deliver young female captives to him. Hanjians, or traitors of the Han race, are a particular type of treacherous Chinese. They are so called because they would work for, or collaborate with, the Japanese invaders (00:42:51).

16 43 42 42

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Figure 2.1G A Japanese soldier shoots an unarmed civilian, an old man, as female protagonist Ruo Lan screams off screen, ‘That’s my father! You old bastard!’ (subtitle), while being dragged away by other soldiers as a prized captive (00:45:57). Figure 2.1H Zhiqiang is the leader of the guerrillas. In the hideout there are (unnamed) communist soldiers who are seen celebrating the guerrillas’ victory after their successful ambush of the Japanese soldiers which allows them to walk away with their arms (00:58:43). Figure 2.1I In the newspaper, the Imperial Japanese Army (Rijun) is named as the aggressor, headline to the right (00:59:25). Figure 2.1J The guerrillas slaughter the Japanese army (01:12:00). Figure 2.2 The banner for the One Million Ghouls film. Source: Boundless Future (1941). Figure 2.3 Representing the unnamed enemies (the Imperial Japanese Military). Source: Little Toys (1933, Dir. Sun Yu. Shanghai: Lianhua). Figure 2.3A (01:12:10) Figure 2.3B (01:12:27) Figure 2.3C (01:12:48) Figure 2.3D (01:13:35) Figure 2.3E (01:16:45) Figure 2.4 Representing the unnamed enemies (the Imperial Japanese Military). Source: The Big Road (1934, Dir. Sun Yu. Shanghai: Lianhua). Figure 2.4A (00:38:19) Figure 2.4B (00:59:29) Figure 2.4C (01:03:30) Figure 2.4D (01:36:50) Figure 2.4E (01:37:45) Figure 2.5 Representing the unnamed enemies (the Imperial Japanese Military). Source: Soaring Aspiration (1936, Dir. Wu Yonggang. Shanghai: Xinhua.) Figure 2.5A (00:58:33) Figure 2.5B (01:11:58) Figure 2.5C (01:12:50) Figure 2.5D (01:21:52) Figure 2.5E (01:22:35)

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43

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List of Illustrations Figure 2.6

Figure 3.1 Figure 3.1A Figure 3.1B Figure 3.1C Figure 3.2

Figure 3.3 Figure 9.1

Figure 10.1A

Figure 10.1B

Figure 10.2

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War, traumas and cultural myths. Source: Street Angel (1937, Dir. Wu Yonggang. Shanghai: Mingxing). Figure 2.6A (00:07:53) Figure 2.6B (00:07:55) Figure 2.6C (00:07:57) Figure 2.6D (00:07:59) Figure 2.6E (00:09:24) Figure 2.6F (00:09:29) Figure 2.6G (00:09:37) Figure 2.6H (00:15:19) The double death. Source: Leung Shan-pak’s Second Meeting with Chuk Ying-toi (1952, Dir. Chen Pei). At the tomb bearing his name, Shanbo literally drops dead upon seeing Yingtai the bride (01:37:02). Yingtai commits suicide, bashing her head against the tomb (01:37:07). Yingtai falls to the ground, dead, at a slight distance from the dead Shanbo (off-screen) (01:37:27). Newspaper advert for the Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai movie (1955, Dir. Wong Tin-Lam, Saam Yeung). Source: Wen Wei Po [WHP], 10 August 1955: 6. The Love Eterne newspaper advert. Source: Sing Tao Daily [STD], 1 April 1963: 6. Film poster for Dangerous Encounter—1st Kind (1980). The film’s original Chinese title, given at the top of the poster, has five characters: Dai yat leui ngai him (in Pinyin: Deyi lei weixian). The released title retains the original name but inserts a new character, Ying (in Pinyin: Xing), using a caret mark. Crossroads (1937). Xiao Yang holds the framed picture of Lao Zhao’s framed graduation photo and, as given in the subtitle, reads the words on the sticky label across his face: ‘Unemployed No. B’ (00:51:32). Shanghai Blues (1984). Stool puts her finger on Do-Re-Mi’s framed graduation photo; next to it is a drawing of his ‘girlfriend’. On her face is a question mark because he does not know what she looks like (00:31:47). The ‘South Pacific’ billboard. Source: Shanghai Blues (1984, Dir. Tsui Hark, Film Workshop).

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55 54 54 54 54 55 55 55 55 71 71 71 71

74 80

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Figure 10.3

Figure 10.4 Figure 10.5 Figure 10.6

Two original film posters of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical blockbuster South Pacific (1958). The cheerful Mitzi Gaynor as Nellie, in beachwear, takes centre-stage in the first poster (left). In the second, wearing a grass skirt, she stands on the far right side of the poster, leaning against a coconut palm and gazing into the distance, as if love-lorn. The ‘Goodbye Shanghai’ billboard (1:37:41). Source: Shanghai Blues (1984, Dir. Tsui Hark. Film Workshop). The film poster for Shanghai Blues (1984). At the end of their mou-lei-tau Peking opera act, Stool (right) stays in a frozen position, as Do-Re-Mi turns around and says: ‘Good!’ (00:44:05). Source: Shanghai Blues (1984, Dir. Tsui Hark. Film Workshop).

227

Contesting colonial authority.

199

220 221 223

Table Table 9.1

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Acknowledgements

I am indebted to a number of people for their help in bringing this book to fruition. Their enduring support, encouragement and inspiration have indeed been crucial and comforting, especially mentor and long-time friend David Birch for his steadfast generosity and valuable advice, not to forget his baking recipes. Other friends and colleagues include Marshall W. Alcorn Jr, Chris Berry, Patricia Chu, (the late) Esther Cheung, John Corbett, Jeremy Fernando, Earl Jackson, (the late) Chuck Kleinhans, Lee Sang Joon, Terence Lee, Julia Lesage, Li Defeng, Liu Hui, Li Ying, Sheldon Lu, Aaron Magnon-Park, Gina Marchetti, Martin Montgomery, Elliott Shr-tzung Shie, Sun Yifeng and Glenn Timmermans; some of them have arranged special workshops which variously have enabled me to present related research in Australia, Hong Kong, mainland China, Singapore, Taiwan and the United States. I am likewise grateful to the two anonymous book manuscript reviewers for their careful comments and criticisms, and also to the editorial team at Edinburgh University Press for their patience, enthusiasm and diligence, especially Fiona Conn, Margaret Hillenbrand, Wendy Lee, Gillian Leslie, Caitlin Murphy and Richard Strachan. Warmest hugs for dear friends Delia Falconer, Eleanor Hogan, Liam Leonard and Su Qinyang for the conversations over the year or for simply being there and for keeping me in good humour. Mua-aah! Undergraduate and postgraduate students, past and present, near and far, of English, Film, and Communication whom I have had the privilege to teach and get to know well have been similarly wonderful: in ways large and small they have helped guide the direction and content of this book. Prominent among them are Amelia Chan Lai Man, Michael Lee, Ives Shen Chen, (the late) Jasper Singh, Anny Tian Shuang, Diane Wu Jie, Sofi Yang Shanhong, May Xiong Wenqiang, Zhang Bing, Garland Zhang Guonan and Sherry Zhang Xiaoyi, as well as my wonderful research/teaching assistants, Dennis Dai Yongde and Vivian Yang Qiuwei, along with Tony Ding Junxiao and James Hu Liyuan. Special thanks go to Cassie Lin Jun and Vincent Pacheco for their arduous work in helping me streamline the References section, including the Filmography, and also to former MA students of the University of Macau

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(from different faculties and disciplines) for their assistance in my universityfunded research project of some years ago. Indeed I am indebted to their collective enthusiasm for working through various resources to compile relevant data for Figure 1.1, the Shaw Brothers’ Annual Mandarin and Cantonese Production (1958–88) chart. So to: Jin Weishan, Liao Jieke, Lin Yueyi, Liu Xueqing, Wu Yizhi and Zhang Lei--thank you very much. My heartfelt appreciation likewise goes to the University of Macau’s Rector Office for the generous Multiple-Year Research grants and also for approving my sabbatical leave of 2020, which allowed me to finalise the book amid the COVID-19 pandemic: thank you to Ruis Martins, and also to Tiffany Chao, Rebecca Wong and Bonnie Tin, for guiding me through the administrative maze. Many thanks also to Film Workshop (Hong Kong)ġ 暣⼙ⶍἄ⭌ for granting copyright clearance permission for the image in the book’s front cover, and to the Federation of Hong Kong Filmmakers 楁㷗暣⼙ⶍἄ侭䷥㚫 for assisting with the clearance. Last but not least, I am ever grateful to my family for simply being there whenever I need care and comfort, especially my son, Chen Xingsong, for teaching me the joys of life. This book contains updated versions of my earlier publications, or extracts thereof: • •









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(2015) Shaw Brothers’ bangpian: Global Bondmania, cosmopolitan dreaming and cultural nationalism. Screen 56(2): 195–213. (2014) Melancholia and melancholizing in fengyue (erotic) movies: Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan and Lust for Love of a Chinese Courtesan. Screen 54(1): 82–103. (2011) Surfing with the surreal in Tsui Hark’s wave: Collage practice, hybrid texts and flexible citizenship. In Cheung Esther, Marchetti Gina and Tan See Kam (eds) Hong Kong Screenscapes: From the New Wave to the Digital Frontier. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, pp. 33–50. (2009). From South Pacific to Shanghai Blues: No film is an island. In Marchetti Gina and Tan See Kam (eds) Hong Kong Film, Hollywood and the New Global Cinema. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 13–34. (2007) Huangmei opera films, Shaw Brothers and Ling Bo: Chaste love-stories, genderless cross-dressers and sexless gender-plays? Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media 49 (Spring): (1997) Ban(g)! ban(g)! Dangerous Encounter—1st Kind. Asian Cinema 8(1): 83–108.

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A Note on Language

Modern Chinese, or standard Mandarin, has (at least) three nominations or forms: Guoyu (national language), Putonghua (common language) and Huayu (Hua language). It is based on baihua (plain language), which the literati of the May Fourth New Culture Movement promoted and popularised in Republican China during the second decade of the twentieth century. As a form of vernacular language, baihua is distinct from guanhua, the language of officialdom or Chinese classicism. Given its elitist history, guanhua was thought to be a major cause of widespread illiteracy in China, and hence the country’s backwardness. The KMT (Guomindang) government adopted baihua as the Guoyu of Republican China. The national language of the People’s Republic, Putonghua, a derivative of Republican China’s Guoyu, has distinct features, however. It uses simplified Chinese characters (jiantizi) and Pinyin for romanisation. It is most widely used in mainland China. Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, on the other hand, have retained the Guoyu variety, which uses complex or traditional Chinese characters (fantizi) for writing, Zhuyin or Mandarin Phonetic Symbols (colloquially known as bopomofo) for transcribing speech sounds, and Wade-Giles for Romanising Chinese scripts. Standard Mandarin is most commonly called Huayu, especially in the ‘Nanyang’ (South Sea) region. Huayu has the form of Guoyu or Putonghua, or a hybrid of the two. In Singapore, for example, Huayu had the guoyu-form until the late 1960s. Nowadays, its written script is closer to the putonghua-form and Pinyin is normally employed for transcription. When it comes to given names, however, the transcription system is neither Pinyin nor Zhuyin/Wade-Giles. For instance, for the surname 昛 (fantizi) or 旰 (jiantizi), Putonghua would use the latter character and renders it as ‘Chen’ (Pinyin). In Guoyu, the former character is used instead and its romanisation would be ‘Ch’en’ (Wade-Giles). In Huayu, the transcription is mostly determined by the ‘mother tongue’ of the person concerned: ‘Tan’ if the person is of Hainanese or Hokkien descent, or ‘Chan’ if of Cantonese stock, and so on. Finally, Huayu is one of Singapore’s four national

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languages (Guoyu) but the guo (nation) in the guoyu has nothing to do with the guo of the KMT’s and Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) geo-political imaginaries, as it specifically refers to the independent nation of Singapore. The name order for Chinese names is normally written with the family name first—for example, ‘Chen’ (Pinyin) or ‘Ch’en’ (Wade-Giles), and if based on the ‘mother-tongue’ modalities, ‘Tan’ or ‘Chan’—and then followed by the personal (given) name. The latter may have either one character (syllable) or two—for example, Chan Pei (a well-known Cantonese filmmaker in the 1950s) or Lai Man-Wai (the ‘father’ of Hong Kong cinema), respectively. In this book, generally speaking, hyphenated given names indicate names belonging to the Guoyu or Hanyu paradigm of romanised nominations. At the first mention or reference, their Pinyin rendition is given immediately after—thus ‘director Chan Pei/ Chen Pi’ or ‘Lai Man-Wai’s (Li Minwei) films’. By the same token, two-syllable names without a hyphen accede to the Pinyin system for transcribing a person’s given name—for example, Cai (surname) Chusheng (given name) of pre-war Shanghai cinema. Pinyin romanisation is used in part because the person concerned is a mainland China entity and also in part because, unlike Hong Kong residents of Chinese ancestry, including China- or Hong Kong-born filmmakers, and other Chinese descendants elsewhere in the Chinese diaspora, such entities usually have only Pinyin names. Additionally, whether from Mainland China or the Chinese diaspora, Chinese people have been known to adopt a Western or Westernised name such as Griffin or Sally, as in the respective cases of Griffin Yueh Feng (in Pinyin: Yue Feng), who was born in China but relocated to Hong Kong, and Taiwanese–Canadian actress Sally Yeh Sin-Man (in Pinyin: Ye Qianwen). This is the name order used in the body of the book, but in the back matter these names are rendered as ‘Yueh (surname) Feng, Griffin’ and ‘Yeh (surname) Sin-Man, Sally. Throughout this book I use the guoyu-form, putonghua-form and huayu-form to distinguish the three varieties of standard Mandarin used in the Republic of China (Taiwan), the People’s Republic and the Chinese diaspora. For Hong Kong, I use the ‘guoyu-huayu’ descriptor since, as a British colony until 1997, it never had an official national (Chinese) language. In the body of the book I use the English title to identify a particular film, together with its year of production and the name of the director in parenthesis: for example, The Dream of the Red Chamber (1978, Dir. Lee Han-Hsiang/ Li Hanxiang). Its Chinese-language title is given in the Filmography, along with the name of the director and year and place of production, and the Pinyin equivalent as well where appropriate. For example: ‘The Dream of the Red Chamber/ Jinyu liangyuan Hong Lou meng (1977) Dir. Lee Han-Hsiang/Li Hanxiang. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers’. This also applies to titles of Chinese-language publications

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A Note on Language

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(print or digital) in the References section, where appropriate: for example: Huang Zhaohan (2009) Yam Kim-Fei, 1913–1989: Portrait of a Chinese Opera Performance Prodigy/Changtian luo caixia: Ren Jianhui de juyi shijie. Hong Kong: San Lian Bookstore. Appendix 2, the Glossary of Chinese-language Film Titles, provides the titles with their corresponding Pinyin name and Chinese scripts (both fantizi and jiantizi). Appendix 3, the Glossary of Chinese-language Persons, Film Companies/Studios, Opera Troupes and Media, offers a catalogue of Chineselanguage names in the Zhuyin/Wade-Giles or Pinyin romanised form; all such names also have their Pinyin equivalent and corresponding fantizi and jiantizi. Finally, Appendix 4 is a compilation of Chinese terms and phrases used in the main body of the book, with a translation in English, as well as their fantizi and jiantizi equivalents. Not all Chinese-language films come with an official English title. Where they do not, I use the English translation of the title found in Hong Kong Film Archive publications, Hong Kong Movie Database (hkmdb.com) and other authoritative sources.

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Preface

Hong Kong Cinema and Sinophone Transnationalisms brings together my interest in and research on Hong Kong films, from the industry’s inception in the 1930s through to the later ‘New Wave’ phenomenon of the 1980s. Two particular films mark where I choose my cut-off point: Shaw Brothers’ Lust for Love of a Chinese Courtesan (1984, Dir. Chor Yuen/Chu Yuan), a remake of the original Shaw Brothers’ Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan (1972, Dir. Chor Yuen), and Tsui Hark’s (Xu Ke’s) 1984 Shanghai Blues. This is a most significant year because it marks the signing of the Sino-British Declaration ceding Hong Kong back to China in 1997. Films leading up this point, and most certainly after it, were not immune to the threat of this 1997 sword of Damocles hanging over the territory: a sword, as I will show in this book, which is a useful, and more often very necessary, lens through which to read Hong Kong movies, whether they stem from the highly commercial interests of the influential Shaw Brothers or the ‘New Wave’ films of Tsui Hark. With apologies for mixing my metaphors, I do so under the umbrella of ‘sinophone transnationalism’, exploring the development of film in what must be the major Chinese-language filmmaking centre of the Chinese diaspora: Hong Kong. And further, I do so within the context of its ‘sinophone transnational’ aspirations during the extremely interesting, and often challenging, fifty-year period leading up to the Hong Kong handover negotiations of 1984. Hong Kong Cinema and Sinophone Transnationalisms recognises some new theories in the film studies field, and includes an analysis of certain films that were previously not available for close viewing. It draws on my earlier published work (see Tan, 1996a, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2007a, 2007b, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016), some of which has been substantially revised for this book, particularly with reference to new resources that have come to light in the last decade. It also includes significant new material and critical insights, enabling an analysis of the formative years of early Hong Kong cinema to be made through diverse readings of the often dramatically changing ideas and definitions of Chinese identities and imaginaries.

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Preface

xvii

Sinophone transnationalism, including processes of sinification, together with anxieties about identity, place and displacement, is the main scaffold driving the narrative force of this book. Within this architectural framework I explore a range of (mostly) Hong Kong films not just to engage with the past in which these films are located, but also, by using that past, to draw out themes which still resonate powerfully today in contemporary Hong Kong and, more generally, in China and the Chinese diaspora. In bringing together my research and interests in this way, I seek to show how films, and certain specific examples in particular, emerged in this fiftyyear period that add(ed) specific new sinophone dimensions to extant cultural traditions, intellectual ideas, artistic practices, cinematic styles and filmic forms, fostering new and different ways of seeing the familiar and the known. These films—my argument throughout the book spans Huangmei opera films (Huangmei diao pian), the earliest caizi/jiaren romances (qiqingpian) and crossdressing (fanchuan) films, to erotic movies (fengyuepian), James Bond-style stories (bangpian), warrior-errant (wuxiapian) and national defence films (guofangpian), culminating in New Wave works (xinlangpian)—have helped create a journey which laid the foundations for a cosmopolitan dreaming and a new localism for Hong Kong and sinophone cinema; this has resulted in different ways of enabling our understanding of essentialist determinations of ‘China’ and ‘Chineseness’ to change, as they indeed did in the films that were made in this period. And by so doing, this journey has paved the way for a sinophone cinema to construct viable, and globally acceptable, transnational products that create (and also emerge from) sometimes quite different, but still recognisably ‘Chinese’, imaginaries. It is the beginnings of sinophone cinema that have enabled this rich resource to come into existence, and it is to those beginnings that I mostly turn in the early chapters of this book, concentrating, in particular, on a cinema which initially emerged in the 1930s as an extraterritorial(ised) medium displaying a multitude of Chinese tongues and dialects. These tongues speak of linguistic multiplicity and cultural diversity in Sinitic communities and mark the path of ‘[the] world of sinophone cinema’ as ‘a field of [contesting and competing] articulations that constantly challenge and re-define the boundaries of groups, ethnicities, and national affiliations’ (Lu, 2007). This, in turn, raises a multitude of questions about what ‘China’ and ‘Chineseness’ signify within both the global and, more specifically, the Chinese diaspora arena (Magnan-Park et al., 2018a: 5). It is these questions, and most especially the fundamental assertion that ‘China’ and ‘Chineseness’ are not singular, unproblematic concepts with universally accepted meanings, that inform my analysis of the various films, and their contexts, in this book.

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xviii Hong Kong Cinema and Sinophone Transnationalisms

Part I New Beginnings I begin in Chapter 1, ‘Locating Sinophone Cinema’, and by picking up on Shih Shu-Mei’s significant work on sinophone studies (Shih, 2007, 2011, 2013a, 2013b), I locate sinophone cinema in the intersection with transnational Chinese and Chinese-language cinema studies that question (and, indeed, reject) the ‘overemphasis on the “nation” as a means of categorising the field’ (MagnanPark et al., 2018a: 5). That field is more generally interested in stories about ‘place-based’ localism and the localisation of migrants in their host societies (Shih, 2011: 714–15), and, as such, shines a revealing light on issues of migration, movement, mobility and settlement, offering sinophone cinema studies a rich resource in the multitude of its films and their contexts. I show in Chapter 2, ‘The Sinification of Early Shanghai and Hong Kong Cinema’, some of the articulations in the sinification of film in pre- and post-war Shanghai and Hong Kong: articulations which function as critically important tropes of Chinese nationalism and essentialism. The driving principle is what I have, in the past, called zuguo jiaxiang (motherland) sinicism, based on the presumed unity of one ancestry, country, people and race (Tan, 2001). And I demonstrate in this chapter that its subsequent essentialisation and politicisation by leftists at the time was not surprising, since it concurred with the latter’s nationalistic and anti-commercialist agenda vis-à-vis the film industry. The central effect on the sinification of film, especially with the dislocation of Shanghai film directors who sought refuge from the Japanese invasion of the mainland in the pre-war Hong Kong of the late 1930s, especially the work of Cai Chusheng and his guofangpian (national defence films), forms the crux of this chapter. In particular, I explore the zuguo jiaxiang sinification of film as it continued to evolve in the diaspora in post-war Hong Kong. These first two chapters, therefore, lay some of the foundations for the production of films of the diaspora, which I position in this book as touchstones of, and milestones in, the development of new Chinese imaginaries in sinophone cinema, particularly as they began to reflect the rapidly changing, and emergent, post-war political, economic and cultural pluralities and diversities in Hong Kong. This was a Hong Kong that was now teeming with post-war refugees and migrants from mainland China and growing rapidly as a highly industrialised society, to become, in the 1980s, a global financial centre (an Asian economic tiger) to contend with.

Part II New Directions Chapter 3, ‘Huangmei diao pian’, expands on the emergence of other new Chinese imaginaries by closely examining the cross-sex acting, gender roles, gender

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Preface xix reversal and queered identities at the heart of some of the very popular Huangmei opera films that were to emerge post-war. Amongst them is the genre’s crown jewel, Shaw Brothers’ The Love Eterne (1963, Dir. Lee Han-Hsiang/Li Hanxiang). I propose that Huangmei opera films, particularly those starring the very famous actress Ling Po (often in a cross-sexed fanchuan role), raise many critically important issues around modes of address, like the queering of sinophone cinemas, rather than simply displaying nostalgia for times or cultures gone by. I therefore develop a narrative in this chapter, beginning with selected Huangmei diao pian produced by the very influential Shaw Brothers studio, that seeks to engage with the specific history of Huangmei opera films: a worthy aim in its own right, but also one that will contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the importance, often unnoticed, of these films to the development of sinophone cinema in general, and the potential for our now deeper understanding of new Chinese imaginaries in particular. To that end, I seek to develop critical interventions in sinophone film studies that aim at correcting an often gender-blind and heterosexist essentialist view of Huangmei opera film history (and other films) in the sinophone diaspora. I do so by exploring the contemporary discursive relevance of this now-defunct film genre, especially with reference to the phenomenon of fanchuaners (professional cross-sex performers) in traditional Chinese opera in relation to transnational film studies, film star studies, film director studies and contemporary queer studies within the overall context of diasporic/sinophone film studies. Chapter 4, ‘Caizi/Jiaren Romance in Disguise’, digs deeper into this, by looking closely at the very popular Shaw Brothers qiqingpian romances (literally, ‘strange or queer romance films’), which, I argue, created a major shift in the Chinese imaginary (mostly zuguo jiaxiang-based) to one which is considerably more disruptive in its resymbolisation/rearticulation of China and Chineseness. I invite diverse readings of qiqing films by identifying and highlighting queer elements and tensions in some of these much-loved Hong Kong films, and by seeking to unpack, and to ‘queer-challenge’, some essentialist ‘Chinese’ systems of articulation and modes of address. And I do so as a means of developing, throughout subsequent chapters in this book, additional ways of thinking about many very popular Hong films as part of an evolving argument about changing Chinese imaginaries and their impact, both then and now. Some of those imaginaries I explore in a much more detailed and challenging way and through a much more queered lens, as it were, in Chapter 5, ‘Fanchuan Acting: Cross-dressing and Performative Transsexualities’, most especially by examining the work of fanchuan actresses Ivy Ling Po and Yam Kim-Fei (also known as Yam Kim-Fai) and their ‘performative transsexualisation’: a performance process which enables a cross-sexual transcendency where life becomes

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art, and art becomes life. This involves an excess of ‘real life’, ‘real time’ and ‘real space’—an excess that ‘frees’ the life-in-art from the constraints of real life. The gender transcendency involved thus makes fanchuan performances both credible and convincing. But, more than that, they effectively become symptomatic of the changes taking place in the highly charged and contested diasporic space that was Hong Kong at that time—and is surely even more so now—where the familiar, the hitherto unquestioned and political, social and cultural norms were, and still are, disrupted, in film and in life.

Part III New Imaginaries Some of those disruptions I examine in more detail in Chapter 6, ‘Tongzhi Articulations in Fengyue Films’, where I concentrate on reclaiming two Shaw Brothers ‘Chinese courtesan’ (erotic) films (fengyuepian)—Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan (1972, Dir. Chor Yuen) and its remake, Lust for Love of a Chinese Courtesan (1984, Dir. Chor Yuen)—as part of my continuing critical intervention into some of the sensibilities and discourses that both queered sinophone cinema and the diaspora itself. Those ‘sensibilities’ range in scope from homoeroticism to same-sex love, from cross-dressing to genderbending. I move in this chapter from use of the words ‘queer’ and ‘queering’ to the appropriation (and addition) of a different term—tongzhi (what we might call ‘queer consciousness’), which was introduced and popularised in 1992 by Hong Kong playwright Edward Lam. It is an important move because it gives a specifically sinophone dimension to my developing argument about the queering of film in the diaspora, and the impacts that this had, and would have, on transnational cinema. In Chapter 6, therefore, I seek to continue to find new ways of talking about sexual identity as critical for our contemporary understanding, and rereading, of some of the changes taking place in the films of the sinophone diaspora, whilst at the same time, through this rereading, continuing to explore the redefining of older, more essentialist traditions in the way we see terms like ‘China’ and ‘Chineseness’ beginning to change and to require more diverse semantic clarity. My discussion of seemingly (and suddenly) quite different films in Chapter 7, ‘Trans-ness: Hong Kong’s Bond Movies (Bangpian)’, continues to engage with these rereadings, especially with some of the older traditions, like the wuxiapian (warrior-errant films), that are presented in these bangpian in quite new and relevant ways, because they are, in fact, dealing with a totally different, new audience—third culture kids in Hong Kong who are no longer satisfied with either the popular ‘Chinese’ films that have gone before them, or the relatively

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Preface xxi narrower ‘Chinese’ society in which they were formed. Shaw Brothers’ profitmotivated answer was the creation of Hong Kong Bond movies (bangpian)— contemporary action films inspired by movies about the British secret agent. Like the original Bond movies, Hong Kong’s bangpian carry the promise of heroic individualism and themes of cosmopolitan living and upward mobility. But unlike the originals, they primarily targeted the Chinese diasporic film markets. Importantly, they had particular appeal for young cosmopolitans in the Chinese diaspora who sought and embraced the fun of ‘trans-ness’ that such cosmo-localised pastiche offered. These were films which offered a dream for new, younger audiences seeking to break out of the tired and familiar: to transform themselves, not as the caizi/jiaren characters had done in the earlier Huangmei opera films by gender-bending cross-dressing, but through a ‘cosmopolitan dreaming’—a third culture—that not only enabled the Shaw Brothers production studio to ‘go global’ in what were becoming shrinking markets for their back catalogue, but which also permitted, without it being part of a consciously studio-driven grand plan, a globalised redefining of what constituted ‘China and Chineseness’ in the diaspora.

Part IV New Waves Concepts of ‘China’ and ‘Chineseness’ were changing in the sinophone diaspora and its cinemas—and so were the third culture kids for whom the bangpian had been made. Some of these young people were now becoming film directors themselves, and the movies they made increasingly became known as New Wave Hong Kong cinema. One of these third culture directors was Tsui Hark, who made his debut in Hong Kong with The Butterfly Murders (1979), followed by We’re Going to Eat You (1980), Dangerous Encounter—1st Kind (1980) and, a few films later, Shanghai Blues (1984). These particular films continue to raise very important issues about Chineseness, identity, home and diaspora that are crucial to any understanding of the way in which transnationalism, in new and localised ways, was to become embedded at the heart of sinophone cinema. In Chapter 8, ‘Tsui Hark: Accented Cinema’, I contextualise The Butterfly Murders and We’re Going to Eat You within a broader argument about the development of Hong Kong New Wave cinema, and then develop this with a more detailed analysis of Dangerous Encounter—1st Kind in Chapter 9, ‘Tsui Hark: Time-bomb Cinema’. I finally focus in particular on Shanghai Blues in Chapter 10, ‘Tsui Hark: New Localisms’. I do so to show ways in which films like these, particularly in the hands of a New Wave director like Tsui Hark, can be used as a disruptive force in the development of new Chinese imaginaries and identities: for example, in ancient China (Butterfly), in Republican China (Eat), in late colonial

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Hong Kong (Dangerous), and in 1930s Shanghai as a simulacrum of late colonial Hong Kong (Shanghai Blues). While these, and other later, movies gave Tsui Hark the status of a ‘New Waver’ (Law, 2001; Rodriguez, 2001), more importantly, I show in these final three chapters that the four films, different as they might appear to be from those discussed earlier in the book, function as part of a line of sinophone filmmaking running from the 1930s to the 1980s, as allegories of displaced people within and outside of their homelands, grappling with Chinese identity issues, and offering numerous metaphors of diasporadom in the interstices between the marginland and the mainstreamland of Chinese societies. Overall, then, this changing sinophone cinema, mapped out as it is in Hong Kong Cinema and Sinophone Transnationalisms by my analysis of selected films and their contexts from the early 1930s to the 1980s, signals an intricate complexity of filmmaking practices significantly in tune with the social, political, cultural and economic changes taking place throughout this fifty-year period. It lays, I hope, a very fruitful foundation for further understanding the development and changing faces of Hong Kong films and sinophone transnationalism in the equally complex and changing times—past, present and future—in Hong Kong and the sinophone diaspora.

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PART I NEW BEGINNINGS

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For those of us too young to remember the mainland, we did not really know the old culture. So when we would see it in this movie [The Love Eterne], we would think, ‘Oh that is China.’ When I went back to China to make Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon [2000], I knew nothing about the real China. I had this image in my mind, from movies . . . So I projected these images as my China, the China in my head. (Ang Lee cited in Lyman, 2001)

Territoriality and Territorialisation Hong Kong, which was ceded to Great Britain in 1842 and then reverted to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, became a prosperous entrepôt of the British Empire in the Far East, providing a gateway between China and the rest of the world (and vice versa). After World War II, it underwent rapid urbanisation and industrialisation, and then, in the early1980s, transformed itself into an international financial hub, at the same time as its film industry, one of the most prolific and advanced in the Chinese diaspora, started to make firm headway in the arena of global cinema, where the consumers of its films were no longer confined to the Chinese-speaking world. As the People’s Republic of China (PRC) steered away from the ravages of the Cultural Revolution (1966–76) to embrace the ‘marketplace’ and reset its otherwise faltering economy, Hong Kong films gradually gained traction in the ‘motherland’ that had once banned them. Living in one of Asia’s four tigers, Hong Kong’s people enjoyed a lifestyle commensurate with first world standards, characterised by advanced technologies, material abundance, and freedom of speech, assembly and movement—in ways that their compatriots across the border could only dream of. Caught between a rock and a hard place, however, they never enjoyed the universal suffrage that was grounded in fully democratic systems of governance and accountability, although, in the early 1980s, the mobilisation power of the tortuous process of democracy and

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‘regime-led and bottom-up democratisation’ was gaining momentum and public support (Sing, 2004: 31). Multiple political parties came into being and their collective ‘bargaining power’ contributed to the electoral reform of 1994, on the watch of Chris Patten, the colony’s last British administrator. For the first time, Hong Kong people over the age of eighteen were able to vote in a three-tier election that was comprised of the Legislative Council, Municipal Councils and District Boards. Previously, all members of the latter two bodies were appointed. In 1995, the pro-democracy camp won a landslide victory in the colony’s first, and only, fully elected legislative election (Sing, 2004). Hong Kong people might well have had sentimental, even organic, ties to the land (China) which once ceded it to a foreign power, but such ties, often based on claims of common ancestry and consanguinity, were fraught with, and troubled by, competing claims and loyalties. During the 155 years of British colonial rule, Hong Kong witnessed many tumultuous changes in China, from the demise of the dynastic rule of the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911) to the rise of Republican China (1911–49), from the Japanese occupation (1931–45) and the Chinese Civil War (1946–9) to the founding of the People’s Republic (1949– ), which then became bogged down in recurrent political mires that turned its economy topsyturvy. In times of war and political turmoil, the colony had served as a place of refuge for Chinese across the border. When the crises resolved, some of these people returned to the mainland. Others chose to stay on or to move abroad. As a conduit to the world at large, the Hong Kong territory saw flow upon flow of people, commodities, food, capital, ideas and other forms of global traffic. In 1997, it became a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the PRC, which, two years later, also reclaimed the former Portuguese colony of Macao, also as an SAR. In the meantime, self-ruling Taiwan, the last bastion of Republican China (since 1949), now with a population of nearly 24 million (as of 2020), asserted and maintained its sovereign authority as an island-state, and has continued to do so. It too was an Asian tiger, the other two being Singapore and South Korea. After martial law was lifted in 1987, it took the path of democracy in order to foster and institute political, economic and social reforms. As a result, its people enjoy universal suffrage and can choose their government at the ballot box. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP), also known as the Communist Party of China (CPC), has, however, regarded Taiwan as a renegade province, which its People’s Liberation Army (PLA) would take back by force if necessary. It has additionally taken an uncompromising stand against the ‘separatism’ that would lead the island to secure national independence. Otherwise, China has had border disputes in the South China Sea with Brunei, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and, ironically, with Taiwan as well. Elsewhere, it has land border disputes with Bhutan, India, Myanmar and Pakistan, among others. As China rises

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to become a superpower in the twenty-first century, with the world’s second largest economy, its authoritarian government has also sought to cultivate soft power through international collaboration, the most significant element being the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which, since 2013, has secured infrastructure and investment projects that traverse Central Asia, reaching Europe and the Middle East, criss-crossing Africa, extending to South and Latin America and the Caribbean, and, closer to home, from South and Southeast Asia to the Pacific region. In 2017, on the eve of Hong Kong’s twentieth anniversary of post-1997 Chinese rule, the Chinese Foreign Ministry unilaterally announced that the Sino-British Joint Declaration (1984), which stipulated the terms for Chinese resumption of sovereignty over Hong Kong in 1997, was ‘a historical document that no longer had any practical significance’ (Blanchard et al., 2017). The British government (and many Hong Kongers) disagreed and they consider the treaty as legally binding. Three years earlier, Hong Kong had been rocked by the seventy-nine-day pro-democracy Umbrella Movement, demanding, among other things, the right to elect the territory’s leaders through general elections by universal suffrage with no curtailment from the Central Government of China, as provided for by Article 45 of the Basic Law. The Basic Law formed the crux of the Sino-British Joint Declaration. This mini-constitution additionally specified that, post 1997, Hong Kong would be managed under a ‘one country, two systems’ provision that would allow its people ‘high autonomy’ in running Hong Kong for the fifty years leading up to 2046. In March 2019, Hong Kong’s Fugitive Offenders amendment bill triggered another chain of pro-democracy protests, which, three months later, culminated in ‘nearly 2 million’ taking to the streets in support of the protests (SCMP, 2019). The demonstrations, before and after this, were largely peaceful with just occasional violence. But in July 2019, the protesters stormed the Legislative Council (LegCo) Building. On 4 September, Chief Executive Carrie Lam withdrew the bill, but protests demanding her resignation, as well as an independent investigation into alleged police brutality and misconduct, a retraction of the official classification of the protests as ‘riots’, the release of all those arrested and the introduction of universal suffrage—what the protestors called the ‘Five Demands’—continued into November, with sieges at the Hong Kong University and Hong Kong Polytechnic University marking yet another climax to the ongoing protests. That same month, the pro-democracy camp triumphed in the District Council election as never before. But in early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic slowed down the protests. Tensions mounted again, however, in May 2020 after Beijing proposed a national security law for Hong Kong. On 30 June (the eve of the city’s twentythird anniversary of Chinese rule) the National People’s Congress Standing

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Committee in Beijing passed the law unanimously. The new law criminalises acts that undermine the authority of the Central Government: in particular, secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign entities (Tsoi and Lam, 2020). Carrie Lam defended it, and confirmed that ‘much of the implementation of the law would be managed in secret’ and that Hong Kong’s elected legislature was not ‘formally consulted’ (Lung and Scott, 2020). Javier Hernández (2020) of The New York Times held the view that the new law, which was characterised by ‘vaguely defined crimes’, had ‘broad authority to intervene in Hong Kong’s legal system’. This implies that it contravened the Basic Law, which clearly stipulates that Hong Kong would maintain its legal and political systems until 2046, except for military affairs and foreign relations, with a high degree of autonomy under the ‘one country, two systems’ provision. The Chinese imposition reverberated far beyond its shores. On 1 July, the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, reiterated that it was a ‘clear and serious breach’ of the Sino-British Joint Declaration and offered up to three million Hong Kong residents a path to UK citizenship (Eardley, 2020). That same day, Taiwan offered sanctuary as well (Aspinwall, 2020). On 3 July, however, at the United Nations Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, fifty-three countries expressed support for Beijing’s new law; most were China’s Belt and Road project partners. Twenty-seven other countries were critical and followed up with countermeasures that ranged from the announcement of an arms embargo to the suspension or termination of extradition agreements with Hong Kong, and from the humanitarian extension of visas to Hong Kong residents to the offer of political asylum (Aspinwall, 2020; Galbraith et al., 2020; Lawler, 2020; Raab, 2020; Wolley, 2020; Zhao, 2020). The United States was not a member of this council but exerted pressure in other ways. On 16 July, former US President Donald Trump revoked the United States–Hong Kong ‘special relationship’, effectively meaning that, as Trump said, ‘Hong Kong [would] now be treated the same as mainland China with no preferential treatment in commerce and trade’ (Macias, 2020; Olsen, 2020; Tsang et al., 2020). The Chinese government remained defiant. On 31 July, the Hong Kong SAR government announced the postponement for a year of the 2020 LegCo General Election, originally scheduled for 6 September 2020, citing, among other things, ‘public security and public health’ issues due to the ‘severe COVID-19 epidemic situation’ (HKSAR, 2020a). On 11 November, it ousted four elected LegCo lawmakers, following the resolution of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC), China’s top legislative body, on the qualifications of LegCo members, present or future, which preclude those deemed to have engaged in ‘unpatriotic’ acts that range from endangering national security to dishonouring the pledge of

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allegiance (HKSAR, 2020b; GT, 2020; Lau, 2020a). Carrie Lam defended the decision, promising to ‘“enhance the local law” to bring it in line with Beijing requirements’, while the remaining fifteen opposition lawmakers resigned en masse in protest (Lau, 2020a). The ousting was additional to the expulsion of four pro-democracy legislators three years earlier, for ‘modif[ying] their oaths of allegiance to China during the swearing-in ceremony in October 2016’ (TG, 2016, 2017). The anti-Extradition Bill protests have led to arrests on charges of unlawful assembly, obstructing police duties, rioting or inciting riots, contravening the new national security laws, or being in possession of laser pens, which the police now classify as a harmful tool. The courts have dismissed some cases due to the inconsistent evidence provided by the prosecutors. Others have been convicted, amongst them prominent young activists like Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam (Ramzy and May, 2020). Yet others, such as student leader, pro-democracy activitist and ousted lawmaker Nathan Law, have successfully fled Hong Kong. The so-called Hong Kong 12, who attempted to reach Taiwan by speedboat, were less fortunate when China’s Foreign Ministry labelled them as ‘separatists’ and the Hong Kong government distanced itself from them. The China Coast Guard intercepted the speedboat and detained the runaways, who were taken to Shenzhen and held in custody without charge for some four months. Reportedly denied access to family and lawyers, they were variously charged (with the exception of the two minors) with organising or participating in illegal border crossing and finally sentenced to jail for between seven months and three years (AJ, 2020; BBC, 2020a; Gan et al. 2020; Ng and Cheung, 2020; Lam et al., 2020; Lau, 2020b). In the meantime, former lawmakers were rounded up, while pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai, owner of Apple Daily, was detained under the sweeping national security law. At the time of writing, his trial was still pending, after Hong Kong’s highest court refused to extend his bail on 30 December (BBC, 2020b; Torode and Pomfret, 2020; Wang, 2021; Wong, 2020). The situation worsened in February 2021, when forty-seven pro-democracy activists, including former lawmakers, were arrested for ‘conspiring to subvert state power’ as part of what was called the ‘35-plus’ plot, intended to help them take control of the seventy-member LegCo at the afore-mentioned but now postponed official elections; this, it was alleged, would have the potential to paralyse or overthrow the government (Wong and Lam, 2021; Wong, 2021; Yeung, 2021). Amidst escalating international sanctions, China has called for ‘non-intervention’ in the country’s internal affairs and pushed through election changes that favour ‘patriots’ holding office. According to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the changes amount to ‘deny[ing] Hong Kongers a voice in [the territory’s] own

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governance by limiting political participation, reducing democratic representation, and stifling political debate’ (Cheng, 2021; Moritsugu and Soo, 2021).

Extraterritoriality and Extraterritorialisation During the Umbrella Movement (between 6 and 16 October 2014), Hong Kong stand-up comedian and actor Dayo Wong Tze-Wah (Wang Zhihua) gave a oneman show at the Hong Kong Coliseum, which has a seating capacity of 12,500. In 2019 an excerpt from his eleven sold-out shows was posted on YouTube with Chinese-language subtitles; the performance language was Cantonese (Wong, 2014/2019). In this excerpt, Wong makes the joke that, in 1997, the China– Hong Kong relationship was comparable to that of a mother kidnapping her son. ‘Who pays the ransom?’ he asks. Since then, he adds sardonically, the relationship has changed to that of mother-in-law (China) and daughter-in-law (Hong Kong), with the son or husband enduring their endless bickering: ‘Not unlike the “silent majority”.’ The continuous laughter and clapping suggest that Wong’s joke struck a chord in the hearts of the audience at the Coliseum (and beyond). And it provides an apt analogy for the ‘all-in-the-family’ narrative that has accompanied Hong Kong’s return to the ‘motherland’, while pointedly underscoring that not all in the family are happy. It also points to Hong Kong’s very strong awareness of its own extraterritoriality and extraterritorialisation.

Extraterritoriality and Hong Kong Cinema The awareness of extraterritoriality and extraterritorialisation in Hong Kong has not come about without considerable extraterritorial anxiety, drawn as it is from an exploration of a crisis mentality characterised by a strong sense of uncertainty and foreboding about home and belonging. The Sino-British negotiations over Hong Kong’s post-1997 future formally began with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s (1925–2013) earlier state visit to China in September 1982, after meeting with Deng Xiaoping (Teng Hsiao-ping, 1904–97) in Beijing. Although the people of Hong Kong were shut out of the negotiation process, as they would be when the controversial new national security law was later passed, they bore (and will continue to bear) the consequences of these negotiations. Those consequences show themselves in many varied ways and, perhaps not surprisingly, do so in a Hong Kong which was to become a premier Chinese-language filmmaking centre in the Chinese diaspora. To this end, Victor Fan has very insightfully contended that Hong Kong (the geo-political territory itself and the people and cultural products within) has had, since its cession in 1842, to engage perennially with, most relevantly, ‘two mutually

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conflicting—but also mutually collaborating—sovereign authorities’: namely, the British and the Chinese, whose power and authority over the colony, though exerted extraterritorially, have had far-reaching effects and consequences in everyday domains (Fan, 2019: 1). According to Fan, the longstanding disputes between the British and Chinese authorities, over Hong Kong’s status as a British colony or a Chinese territory, typically revolved around the issues of zhuquan (sovereign authority) and zhiquan (administrative right), resulting in disagreements which surfaced as early as the decade prior to the collapse of the Qing Dynasty in 1911, and which generated endless political crises for Britain, China and Hong Kong (ibid.: 1). Hong Kong, as it has always been and still is currently, is a very contested space, and the subsequent crises in this contested space have had significant implications for its films and film industry from the very earliest days. As Victor Fan says: These crises have repeatedly put into question the individuality, subjectivity and autonomy (agency) of Hong Kongers. In response, filmmakers, artists, critics and spectators have continuously striven to locate Hong Kong cinema and media—a site where they can negotiate their conflicting political affects and opinions associated with their extraterritorial positions. (ibid.: 1–2) In Hong Kong film studies, Fan’s extraterritoriality model marks a refreshing intervention, in that it avoids the pitfalls of Chinese national cinema studies that have generally de-emphasised Chinese or Hong Kong cinema’s transnational connections and cosmopolitan dimensions. As Fan asserts, ‘Hong Kong cinema [is] always doubly or even multiply occupied by contesting socio-political forces, in-group loyalties, senses of belonging, linguistic formations and cultural values’ (ibid.: 4). In this regard, Fan’s work dovetails with Sheldon Lu’s transnational Chinese cinema studies (Lu, 1997b) and with Sheldon Lu and Emilie Yeh’s notion of ‘Chinese-language cinemas’ (Lu and Yeh, 2005b). All three approaches steer clear of structuralist or neo-formalist approaches by clearly unfastening the concept of language from a single geo-political identity (in this case, China). By the same token, they disapprove of the sort of cultural essentialism that assumes the existence of pre-existing categories into which complex film aesthetics could be slotted, and they firmly refuse the supposed ontological presumption of equivalence between ‘Hong Kongness’ and ‘Chineseness’ that obscures politico-historical contingencies and culturo-linguisitic diversities. In this connection, Fan’s, Lu’s and Lu and Yeh’s works variously influence contemporary sinophone cinema studies, as they do my analyses here, by manifesting an interest in linguistic multiplicity and cultural diversity in Chinese-language films, including issues of Euro-American and Chinese colonisation, in the Sinitic spheres.

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Early Films: ‘China’ and ‘Chineseness’ Whether it is conceived of as a British colony or a Chinese territory, Hong Kong’s extraterritoriality and extraterritorialisation have inevitably driven place, people and cultural products to connect with the colonial, national and transnational that lies beyond Britain, China and Hong Kong—sometimes simultaneously, sometimes less so. Studies by Hong Kong film researchers such as Paul Fonoroff (1988a, 1988b), Law Wai-Ming (2017), Stephen Teo (1988, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2009) and Yu Mo-Wan (1980, 1995), among others, have shown that the marketplace for film in Hong Kong was dominated by foreign films at the beginning. This is not surprising, given that film was a Western invention, and the filmmaking economy was not yet in place in the territory. At this time, Cantonese opera was a major form of popular entertainment, but listed in its offerings, often as a highlight, were what were called ‘Exotic Western Pictures’, usually shown after the main opera event. These ‘Pictures’ also played in teahouses, and film rental services were available for private homes. With the arrival of cinema-houses, the first in Hong Kong thought to have been the Bijou Theatre at Central, built in 1907, exhibitors now had exclusive venues for film screenings, variously showing shorts, or a compilation thereof, from Japan, France, Italy, the UK and the US, as well as from the South Seas, or Nanyang, in Southeast Asia—shorts being the fashion or industrial standard of the day. They ranged from fiction films such as Georges Méliès’s A Trip to the Moon (1902) (which played in Hong Kong in 1906) to ‘scenic documentaries’ and ‘documentary footage of the Russo-Japanese War’, for example (Law, 2017: 124–8; see also Aitken and Ingham, 2014a: 41–2). As Sheldon Lu (1997a) might put it, cinema arrived in China (read: Hong Kong) as a foreign thing, making it always already transnational. When Cantonese commercial cinema took off in the 1930s, things began to change. Prior to that, exhibitors had to import films, especially as local filmmaking experiments, like Leung Siu-Po’s (Liang Shapo) Stealing a Roast Duck (1909), and Lai Bak-Hoi’s (Li Beihai) Chuang Tzu Tests His Wife (1913) and Rouge (1925), believed to be Hong Kong’s first drama, short and feature respectively, were too few and far between to make a significant impact. But they did rub shoulders with American transnationalism—briefly. The producer was the American Benjamin Brodsky, who had a film production studio in Shanghai called Asia Film Company (Fonoroff, 1988a; Teo, 1997). Brodsky most probably provided the camera and film stock, and was often both producer and cameraman himself. In these particular productions, Cantonese opera artists chiefly provided the labour, variously as director, scriptwriter or actor. It is conceivable that they would offer knowledgeable advice on costumes and sets, even possibly supplying

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them themselves, and also on social customs and taboos. Thus co-producer Lai Man-Wai (Li Minwei) played the titular wife character in Chuang Tzu Tests His Wife because of a taboo against female performers at the time (Teo, 1997: 3). Man-Wai, fondly known as the ‘father of Hong Kong cinema’, was the brother of Lai Bak-Hoi, who acted in Stealing a Roast Duck and went on to direct Chuang Tzu Tests His Wife. In 1913, he co-founded Hong Kong’s first film studio, the Wa Mei (Huamei) Film Company, which co-produced this film with Brodsky, who then took it back to America and reportedly screened it in Los Angeles. As a result, Wa Mei’s first and only film had a transnational circulation, though it never played in Hong Kong (Law, 2000). Lai Man-Wai’s brush with transnationalism was therefore a fleeting one. The ‘national’ option or alternative, which he subsequently embarked on to build his filmmaking career, was certainly not so. If, as Teo (1997) suggests, Brodsky’s collaborative works with Hong Kong’s Cantonese opera artists ‘[put in] to motion the first film linkages’ between Hong Kong and Shanghai, the two cities with nascent film industries (Teo, 1997: 3), then it was Lai Man-Wai, theatre director and avid photographer-turned-filmmaker, who helped tie the knot more firmly and securely. In 1923, some ten years after the ‘failed’ Wa Mei studio, Man-Wai founded another film studio in Hong Kong, this time calling it the Minxin Film Company (or the China Sun Motion Picture Company), and building it in Canton because the Hong Kong government had turned down his land-lease application for that very purpose (ibid.: 3). Its debut feature was Rouge. Man-Wai then relocated to Shanghai and founded Shanghai Minxin. The Canton–Hong Kong General Strike (1925–6) was most likely a contributing factor. In the summer of 1925, the wounding and killing of Chinese demonstrators by Sikh police under British command in the International Settlement of Shanghai, and then again about three weeks later, this time in the British and French concession of Shamian in Canton but also by troops under foreign command, triggered the strike. It brought ‘Hong Kong’s economy nearly . . . to a halt’, and with the massive departure of Chinese workers the colony was ‘like a ghost town’ (Carroll, 2007: 99). In 1930, Hong Kong-born, Peking-educated Cantonese film entrepreneur Luo Mingyou (Law Ming-Yau) incorporated Shanghai Minxin, along with Wu Xingzai’s Great China Beihe Film Company and Dan Duyu’s Shanghai Film Company, and founded Lianhua Film Company, where Man-Wai then worked as production manager. Lianhua was to become one of the three major studios in pre-war Shanghai. Man-Wai’s journey into the national domain of cultural production began as early as 1922, when he followed Dr Sun Yat-sen (Sun Yixian, 1866–1925), photographing and documenting in film the ‘Father of Modern China’ in action, along with other KMT stalwarts, including Sun’s successor, Chiang Kai-shek

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(Jiang Jieshi, 1887–1975). Significantly, as Stephen Teo says, ‘[Lai’s] backing for Sun’s republican philosophy and political aims is the first instance in Chinese film history of a filmmaker using the new medium of film to propagate a political cause’ (Teo, 1997: 4). In addition to making fiction films as director, scriptwriter or cinematographer, he was better known for his documentaries, partly because he was one of the first Hong Kong documentary filmmakers, if not the very first. In 1927, Shanghai Minxin produced The Great Battles of the Republican Revolutionary Army, Navy and Air Forces (Guomin gemingjun hailukong dazhan ji). Other notable examples include The Battle of Shanghai (Songhu kang zhan ji shi, 1937) and A Page of History (Xunye qianqiu, 1941). Ian Aitken and Michael Ingham (2014a) attribute these productions to Man-Wai’s Hong Kong Minxin and describe the former as an ‘activist film, shot for a purpose: that of gaining national and, above all, international support, for the China war effort’ (and so carries ‘some “English titles”’), whereas the latter is marked by ‘a highly partial valorisation of Sun, Chiang, the KMT and Chinese nationalism’ (Aitken and Ingham, 2014a: 32, 39). Unlike The Great Battles, they are sound films. In the relatively tranquil shelter of Hong Kong, away from the chaos of warravaged China, the film industry flourished as the Cantonese-language filmmaking centre in the Chinese diaspora. From constituting a filmmaking sector which had averaged about two films per year between 1924 and 1933, it took off in 1934 with fifteen productions—more than the total number for the previous ten years (HKF, 1997: 632–3). One of the catalysts was The White Gold Dragon, also known as (aka) The Platinum Dragon (1933, Dir. Tang Xiaodan), one of first ‘Chinese’ talkies from Shanghai to hit the Hong Kong film scene in 1934, though it was preceded by Hong Kong’s first sound film, The Idiot’s Wedding Night (1933, Dir. Lai Bak-Hoi). Made in Shanghai by the Tianyi Film Company, the film features Hong Kongborn Cantonese opera star Sit Kok-Sin/Xue Juexian (1904–56). Although based on the Cantonese opera of the same name, it has a modern-day setting. It was a huge commercial success in Hong Kong, Macao and Canton, as well as in the Cantonese-speaking regions of the Chinese diaspora, especially in Nanyang, where Tianyi’s sibling company in Singapore, Shaw Brothers Limited (founded in 1930), was a film distributor and exhibitor. Founded in 1925, Tianyi became one of the leading Chinese film studios, along with Mingxing and Lianhua, but, unlike the other majors, was mainly focused on making apolitical entertainment rather than politically charged, socially conscious films (Zhang and Xiao, 2002a: 302; Zhang, 2004: 37). The White Gold Dragon was a phenomenal success; made on a budget of US$15,000, it reportedly had a run of one year in Hong Kong, collecting a colossal one million Hong Kong dollars at the box office (estimated). In addition to south China, its continuing commercial success in Nanyang also opened up new film markets (Chung, 2003: 5; Zhou Chengren, 2003: 33), and

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led Tianyi to set up an off-shore production unit in Hong Kong soon after; a sequel, The White Gold Dragon The Platinum Dragon: Part 2, was made in 1937. The directors were Sit Kok-Sin and Go Lee-Han (Ko Lei-Hen)/Gao Lihen—the former also reprising his role as lead actor in the original White Gold Dragon— and the sequel also included Tong Suet-Hing/Tang Xueging, the original lead actress, playing the female protagonist. When Shanghai fell in 1937, Tianyi Shanghai closed down and then merged with its Hong Kong studio to form the Nanyang (South Seas) Film Company, the precursor of the post-war Shaw Brothers. The move was accelerated by the KMT’s new policy for sound film, which included a ban on fangyanpian (dialect films), including Cantonese ones, and also on wuxiapian (martial arts films), which were disparaged for their moral decadence and promotion of superstition (Fan, 2019: 1; Lu, 2007; Teo, 2009: 42–4). Nanyang thus specialised in ‘entertaining’ talkies. In 1935, the number of productions doubled, hitting a record high of 125 films in 1939, and then 85 on average for 1940 and 1941. In that time, the industry had grown from a mere 7 film companies in 1934 to at least 66, within a span of five years (HKF, 1997: 634–61). The rise was also due to the exodus in 1935 of film entrepreneurs from Canton (Guangzhou) to Hong Kong, which was thought to provide ‘a more secure environment’ for film investments (Liu et al., 2018: 148, 151). In 1939, Nanyang and the Daguan (Grandview) Film Company were the two foremost majors, along with Nam Yuet/Nanyue (founded 1933). Two Chinese Americans, Kwan Man-Ching (aka Moon Kwan/Guan Wenqing) and Chiu Shu-Sun (Joseph Sunn/Zhao Shushen) co-founded Daguan in America in 1934, relocating it to Hong Kong the following year. The move coincided with the closure of Lianhua’s Hong Kong branch and Overseas Lianhua (USA). Both founded in 1932, the two outfits collectively had made a total of six films with Kwan, who had prior Hollywood experience (Teo, 1997: 6; HKF, 1997: 632–3). Like the vast majority, which were one-film wonders, Daguan, Tianyi-Nanyang and Nam Yuet, as well as Lianhua’s off-shore operations, made exclusively Cantonese-language films, though with some exceptions. Mandarin-language films first surfaced in 1938, and over the next four years, before the fall of Hong Kong, averaged five films per year, about 5 per cent of the total production number for the same period (HKF, 1997: 644–61). Of this number, Daguan (1938), Nanyang (1941) and Nam Yuet (1938) produced one each. Otherwise, they were the products of Mandarin-speaking filmmakers from Shanghai. These people ranged from film entrepreneur Zhang Shankun of Xinhua to notable directors like Bu Wancang, Cai Chusheng and Wu Yonggang of Lianhua, from movie-star Butterfly Wu of the former Mingxing studios to newcomers like Li Qing (Lee Ching), Rong Xiaoyi and Wang Yin, and to established scriptwriters Xia Yan and Situ Huimin of the now-defunct Left Wing Film

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Movement. Xinhua produced a total of four Mandarin films in Hong Kong: Sable Cicada (1938, Dir. and script Bu Wancang), which became Hong Kong’s first Mandarin film when Xinhua completed it in the colony because of conditions of deprivation in war-time Shanghai; Rouge Tears (1938, Dir. and script Wu Yonggang), starring Butterfly Wu; a sound picture remake of Wu’s own Lianhua silent film classic The Goddess (1934); and finally, The Adventures of the Chinese Tarzan (1939, Dir. and script: Wang Ciling) (HKF, 1997: 248, 293, 412). Like their Cantonese counterparts, Mandarin filmmakers chiefly made ‘soft’ films. With the arrival of sound film, it should not come as a surprise that Hong Kong became the primary Cantonese-language film production centre—this being the territory’s lingua franca. Mandarin films, chiefly the products of exiled filmmakers from Shanghai like Cai Chusheng, were rare. After World War II, Mandarin, Amoy-dialect (Minnanhua or Fujianhua) and Chaozhou-dialect (Teochew or Chaozhouyu) film studios emerged (see, for example, Chung 2013, 2014; Po, 2013, 2014; Yu, 2012). Cantonese cinema remained resilient, however, with productions travelling as far as Cuba, where there was a sizeable overseas Chinese community until 1959, when Fidel Castro came to power (see, for example, the documentary film Havana Divas, 2018, Dir. Louisa S. Wei/Wei Shiyu). Generally speaking, post-war Hong Kong filmmakers operated in a Cold War climate and so were well aware of the chill between the KMT and the CCP across the Taiwan Strait and the consequences that came with it. Their respective blacklists, for example, were non-negotiable, though the fate of particular studios, including directors, actors and other talent, depended on them. They had to contend with a strictly either–or divide, with absolutely no in-between. Thus the CCP favoured the leftist Great Wall, Phoenix and Sun Luen studios (aka Changchen, Fenghuang and Sanlian, respectively) because they were deemed patriotic and made progressive films; as such, they had access to the mainland film markets, as well as shooting locations and (occasional) funding support. Sun Luen made Cantonese films. Despite the proscription against fangyan (local language/dialect) films, exceptions were thus granted, but the coming Cultural Revolution was to put a brake on all film imports—be they from Hong Kong or elsewhere. It also contributed to the demise of the Great Wall, Phoenix and Sun Luen studios (Yau, 2015: 121–8). By contrast, the KMT government erected political walls against the ‘leftists’ and so opened the door to ‘rightist’ Mandarin filmmakers, including, and especially, Shaw Brothers and Motion Picture & General Investment (MP & GI). It too had a proscription against fangyan films, a continuation of the language policy for sound film, first formulated in the 1930s in pre-war China. Cantonese studios therefore generally kept clear, especially as Cantonese was not in widespread use in Taiwan. On the other hand, from 1948 to the early 1960s, Hong Kong made over 240 Amoy-dialect films, half of which were completed between

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1957 and 1959 (ADFHK, 2012: 206–59). Largely financed by overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia and later by Taiwanese, they were rarely exhibited in Hong Kong and seemed to be made for direct export to Amoy-dialect communities in the Philippines (Manila) and Malaya (Penang and Singapore), and, curiously, even to Taiwan (Tainan and Chaiyi), in spite of the KMT’s language policy for film and the media (Chung, 2014; Huang, 2014; Po, 2014; Taylor, 2011, 2014; Yu, 2014). In post-war Hong Kong, Mandarin studios turned out to be the major competitor for Cantonese cinema, with the ‘often cut-throat business competition, cultural conflicts, and artistic interflow between Cantonese-speaking and Mandarin-speaking filmmaking creat[ing] an especially rich and complex tradition in Hong Kong cinema’ (Fu and Desser, 2000a: 2). They were chiefly set up before and after the Chinese Civil War (1946–9) by Shanghai entrepreneurs and filmmakers who relocated to Hong Kong, bringing with them capital, resources and expertise and founding Mandarin studios such as Yung Hwa (1947–55) and Great Wall (1950–69). The Cathay Organisation and the Shaw Organisation, both from Singapore, expanded aggressively into the territory from the mid1950s onwards, at about the same time that Amoy-dialect and Teochew studios went into full gear. The Shaw Organisation had an extensive cinema chain, primarily in Nanyang. So did the Cathay Organisation (which bailed out and then took over the bankrupt Yung Hwa). Their respective studios were also located in Singapore: namely, Malay Film Productions, with Cathay-Keris making Malay-language films for Malay speakers in the region. In 1955, the Cathay Organisation acquired Yung Hwa and then, in its place, established MP & GI (renamed Cathay in 1961). The Shaw Organisation, on the other hand, founded Shaw Brothers through a merger of its own Shaw and Sons (previously known as Nanyang, 1936–50), and prior to that Tianyi (first established in Shanghai in 1925), which had a sibling company in Hong Kong, Tianyi Hong Kong (1933–6). Both MP & GI/Cathay and Shaw Brothers chiefly made Mandarin films (with occasional Cantonese ones), but were regarded as Mandarin studios nonetheless, as were the ‘patriotic’ Great Wall and its sister studio, Phoenix (founded 1952). Both ceased production in the mid-1960s, at the same time as the Amoy-dialect and Teochew studios closed. With the retreat of Hong Kong’s Cathay around 1970, Shaw Brothers reigned supreme, and for a time had the widest reach in terms of distribution and market size in Hong Kong. It also dominated the Chinese diaspora until Raymond Wong’s Golden Harvest, established around 1970, broke on to the international film scene with Bruce Lee’s (Li Xiaolong) films, paving the road to Hollywood for subsequent talents like Jackie Chan (Cheng Long), Chow Yun Fatt (Zhou Renfa), John Woo (Wu Yusen), Tsui Hark (Xu Ke) and others. Some two years prior to the establishment of Golden Harvest, the Cantonese studios had already ceased production. Although,

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collectively, they made the biggest number of films up to 1968 (Ng, 2019b: 4), they were no match for the capital investments in the Mandarin output. Teochew or Minnanhua studios were definitely the poor cousins. Shaw Brothers’ The House of 72 Tenants (1973, Dir. Chor Yuen/Chu Yuan), a social satire, led the revival of Cantonese cinema in the early 1970s. It ‘evoked the tradition of neighbourhood dramas, imparting a sense of community and identity that made Cantonese pictures so popular in the past’, writes Stephen Teo, who then adds: ‘The film was a big hit, grossing HK$5.6 million, a new record and an achievement that eclipsed the new Bruce Lee film, Enter the Dragon’ (1973) (Teo, 2000: 95). Subsequent hits, including and especially the Hui Brothers comedies such as Games Gamblers Play (1974), The Private Eyes (1976), The Contract (1978) and Security Unlimited (1981), confirmed that Hong Kong had a sustainable domestic market for Cantonese filmmaking (Teo, 2000; Lau, 2000). This led to renewed interest and confidence in Cantonese culture and indigenous practices. It also precipitated the emergence of Cantopop, whose rapid growth in the next two decades fostered a multi-billion dollar business for Hong Kong popular culture and its idols (Chu, 2017: 40–68; Chu and Leung, 2013: 66). Like Cantopop, Cantonese film productions thus became the flavour of the day, as a result of broad social and demographic changes—namely, indigenisation movements, or ‘Hong Kongisation’—from the 1970s onwards (Fig. 1.1).

Figure 1.1 Shaw Brothers’ annual Mandarin and Cantonese productions (1958–88). Source: Hong Kong Film Archive, Hong Kong.

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The industry soon attracted established names from Taiwan (such as Sylvia Chang/Zhang Aijia and Brigitte Lin Ching-Hsia/Lin Qingxia) and mainland China (Gong Li), along with lesser-known figures like Sally Yeh of Canada, thus allowing Hong Kong filmmakers, from the late 1970s onwards, not only to cast a wider translocal net but also to work with both non-Cantonese speakers (in starring roles) and Cantonese speakers on set. This prompted the extensive use of voice-dubbing in the released versions of particular films. The result was twin films: one in Cantonese, the other in Mandarin. Like the omnipresent Chinese and English subtitles (an industrial standard set by post-war Mandarin studios, especially Shaw Brothers), dubbing in general, or selective voice-dubbing in particular, permitted the creation of these twin films. While strategically aiming for the highest number and widest geographical spread of hits, such films also concurrently acknowledged the diversity of audiences for Hong Kong films in the Chinese diaspora (and beyond). Market and audience considerations aside, Hong Kong film producers additionally had to deal with the demands of mass media-related laws and regulations in particular locations. In the late 1970s, for example, Singapore, traditionally a significant market for Hong Kong films, had proscribed the use of non-Mandarin in both local and foreign media, raising the very significant question of Hong Kong’s cultural (Cantonese) identity. Further to this, we might then ask, to what extent is Hong Kong cinema transnational? If it is quintessentially Chinese, has it also been ‘transnational Chinese’ at the same time? And importantly, to what extent has its extraterritoriality influenced that identity?

From ‘Chinese’ to ‘Transnational Chinese’ In a collection of essays entitled Chinese Connections: Critical Perspectives on Film, Identity and Diaspora (Tan et al., 2009). I suggested with co-editors Peter Feng and Gina Marchetti that Chinese cinema ‘is like the Great Wall [of China], a symbolic system that shapes our perception of reality; a transnational product that serves to bring China and the world together even as it defines the difference between China and the world’ (Tan, 2009a: 1). We were particularly interested in exploring (and making) connections ‘within transnational, diasporic, migrant, historical, cultural and political contexts’, most especially with respect to the cinemas of China, the Chinese diaspora ‘and the cross-fertilisation between Chinese film and global culture’. By ‘transnational’ in this context, we were referring to ‘Chinese’ film and filmmakers usually linked with the PRC, Taiwan and Hong Kong, as well as to ‘Chinese’ filmmakers and foreign filmmakers associated with ‘Chinese film communities in the “Chinese” diaspora such as Singapore’ (Tan, 2009b) or in other parts of the world, from France (An, 2009) to the USA (Marchetti, 2009; Kleinhans, 2009).

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We placed the word ‘Chinese’ in quotation marks then, and I still do so here, because what constitutes ‘China’ and ‘Chineseness’ in Chinese-language films is a continuingly vexed question for many academics, critics, commentators and audiences of films produced in China and various ‘Chinese’ diasporas. If the label ‘Chinese cinema’ has been ‘intense and ferocious’ in its efforts ‘to build a unified and unifying picture of national identity through cinema’ (Lu, 1997b: 6), then its very existence as a question that seemingly refuses to go away is testimony to the crucially important (and still unresolved) issues about history, identity, culture, politics, nationalism, transnationalism, colonialism and imperialism that continue today (Lu and Li, 2014; Magnan-Park et al., 2018a). Yingjin Zhang has also made it clear that ‘The problematic nature of “Chinese” as a signifier should suffice to demythify “Chineseness” as a pre-given, monolithic and immutable essence’ (Zhang, 2004: 4). As such, in Chinese cinema studies this ‘problematic nature’ has created a palpable divide, between (mainly) mainland China advocates of Chinese cinema as essentially ‘Chinese’ and those based or working outside the mainland who have pushed away from Chinese essentialism with ideas like ‘transnational Chinese cinema’ (Lu, 1997b) and ‘Chinese-language cinema’ (Lu and Yeh, 2005b). The former reconfiguration thus directs Sheldon Lu, for example, to locate the studies of Chinese cinema in transnational contexts: that is, beyond the national boundaries of China. In the latter, in using ‘Chinese-language’ as a descriptor, he, together with Emilie Yeh, helps unhinge both ‘Chinese’ and ‘language’ from a single geo-political entity. In doing so, both Lu and Yeh draw attention to the heterogeneous and heteroglossic nature of Chinese cinema, thereby rejecting China- and Chinese-centric approaches that have shaped and informed Chinese cinema studies in the past. Both of them are diasporic Chinese—the former born and raised in mainland China, the latter in Taiwan—and subsequently have received university educations in the USA. In this light, the charges of ‘Western “centralism” or Americentrism’ (Sun, 2016: 1) laid against their works by mainland film scholars are perhaps not coincidental at all. Shaoyi Sun explains these charges quite simply as some mainland film scholars challenging ‘the perceived dominance of Western discourse’ as a means of influencing both the making and the reception or understanding of Chineselanguage films, and sees the debate as ‘a “battle” to gain a “pure” Chinese subjectivity and to “take back” the “lost” discursive power/right’ (ibid.: 4): in other words, to replace the discursive power of Western-/Ameri-centrism with an essentialist Chinese (nationalist) discursive power. Sun even suggests that there almost seems to be a ‘moral obligation’ driving some mainland China academics to regain the academic high ground of film studies in China and its diasporas in order to control the writing of the history of Chinese-language films in ‘pure’

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Chinese terms: that is, a history controlled both rhetorically and ideologically by the dominant politics governing mainland China right now (ibid.: 5). I am not so sure it is a moral obligation, but it is most certainly a political one, not least because China is now openly (and recognisably) imperialist in its global geo-political aspirations in ways that recall, for example, what Shih Shumei (2011, 2013a, 2013b) has identified as China’s ‘continental colonialism’ and ‘settler colonialism’, in existence since the eighteenth century. The Qing (Manchu) military first conquered vast areas beyond ‘China proper’—Mongolia, Xinjiang and Tibet—to which Chinese people then migrated and settled, with successive post-Qing regimes, whether the KMT or the CCP, continuing to lay claim to the conquered land as if it were an ancestral inheritance (see Brophy et al., 2012; Di Cosmo, 1998; Dywer, 2005). As Shih puts it: The entity we know today as China has inherited or recolonised the vast majority of the territories conquered by the Manchu . . . Now when China proclaims its supreme concern for ‘territorial integrity’ . . . against earlier Western imperialist aggressions, it is simultaneously making imperial claims on the territories annexed from the Tibetans, Uyghurs, and Mongolians. (Shih, 2011: 709) As such, there is a political dimension (obligatory or not) which inevitably influences, in one way or another, Chinese-language films, and their making, their reception and—as the disquiet over ‘transnational Chinese cinema’ and ‘Chinese-language films’ in mainland film scholarship shows—their theorisation and applications as well. This influence especially impacts on how films deal with, define and determine what constitutes in particular the social, cultural, political, nationalist and historical dimensions of Chinese identity and ‘Chineseness’, especially in films from what many label ‘the Chinese diasporas’—Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore. While many, worldwide, accept a much more benign view of ‘Chineselanguage films’ as simply a widely accepted term describing films produced in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and other ‘Chinese diasporas’ (Chu, 2005; Desser, 2005a; Farquhar and Berry, 2005; Lu, 1997b, 2005, 2014; Lu and Li, 2014; Lu and Yeh, 2005b; Marchetti, 2005; Tan, 2009; Wu, 2005; Zhang, 2005), the term ‘sinophone cinema’ seeks to avoid the ideological debate about Chinese essentialism and Western/Americentrist discourse and, perhaps more importantly, avoids the assumption that an unproblematic nationalist construct termed ‘China’ is at the very centre of all things Chinese, including film. In so doing, it is necessary to engage with the creator of the term, Shuh-Mei Shih’s categorisation of sinophone studies, as, amongst other things, a ‘study

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of the dispersal of imperial language cultures around the world in the so-called [Chinese] diaspora’ (Shih, 2013a: 3) and also with China-originated emigration that has shifted people, cultures and languages from China to its diaspora, upon which sinophone societies and communities are established. The nature of dispersal as such has been of considerable interest in sinophone studies thus far (Shih, 2007, 2013a, 2013b; Tan EK, 2013; Yue and Khoo, 2014a; Lu, 2014; Szeto, 2014a, 2014b; Wang, 2014; Wei, 2020), but it is the changing nature of what is being dispersed—what constitutes the ‘China’ and ‘Chineseness’ of that imperial legacy, what Shih refers to as ‘the Chinese Imaginary’ (Shih, 2013a: 5)—that particularly interests me, as does, relatedly, what emerges about ‘China’ and ‘Chineseness’ in film and the social, cultural, national, transnational, political and historical imaginaries that go with them.

The Chinese Imaginary Sheldon Lu asked in 1997, very simply but directly, in his study of Chinese cinemas and transnational film studies: ‘Assuming that some consensus on the nature of Chinese cinema can be reached, are there characteristics of this cinema that draw upon Chinese deep culture and set it apart from the Hollywood phenomenon?’ (Lu, 1997b: 1). This is still worth asking, most especially with respect to specific sinophone cultures, as well as to what Lu calls ‘Chinese deep culture’—not, as some would like to see these cultures, as the simulacra of essentialist ‘Chineseness’ in specifically Chinese diasporas, but as reflections, in the words of Shih Shu-Mei, of the ‘local nature of sinophone culture in a given nation-state as an integral part of that nation-state’s multiculturalism and multilingualism’(Shih, 2013a: 7). As Shih continues, Sinophone culture is a transnational phenomenon as one can find it everywhere in the world, but in its specific expression and practice, it is different from place to place. Sinophone culture is therefore transnational in constitution but local in practice and articulation. (ibid.: 7) Accepting that premise of what she calls the ‘plasticity’ of sinophone cultures (ibid.: 11) therefore raises particularly interesting questions for me about what constitutes the plasticity of ‘China’ and ‘Chineseness’ in diasporic sinophone, transnationalist cinema cultures. For example, in their book, The Cinema of Small Nations (2007), Mette Hjort and Duncan Petrie include Hong Kong cinema and treat Hong Kong as a small filmmaking ‘nation’. As with small-nation filmmaking, I would argue that sinophone cinema similarly can ‘shed light on at least some of the ways in which

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subnational, national, international, transnational, regional and global forces dovetail and compete in the sphere of cinema’, generating and manifesting an ‘ecology’ of its own (Hjort and Petrie, 2007: 2). This is an ecology of the multiple ways in which sinophone cinema, the strategies and tactics, relate to or bring to bear on, to use Hjort and Petrie’s words again, ‘questions [that have] to do with domination, the struggle for autonomy, sphere of influence, and a balance of power’. This is, they say, ‘crucial for any genuine understanding of the more general social and political framework in which the ecology of cinema operates’ (ibid.: 6). An ecology like this implies, therefore, the implausibility of a generalisable China-centric essentialism because the multiplicity therein, whether emanating from executive boardrooms, film sets, film markets or film texts, opens up the possibilities and challenges of finding quite new and various ‘Chinese imaginaries’. To locate sinophone cinema more precisely, then, we might better understand it as sinophone cinemas in the plural, where ‘each of the Chinese cinemas creates its own authentic version of “Chinese” history. Each signifies a different China and preserves a national or local history of its own’ (Lu, 1997b: 17). This multilayered, post-nationalist approach, as applicable to Chinese cinemas as well as to Asian and others, especially sinophone cinema, therefore reconciles with Chris Berry’s suggestion, at much the same time as Sheldon Lu introduces ‘transnational Chinese cinema’ as a critical intervention in the grand narratives of Chinese cinema studies, that China and Chineseness need to be reformulated ‘as a discursively produced and socially and historically contingent collective entity’ (Berry, 1998: 131 cited in Zhang, 2004: 7). This is a position which sensibly ‘recognises the extent to which national cultures are characterised by plurality, heterogeneity and diversity’ (Hjort and Petrie, 2007: 10), which, as John Wei (2020) very insightfully points out with respect to shifting cultures, can most usefully be understood through ‘mobilities’ which can both enable and disable migrant and diasporic voices to be heard in their ‘host societies’ (Wei, 2020: 66, 77). Prominent amongst those pioneering voices were the early films made in pre-war Shanghai and Hong Kong, marking a significant early turn in the development of sinophone and transnationalist cinemas, and it is to their work in particular that I now turn in Chapter 2, ‘The Sinification of Early Shanghai and Hong Kong Cinema’.

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Chapter 2 The Sinification of Early Shanghai and Hong Kong Cinema

‘China will not die!’ Xiao Zhang, in Boundless Future (1941)

The zu guo jia xiang Imaginary: Becoming ‘Chinese’ In our introduction to Hong Kong Film, Hollywood and the New Global Cinema, Gina Marchetti and I wrote that ‘Hong Kong—now a Special Administrative Region (SAR)—continues, as it always has, to negotiate and renegotiate its place, position and standing with respect to the People’s Republic and the rest of the world’ (Marchetti and Tan, 2007: 1–2). It seems ever to have been thus, and Chinese filmmakers, amongst many others in Hong Kong, have, for a long time, had to evaluate, intellectually and emotionally, not only their historical displacement and cultural dislocation from China, but also their love–hate relationship with it, as a simultaneously alluring and forbidding love-object that was also perceived by many as zu guo jia xiang—their ancestral land and home. Zu guo jia xiang, so central to the sinocentric narration of the ancestry or ancestral-land imaginary, circumscribes a hierarchy of essentialised identities in descending order of importance—zu (ancestors/ancestry), guo (country/ nation), jia (home/family) and xiang (home village/town)—to the extent that the individual, quite literally speaking, has no place in this hierarchical order of collectivised groupings: zuguo (ancestral country), zujia (ancestral home) and zuxiang (ancestral town/village) in particular, or in general, zu guo jia xiang (the permutations, combinations and variations thereof). Rendered insignificant, sometimes even invisible, the individual (often marginalised) is thus compelled to seek and define his or her self-identity from a muted position and always with reference to collective groupings. If not, that person would be likely to remain as the ‘other’ in the zu guo jia xiang imaginary. The yet-to-be-assimilated ‘other’, though variously tolerated or treated with indifference, needs to adapt and

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adopt, or be acculturated to, the collectivised values and priorities of a majority that organises itself around the zu guo jia xiang imperative, in order to be accepted into the fold. Never mind if the land on which ardent advocates and defenders of zu guo jia xiang stake their claim has been known to contract and expand, even to splinter, endlessly throughout history. That socio-cultural process of acculturation, transformation and assimilation, which renders the non-Sinitic into Chinese and upholds sinocentrism as the indisputable principle or chief driving force for the socio-political organisation of the place we now call China, is known as sinification. Chinese historians have traced its beginnings to ‘a remarkably sophisticated higher civilisation [which] first emerged in quite remote antiquity’, consequent to the clustering of Neolithic tribes and their descendants around the core Central Plain (Zhongyuan) region of what is today the northern People’s Republic (Holcombe, 2001: 8). Since that time, competing kingdoms and dynasties, Sinic or non-Sinic, have risen and fallen, but their various expansions and conquests within the Central Plain and also into its peripheries have historically relied on ‘sinification as statecraft’ to legitimise their respective reigns—a condition that considerably eased the assumption of power, the normalisation of the economic order and the regularisation of society (Honey, 1992, 1996). In the particular case of nonSinic conquests, David Honey notes, sinification may have been an unconscious cultural process slowly transforming the ruling class, but it was also sometimes a political tool . . . for expedient means. Usually these means led to the goal of legitimising a foreign reign. (Honey, 1996: 116) That is to say, sinification, so central to the transformative processes for China to become and stay ‘Chinese’, can occur and be transacted intra-, inter- and extra-racially or ethnically. In sinocentric discourses of the ancestral land, the Zhongyuan is construed as the birthplace and bastion of Chinese civilisation. This, together with sinification practices of acculturation, transformation and assimilation, thus becomes the ideological site for generating, perpetuating and anchoring myths of consanguinity on which the sinocentric notion of a unified China/Chinese identity rests. According to Wu Yen-ho (1994), such a notion surfaced in late Qing, on the cusp of Imperial China becoming a modern republic, when Han Chinese cultural elites began to define ‘the Chinese race, or Zhongguo minzu . . . as an undifferentiated race originating in North China’ (Wu, 1994: 150). This particular racial undifferentiation is at the heart of what Poshek Fu has called the ‘Central Plains Syndrome’, which, in ‘valorising the Central Plains as the primordial place

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of origin of Chineseness’, has cultivated a ‘sinocentric sense of superiority’ that ‘[holds] in contempt and [sees] as alien all ethnic cultures that have developed at [its] peripheries’ (Fu, 2003: 68–9). According to Fu, this concept of Zhongyuanoriginated China and Chineseness was subsequently taken up in Republican China, especially in the 1930s, by both the nationalists and their communist rivals as a definitive truth (ibid.: 68). Fu thus concludes that the Central Plains Syndrome is ‘sinocentric because it [has] enabled modern Chinese cultural elites to impose their concept of Chineseness—sinicisation [read: sinification]—on . . . marginal [or non-Sinitic cultures in China]’ (ibid.: 68), to the extent that some scholars and critics have noted, especially in and since the Mao years, how sinification has been wielded as a political tool to acculturate and assimilate the CCP’s racial minorities through language and education, and perhaps most crucially, via sometimes large-scale Han-Chinese transmigrations to the farflung areas of China proper and beyond (Schwarz, 1963; Seymour, 2000; van Kemenade, 2008).

Self-sinification If sinification is not a historically stable condition, then self-sinification is its flip side. Self-sinification is not simply about making something Chinese, as the term sinification alone would suggest, but is more than that. It relates to selfimprovement or self-strengthening in the face of a mightier other. Around the middle of the nineteenth century, for example, both Manchus (as the conqueror) and Han Chinese (as the conquered) encountered, for the first time, the sudden appearance of a distinctively foreign other in Zhongguo (China): the militarily and technologically superior Westerners who came by sea. This led to the ceding of Hong Kong to British colonial rule (1842) and then to treaty-port colonialisms in many parts of Qing China. At the contact zones, sinification went into full gear: not so much, I would argue, to assimilate the more powerful foreign forces, though attempts to do this were conceivably made. Instead, the main thrust concentrated on self-sinification—the simultaneous de-sinifying and resinifying of the Chinese self that stemmed from an (increasingly) intense awareness and recognition of China’s weakness, its lag and lack, vis-à-vis the Western modernity impinging on the land. The reformers’ calls, especially from the late nineteenth century onwards, for ziqiang (self-improvement or self-strengthening) via zhongti xiyong, abbreviated from zhongxue weiti, xixue weiyong (Chinese learning as the basis and Western learning as the instrument), would amount to a form of self-sinification or reverse acculturation. This is because the ziqiang reforms were aimed at boosting, even rebuilding and rebooting, the Chinese body with Western knowledge, while concurrently reassessing China’s political

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institutions and such like. This kind of self-improvement, it was hoped, would make amends for Chinese deficiencies so that Zhongguo (country, people, culture, civilisation) would one day catch up with the West, even surpassing it (Li, 2016; see also Chow, 1974; Rojas, 2011; Rosker, 2017). Self-sinification, which makes the deficient Chinese subject mightier and more confident by learning from its ‘others’, thus draws attention to multiple competing forces at the site of sinification. In the context of the Chinese encounter with the imperial West, for example, the modus operandi was therefore not simply to sinify Western industrial civilisation (though conceivably a desirable outcome), but concurrently to de- and re-sinify the Chinese subject, to the extent that the latter found room to absorb and ingest the lessons which the advanced modern Western body in China exemplified, exuded and amplified, while concomitantly reassessing the strengths and weaknesses of Chinese civilisation, so as to ensure China’s own progress and modernisation. In analogous terms, this simultaneous de- and re-sinifying is not about putting new wine into an old bottle but finding a new bottle for both old and new wine.

Sinification: Impacts on Filmmaking In English, ‘sinification’ has other synonyms: sinicisation, for example (see Franceschini, 2019; Frankel, 2017; Fu, 2003; Fung, 2009; Lam, 2007; Tseten, 2000), and sinocisation (for example, Andre, 2014; Ehrlich and Ma, 1990; Honeychurch, 2012; Junker, 1999; Yip, 1995). In the Chinese-speaking world, it is known as Zhongguohua or hanhua, meaning to be rendered Chinese, or—as is generally true, and even more so in the twenty-first century in the PRC—becoming Han Chinese (see Cheng Li, 2017). Believed to be descendants of the first settlers of Zhongyuan, Han Chinese have historically always constituted the overwhelming majority in the place we now call China. Furthermore, in contemporary times, handi (the land of the Han) is the Chinese name for ‘China proper’. The locus of operations for sinification, therefore, occurs at the contact zones of Han Chinese and its ‘others’. Whether the latter may be mightier or weaker than the former, sinification circumscribes an ecology of its own, helping turn that which is not Han Chinese to the advantage of the political economy of the Han Chinese people, be that in China or in the Chinese diaspora. It can acculturate, assimilate and legitimise its others, or be redirected at the ‘deficient’ Chinese self in the form of self-strengthening or self-sinification. It can operate consciously or unconsciously. It guards its (imagined) territories jealously and with varying degrees of success, and has been known to exert its influence across all kinds of social groupings in multiple internal, external and between-group ways, including cultural artefacts that range from music (Yeh, 2002) and film (Clark, 1988;

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Ma, 1989; Pickowicz, 1993) to ethnic place names (Wang et al., 2006, 2012) and borderlands (Li, 2017), and even political doctrines such as Marxism (Knight, 1983; Rosker, 2017; Wylie, 1979). In academia, sinification as a critical analytical concept has cut across disciplines. In interdisciplinary film studies, scholars have applied sinification to both Chinese and Hong Kong early filmmaking, from their first known films in the 1900s to those made in the 1940s (Ehrlich and Ma, 1990; Ma, 1989; Yeh, 2002), including, as an early example, Huang Zuolin’s 1947 film adaptation of Maxim Gorky’s Lower Depths (1902), called Night Inn, in post-war Shanghai (Pickowicz, 1993). The chief, and obvious, process here relies on the sinification of a Western invention—that is, film technology—and its supposedly resultant transformation into a ‘Chinese’ form. But the process can be considerably more nuanced than that. The transformation of stage opera into film, for example, has been a major characteristic of Hong Kong cinema from its early beginnings in black-and-white silent pictures to one of the most enduring film genres in Chinese-language cinemas—at least up to the 1980s (see Ning, 1998; Gu, 1998). But it is far more than a seemingly innocent stage-to-film adaptation. Traditional stage opera was widely considered ‘an indigenous form of Chinese art and theatre’ (Yeh, 2002: 83), and more importantly perhaps, was ‘thought to be capable of representing the essence of “Chineseness”’ (ibid.: 85), so much so that the whole genre, and the ‘Chineseness’ it represented, were rewritten in the later Cultural Revolution to create a quite new and different ‘Chineseness’, as evinced in Revolutionary Model Opera/Opera Films. ‘Turning’ it into film, I would argue, as happened so often in the 1930s through to the 1980s, is effectively to create new discursive formations of ‘Chineseness’—to sinify the already sinified, so to speak—and by so doing, to make ‘Chineseness’ even more obviously ‘Chinese’. But the fascinating question this raises, particularly with respect to sinophone cinemas, is just exactly what is the ‘new’ ‘Chineseness’ that these films create, and to what extent are these processes of sinification negotiated? And perhaps even more importantly for the purposes of this book in my seeking to map out some history (through Hong Kong filmmaking) for this process, how many ‘Chinesenesses’ might result? Let me turn to Shanghai first, and then later in this chapter to Hong Kong.

Pre-War Shanghai Leftist Film Ecology (1930–7) Around 1930, the Shanghai film industry was flourishing. The city had become the centre of Chinese filmmaking. In terms of the total nationwide box office, its share was over 50 per cent. Imported films, mostly from Hollywood, provided a steady source of supply, accounting for some 90 per cent of the total films shown

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in China. They dominated the market, especially in Shanghai. Domestic films, on the other hand, accounted for around 17 per cent of the total films released in China. They had significantly fewer outlets since the cinemas were mostly foreign-owned and played mostly foreign films. For Shanghai filmmakers, overseas markets in the Chinese diaspora, especially in Nanyang, were vital in terms of additional revenue (Xiao, 1997; Zhang, 2004; see also Gongsun, 1962a, 1962b). In 1927, the KMT (Nationalist or Guomindang) government, under the charge of Chiang Kai-Shek, established itself in Nanjing. This followed the anti-communist purge in Shanghai and other cities earlier that year in April, which tore asunder the KMT–CCP First United Front alliance, or what Conrad Schirokauer has called the four-year ‘marriage of convenience’ (Schirokauer, 1978: 485). The alliance was part of the Northern Expedition to oust recalcitrant warlords and reunify China. The mission also failed because of internal conflict among the nationalists. In the following March, Chiang revived the Northern Expedition, this time without the CCP, defeating the Beiyang government in Beijing by June. The conflict ended before the year was out, when the Manchuria-based Fengtian clique surrendered (see Kwong, 2017; Jordan, 1976). In the aftermath, one of the urgent tasks that the KMT government undertook was to reclaim China’s sovereignty and rights from foreign powers, firstly by renouncing the ‘unequal treaties’, and then by announcing that Chinese laws and regulations would now be applied to all foreign nationals residing in China equally. By February 1930, it had taken back more than a dozen foreign concessions, with more, including those in Shanghai, under negotiation (Xiao, 1997: 35). Meanwhile, the KMT state turned to the vibrant cultural industries as a platform for launching and cultivating a new national consciousness via literature, film and the arts. In February 1931, the National Film Censorship Committee (NFCC) was set up, and with that, the film industry had to deal with censorship for the first time. For Zhiwei Xiao (1997), film censorship in this instance played an important, even positive, role as far as reasserting China’s ‘national sovereignty’ was concerned. For example, it allowed the NFCC, renamed the Central Film Censorship Committee (CFCC) two years later, to protect the domestic industry against the ‘expansionist manoeuvres’ of financially better-endowed and technologically superior foreign studios, especially those in Hollywood. It also helped the Nanjing censors regulate foreign film distribution and, in particular, curb racially offensive movies (Xiao, 1997). Wang Chaoguang, however, adopts a different position. After conducting a survey of heavily censored or banned left-wing productions, Wang comes to the conclusion that the regulating of film productions, via censorship, not only impinged upon artistic freedom, but also fostered ideological control (Wang, 2007).

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As film censors, it was the NFCC/CFCC’s self-proclaimed job to be the guardians and arbitrators of social morals and ethical parameters in film practices. Among their first targets were martial arts (wuxia) and supernatural (shenguai) films, whose ‘superstition and unscientific’ underpinnings and—with particular regard to the wuxia—tendency to incite ‘anarchy’ and ‘rebellion’ were denounced as morally reprehensible and socially unacceptable (Teo, 2009: 41; Wang, 2007: 420; see also Wall, 2011). Between 1928 and 1931, for example, the market had seen some 227 such films released (Huang, 2017). The genre was banned, along with foreign films which ‘insult[ed] China’ and featured ‘obscene sensuality’ (Wang, 2007: 420). As a result, racially offensive foreign films, in particular, stopped circulating in Chinese territories, with the censors occasionally conveying their particular objection, via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to the (Hollywood) studio concerned; if it was ignored, they would put a blanket ban on all that studio’s films. This kind of pressurising strategy worked at times because China constituted a large and valuable market. However, the KMT government had no jurisdiction over the foreign concessions, where cinemas, at the risk of bringing out Chinese protestors, were known to show foreign films that either were banned by the Nanjing censors or had not made a prior application for screening approval (Xiao, 1997: 36, 40–2, 49). In 1930, Mingxing (founded 1922), the oldest major studio, launched the country’s first sound film, The Songstress Red Peony (Dir. Zhang Shichuan) (see Yeh, 2002: 82–5). With that, the spoken language in Chinese films became an issue for the Nanjing censors, as the KMT had instituted Mandarin as the national language (Guoyu) and dialect films were accordingly banned, except for Cantonese in the south—at least until around 1936 (Wang, 2007: 437). About seven months after the establishment of the NFCC, the Imperial Japanese Army marched into Manchuria in northeast China, conquering it by February of the following year. The month before, fighting between Japanese military personnel and Chinese protestors broke out at the Shanghai International Settlement with fatal consequences, in what was to become known as ‘the January 28 incident’. A truce was finally reached on 5 May. With that, the Japanese military withdrew from the foreign concession and the boycotts against Japanese products stopped. In the already semi-colonised country (since the ceding of Hong Kong in 1842), Japanese aggression caused public outrage, triggering an even deeper sense of national crisis and discontent. Chiang Kai-Shek’s ‘passive resistance’ policy toward the aggressors compounded further discontent (Hu, 2003: 78, 95, 108). As Edward Dreyer puts it, the KMT leader regarded the Japanese as a ‘disease of skin’ and the communists as a ‘disease of heart’—a stance that both explained and summarised Chiang’s war policies from 1931 to 1937 (Dreyer, 1995: 172). Chiang turned on the CCP, the

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attacks culminating in 1934 and forcing the retreating communists to embark on the now famous Long March (Sun, 2008). The population of Hong Kong almost doubled between 1931 and 1939, as refugees crossed the border into the colony in increasing numbers, in the vain hope of escaping Japanese rule. The torrent swelled when Imperial Japan declared war on Republican China in 1937. By 1939, the incursions had reached Canton (Guangzhou) in the south. It is estimated that nearly 100,000 people entered Canton in 1937, peaking at 500,000 in 1938, followed by another 150,000 in 1939. From less than a million in 1937, the population swelled to about 1.8 million in 1940. For a time, resources were overstretched while hundreds and thousands ‘[slept] in the streets’ (Census 1931–1941, 1986; Saw and Chiu, 1975: 126). But the influx also brought a ready supply of cheap labour for the manufacturing sector, which boomed when demands for war materials intensified (Fu, 2000: 201). As demand for war materials grew, so did patriotic sentiment (Xiao, 1997: 48). In the film world, this led to public demand for patriotic films criticising the Japanese aggression (Hu, 2003: 78–9). In response, many studios were quick to adjust their production strategies, with an eye on a market prompted by patriotic zeal. Not all were equally enthusiastic, though. At that time, the Mingxing (Star) Film Company (1922–37) and the Tianyi (Unique) Film Studio (1925–37)—the latter the precursor of Shaw Brothers in post-war Hong Kong—were the two majors. Like the smaller studios, they churned out their fair share of ‘soft’ entertainment films (romance, butterfly fiction (see Chapter 4), martial arts, ghosts, costume drama) that ‘ignored socio-political issues and indulged in visual treats’ but were nevertheless popular and profitable (Lu, 1997b: 5; Zhang, 2004: 10). Founded by the Shaw (Shao) brothers, Tianyi was basically a family business, managed by eldest brother Runje (Renjie), who also directed the studio’s films, with his three siblings, Runde (Dunren), Runme (Renmei) and Run Run (Yifu), handling scriptwriting, marketing, distribution and such like. Its ‘business strategy was low cost, fast production and big turnout’ (Chung, 2003: 3). Tianyi primarily made its name as a maker of ‘genuinely Chinese’ films, so called because these typically drew on classical literature, well-known legends and myths, and other carriers of ‘Chinese civilisation’ (Zhang, 2004: 31; see also Xiao, 1998: 13). The studio produced China’s first wuxiapian, Heroine Li Fei-Fei (1925, Dir. Shaw Runje), and following Mingxing’s successful sound picture debut in 1930, took the same leap with A Singer’s Story (1931, Dir. Lee Ping-Qian/Li Pingqian). Uncharacteristically for a Shanghai film studio, Tianyi embarked on Cantoneselanguage productions, the first of which was The White Gold Dragon, aka The Platinum Dragon (1933, Dir. Tang Xiaodan). This came about when Runje contacted Cantonese opera star Sit Kok-Sin of Hong Kong, who was visiting Shanghai,

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and persuaded Sit and his wife, Tong Suet-Hing, to team up for the production as the film’s leads. Co-produced with Sit’s Nanfang Company, scripted by Sit and based on the Cantonese opera of the same name, The Platinum Dragon is somewhat unusual for a Cantonese opera film in that it has a contemporary setting. The film premiered in Shanghai on 5 October 1933, but in this nonCantonese-speaking city, the film’s language impeded an enthusiastic response. However, the movie was a phenomenal success in Hong Kong, Macao and other Cantonese-speaking locations in south China, including Canton (Guangzhou), and in Nanyang (Chung, 2003: 5; see also Zhou, 2003: 30–4 and Ng, 2018). The film’s success led Tianyi to set up a branch office in Hong Kong in 1934. With second brother Runde in charge, Tianyi Hong Kong constructed two sound film studios in To Kwa Wan, Kowloon, making Cantonese-language and other films for, among others, Shaw Brothers Limited in Singapore to distribute in Nanyang (Chung, 2003: 2–5). Shaw Brothers had looked to set up film distribution outlets in Nanyang as early as 1924 (Zhang, 2004: 46–8). This move distinguished Tianyi from its Shanghai counterparts and the foresight would later give Shaw Brothers a decisive edge, allowing their film business to thrive well after the demise of Mingxing and Lianhua studios. Shaw Brothers Limited was cofounded by Runme and Run Run in 1930, some six years after Runme set sail for Nanyang and landed in Singapore. In 1928, the sixth brother, Run Run, joined his third brother—his departure coinciding with the United Six (liu he) boycott, led by Mingxing against Tianyi, which restricted the number of screening venues for its films in locations where the United Six could exert its influence, especially in Shanghai. Under the management of Runme and Run Run, and with the two older brothers in Shanghai and Hong Kong providing a steady supply of Tianyi films, Shaw Brothers Limited gradually grew to become, by 1940, one of the biggest film distributors in Nanyang, with fifteen wholly owned theatres and other leisure and entertainment ventures to its name (Chung, 2003: 2–4). Despite the Mingxing-led boycott and the subsequent ban on dialect films, and notwithstanding the ‘heavy’ attacks on the part of the KMT government, left-wing activists, communists and Chinese literati for making ‘low taste’, ‘backward’ and ‘feudalist’ films (Chu, 2003: 7), Tianyi endured as a major studio into the next decade. Between 1930 and 1937, it made a total of sixty-two films, second only to Mingxing and Lianhua (Xiao, 1998: 13). Mingxing was cofounded by film pioneers Zhang Shichuan (1890–1953) and Zheng Zhengqiu (1989–1935), along with others, in 1922. Both Zhang and Zheng had previously worked on the Asia Film Company’s The Difficult Couple aka Die for Marriage (1913) project, technically as director and scriptwriter respectively; this was the first Chinese film to have a script (Zhang, 2003: 19–20). In order to co-produce China’s first feature-length film together with the American transnational, they

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co-founded China’s first film studio, the Xinmin Film Company. After some false starts, Mingxing gained traction with Orphan Rescues Grandfather (1923, Dir. Zhang Shichuan), and then hit the jackpot with the hugely commercially successful The Burning of the Red Lotus Temple (1928, Dir. Zhang Shichuan). This wuxiapian, a swordplay film laced with magical fantasy, then spawned seventeen more instalments over the next three years. The leftists, including and especially underground communists, condemned the series as concrete exemplification of mindless ‘poison films’ that shamelessly promoted feudalism, bourgeois values and commercialism (Qu, 1953: 856; see also Berry, 1989). Mingxing stood firm but reeled back when the NFCC imposed a ban on this genre of film in 1932.

‘Revitalising Chinese Cinema’: New Nationalisms In 1930, Lianhua was the new kid on the block. Its founder was Hong Kongborn, Peking-educated Cantonese entrepreneur Luo Mingyou (Law Ming-Yau, 1900–67). Luo Mingyou did well in this climate. He had no fewer than twenty theatres, which gave him control over film distribution in northern China (Xiao, 1998: 11). Lianhua was formed following a merger of Dazhonghua Baihe (Great China-Lily) Film Company, Shanghai Film Company and Shanghai Minxin (China Sun) Film Company; the last of these had been set up by Lai Man-Wai, a staunch KMT supporter, after he relocated his Hong Kong filmmaking operation to Shanghai around 1926. The merger gave Luo a publishing arm and a complex film distribution system in urban China, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, as well as a fighting chance of competing with Mingxing and Tianyi (Cheng et al. 1963; Du, 1978: 22–30; Gongsun, 1962b; Teo, 1997: 3–5; Zhang, 2004: 60–1). Luo’s close ties with the KMT government and the financial establishments also gave the company more clout (Hu, 2003: 99; Zhang, 2004: 61). He was an ardent and well-known proponent of the sinification of film and provided one of the first blueprints for the Chinese (Shanghai) film industry (Gongsun, 1962a, I: 137; II: 12–13, 52; see also Clark, 1988). ‘Revitalising Chinese cinema’ was Luo’s founding motto for Lianhua (Gongsun, 1962b: 13). Its guiding principles dovetailed with the KMT government’s agenda for creating a new national cinema that ‘carr[ied] forward the national spirit’ and ‘enhanc[ed] the national moral standard’ (Hu, 2003: 87–8). For example, the two entities identified the dominance of foreign films, especially Hollywood, and the preponderance of superstitious and feudalist themes in domestic films as issues and problems that needed to be addressed and redressed. Both similarly urged the use of the film medium to advocate nationalism, promote indigenous culture, encourage universal education and raise social consciousness (see Tan, 2000). Amongst Lianhua’s earliest successes

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were Memories of the Old Capital (1930) and Wild Flowers (1930), both directed by Sun Yu. The two films are cousins to butterfly and mandarin duck fiction (see Chapters 4 and 5), an immensely popular literary genre in the 1920s. The enduring pain of love and loving characterises the genre (Chow, 1991; Tan, 2015). They are tearjerkers that place a long-suffering, self-sacrificing woman centre-stage and, through her painful experiences, convey didactic messages about virtuousness, chastity and filial piety. The films also take a swipe at social ills like materialism and sexual promiscuity (Memories), and feudalist practices (Wild Flowers). Socially conscious family dramas that expose vices and exalt virtues anticipated the less restrained leftist films which were to change the Shanghai cinescape fundamentally in the 1930s, as ‘the left-wing film workers seized upon the political and revolutionary potential of this new technology of visuality and attempted to make it into a mass art of conscious social criticism’ (Lu, 1997b: 4–5). Against the background of the KMT government’s push to found a new national cinema; the Japanese aggressions that served as a terse reminder of China’s still semi-colonial status; Chiang’s adoption of a conciliatory line towards Imperial Japan while pursuing campaigns of annihilation against the CCP; and the people’s outrage, discontent, resentment and patriotism in relation to the national state of affairs, leftist films (this time without the wuxia shenguai films) surfaced in 1932. According to Hu Jubin (2003), the CCP-led Left Wing Film Movement (LWFM)—founded in February 1932, first initiated by the China Left Wing Dramatist Coalition (set up in 1930) and later housed in the China Film Culture Society (established in 1933)—facilitated the emergence of these leftist films (Hu, 2003: 76–86). Taking ‘advantage of studio owners’ patriotism to work “legally” within the film world’, the left-wing workers made their way first via Mingxing and the Yihua (Chinese Arts) Movie Company (founded 1932), and then through Lianhua and the Diantong Film Company (founded in 1934) (ibid.: 113; Zhang, 2004: 68). According to Yingjin Zhang, the ‘official definition’ of leftist films specifically refers to the ‘anti-imperialist, anti-feudalist’ types (Zhang, 2004: 63), though the CCP would add ‘class struggle’ to the list (Hu, 2003: 77). Dipping into the LWFM archive, Zhang Xiaofei retrieves Xia Yan’s idea that leftist films were ‘weapons’ (wu qi) for wielding against Japanese imperialism, Hollywood domination, domestic feudalist films and the film-for-entertainment principle (Zhang, 2013: 217–20). Observing the convergence between May Fourth literature (since the 1910s) and leftist cinema (of the 1930s), Leo Ou-fan Lee offers a critical addendum to Zhang Xiaofei’s position by stating that the leftist films articulate ‘criticism and “dark exposure”’ of contemporary social ills, motivated by ‘a humanistic concern for the plight of the Chinese people’ (Lee, 1991: 3).

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When used in films like these, and others, music also has a political role to play, and Western classical music is commonly used as non-diegetic material (Yeh, 2002: 85). Its inclusion betrays the leftists’ ‘European bourgeois tastes even when they felt compelled to “sinify” the film medium’ (ibid.: 92). It coexists ‘comfortably’ with the diegetic Chinese songs, be they of the folk or modern variety, as well as with the non-diegetic Chinese instrumental music on the soundtrack (ibid.: 91). Generally speaking, the songs reflect the moods of the characters who sing them, sometimes manifesting parallel commentaries about the tumult of the times. Non-diegetic music, on the other hand, helps convey narrative moods and atmospheres, though at times seemingly incongruous with the visuals. The music in Shanghai films of the 1930s therefore underscores a form of ‘negotiated sinification’ that reveals ‘a cultural enterprise imbued with modernity’ (ibid.: 85–94). Zhiwei Xiao attempts to fine-tune the scope of these films even more sharply, by pointing out that they comprise socially engaged pictures that ‘usually depict society’s dark side, express indignation over social injustice and advocate radical social reform’ (Xiao, 1998: 13–14), though I would not go as far as Xiao in suggesting that such films, by definition, would be ‘highly critical of the KMT government’ (ibid.: 14). By the same token, I would stop short of insisting that they were invariably supportive of the KMT regime. In Lianhua’s The Big Road, aka The Highway (1934, Dir. Sun Yu), for example, the first thought that a set of patriotic road builders have, after apprehending the (Chinese) villain whom they call an evil thief (jianzei) for attempting to use bribes to sabotage the highway that they have been building for the KMT frontline soldiers, is to hand him over to the KMT officer overseeing the construction, and they actually do so unreservedly (cf. Berry, 1988). After the nationalists’ anti-communist purge in 1927, the CCP went underground. As a communist organisation, the term ‘left wing’ offered the LWFM some cover. Indeed, underground communists had to reinvent themselves in more ways than that. For example, instead of ‘down with the KMT’, ‘[their] rallying cry became “down with feudalism” . . . “feudalism” [as] an obvious allusion to the KMT government’ (Hu, 2003: 83). Among the most prominent and visible members of the LWFM in film circles were Xia Yan and Tian Han. Both were underground communists (ibid.: 81). Before working as Mingxing’s script consultant and Yihua’s production operations manager, respectively, they were well respected playwrights (Chen, 2006; Zheng, 2017). When Xia Yan and his team (Ah Ying and Zheng Boqi) joined Mingxing, the ‘progressive’ platform offered a bridge. As Zheng Zhengqiu, Mingxing’s cofounder, says, ‘Chinese filmmakers, of course including me, all want to make progress . . . Therefore we must ally ourselves with the progressive personages

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in literary and art circles’ (cited in Hu, 2003: 93). Zhengqiu was not a leftist but his ‘belief in film’s social and moral responsibilities’ would be co-terminous with leftist ideology to a certain extent (Xiao, 1998: 11). At the time, Mingxing had anticipated fierce competition from Tianyi in sound film productions and so invested heavily in a new studio, but the ban on martial arts films adversely affected its strategic planning (Zhang, 2004: 63). In a sense, the turn to the left-wing playwrights for film scripts was a pragmatic move. If nothing else, it would add a new, and hopefully profitable, product to the studio’s portfolio. As one of its chief scriptwriters, Xia wrote ‘weaponised’ screenplays for productions such as Spring Silkworms (1933), based on Mao Dun’s (1896–1981) novel of the same name, and Raging Torrents, aka Wild Torrents (1933), both directed by Cheng Bugao, as well as the heavily censored 24 Hours in Shanghai (1933, Dir. Shen Xiling). These are ‘class struggle’ films about the unbridgeable disparity between the rich and the poor. All three films contain oblique criticism of the KMT government’s mismanagement, which caused untold misery for the downtrodden in the respective areas of natural disaster controls, trade and economy (for example, the devastation brought to the rural economy by the dumping of imported synthetic silk), and child labour and public health. In 1934, Mingxing terminated the services of Xia Yan and his team. Among the catalogue of reasons given were the KMT’s increased antagonism against communist suspects; the 1933 trashing of the Yihua studio by right-wing nationalists in Shanghai (who called themselves the Anti-Communist Squad), which reportedly caused known leftist filmmakers to go into hiding; the fact that leftist films did not lift Mingxing’s net earnings into the black; and the threat that bank loans would be stopped (Hu, 2003: 98; Xiao, 1998: 15; Zhang, 2004: 69). After this, Mingxing put out non-leftist films that, for example, promoted the KMT’s New Life Movement, such as Female Virtues (1934, Dir. Chen Kengran) and Bigamy (1934, Dir. Wu Cun) (Hu, 2003: 96). Launched in 1934, this government-led movement aimed to counter communist ideology by promoting cultural reform and neo-Confucian social morality, based on an authoritarian centralised mode of governance (Dirlik, 1975; Mackerras, 2008; Yip, 1992). The two films narrate bourgeois anxieties about dysfunctional families and offer didactic messages of neo-Confucianist resolution. However, Mingxing continued to make leftist films, this time without LWFM’s involvement. Notable films included Street Angel (1937, Dir. Yuan Muzhi), about poverty, prostitution and class oppression, and Crossroads (1937, Dir. Shen Xiling), which likewise carries a message about young people coming together in mutual support and facing life’s challenges boldly. At Yihua, founded in 1932 by Yan Chuntan, a gangster who made his fortune through drug trafficking, Tian Han chiefly oversaw production operations, and

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was also the chief scriptwriter. His screenplays for Survival of the Nation (1933), which he himself directed, and Close Combat (1933, Dir. Hu Tu) call for the Chinese people, whether uneducated war refugees or university-educated youth respectively, to suppress their petty differences, fight the foreign invaders and save the nation as a united front. In Flames (1933, Dir. Hu Rui), Tian takes a knife (film-as-weapon) to frivolous materialism, while in Song of Triumph (1935, Dir. Bu Wancang) he targets feudalist superstition. Finally, in Golden Times (1934, Dir. Bu Wancang) he attacks the propertied class and its indifference to the poor who run a night school (with tragic consequences). These films, steeped in political fervour, therefore contain familiar left-wing themes about class conflict and national sovereignty. According to Hu (2003), the Nanjing censors objected to the films’ ‘militant’ tones (Hu, 2003: 109) and the subsequent demands for revisions resulted in screening delays. This pushed the newly established studio into dire financial straits, so much so that Yan Chuntan, who had earlier counted on audience demand for popular left-leaning films to make his business successful, from 1936 onwards would make only soft films, especially after Tomboy, aka Girl in Disguise (1936, Dir. Fang Peilin), put Yihua on its feet again (Hu, 2003: 109–10; Zhang, 2004: 76). This sensational hit is an urban love story with crossdressing, gender-bending and mistaken-identity themes, and is what the leftists would disparage as ‘ice cream for the eyes’, which gives sensory gratification but, once consumed, leaves nothing to digest (Bao, 2014: 161, 187–8). The LWFM was also active at Diantong, which came under ‘direct CCP supervision’ (Zhang 2004: 68) but collapsed after about one year in operation for ‘political and financial reasons’ (ibid.: 68). It made four films. The Plunder of the Peach and Plum (1934, Dir. Ying Yunwei) narrates the miseries of an otherwise promising intellectual, who works as a hard labourer and sinks low into the depths of hell. City Scenes (1935, Dir. Yuan Muzhi) is a musical satire about the broken dreams of four country folks seeking their fortune in the city, where cheats abound. Scripted by Xia Yang and based on a story by Tian Han, Children of Troubled Times (1935, Dir. Xu Xingzhi) is about two drifters slowly awakening to patriotism—much like the war refugees and university students in Yi Hua’s Survival of the Nation and Close Combat. The film’s theme song, ‘The March of the Volunteers’, music by Ni Er, would later be adopted as the national anthem of the People’s Republic. Finally, The Goddess of Freedom (1935), also scripted by Xia Yan, tells the inspirational story of a brave woman who expresses her patriotism by devoting her life to caring for war orphans. It is directed by Situ Huimin, an underground communist member and also a scriptwriter (Hu, 2003: 81). Clearly, the LWFM had managed to cut multiple paths, albeit unevenly, through the film world. It never reached Tianyi, though. The studio’s production of patriotic films against the Japanese aggressors, like Two Orphan Girls from

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the Northeast (1932, Dir. Lee Ping-Qian) and Struggle (1933, Dir. Qiu Qixiang), might well have been motivated by the ‘enthusiastic’ responses among moviegoers for nationalistic films like these (Xiao, 1998: 13). Or as Xia Yan has said, ‘Tian Yi was in the business for the money only and hence would make any type of film so long as the undertaking yielded profit’ (Zhou, 2003: 21). On the other hand, Tianyi might have done it simply for patriotic reasons. That is to say, acts of patriotism need not always be politicised and ideologised in the binarised way that the KMT and the CCP had insisted on in order to secure their respective claims on political leadership and legitimacy. Lianhua, in the meantime, had a good ride with leftist films and, for a while, prospered from such undertakings. Some, like Bu Wancang’s Three Modern Women (1933), bore the signature of the LWFM. Others, like Cai Chusheng’s The Song of the Fishermen (1934) and Wu Yonggang’s The Goddess (1934), were made without LWFM input. Both films dramatise class and social conflict, showing human compassion and empathy for the downtrodden (Wang, 2013: 18–47; see also Zhang, 2004: 78–81, 83, 134; and Rist, 2001). The former is less bleak, in that it ends on an optimistic note: the possibility of young people transcending class differences and the scientific advancements in fishery giving hope to the miserable. All three were sensational hits. Actor Jin Yan and actress Ruan Lingyu became stars, while the films’ respective directors were accorded high esteem. The Song of the Fishermen, in particular, selected by the KMT as China’s official entry for the Moscow Film Festival (1935), became the first Chinese film to win an international award (Zhang and Xiao, 1998b: 86). However, beyond the initial excitement, the leftist films soon lost their novelty value due to overproduction and oversupply. The principle of diminishing returns kicked in predictably at Lianhua, as it did at Mingxing. Luo’s sprawling Lianhua empire was additionally beset with financial uncertainties that came with his shrunken cinema chain in the northeast (consequent on the Japanese invasion); the lower than expected earnings; the servicing of bank debts; the high salaries paid to its stars; the huge costs for infrastructure maintenance that included Lianhua’s operations in Hong Kong and America; the failure to raise revenue through two stock offerings; and the departure of co-founding partners (Teo, 1997: 6; Zhang, 2004: 61–2). Luo Mingyou was a known KMT supporter. Yet Tian Han had written several scripts for his studio, amongst which were the screenplays for Three Modern Women and Maternal Instinct—the latter co-written with Bu Wancang, the films’ director. Both were made in 1933, which film historians in 1993 at the China Film Art Research Centre, Beijing, retrospectively called ‘the year of the leftist films’ because, according to them, 43 of more than 70 film productions were either leftist or pro-leftist (cited in Zhang, 2003: 68). Three Modern Women explores the lives of three urban women—a vain socialite, a lovesick movie-star

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fan and a selfless worker—and emphasises in a didactic way that the worker’s decision to care for the masses and her patriotic love for the country is the right path for modern women. Maternal Instinct, on the other hand, tells the horror story of a supposed communist revolutionary who is forced to flee to Singapore, where he encounters the terror of British imperialism, while the family he leaves behind endures terrible hardship. In 1936, Luo handed over the reins and Lianhua closed the following year. So did Mingxing, while Tianyi joined its sibling company in Hong Kong. Yihua marched on into war-time Shanghai, along with Zhang Shankun’s Xinhua (New China) Production, which was founded in 1934 but did not gain traction until 1936, while other film companies also continued in existence. But the heyday of leftist cinema had passed.

Pre-War Hong Kong: Cai Chusheng and the Intersections of Diasporic Sinophone Cinema Overall, the leftist cinema was crisis cinema of national proportions. Never the exclusive preserve of the LWFM, even though its influence appeared wide-ranging, its heteroglossic shaping was done by communists and non-communists, but also by people whose political leanings were not always apparent. Cai Chusheng of The Song of the Fishermen fame is one such example. Although a founding member of the CCP-led China Film Culture Society (Cheng et al., 1963: 97; Tan, 2001: 5), he was probably more of a liberal in orientation than Xia Yan and Tian Han could ever be. In this regard, he seemed akin to his pro-KMT boss or the progressive Zheng Zhengqiu, one of Mingxing’s studio-owners, who both appeared warm towards leftist ideology—but only up to a point. The leftist film workers from the LWFM and its affiliates were chiefly playwrights and theatre/film critics before making their way through the film industry as scriptwriters. Whether their colleagues at, for example, Mingxing and Lianhua—entrepreneurs, directors, actors, actresses, scriptwriters or technicians—equally shared their enthusiasm for leftwing political activism is a moot point. Likewise, it is debatable whether the paying public (urban students, professionals, intellectuals and so on) who supported leftist films indicated a corresponding commitment to a left-wing praxis. In all likelihood, they were tired of soft cinema and so found socially engaged films, leftist or otherwise, a refreshing change as a distraction from the standard fare. Equally indeterminable is whether those associated with leftist filmmaking were necessarily pro-CCP. The notion that the leftists (in the LWFM camp) were able to use ‘nationalism’ as a rallying point . . . [to] draw a large number of nonleft wing filmmakers into their camp, or at least brought them into the camp

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is therefore a (communist) myth (Hu, 2003: 79). That is to say, the CCP’s impact on the Shanghai film industry of the 1930s, via the LWFM (and its affiliates), was checked by political forces and economic factors. Its sphere of influence was therefore limited, at best. When Shanghai fell, Cai headed for Hong Kong. There he was to stay for about four years, his expatriation cut short by the British loss of Hong Kong to the Japanese on Christmas Day, 1941. During his stay he was involved with several film projects which are representative of the diasporic mindset of exiled filmmakers in Hong Kong at that time. His political activism and filmmaking activities, first in Shanghai and then in Hong Kong, provide a valuable context for understanding the sinophone continuum in Chinese/Shanghai/Hong Kong films. The movers and shakers of leftist cinema in Shanghai—Cai Chusheng, Situ Huimin and Xia Yan—worked with smaller Mandarin film companies, sometimes separately, sometimes collaboratively. They made a total of six national defence films (guofangpian), whose aim and purpose was to promote anti-Japanese consciousness and resistance. They are: The Blood-stained Baoshan Fortress and The March of the Guerrillas, aka The March of the Partisans, both made in 1938 and co-written by Cai Chusheng and Situ Huimin, their director; Flower of the Great Earth (1939, Dir. So Yi/Su Yi) and My Motherland, aka White Clouds of Home (1940, Dir. Situ Huimin), both scripted by Xia Yan; and finally, Orphan Island Paradise (1939) and Ten Thousand Li Ahead, better known as Boundless Future (1941), both written and directed by Cai Chusheng. Of these, only the first is a Cantoneselanguage film (HKF, 1997: 232, 388, 396, 480, 513, 553). In Hong Kong, national defence films first appeared as early as 1934, in response to the Japanese aggressions in northeast China (Manchuria) and the ‘January 28 Incident’ at the Shanghai International Settlement, where Japanese soldiers and Chinese protestors clashed with fatal consequences on 28 January 1932. Prompted by growing ‘patriotic and nationalistic sentiment[s]’ and ‘box-office successes’, production then peaked in 1937 and 1938 with 17 and 18 productions, respectively. After tapering off due to overproduction and audience weariness, production resurged with 13 films in 1941 before the fall of Hong Kong. Between 1934 and 1941, there was a total of 64 such productions. Daguan and Tianyi-Nanyang made 12 and 8 each, collectively accounting for just over 30 per cent of the total production (HKF, 1997: 644–61; Yau, 2015: 86). Significantly, Daguan’s 48 Hours (1937, Dirs Kwan Man-Ching and Chiu Shu-Sun) and At This Critical Juncture (1938, Dirs Chan Pei/Chen Pi et al.) were

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fund-raising national defence films for the war effort in China consequent on the Marco Polo (Luguo) Bridge Incident on 7 July 1937, which triggered the Second Sino-Japanese War. Major directors and stars worked without pay and the earnings would be donated for defence needs at the frontlines (Teo, 1997: 9; HKF, 1997: 226). Of the Shanghai leftist filmmakers, Cai Chusheng appeared most vocal in expressing his unease, even contempt, for Hong Kong (place, people and culture), which seems to foreground an exile’s painful struggle between a sense of displacement (‘where I am from’) and the reality of dislocation (‘where I am at’) (see Gilroy, 1991). According to Poshek Fu (2003), this experience of concurrent displacement/dislocation was especially common among recent Mandarinspeaking exiles from the mainland. The relentless yearning for the imaginary zu guo jia xiang (‘where they are from’) meant that the recent exiles not only could not leave the ancestral-China baggage behind, but also failed to see, or refused to appreciate, Hong Kong for what it was. In some quarters of the exilic communities, Hong Kong was thus regarded as a ‘soulless’ city, where ‘everything is grotesque, in a foul mess’ and where its people are ‘backward’ and ‘slavish’ (Fu, 2003: 68–9). That Cai would disparage Hong Kong cinema for its ‘mindless and senseless’ commercialism, it being especially noted for making ‘low quality’ or simply ‘senseless, stupid, ugly and repulsive’ films—in short, ‘poison films’—is therefore neither coincidental nor surprising (Cai, 1982: 51). He also sneered at the prospect of Hong Kong becoming a viable Chinese filmmaking centre, saying that this was ‘nonsense’ talk. Cai elaborates: The backwardness of Hong Kong culture as a whole inevitably has a proportional effect on its cinema. . . . All the movies made here are frivolous, vulgar commodities catering to the low taste of the uneducated. It is impossible . . . to find any title that has a national theme that would justify Hong Kong’s claim to be a cinematic centre. (cited in Fu, 2003: 70) The disparaging and sneering tone here betrays a sense of cultural superiority vis-à-vis Hong Kong (place, people, film). For Fu, this is symptomatic of the ‘Central Plains Syndrome’ mentality that has long held in contempt peripheral cultures at the margins of the Han Chinese nation-state. The correspondent sinification of the peripheries is akin to a form of civilising mission (Fu, 2003: 68–70). However, for Shanghai film magnate Zhang Shankun (of Xinhua), Hong Kong/Shanghai/Singapore film moguls the Zhejiang-born Shaw Brothers of Tianyi-Nanyang, and Chinese American film entrepreneurs Moon Kwan and Joseph Sunn, co-founders of Grandview, it was business as usual— making money—although their film corpus did include some national defence

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films. In an article for Li Bao (1938), Cai Chusheng outlines the aims, purposes and characteristics of these national defence films in the following terms: they should depict Chinese patriotic heroism; reveal Japanese war atrocities; show the deadly battles fought by Chinese generals and soldiers on the frontline; portray the brave struggles of Chinese civilians in the occupied regions; and exhort, both directly and indirectly, the Chinese people to participate in the War of Resistance (cited in Yu, 1995: 53). The Hong Kong Japanese invader imaginary film was born, with Lifeline (1935, Dir. Kwan Man-Ching) being one of the earliest national defence films made in the colony. It tells the story of a young engineer who works on China’s railway system in order to enhance the country’s defence and progress. The film was initially banned, but the censors relented when Kwan, as he recalls in his memoir (Kwan, 1976), took legal action against the decision, arguing that the film did not explicitly name the invaders or identify them as Japanese (cited in Yau, 2015: 85; HKF, 1997: 62). Clearly, the act of naming/identifying the invaders alone was a challenge to the censors’ bottom line. That breach of an unwritten rule, together with the strong objection of the Japanese Consul, also sealed the fate of The March of the Guerrillas.

The March of the Guerrillas (1939) The Hong Kong film industry was largely unregulated, the colonial government stepping in only when the occasion warranted it. Hong Kong had no formally established film censorship body like the Nanjing (KMT) government’s NFCC/ CFCC, though the ‘Places of Public Entertainment Regulations’, formulated in 1934, gave film censors, who would meet on an ad hoc basis, discretionary power with provisions for appeal (Yau, 2015: 58–9, 67, 144). The March of the Guerrillas (based on an original screenplay which Cai co-wrote with director Situ Huimin) was banned but secured release in 1941 under the new title of The Song of Retribution, after substantial revision (HKF, 1997: 553). The ban related to the Japanese Consul’s ‘strong objections’ to ‘the film’s depiction of intense resistance’ with regard to the Imperial Japan Army. Keen to maintain the colony’s supposed politically neutral stance, the censors ordered cuts of up to 2,000 feet, or about one-fifth of the film’s original length (cited in Yau, 2015: 86). The Beijing Film Archive’s remastered version of the banned film has been available in various digital formats since the 1980s and, like many of the archive’s remastered titles, including Boundless Future and Orphan Island Paradise, is now accessible via Chinese online streaming services: in the particular case of The March of the Guerillas, Youku (https://youku.com). The Youku version comes with added jiantizi subtitles, jiantizi referring to the simplified script used in PRC Mandarin, otherwise known as Putonghua, or common language.

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Boundless Future and Orphan Island Paradise are available at Youku and at Iqiyi (https://www.iqiyi.com) respectively. It would seem that there are no surviving prints of The Blood-stained Baoshan Fortress, Flower of the Great Earth and My Motherland. This appears to be the case for The Song of Retribution as well. That effectively hinders a comparative study of the banned film and its revised version that could throw light on, for example, the changes made to the original film and the implications of the cuts and revisions for diasporic sinophone cinema. The cuts demanded by the colonial censors were substantial. If the ‘ban was lifted in 1941’ (Teo, 1997: 8), then I understand the assertion to mean that The Song of Retribution had served as a replacement. The March of the Guerrillas appears never to have screened publicly in Hong Kong. Theatres did, however, programme the replacement film, which was first released in Hong Kong on 12 June 1941 (HKF, 1997: 553). Although there is no direct evidence, film historians have attributed the ban to the Hong Kong government’s colonial policy of upholding political neutrality vis-à-vis Imperial Japan (Teo, 1997: 8). The naming and identification in this film of the Imperial Japanese Army as aggressors, whether by way of a flag, sartorial codes or derogatory terms like ‘Japanese devils’ (Riben guizi); the visuality of lascivious and brutal, even simple and stupid, Japanese military personnel; the spectacle of their atrocities; the indulgence in Chinese suffering and their heroic resistance; the presence, though only fleetingly in the film, of communist soldiers; and the narration of a united front against a common enemy and the intense fighting that follows, would have been more than enough to cause alarm for the censors. My commentary on related screen shots in Figure 2.1 should more than demonstrate this. Despite the fact that there are two Japanese soldiers of conscience in the film, who object to the war and so become informants, helping the guerrillas annihilate their warmongering compatriots, The March of the Guerrillas is uncompromisingly anti-Japanese, with the atrocities they committed supporting a propagandist portrayal of what it should mean to be properly ‘Chinese’. Such dramatic themes—minus conscientious Japanese soldiers, it should be added—would become standard fare in PRC films and later TV dramas after 1949 and continued for the next six or so decades, but when viewed in the context of the Chinese-language cinema of 1930s, whether in Hong Kong or in Shanghai, they were, retrospectively speaking, strikingly novel, if not radical. In retrospect, it is probably not coincidental that Cai’s subsequent two national defence films did not overtly name the aggressors. Orphan Island Paradise and Boundless Future nonetheless insinuate the identity of the enemy without naming it. Orphan Island Paradise is set in war-time Shanghai and tells the story of male protagonist Mystery Youth (Lee Ching), who seeks out and kills Chinese spies belonging to the Skull and Bone Ring in the extraterritorial district of

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Figure 2.1A A Japanese soldier carries the Japanese flag on the battlefield (00:03:08).

Figure 2.1B The Japanese commander has raped a Chinese woman (00:13:03).

Figure 2.1C Male protagonist Wang Zhiqiang (Lee Ching) is delirious, while recovering from a bullet wound inflicted by a Japanese soldier. He has nightmares about the Japanese military (00:26:08).

Figure 2.1D Zhiqiang’s father tells his son: ‘The Japanese devils [Riben guizi] are rounding up able-bodied men. They have killed many people’ (subtitle) (00:32:36).

Figure 2.1E Zhiqiang’s younger brother remains tied to beams, after the Japanese soldier has whipped him (00:42:03).

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Figure 2.1F Hanjian says: ‘Yes! Yes! I am a scoundrel and a slave’ (subtitle). A hanjian (standing) tells the commander the whereabouts of the guerrillas. Elsewhere in the film he is seen giving advice to the commander to burn down the villages and deliver young female captives to him. Hanjians, or traitors of the Han race, are a particular type of treacherous Chinese. They are so called because they would work for, or collaborate with, the Japanese invaders (00:42:51).

Figure 2.1G A Japanese soldier shoots an unarmed civilian, an old man, as female protagonist Ruo Lan screams off screen, ‘That’s my father! You old bastard!’ (subtitle), while being dragged away by other soldiers as a prized captive (00:45:57).

Figure 2.1I In the newspaper, the Imperial Japanese Army (Rijun) is named as the aggressor, headline to the right (00:59:25). Figure 2.1

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Figure 2.1H Zhiqiang is the leader of the guerrillas. In the hideout there are (unnamed) communist soldiers who are seen celebrating the guerrillas’ victory after their successful ambush of the Japanese soldiers which allows them to walk away with their arms (00:58:43).

Figure 2.1J The guerrillas slaughter the Japanese army (01:12:00).

Representing the Imperial Japanese Military. Source: The March of the Guerrillas (1939).

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Orphan Island in Japanese-occupied Shanghai. They are hanjians. Here treason is defined precisely by the act of transgressing the discursive parameters of the sinificated subject in the sinocentric imaginary. The transgression demands punishment, whose rationale rested on the belief that hanjians are national, racial and cultural aberrations and, as such, ought to be culled. The process of ridding Shanghai (and, correspondingly, China) of hanjians, then, works reciprocally to affirm the existence of patriots, as we saw in The March of the Guerrillas. This is because proof of patriotism relies precisely on the patriots’ ability to identify, distinguish and execute the invaders and hanjians (The March of the Guerrillas), and in instances where the invaders are unnamed or unseen (such as Orphan Island Paradise), the diegetic presence of hanjians alone would serve as an indexical reference to the ‘invisible’ Japanese aggressors who lurk in the narrative shadows. That is to say, although they are not named directly, the people for whom the spy-ring worked in Orphan Island Paradise are contextually implied to be the Japanese invaders. In Boundless Future, the enemy is similarly unnamed, but they are said to be at the frontline and in the war zones of the zuguo jiaxiang, the ancestral land.

Boundless Future (1941) In Boundless Future, Cai lays bare his contempt for Hong Kong. The film tells the story of three mainlanders in the territory. Male protagonist Lao Gao (Lee Ching) is a truck driver but loses his job when the police arrest him for inciting riots during a patriotic gathering with fellow workers. Xiao Zhang (Lee King-po/ Li Jingbo), Lao Gao’s friend, is an odd-job labourer. After his arrest, Lao Gao is held in a dark and murky prison, where the wardens are merciless and the prisoners appear to live in utter terror. Beyond its prosperous façade, the outside is just as inhumane. For example, Xiao Zhang, now unemployed, is hungry and reduced to staring at well-fed dogs lapping up their meals behind a fence. That is to say, dogs are treated better than humans. When Lao Gao is released from prison, they meet up and then inadvertently rescue female protagonist Xiao Feng (Rong Xiaoyi), a prostitute, from her vicious pimp. The three then rent a tenement flat and live together. They speak Mandarin, whereas mean people like the pimp, the prison warden and their landlady all speak Cantonese. All three are patriots. Lao Gao gives a rousing patriotic speech: ‘My friends! Our bodies may wander overseas (hai wai) but our hearts cannot forget the ancestral country (zu guo), not even for one day.’ He exhorts his co-workers passionately, ‘We must defend it, always!’ Xiao Zhang sings a patriotic song: ‘China’, he sings, ‘will not die!’ Xiao Feng joins the Patriotic Song and Dance Troupe and performs national defence routines at the Nantian Theatre.

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At the end of the movie, all three enlist in the KMT Army and, together with other nationalist(ic) partisans, board the trucks that will return them to the ancestral land to fight the (unnamed) enemy aggressors. Dressed in military uniform, they are proud and euphoric. ‘Good bye, Hong Kong,’ says Xiao Zhang, while Lao Gao adds immediately, ‘I have had enough of this place.’ As the trucks drive away with the new recruits, the onlookers by the roadside clap and cheer, while the KMT flag flutters in the wind. Finally, as the camera tracks the beaming faces of the recruits on the moving trucks, the closing song tells the movie audience: ‘We [the recruits] don’t care for luxury and dissipation’—or, in Chinese, ‘zhi zui jin mi’, literally meaning to be intoxicated by paper (cash) and lost in gold. The Patriotic Song and Dance Troupe that Xiao Feng joins in Boundless Future is, however, patriotic in name only. Initially, its national defence songand-dance routines with Xiao Feng as lead performer would play to full houses at the luxurious Nantian Theatre. But when business is down and the theatre is almost empty, the theatre manager (also played by Li Jingbo) works out a new programme, this time with dancing in the nude as an additional attraction. On the night of the premiere, the crowd returns. Lao Gao, Xiao Zhang and their friends also turn up. Their aim is to stop the ‘shameless’ show. A fierce fight between the theatre manager, Lao Gao and their respective gangs breaks out near the stage, to the delight of the patrons, who think that the fight is part of the performance. That is to say, the patrons are portrayed not only as lacking in refined tastes but also as simply stupid and ignorant. Clearly, commercialism— the pursuit of profit—has made Hong Kong prosperous, as seen in the downtown shots and also in the images of the suited-and-booted theatre patrons; but it also corrupts patriotism and the arts. If film is art, then there was a prominent view that Hong Kong had none of that: instead, the films—like Nantian Theatre behind its modern façade—were crass, vulgar and merely grotesque. Earlier in the film, Xiao Zhang has an odd job with the Linghun (Soul) Film Company, which has three skulls for a studio logo. Great Director (Da daoyan) has just completed a horror flick called A Million Ghouls (Baiwan yin wen). In the studio is a huge banner (Fig. 2.2). It bears the film title, two identical cross-bone drawings that denote death and horror, and two slogans—one above the title and the other beneath it. The upper slogan announces, ‘Spirits and Spectres Appear in Broad Daylight!’ (yaojing guiguai baizhou xianxing). (In Chinese mythology, spirits and ghosts are nocturnal creatures.) The lower one carries an equally idiotic warning (written in Cantonese script): ‘[If You] Don’t Watch This Movie, [You Will] Die Or Else Fall Sick!’ (cipian bu kan wu si yao bing). To promote the new film, Great Director plans a ‘ghosts and spirits’ parade in a busy street. Xiao Zhang dresses up as a ghoul. He wears heavy make-up, a long

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Figure 2.2

The banner for the One Million Ghouls film. Source: Boundless Future (1941).

wig and a tall, conical hat, and has a long tongue sticking out of his mouth. At the parade, the ghouls noisily draw attention to themselves with drums and trumpets, carrying banners. The gathering crowd is generally amused. Along come two pedestrians, one of whom carries a basket, from which an object falls. A ghoul (Xiao Zhang) retrieves it for them. They flee in terror and the crowd roars with laughter. A bystander in the crowd shakes his head in dismay. Another becomes agitated and tries to stop the charade. The crowd laughs even louder. It is not clear if the bystanders and pedestrians are part of the promotional act but it is apparent that this subplot, in which the parade is filmed in the style of cinéma vérité, mocks the ridiculous extent of commercialism in the film industry; it also makes fun of superstitious beliefs and behaviour. The film was released in the colony in January 1941. But according to Hong Kong Film Archive’s Hong Kong Filmography 1913–1941 (1997), there were few such films, the total number of horror flicks made between 1934 and 1940 standing at only 16: significantly less than the number of national defence films of the same period, which stands at 51 (HKF, 1997: 632). It would seem that Cai’s knowledge of Hong Kong (place, people, culture) appears, at best, pedestrian, and at worst, prejudiced and ill informed.

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Nonetheless, Cai’s support for the War of Resistance (against the Japanese) would appear unswerving. This is evident not only in The March of the Guerrillas, Orphan Island Paradise and Boundless Future, all made in pre-war Hong Kong, but also in the articles he wrote for Hong Kong newspapers. According to his biographer, Cai Hongsheng (1982), Cai Chusheng published an article for Huasheng Bao in 1941, in which he exhorted patriotism in singular terms: ‘All good sons and daughters of the Chinese race’, he wrote, had the responsibility to work together to expel the (Japanese) invaders. Elsewhere, he urged Hong Kong filmmakers to dedicate their films to ‘country and race’, and to focus their efforts and resources on guofangpian (national defence films), which, he took the utmost care to emphasise, ‘our country and race most urgently need’ (Cai, 1982: 53). After the war, he returned to Hong Kong for a second time but now, according to Stephen Teo, as ‘the Chinese left’s roving director–ambassador’ (Teo, 1997: 43). He was fresh from Spring River Flows East’s (1947) phenomenal box-office successes; this was a film about devastation and suffering during the Second Sino-Japanese War and its aftermath, made in 1947 and co-written and co-directed with Zheng Junli. Towards the end of the Chinese Civil War (1946– 9), Cai arrived in Hong Kong in late 1948 and stayed until the following May (Cai, 2004: 36). His task was akin to a civilising mission. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, Cai held high office as Director of the Art Committee of the Film Bureau, Ministry of Culture, Central Government and in 1956 became a CCP member. During the Cultural Revolution, he was severely persecuted and died in 1968 (Cai, 2004: 36).

The Japanese-invader imaginary in Shanghai Films Once the Second Sino-Japanese War was over, there was no urgency for national defence films. Cai and others, including Xia Yan and Situ Huimin, therefore instigated a ‘clean-up’ campaign to rid Hong Kong cinema of poison films, and launched the Southern China Film Culture Movement, together with local progressive Cantonese film artists like Ng Cho-fan and Lo Duen (Lu Dun). The Hua Nan Filmworkers’ Joint Declaration had the primary aim of doing just that: to ‘clean up’ while striving to improve production quality and professional standards. The Nam Kwok (Southern) Film Company, which Cai co-founded, was based on that ethos too (Cai, 1982: 90–1; Cai, 2004: 36; Chang, 2019: 81; Teo, 1997: 43–4). Nam Kwok/Nanguo’s inaugural feature, Tragedy of the Pearl River (1950, Dir. Wang Wei-Yi/Wan Weiyi), and its companion piece, Tragedy in Canton (1951, Dir. Lo Duen), not surprisingly, bear the trademarks of Shanghai leftist cinema: class conflict, social oppression, corruption, feudalism and misery (Teo, 1997: 43–4).

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Cai and Situ’s The March of the Guerrillas might well have been one of the first Chinese-language films, if not the very first, but most importantly too, it not only explicitly depicted and named the Japanese aggressors but also showed the presence of communist guerrillas in the War of Resistance against the Japanese occupation. That would mark a significant paradigmatic shift because, as Zhang (2004) has observed, national defence films or films with anti-imperialist themes from Hong Kong and Shanghai of the same period, while drawing attention to ‘the danger of imperialist invasion and the urgency of national salvation’, would not name or show the aggressors as Japanese. Their presence is inferred in the diegesis but ‘disguised as fights against bandits and warlords or hinted at by exiles from northeastern China’ (Zhang, 2004: 79). Cai Chusheng, Situ Huimin and Xia Yan were, therefore, more than likely ardent proponents of national defence films while seeking refuge from war-ravaged China in pre-war Hong Kong. Although they were active in Shanghai’s left-wing circles, they were not especially known for making national defence films or films with anti-Japan militaristic themes. But there are four well-known leftist films: Little Toys aka Playthings (1933; Fig. 2.3) and The Big Road (1934; Fig. 2.4), both scripted and directed by Sun Yu, Lianhua productions; and Soaring Aspiration (1936; Fig. 2.5) and Street Angel (1937; Fig. 2.6), both scripted by Wu Yonggang and directed by Yuan Muzhi, which are Xinhua and Mingxing productions respectively. Soaring Aspiration is about peasants defending their land from well-armed but unnamed bandits in rural northeast China, who additionally have to contend with a hanjian in their village. We would rather die than give up the land, the farmers vow solemnly. The Big Road recounts the story of the construction of a highway leading to the frontline, somewhere in remote China. The community is decimated when a military plane suddenly appears out of nowhere, its machine guns mowing down workers, residents and all those at the construction site (Fig. 2.4E). Both Little Toys and Street Angels are set in Shanghai. Little Toys tells the story of widow Auntie Ye and daughter Zhu’er, who make and sell traditional hand-made toys. Foreign toy imports threaten their livelihood. The film portrays this as a form of ‘imperialism’ (diguo zhuyi). When the ‘January 28 Incident’ occurs, Auntie Ye loses her daughter in the crossfire, and the trauma of this war-inflicted loss drives her insane. Street Angel focuses on the downtrodden in the exploitative Shanghai of the 1930s; amongst them is a northeastern exile called Xiao Hong, played by Zhou Xuan (Figs 2.6A, back to camera, and 2.6G). This is not a distinctively national defence or anti-imperialist Japan film and it does not have elaborate battle scenes, but nevertheless it offers a nine-second glimpse of war and destruction (Figs 2.6A to 2.6D). In these films, the perpetrators of war are never explicitly identified or named, unlike in The March of the Guerrillas. The warmongers may be described,

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Figure 2.3

Figure 2.3A

(01:13:35

Figure 2.3B

Figure 2.3E

(01:12:27)

(01:16:45)

Figure 2.3C

(01:12:48)

Representing the unnamed enemies (the Imperial Japanese Military). Source: Little Toys (1933, Dir. Sun Yu. Shanghai: Lianhua).

Figure 2.3D

(01:12:10)

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Figure 2.4

Figure 2.4A

(01:36:50)

Figure 2.4B

Figure 2.4E

(00:59:29)

(01:37:45)

Figure 2.4C

(01:03:30)

Representing the unnamed enemies (the Imperial Japanese Military). Source: The Big Road (1934, Dir. Sun Yu. Shanghai: Lianhua).

Figure 2.4D

(00:38:19)

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Figure 2.5

Figure 2.5D

(00:58:33)

(01:21:52)

Figure 2.5B

Figure 2.5E

(01:11:58)

(01:22:35)

Figure 2.5C

(01:12:50)

Representing the unnamed enemies (the Imperial Japanese Military). Source: Soaring Aspiration (1936, Dir. Wu Yonggang. Shanghai: Xinhua.)

Figure 2.5A

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in the intertitles, simply as ‘Enemy’ (diren) (Fig. 2.4B), while the incursion is referred to as an ‘invasion by the enemies’ (diren qinlue) via a newspaper article (Fig. 2.6H). Alternatively, they are said to be from ‘Enemy Country’ (diguo) (for example, in Little Toys). They may also be called ‘wicked thieves’ (jianzei) or ‘bandits’ (feitu) in speech, or, in a song, as given in the Chinese subtitle, as ‘short devils’ who ‘wield sabres and guns’ (ai gui dong dao qiang) (Fig. 2.4A, in which the recently added English subtitle translates the lyric as ‘now come midget devils, bayonets in hand’). This veiling offers a stark contrast to The March of the Guerrillas, which actually specifies the enemy’s race and country of origin (Figs. 2.1D and 2.1I). Otherwise, the aggressors may be implicated through historical events like the ‘January 28 Incident’, as in Little Toys: the Chinese characters inscribed in one of the film’s intertitles (Fig. 2.3E), ‘yi er ba’, specifically refer to this incident—‘yi’ (one) being shorthand for the month of January, and ‘er ba’ (twenty-eight) being shorthand for the day of the month. In the film, hit by a stray bullet during the ‘yi er ba’ attacks, Zhu’er dies, triggering her mother’s mental collapse. That is to say, the date implies the Japanese warmongers without naming them; it also crystallises the tragic and deadly consequences in a country under attack by the enemy. In Street Angel, the war is given a rather poetic rendition in Xiao Hong’s ‘Song of Four Seasons’, which likens the war to ‘a sudden sweep of the merciless truncheon that tears apart the Mandarin ducks’ (huran yi zhen wu qing bang/da de yuanyang ge yifang) (Figs 2.6A to 2.6D). (The recently added English subtitles translate the two lines as ‘Suddenly a heartless blow makes her start/Tearing the loving pair of ducks apart,’ the ‘ducks’ being shorthand for ‘Mandarin ducks’ (yuanyang).) According to Chinese folklore, Mandarin ducks are totally devoted to each other until death, and as such symbolise eternal love. In the ‘Song of Four Seasons’ montage the war is told/sung in the form of a flashback: it carries Xiao Hong’s backstories—in particular, her memories of her lover, their Mandarin duck-like devotion and love for each other, and their tragic separation consequent to war (spring stanza); her subsequent life as a drifter in Shanghai (where she presently is) (summer stanza); her longing for her hometown and parents (autumn stanza); and finally, her wish to reconnect/reconcile with her lost lover, who now becomes a metaphor for her beloved ‘nation’ (winter stanza). In the same film, a newspaper article speaks urgently of a ‘national calamity’ (guonan) but does not name the perpetrators, though words and phrases like ‘imperialism’ (diguo zhuyi), ‘the enemy invasions of recent years’ (jin nian lai diren qinlue) and ‘northern China’ (Huabei) would collectively indicate the Japanese invasions (Fig. 2.6H). This serves as a striking contrast to the newspaper article seen in The March of the Guerrillas, which explicitly names the Imperial Japanese Army (Rijun) as the invaders (Fig. 2.2I).

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The warmongers in these films do not have the same obvious presence as their opponents: for example, the KMT soldiers (Fig. 2.4D); male protagonist Shun’er (Fig. 2.5E) and fellow-peasants; or the restaurant workers and road builders (Fig. 2.4A)—or their proxies, the hanjians (Figs 2.4C and 2.5A; compare with Fig. 2.1F, in which the hanjian and the Japanese commander are seen together). In Figure 2.5A the hanjian sends secret messages from the peasants’ village using a cone-shaped transmitter, therefore implying that there is an equally hostile message-receiver(s), though this is never seen in close proximity outside the village. Figure 2.4C shows three Chinese hanjians with an unnamed stranger (back to camera). The stranger is non-Chinese since the intertitles conveying the conversation between them make it clear that speech translation is needed; the second man on the right (half-turned to the camera) is the translator. Prior to this shot, the stranger is seen walking alone towards the three men in a long shot. The chiaroscuro lighting obscures his facial features, much like the back-to-camera shot in Figure 2.4C, which partially hides his presence. He gives the hanjians a cheque as payment for their consent to sabotage the highway project. He is dressed in civilian clothes, unlike the army commander in The March of the Guerrillas (Figs 2.1B and 2.1F). Since speech translation is required, and in conjunction with the film’s narrative context, one might surmise that he is most likely Japanese. In Soaring Aspiration, the aggressors, known as ‘bandits’, are likewise barely visible or discernible, to the extent that they are rendered part of, or almost indistinguishable from, the landscape (Figs 2.5B and 2.5D). In Figure 2.5E, we see Shun’er hiding in a ditch and galloping horses on the ground above, but not the bandits on horseback. In Figure 2.5C a cannon is being fired but we do not see the gunner. The cannon, radio transmitter and horses symbolise the presence of a militarily mightier and technologically more advanced enemy compared to the peasants, who fight the bandits with consuming patriotism, farm tools and simple rifles which they obtain by trickery—much like the brave guerrillas in The March of the Guerrillas. In the latter film, two guerrillas, disguised as women, lure the lascivious Japanese troops into a deadly ambush, and in the aftermath they and their comrades walk away with the weapons of the deceased. That the enemy is better equipped is a recurrent motif in the four films. In addition to the cannon, transmitter and horses seen in Soaring Aspiration, Little Toys, using documentary footage, displays the enemy’s fleet of tanks (Fig. 2.3A), planes (Fig. 2.3B) and warships (Fig. 2.3C), along with a battery of cannons. In The Big Road, there is only one military plane (Fig. 2.4E) but it is enough to trounce the civilians on the ground; male protagonist Jin Ge shoots it down with a single bullet before dying. In Street Angel there is no military weapon in sight but viewers can see, mediated through Xiao Hong’s gaze, the consequence of a strike or strikes:

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a booming explosion, followed by (KMT) soldiers scurrying around fighting an unseen enemy, and then civilians fleeing in terror as fires engulf their homes in the smoke-filled streets (Figs 2.6A to 2.6D). In short, the enemy’s advanced war machinery provides associative inferences to the Japanese invaders. Soaring Aspiration is especially interesting in terms of the extent to which it feels compelled to conceal the enemy in an otherwise action-packed film. This yields a one-dimensional staging of the battle scenes. It is one-dimensional because viewers can see only the patriotic actions of the peasants and the consequences of their courageous engagements with the bandits: they shoot; they jump over walls; they charge at the enemy; they take a bullet; they fall down dead and so on. One never sees what the bandits do or what happens to them at close range. One hears the rattle of the deadly machineguns which demolish the peasants’ line of defence, but one is never shown the guns or shooters. The peasants and bandits do not engage in close combat at all, unlike the lethal scuffles between the Chinese guerrillas and Japanese soldiers in The March of the Guerrillas (Fig. 2.1J). The bandits’ side of the story is therefore made conspicuous through its narrative absence as the battles are all shown from the peasants’ point of view. This particular one-dimensionality thus renders the

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Figure 2.6A

(00:07:53)

Figure 2.6B

(00:07:55)

Figure 2.6C

(00:07:57)

Figure 2.6D

(00:07:59)

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Early Shanghai and Hong Kong Cinema

Figure 2.6E

(00:09:24)

Figure 2.6F

(00:09:29)

Figure 2.6G

(00:09:37)

Figure 2.6H

(00:15:19)

Figure 2.6

55

War, traumas and cultural myths. Source: Street Angel (1937, Dir. Wu Yonggang. Shanghai: Mingxing).

bandits invisible, except in rare shots that show them in the far distance (Figs 2.5B and 2.5D), or in the brief scene where Shun’er hides in a ditch, the bandits on horseback galloping past him on the ground above (Fig. 2.5E). This is just about the only time in the film that the peasants, represented here by Shun’er, and the bandits share the same diegetic space. Even then, the bandits, though in close proximity to Shun’er, are barely visible. The film ends with the surviving peasants charging courageously, weapon in hand, at the unseen enemy in a tight low-angled shot that accentuates the power of collective determination. The shot composition is very much a call to arms itself and is akin to Althusser’s notion of (ideological) interpellation (Althusser, 2001), much as it is in the intertitle in Little Toys: ‘Brothers, Chinese soldiers have suffered hundreds of years of humiliation. We wash it clean today!’ (Fig. 2.3D). In Little Toys, this call is accompanied by a propagandistic eulogy a few moments later: ‘The bravery of our soldiers on January 28, 1931 shook the world and raised the spirits of their

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countrymen. Every day for the next several weeks, Shanghai was in the grips of a bloody fight!’ (Fig. 2.3E). In Street Angel, Xiao Hong conveys her personal story through a song called ‘Song of Four Seasons’—much like Xiao Feng of Boundless Future. The parallels between the two songs and the respective scenes in which they are performed are uncanny. Xiao Hong and her uncle are itinerant musicians. She sings; he provides musical accompaniment with the er’hu, a Chinese string instrument, and collects the money. Xiao Feng is a prostitute and has an overbearing pimp. At her uncle’s bidding at a teahouse, Xiao Hong starts to sing but reluctantly. At the brothel, a client requests a song. Xiao Feng is hesitant. Her pimp pinches her hard on the back, so she sings, though half-heartedly, with tears in her eyes. Both songs recount the singers’ respective pasts. They both remember their ‘hometown’ fondly—jiaxiang for Xiao Hong and guxiang for Xiao Feng (the two terms are synonymous in Chinese). Without naming it, the songs allude to their whereabouts: some distance from the Great Wall, where sorghum grows. Then a devastating war erupts, with tragic consequences. The recollection is too painful for Xiao Feng and so she stops singing. Xiao Hong continues till the end. As already mentioned, the ‘Song of Four Seasons’ has four stanzas. In the ‘spring’ stanza, Xiao Hong sings about the ‘sudden sweep of the merciless truncheon’, a visual metaphor for war (Figs 2.6A to 2.6D), and how the merciless sweep has caused her to be separated from her lover. The ‘summer’ stanza talks about her subsequent drifting along the Chang Jiang (Yangtze) river. Though the scenery is pretty, she misses the ‘sorghum’. In the ‘autumn’ stanza, she expresses nostalgia for her jiaxiang and yearning for her parents. In the ‘winter’ stanza, she wishes to be ‘Little Meng Jiang of the past’ (Nong yuan zuo dangnian Xiao Meng Jiang) (Fig. 2.6G). The implication here is that she wants to go looking for her lost lover, as the legendary Lady Meng Jiang (Meng Jiangnü) once did. As the legend goes, Lady Meng Jiang lived during the Qin Empire. Her husband is a forced labourer at the Great Wall, one of Emperor Qin’s pet projects, so she travels far and wide to reach him. At the Great Wall, she looks for days on end but cannot locate him. In despair, she starts to cry. The Heavens take pity on her. Suddenly, a stretch of wall collapses. At its foot lies her dead husband. This legend, about a woman’s undying love, matches Xiao Hong’s subjective mood; as she sings, she remembers how she once walked over snow and ice to deliver the warm clothes she had sewn to her young lover (hanyi zuohao song qinglang, which the recently added English subtitle translates as ‘To keep my lover warm, I’ll send clothes made by hand’) (Fig. 2.6E). The next shot reveals the snowcovered Great Wall, over which Xiao Hong is heard singing: ‘Flesh and blood built the long, long Great Wall’ (Xuerou jian chu Changcheng chang, or ‘Blood and flesh built the Great Wall so long’) (Fig. 2.6F). The reference to this relic from the

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Qin Dynasty, a stoic symbol of Han Chinese civilisation, underscores the song’s patriotic and nationalist tone. Tian Han wrote the lyric, while fellow communist He Luting provided the score. If the jiaxiang referent in the ‘autumn’ stanza draws on the ‘zu guo jia xiang’ imaginary, then the lyrics for ‘winter’, in deferring to myths and legends of the distant past (Lady Meng Jiang and Emperor Qin) as points of reference for the film’s present yearnings for national salvation, are as nostalgic as Xiao Hong’s melancholia over the devastation of war and the separation of loved ones. This is sinocentric precisely because the nostalgia feeds on the Central Plains Syndrome in order to yoke together a patriotic and nationalistic model of Chinese/leftist/communist universalism. This model, mediated through the sinificated subject that wants not only to stay Han Chinese forever but also to render Han Chinese all that is not, or all that it comes in contact with, becomes a key signifier of cultural origin and belonging; in turn, this furnishes the crucial discursive basis for the sort of sinificated essentialism which is deconstructed so effectively in the sinophone cinemas that were to come. I begin that exploration by looking in the next chapter—Chapter 3, ‘Huangmei diao pian’—at some of the major influences on that early sinophone cinema.

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PART II NEW DIRECTIONS

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Chapter 3 Huangmei diao pian

Flowers bloom under the rainbow bridge Butterflies flutter in pairs. Time passes but their love never dies. That’s Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai. Closing Song (Chorus), in The Love Eterne (1963) Once Upon a Time . . . . . . a long, long time ago, a young girl named Zhu Yingtai wants to go to school. Only boys are allowed to do that. So she dons a male disguise and, having convinced her parents that she will remain virtuous, sets off. Along the way, she meets Liang Shanbo. Delighted that they are going to the same boarding school in Hangzhou, they become ‘sworn brothers’. Over the next three years, they are the best of friends, studying and playing together and taking care of each other. Meanwhile, Yingtai falls in love with Shanbo but manages to maintain both her disguise and her virtue. When she is summoned home, Shanbo walks with her for eighteen li (Chinese miles) of the journey. Along the way, Yingtai drops hints about her true sex, her love for him and her wish to marry him, but to no avail. Before parting at the pavilion where they first met, she extends him an invitation, asking him to come and visit so as to ask for the hand of her younger sister. Later, upon learning his best friend’s true identity, he rushes to her home to propose marriage. But Yingtai’s father has already betrothed her to Ma Wencai, the son of a rich and influential family. Distraught, Shanbo leaves for home. He soon dies of lovesickness. When Yingtai hears the news, she is sad. On her wedding day, Yingtai visits Shanbo’s grave site. A storm starts to blow furiously. The grave cracks open and Yingtai leaps into it. After the storm, two butterflies emerge from the grave. They fly into the sky. The butterflies are the spirits of the two lovers. Yingtai and Shanbo thus live happily ever after, as eternal butterflies.

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The Butterfly Lovers Chinese folklore has long immortalised this romance, which, according to legend, actually happened some time during the Eastern Jin Dynasty era (ad 317–420). Its printed form (xiaoshuo—literally meaning small talk) emerged some 500 years later, in the Song Dynasty (ad 960–1279), with theatrical adaptations appearing during the Yuan Dynasty (ad 1271–1368). The bittersweet story has provided much food for popular consumption—from Yuan-Ming’s plays in the distant past to contemporary dance, ballet and musicals. Better known in English as The Butterfly Lovers, it has been a source of inspiration for classical poetry and prose, traditional opera and paintings, folk ballads and concertos, comic magazines, modern novels, films and TV dramas, paper cuttings, stamps and theme parks— amongst many other things. The legend has also been the subject of considerable academic study, with Zhou Jingshu’s Grand Collection of Liang–Zhu Culture (1999) and Xu Duanrong’s The Liang–Zhu Story Research (2007), both running to four volumes with 3,224 and 1,550 pages respectively, marking some monumental moments in the history of the folktale’s mythologisation and celebration in contemporary times. The cracked grave at Ningbo, in Zhejiang province, and the old Temple of the Righteous and Loyal Prince (Yizhongwang Miao) built there in honour of Zhu’s and Liang’s undying love for each other and now restored to its former glory, for instance, have attracted tourists in their thousands, including pilgrims of romantic love (Zhou, 1999; Idema, 2010: xiii). In his research, Xu Duanrong surveyed some 878 adaptations of the legend, including 149 folktales, 79 folksongs, 352 traditional plays, 201 ballads, 16 novels, 10 movies and 10 television dramas (see Idema, 2010: xii n1). In short, this long-lived romance represents a classic Chinese cultural legacy. Its widespread popularisation in China has, interestingly, resulted in many provinces and towns laying claim to the tragic lovers and memories of them as their own. As Wilt Idema puts it, Shanyu may claim to be the birthplace of Zhu Yingtai and Ningbo may pride itself on the grave of Liang Shanbo, but these two places were not the only ones that claimed the memory of these tragic lovers. As the legend became popular all over China, more and more locales came to claim to be the birthplace of the lovers, the place where they had studied, or the location of their grave—or all at the same time! (Idema, 2010: xxvi) The legend’s literary migrations within China and its diaspora, and to countries like Indonesia (Oetomo, 1987; Quinn, 1987; Idema, 2010: xii n1) and Korea

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Huangmei diao pian 63 (Cho, 2018), suggest trajectories of transnational influence and co-optation which will prove to be important in sinophone cinema studies, given the wide dispersal over diasporic territories and the variations in adaptations, interpretations and memorialisations. These variations are found in many forms, but especially in opera. The legend’s subsequent treatment in well-known film adaptations includes movies such as Sang Hu and Huang Sha’s Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai (1954, Shanghai Film Studio, Shanghai) and Lee Han-Hsiang’s (Li Han-Hsiang/ Li Hanxiang) The Love Eterne (1963, Hong Kong). Made by Shaw Brothers, The Love Eterne uses Huayu/Guoyu (or the variety of standard Mandarin commonly used in the Chinese diaspora) and Huangmei (yellow plum) diao music, whereas the Sang and Huang version makes use of Yueju (Shaoxing) opera conventions with its spoken and sung language in Shanghainese (see Tan, 2007b). The two films are otherwise similar in terms of plot, right down to the lyrics, act arrangements and story sequences, so much so that Taiwanese film critic Peggy Chiao has charged The Love Eterne with near plagiarism (Chiao, 2003: 78). The accusation is a harsh one since mutual borrowing and symbiosis is a fairly standard practice for Chinese-language opera and opera film productions, especially those based on well-known myths and legends, and it is the performance conventions, including styles of delivery specific to particular opera forms, that distinguish every production, enabling each to become unique in its own way, despite the apparent borrowings and similarities. This folktale, a thousand years old or more, telling the story of butterfly lovers Zhu Yingtai and Liang Shanbo, first appeared in Chinese or Chineselanguage cinemas as early as 1926: Tianyi Shanghai’s silent film The Lovers (Dir. Shaw Runje) reportedly ‘took the nation (China) by storm’ (Zhang, 2004: 38). Jingle Ma Chor-Sing’s (Ma Chucheng) The Butterfly Lovers (2008, BIG Pictures, Hong Kong) is the latest film adaptation of the popular legend (more below). Four years earlier, Taiwan had released the first animation adaptation called The Butterfly Lovers: Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai (2004, Dir. Tsai Ming-Chun/ Cai Mingqin, Central Motion Pictures). Including the five versions listed here, there have in actuality been a total of 16 adaptations (see Appendix 1). The vast majority, including Shaw Brothers’ The Love Eterne (1963) and BIG Pictures’ The Butterfly Lovers (2008), were made in Hong Kong, with the 1950s witnessing a record number of six adaptations (one in 1951, two in 1952, two in 1955 and one in 1958), including Chan Pei’s (Chen Pi) 1951 naoju version (see below) and 1952 Leung Shan-pak’s Second Meeting with Chuk Ying-toi, aka Liang Shanbo’s Second Meeting with Zhu, and Wong Tin-Lam’s (Wang Tianlin) all-female-cast production, The Romance of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai (Long Feng, 1955). Of the 13 Hong Kong adaptations, 10 are opera films—seven in Cantonese (two in 1935 and 1952, and one in 1951, 1955, 1958), one in Amoy dialect (1955) and

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two in Huangmei diao (1963, 1964). The remaining three (1940, 1994, 2008) are period dramas and include Ma’s wuxiapian version. With rare exceptions, they are fairly standard adaptations of the legend about a girl who dresses as a male in order to go to school, where she falls in love with a classmate, the two destined to become ill-fated lovers and finally, in death, butterfly spirits. Language (Cantonese, Minnanhua or Amoy dialect, Shanghainese or Huayu/Guoyu) apart, the scenarios, including the song lyrics, can be almost identical at times, attesting to the common practice of mutual borrowing and cross-fertilisation across different Chinese opera forms antecedent to the filmic adaptations (and not withstanding Peggy Chiao’s concerns). Whether in the form of opera film, period drama (non-musical), animation or wuxiapian, the cluster of sixteen ‘Butterfly Lovers’ films is chiefly composed of avatars: that is, contemporary adaptations or descendants of operatic and literary storytelling traditions, rather than being remakes of earlier films.

Huangmei Opera Films (Huangmei diao pian) In this cluster there are two Huangmei opera film avatars: Shaw Brothers’ The Love Eterne (1963) and Cathay’s Liang San Poh and Chu Ing Tai (1964, Dir. Yen Chuan/Yen Chun/Yan Jun). Whilst the PRC made the first of these avatars with the Marriage of the Fairy Princess (Dir. Shi Hui) in 1955, it was in Hong Kong in the following decade that the genre developed fully. The term ‘Huangmei opera film’ refers to both Huangmei xi films and Huangmei diao films. The two film forms are similar to the extent that both use Huangmei music, but they differ in one crucial aspect. In the former (such as Marriage of Fairy Princess), all the performers are professionally trained Huangmei xi artists, whereas in the latter (such as The Love Eterne), the cast consists of film actors and actresses who are not opera-trained professionals. Then, as now, Hong Kong had no professional Huangmei opera troupes. Unlike their PRC counterparts, Hong Kong Mandarin studios such as Shaw Brothers, Cathay and Great Wall, which made Hong Kong’s first Huangmei opera film The Borrowed Wife, did not, therefore, have a ready pool of trained opera performers to draw on when making Huangmei (and other non-Cantonese) opera films. In this regard, Chinese–Hong Kong opera film co-productions were the exception. For example, The Cowherd and the Weaver (1963, Dir. Cen Fan) and The Jade Hairpin (1962, Dir. Wu Yonggang) were co-produced by Hong Kong’s Da Peng Film Studio (a close associate of Great Wall) and Shanghai’s Hai Yan Film Studio. The former is a Huangmei opera film production. Its cast was drawn from the Anhui Huangmei Opera Troupe, including Yan Fengying and Wang Shaofang of Marriage of the Fairy Princess. In The Jade Hairpin the co-producers

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Huangmei diao pian 65 teamed up with Shanghai Yueju (Shaoxing) School No. 2 Troupe to make the Shaoxing opera film. Unlike the Cantonese studios, which had a steady supply of trained performers from the Cantonese stage, Huangmei opera film actors and actresses had to undergo appropriate training or retraining. Fu Qi, an established (male) actor of the Great Wall studio with a knack for contemporary romantic comedies—he played the male lead in The Borrowed Wife, for example—took a crash course in opera postures, steps, movements and singing techniques with a Beijing opera-trained master, Zhou Wenwei (Fu, 1958: 6). Actress Ling Po (Ling Bo) likewise had to retrain, even though she was already a relatively versatile performer by the time she starred in The Love Eterne production. Prior to this, she had appeared in some fifty Minnanhua films in various genres, including Minnanhua opera films such as Long Feng Studio’s Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai (1955, Dir. Chow Sze-Luk/Zhou Shilu), in which she had a minor part. At the time her screen-name was Siew Kuan (Xiao Juan). For her male lead role in The Love Eterne, also her first major part in a Shaw Brothers production, she took the new name of Ling Po. Siew Kuan/Ling Po had a flair for singing Huangmei tunes, unlike most actors and actresses associated with the genre, including Chao Lei (Zhao Lei), Lin Dai, Li Li-Hua (Li Lihua), Yam Kit (Ren Jie), Li Ching (Li Qing) and Cheng Pei-Pei (Zheng Peipei). The use of ghost singing and voice dubbing was a very common practice. In contrast, all performers in PRC opera films and Hong Kong Cantonese opera movies were properly trained opera artists and sang their parts themselves. In terms of make-up and costumes, Hong Kong Huangmei opera films diverge even more from their PRC equivalents, including Huangmei xi. In the latter, for instance, performers typically don heavy make-up and pantaloons with flared bottoms, whereas their Hong Kong counterparts tend to sport a (more) naturalistic look, wearing straight-cut, pencil-thin, tight-fitting trousers. Musical composition and arrangements vary even more. In Hong Kong Huangmei opera films, the songs are relatively more upbeat with a quasi-modern arrangement, which in turn gives the tunes a pop-like quality consistent with Mandarin pop songs of the day. This simultaneously traditional (folk) and modern (pop) mix yields a populist quality that stands in contrast to the pastoral aura characteristic of the Huangmei folk music used in PRC Huangmei opera movies. Of the total number of opera film productions in post-war Hong Kong films, Huangmei opera movies were second only to Cantonese ones, though by a long stretch. However, Huangmei opera films were mostly shot in colour and had considerably higher production values, with infinitely more lavish props and extravagant sets. Their producers typically enjoyed an economy of scale that came with a large capital investment, unlike Cantonese and other non-Mandarin studios. Great Wall reportedly received backing from PRC-friendly banks; thus, when

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making The Borrowed Wife, according to its ads for the film, it was able to mobilise production resources five times over the amount it would normally allocate for a single film (Tan, 2007a). Financially well-endowed Shaw Brothers, on the other hand, made the claim in their ads that their allocated budget was as high as HK$1 million per production. According to I. C. Jarvie (1977), a Cantonese feature film 10,000 feet long typically cost between HK$40,000 and HK$50,000 to make, but the average budget for a standard Mandarin production was higher, between HK$100,000 and HK$200,000. If so, then the production costs for Huangmei opera movies and other period Mandarin films would be even higher: the costs for the set, for example, have been known to run to as much as HK$300,000 (Yang, 1963: 11). Given this, Chinese opera films in other languages generally looked like poor distant cousins, except perhaps those made by PRC studios and, to a certain extent, Hong Kong’s ‘left-wing’ Mandarin studios. Huangmei opera films also enjoyed a considerably wider following largely because they were made in standard Mandarin, as opposed to Cantonese and Minnanhua, or other regional or community-specific ‘dialects’ such as those spoken in Shanghai or Beijing. This linguistic advantage enabled the genre to reach multiple ‘pockets’ of standard Mandarin (Huayu, Guoyu and Putonghua) audiences in the Chinese diaspora. By comparison, ‘dialect’ opera films had a shorter range. Their producers tried to overcome this language-related limitation by providing various Chinese-language subtitles (this being the norm for all opera films, especially during the singing sequences). But that did not help overcome the taint of regionality which marked them as provincial. On the other hand, the use of standard(ised) Mandarin—Huayu (widely used in the Chinese diaspora), Guoyu (the national language of Taiwan or one of the national languages in places like Singapore) or Putonghua (most widely used and understood in mainland China)—helped cut down dialect-segregated provincial divides. Though popular to a similar degree in the Chinese diaspora (except in Taiwan, where they were banned), PRC Huangmei opera films were, however, too few and far between to make a more enduring impact. Using highly trained opera performers had its merits but this also gave the productions a sense of stilted staginess, which populist screen actors/actresses had long learned to downplay. This sense of staginess afflicted the Cantonese opera film as well. Related to the language issues is also the performance of songs in a natural voice. Such a performance style gave Huangmei opera films a decisive edge over the rest. The late Run Run Shaw, helmsman of Shaw Brothers, purportedly chose to make Huangmei diao pian rather than other types of opera films because of the ‘natural voice’ factor (Chang, 2002: 112). Runde Shaw of Shaw and Sons appeared to take a similar line when he agreed to produce Shaw’s first Huangmei opera film, Diau Charn of Three Kingdoms (1958). This apparently happened

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Huangmei diao pian 67 after director Lee Han-Hsiang told him about an ‘unusual’ occurrence at a local cinema, where Marriage of the Fairy Princess was playing. Viewers were singing along with the film, an occurrence that surprised Lee. Had the movie been a Cantonese picture, he would have been less taken aback, since Cantonese opera, whether on stage or on screen, had relatively ready accessibility in post-war Hong Kong— a predominantly Cantonese place, both linguistically and culturally. In any case, he later found out from colleagues that the Marriage of the Fairy Princess had a cult following, with some viewers watching it over and over again, up to ‘seven or eight times’. Sensing a potential market for Huangmei opera movies, Lee thus pitched a proposal for Diau Charn of Three Kingdoms to Runde Shaw, who accepted it on condition that the film be ‘filled with songs from start to end’, just like Marriage of the Fairy Princess (Li Yizhuang, 2005: 26). The 1955 Marriage of the Fairy Princess is based on an award-winning stage production of the same name, which Anhui Huangmei Opera Troupe took to the East China Opera Convention, held in Shanghai in 1954. Made in black and white, the film features the original cast in the same roles. Inspired by this immensely popular film, which first screened in Hong Kong in 1956, Huangmei diao films were to become flagship productions of the then emergent Shaw Brothers (founded in 1958). Peaking around 1963, these blockbuster productions helped make Shaw Brothers the kingpin studio in the Chinese diaspora, a fact that, without doubt, was driven by the very powerful motivation of profitability. This was not the case in Mao’s China, where the Huangmei opera films it produced, generally adapted from the stage versions, were heralded as folk art that highlighted the resilient diligence and creative intelligence of the working class: that is, the ‘masses’. The motivation here was ideology, not profit. So whether Shaoxing opera or Huangmei opera, those selected for film adaptation fitted, or were made to fit, with the CCP’s political agenda for the arts. For example, the Marriage of the Fairy Princess, amongst others, served as an exemplar of class struggle against Confucian feudalism, while the tragedy of the star-crossed lovers became an indictment of class exploitation. Xu Jin, scriptwriter for the 1954 film Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai (Dirs. Sang Hu and Huang Sha), called this a ‘people’s creation’ (renmin de chuangzuo). ‘Our zuguo [motherland]’, Xu writes for Hong Kong’s Wen Wei Po newspaper: has rare cultural treasures which hold our precious spiritual wealth . . . The Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai legend is but a small flower in the literary forest of my country’s folk arts . . . All these show me the brilliant renmin de chuangzuo of my country since the ancient times . . . I empathise with the protagonists’ experience and struggles (dou zheng) . . . When working on the project, I greedily strive to learn from the people’s artists of ancient times,

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Shaw Brothers did not have such Maoist politicised motivations. Yet the two forms were similar. While Shaw Brothers’ productions drew on both Huangmei past operatic (stage) traditions and newly developed filmic practices, they tended to emphasise the folk art’s connectivity to ‘cultural China’, emerging more from folklore and literary classics than from the ‘political China’ that sought to use the arts as a tool for mobilising the masses against the evils of feudalist China. As such, one critic (Fu, 2008) categorises this genre as ‘China Forever Films’ that speak to China’s cultural nationalism (minus Maoist China’s politicised rhetoric). This is akin to a kind of sinophone language. Another most discernible difference relates to the historical place of Hong Kong as a film centre during the Cold War era and its film markets in diasporic Chinese communities worldwide—from places with majority Chinese migrant–settlers to those where such migrants were a minority. Shortly after the appearance of the 1955 Marriage of the Fairy Princess, Hong Kong-made Huangmei opera films surfaced, beginning with The Borrowed Wife. This was closely followed by Shaw and Sons’ Diau Charn of Three Kingdoms, which opened about two weeks later. The following summer saw the release of Lee’s second Huangmei diao film, The Kingdom and the Beauty (1959). Produced by Shaw Brothers, this film—together with the combined critical and commercial success of the three preceding movies—consolidated a seemingly insatiable appetite for the Huangmei opera films in the Chinese diaspora, allowing Mandarin-speaking exiles in particular, from directors to scriptwriters and librettists, from performers to audiences, catharsis from ‘homesickness’—the imaginary ancestral home of cultural China—and the shared outpouring of melancholia with regard to the ‘home’ that they could now only watch and reminisce about from afar. Film producers in Taiwan jumped on the bandwagon around 1963, and lured the genre’s most prominent director, Lee Han-Hsiang, to move to the island. Appetite began to wane in the late 1960s, and in the decade that followed Huangmei opera film productions reduced dramatically (see Chen, 2003). Some years later, however, in 1972, Taiwan’s CTS (Central Television System, or Hua Shi) released the first Huangmei diao TV series called Husband and Wife for Seven Lives (Dir. Tang Ji), based on the Jin Tong and Yu Nü legend (see Tan, 2007b). The ninety-one-part series stars the very famous actress Ling Po, who plays the ‘husband’ in all of Jin Tong’s seven reincarnations, including Liang Shanbo (of the second reincarnation), which allowed the queen of Huangmei diao pian to reprise her signature role (www.cts.com.tw; Cinemart, 1972: 20–1). In subsequent years, the ‘Butterfly Lovers’ story would generate eight more TV series,

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Huangmei diao pian 69 which were variously produced by: Hong Kong’s TVB (1977, Dir. Wong Tin-Lam, 4 episodes); Taiwan’s Yang Lihua Gezai Troupe (1984, Dir. Gu Huixiong, 14 episodes); Ye Qing Gezai Troupe (1997, Dir. Li Dongnan, 6 episodes); Formosa TV or Min Shi (1999, Dir. Feng Kai, 47 episodes); China Television Company (CTV) or Zhong Shi (2000, Dir. Xu Jinliang, 42 episodes); mainland China’s Shanghai Film Studio (1995, Dirs Huang Hai and Wu Tiange, 23 episodes); Hunan Shidai Mingxing Media (2007, Dir. Chen Chun-Liang/Chen Junliang, 41 episodes); and Shenzhen Tengxun (Tencent; 2017, Dir. Chen Peng, 29 episodes). In 1977 Ling Po founded To-day (Jin Ri) Film Company (Hong Kong). Its debut feature, a Huangmei opera film, was The Dream of the Red Chamber (1978, Dir. Chin Han/Jin Han). That same year, Shaw Brothers ‘remade’ its 1962 The Dream of the Red Chamber classic (Dir. Yuan Qiu-Feng/Yuan Qiufeng), in which Ling Po was the ghost singer for actress Yam Kit’s Jia Baoyu. Like earlier film adaptations, the two 1977 productions are based on Cao Xueqin’s novel of the same name (c. 1791), a Qing literary classic. Shaw Brothers’ production (Dir. Lee Han-Hsiang) has the same English title as Ling Po’s version; its Chinese title is slightly different and has the prefix Jinyu Liangyuan (meaning the perfect couple or marriage). Otherwise, the plot is similar, while Shaw Brothers maintained that its production promoted a ‘new-style’ Huangmei opera film. As in Yuan Qiu-feng’s 1962 version, the two latter-day productions have an actress playing the male lead, Jia Baoyu: Ling Po and Brigette Lin Ching-Hsia (Lin Qingxia). In 1980, To-day made, as it turns out, the last Huangmei opera film, The Imperious Princess. Directed by Jin Han, it again stars Ling Po, who, as expected, plays the male lead, with Sylvia Chang Ai-Chia, an A-list actress from Taiwan who played the female lead in Shaw Brothers’ The Dream of the Red Chamber ‘remake’, as the imperious Princess. These efforts, as well as the PRC’s attempts in the early 1980s, failed to revive the genre, however. After The Imperious Princess, Ling Po basically went into retirement, although she would accept the occasional invitation to make guest appearances in films, concerts and TV variety shows. In contrast to what might be considered as the ‘standard’ Butterfly Lover film adaptations listed above, Chan Pei’s Leung Shan-pak’s Second Meeting with Chuk Ying-toi (1952), while retaining many of the standard themes and characteristics, might best be seen as a naoju (naau kek): that is, a noisy and boisterous play which, in the context of Hong Kong comedy films, could be seen as a precursor to the more contemporary nonsensical, mou lei tau or ok gaau variety popularised in, around and since the 1990s or from the new millennium onwards (Ng, 2014)—more below. For example, in this version both Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai are learned—the former a weaker person than the latter—while Ma Wencai is a mean bully, who forces the latter to marry him. With Sun-Ma Sze-Tsang (Xinma Shizeng) and Tang Pik-Wan (Deng Biyun), both Cantonese

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opera stars of the day, playing the two leads, the film opens with Tang’s Yingtai, dressed as a man, crying her heart out at Shanbo’s tomb. Her parents fetch her home, where she falls ill. To cure her broken heart, her parents concoct a ruse that involves employing a priest to call forth the ‘ghost’ of Shanbo to comfort their daughter. After this, Yingtai becomes even more depressed. One day, Liang’s loyal servant tells her faithful maid a secret: that Liang has actually faked his death. He did so in the hope that the sorrowful Yingtai would forget him and move on with her life. When the maid tells her mistress about the ploy, she rushes to Shanbo’s home, where she finds him ill and feeble but certainly very much alive. The meeting miraculously cures them. Thereafter, they meet secretly at the grave site, late at night, under the watchful eyes of Liang’s servant. As the two pour their hearts out, the servant dozes off—his exaggerated nods creating comedic moments. Meanwhile, Yingtai’s cheeriness and improved health make her busybody sister-in-law curious. One night, she trails her to the secret meeting place, and upon seeing Shanbo emerge from the shadows, faints, thinking she has seen a ghost. Accompanied by Shanbo and Yingtai, the servant carries the sister-in-law back to the Zhus’ abode. More comedy erupts when the Zhus come face to face with Liang’s ‘ghost’, shrieking and scurrying away in horror. During a private moment, Yingtai suggests they elope but Shanbo cannot bring himself to do that because he feels compelled to abide by the proper teaching and moral codes of learned people. Nonetheless, he pledges that he is prepared to die for love. Ma Jianglang (Ma Wencai’s equivalent), who has been pressing the Zhus to set the wedding date, comes calling again. Upon seeing Liang, he threatens to haul him to court for deception. Yingtai intervenes, saying that she will marry him, on condition that he drop the threat and that the bride be allowed to make a stop at the grave site on the wedding day. Ma agrees. On the wedding day, the marriage procession passes by the grave site. Shanbo literally drops dead, upon seeing the bride; Yingtai wails and kills herself by cracking her head against the tomb. The film ends without the butterfly miracle and with the lovers’ corpses lying on the ground next to the tomb (Fig. 3.1). China’s leftist cultural workers like Cai Chusheng, whom we met in the last chapter, would, in all likelihood, detest the horror and superstition themes in this film, dismissing them as ‘mindless and senseless’—the characteristics, he would probably say, of ‘poison films’. The wuxia film, which first emerged in the pre-war Shanghai film industry, had endured similar disparagement—at first from the cultural and political elites of Chiang Kai-Shek’s Republic of China (ROC) and then of Mao Tse-Tung’s (Mao Zedong) PRC. That notwithstanding, the genre found a more welcoming home, especially in the post-war Hong Kong film industry, where it developed as a production staple; so much so that Hong Kong’s martial arts film heritage, in particular, comprising of wuxia films, wuda (pugilist) films and qiangzhan (gunfight) films, has become a global brand, with

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Figure 3.1A At the tomb bearing his name, Shanbo literally drops dead upon seeing Yingtai the bride (01:37:02).

Figure 3.1B Yingtai commits suicide, bashing her head against the tomb (01:37:07).

Figure 3.1C Yingtai falls to the ground, dead, at a slight distance from the dead Shanbo (off-screen) (01:37:27). Figure 3.1

The double death. Source: Leung Shan-pak’s Second Meeting with Chuk Ying-toi (1952, Dir. Chen Pei).

sustained impact well into the twenty-first century via, for example, Bruce Lee (Li Xiaolong), Jackie Chan (Cheng Long), John Woo, Yuen Woo-ping (Yuan Heping) and, most recently, Donnie Yen (Zhen Zidan). Despite the decline of the opera film genre, Shaw Brothers had the habit of storing away its productions once they had made their usual run. Up to the late 1970s, it would still periodically rerelease memorable classics such as The Love Eterne, The Kingdom and the Beauty and The Magnificent Concubine (1961, Dir. Lee Han-Hsiang) (see Wong Sui-kei, 2003). This practice stopped with the advent of video and related reproduction technologies. Into the 1980s, Shaw Brothers’

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new releases began to dwindle in supply as the studio started to scale down its production operation, eventually closing in 1985. But in 1988, Shaw Brothers co-founded the Cosmopolitan Film Company with TVB and began making films again, this time only sporadically. Cosmopolitan’s output averaged 1.5 films yearly between 1988 and 2002. TVB is a free-to-air commercial TV station in Hong Kong; its largest shareholder was the late Run Run Shaw, also the founder of Shaw Brothers. But the notable absence of Shaw films in the broadcast media and the video markets precipitated their disappearance from the Chinese-language mediascape, save for the few to which video bootleggers in Malaysia and Taiwan managed to gain access. Despite PRC’s Huangmei opera TV productions surfacing in the early 1980s, due largely to the efforts of state-funded Huangmei opera schools in Anhui to keep the cultural enterprise alive, and the fact that Hong Kong’s TV studios have never made any, with only excerpts performed in some variety shows, new Huangmei opera film production is now effectively a relic of the past; what has tended to outlast the films, however, as Huangmei xi troupes continue to flourish, is the music from the films (see Chen, 2003, 2005). The tunes are what most distinguish both this opera form and the Huangmei diao movies themselves. They are derived from the folk music of the Huangmei locality in Hubei province (next to Anhui), most noted for its tea-picking songs (cai cha ge) and mournful ditties (ai su). The former generally deal with love and romantic songs about pastoral life, while the latter tell of natural calamities, peasantry hardship and exilic existence. Huangmei folk music spread to the lower region of the Yangtze river around 1785, when a succession of severe droughts and floods forced the Huangmei peasants to flee, en masse, to Jiangxi, Anhui and other provinces in East China. ‘[Some refugees] found work as labourers,’ recalls Lu Hongfei, a Huangmei elder, in an interview: Most had to sing for food and a pittance, begging from house to house. Since that time, or as [Huangmei] legends have it, we, Huangmei people, have the habit of ‘leaving home to sell our songs’ (chu wai mai chang). (Lu Hongfei cited in Wang, 2000: 10) In time, itinerant Huangmei musicians incorporated lian xiang (bamboo clapper music), hua gu (flower drum music), Jiangnan qu (Southern River ditties), gao qiang (a kind of rhyme scheme in Chinese opera) and other folk music of the Yangtze region as part of their act. Some eventually settled in Anhui and were the forerunners of the Huangmei xi troupes that established themselves in urban localities. Huangmei xi is not a pure and unadulterated opera form. With Huangmei folk music as its signature, ranging from cai cha ge and ai su

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Huangmei diao pian 73 to song-and-dance numbers with similarly strong rural themes such as songs of the mountains (shan ge), sowing songs (yang ge) and harvest songs like teaharvesting ditties (cai cha deng), Huangmei xi, in addition to music of the (lower) Yangtze region, also adopted the performance conventions of Hubei’s relatively more established opera forms such as Han Ju (Han Opera) and Chu Ju (Chu Opera). Major opera forms (da xi) from beyond Hubei and Anhui, such as Peking Opera (Jing Ju), added more nuances to its repertoire. Apart from the opera’s hybrid characteristics, its performance language would change over time as well. Initially, Huangmei tunes were sung in the Hubei dialect. But as Huangmei opera troupes emerged in Anhui, they replaced it with the Anhui dialect. In New China, Putonghua was imposed as the language to be used across the country in officialdom and also for education, trade and the arts. As a result, Putonghua became the norm for delivering songs and spoken speech in Huangmei xi and Huangmei opera films. This practice continues to the present day. From Hubei to Anhui, then to Shanghai and Hong Kong, and finally, via Hong Kong, to Taiwan and elsewhere in the Chinese diaspora, Huangmei tunes (in Huayu, Guoyu or Putonghua) became a craze on the diasporic Chinese pop/ folk music scene from the late 1950s onwards, with celluloid and vinyl as two chief modes of dissemination. Music shows on radio and TV undoubtedly helped stoke the fever a few degrees higher. In terms of popularity, they were on a par with the Mandarin pop songs of the day, making household names out of Huangmei tune (diao) singers such as Jing Ting and Cui Ping of Hong Kong, Teresa Teng (Deng Lijun) of Taiwan and Chen Jie of Singapore (Tan, 2007a; Xu, 1999). In addition to being a staple of the Huangmei opera films, they have been known to make occasional appearances in period dramas (non-musical), including lavishly produced historical epics such as Shaw Brothers’ The Magnificent Concubine, the first Chinese-language film to receive the Palme d’Or nomination and to win the Grand Prix de la Commission Supérieure Technique du Cinéma at Cannes in 1962, and Last Woman of Shang (1964, Dir. Yueh Feng/Yue Feng), which features A-list Korean actor Shin Young-kyun as the Emperor of Shang. This shows, albeit in an indirect way, the important role that Huangmei tunes played in Shaw Brothers’ blockbuster films, and by extension, their widespread popularity in the Chinese diaspora. They also importantly point to that studio’s regional and global ambitions—a not-insignificant feature of the developing sinophone cinema.

Sinophone Cultural Formations From opera films to period drama, from boisterous naoju to post-modern wuxia films (see below), or from standard to wacky retellings, in order to understand

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the sinophone characteristics and forms that the Butterfly Lovers film adaptations in Hong Kong have adopted, it is crucial to locate these practices within the context of the place that produced them, because as Shih Shu-mei has argued, sinophone definitions, productions and disseminations are both ‘place-based’ yet ‘transnational’ (Shih, 2013a: 7). One useful way of pursuing a telling example of this is provided by the film poster advertisement (WHP, 1955: 4) for Wong Tin-Lam’s version of this legend in The Romance of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai (Saam Yeung, 1955), made in Hong Kong. This is actually a Cantonese opera film and is especially pertinent in terms of sinophone multitasking. The ad carries three proclamations (Fig. 3.2; left-centre, above the figures of Liang and Zhu). One exclaims that Wong’s film ‘boldly takes on other similarly titled films (Gan yu qita tongming dianying yi jiao gaoxia)!’ Though unnamed, the films could be contextually inferred as But Fu’s Cantonese opera film (1952) and Sang and Huang’s Shaoxing opera film (1954): both bear the same Chinese title as Wong’s—that is, Liang Shanbo yu Zhu

Figure 3.2 Newspaper advert for the Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai movie (1955, Dir. Wong Tin-Lam, Saam Yeung). Source: Wen Wei Po [WHP], 10 August 1955: 6.

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Huangmei diao pian 75 Yingtai; they were also released in Hong Kong earlier than Wong’s version. The Shaoxing opera film, produced by Shanghai Film Studio of New China, is made in Shanghainese, the de facto language of Shaoxing Opera. It was a box-office sensation; But’s version was not—relatively speaking. The former has an all-female cast but not the latter. The sales pitch for Wong’s film, that it is ‘totally filled with singing and the perfume of women’ (quanbu ge chang, quanbu nü’er xiang), thus intertextualises the Shanghai production more than the earlier Hong Kong version. The other two proclamations in the ad—bringing honour to ‘Cantonese films’ and relief for ‘Cantonese people’ (wei yueyu dianying zheng guangrong! wei Guangdongren tu yi kou qi!)—have a strong ethnic ring that positions the Shanghai production not so much as non-Chinese but as non-indigenous to Hong Kong. ‘Cantonese songs and lyrics’, the ad finally suggests, thus offer ‘another level of flavour and fervour’ (Guangdong ge ci, ling yi feng ge)—the flavour and fervour of indigeneity. Straddling the indigenous and the non-indigenous, and also on the many disparate claims for what makes and constitutes ‘China’, ‘Chinese’ and ‘Chineseness’, then, the sinophone is ‘therefore transnational in constitution and formation but local in practice and articulation’ (Shih, 2013a: 7). In addition to Wong’s, three other Cantonese opera films, made in the 1950s, feature opera divas playing the male lead (1951, 1952, 1958). This was also the case with Chow’s Minnanhua avatar. In this regard, these four films share a common premise with Sang and Huang’s Butterfly Lovers film, in which Shaoxing opera diva Yuan Xuefen likewise played the role of Liang Shanbo. Yam Kim-Fei (Yam Kim-Fai/Ren Jianhui), then reigning queen of Cantonese opera/opera films, like Yuan Xuefen of Shanghai, specialised in playing male characters, both in film and on stage; she is Liang Shanbo in Jin Feng’s New Love Story of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai (1951, Dir. Chan Pei) and again in Chik Lei’s The Tragic Story of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai (1958, Dir. Lee Tit/Li Tie). Although Lee’s and Yan’s Butterfly Lovers films also have a female playing the male lead—namely, Ling Po and the relatively more established actress of the top-notch Mandarin (Huayu/Guoyu) screen, Li Li-Hua of The Magnificent Concubine—both Ling and Li, unlike Yam and Yuan, were not professionally trained opera artists. However, Ling could sing, and prior to The Love Eterne, had worked as a ghost singer in Shaw Brothers’ earlier Huangmei diao film productions. Li, on the other hand, had no talent for singing, so Tsui Ping (Cui Ping) was her ghost singer in Liang San Poh and Chu Ing Tai.

Wrapped-up Genders If China-born Lee Han-Hsiang was surprised to see the enthusiastic sing-along at the screening of the 1955 Marriage of the Fairy Princess, as we saw earlier in this chapter, then — as his Huangmei opera film corpus shows—the director

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was quick to learn the lesson. His most successful Huangmei opera film, The Love Eterne, which he himself scripted and directed (it was produced by Run Run Shaw in 1963), for example, has a record thirty-four songs and was inspired by three opera librettos from the Republican China period (1911–49): namely, The Willow Shade Account (Sichuan opera), Liang Zhu (Shaoxing/Shanghai opera) and Butterflies on a Skirt-hem (Cantonese opera). Its lyrics are similar to songs in the equally sensational Shanghai opera film from the PRC, Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai (1954), with opera divas Yuan Xuefen and Fan Ruijuan playing the respective titular characters, while the music draws on Anhui’s Huangmei xi style of opera singing and musical arrangement. The 1963 Shaw Brothers production of The Love Eterne starred Ivy Ling Po and Betty Loh Tih (Le Di), who, respectively, play the two star-crossed lovers Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai; a summary of the plot is given in this chapter’s opening paragraph. Where the 1954 Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai features an all-female cast (this being conventional in Shaoxing/Shanghai opera practices), the Shaw Brothers version uses a mixed cast: Ling’s triumphant debut as a cross-sex performer (fanchuaner) catapulted her to superstardom, and for a while ushered in a fad for female-to-male cross-sex acting in Hong Kong’s post-war Mandarin films. As if keen to show off their acting range, top names like Lin Dai and Li Li-hua thus appeared, respectively, as teenage boy Chen Xiang, in addition to playing the female lead, in The Lotus Lamp (1965, Dir. Yueh Feng), and as patriotic scholar Yang Yuwei in Lady Jade Locket (1967, Dir. Yen Chuan). In all likelihood, The Love Eterne enjoyed the widest circulation in the Chinese diaspora since it played in Taiwan as well, where its cult following first emerged. The Cantonese versions, on the other hand, would not have travelled well since Taiwan chiefly catered to Mandarin (Huayu or Guoyu), Minnanhua and Hakka film audiences. Peggy Chiao was to bear witness to its cult following, recalling, in ways reminiscent of Lee Han-Hsiang’s earlier experience of going to the cinema in Hong Kong: ‘Inside the cinema, the audience [were singing] along with the stars on the screen,’ and adding: Before it, films were seen only once. The Love Eterne prompted the practice of viewing and re-reviewing a film. Everyone compared how many times he or she had seen The Love Eterne. And there were many who saw it twenty or thirty times. The newspapers reported that an elderly woman saw the film 120 times . . . Housewives, young women, and children memorised the lyrics . . . (Chiao, 2003: 76) In The Love Eterne, actress Ling Po succeeded where Ren Jie of The Dream of the Red Chamber (1962) failed. Originally cast as the film’s male lead, Ren

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Huangmei diao pian 77 was relegated to the supporting female role of Yin Xin when director Lee HanHsiang recast the former role in favour of Ling (Lee, 1984: 146–9). This turn of events sounded a death knell for Ren’s acting career but changed Ling’s fortunes forever. She was popularly known as Liang Xiong, which means Elder Brother Liang, also Zhu Yingtai’s pet-name for Liang Shanbo. Before joining Shaw Brothers, as already mentioned, Ling Po was Siew Kuan, née Jun Haitang (born 1939). Siew Kuan’s acting career began as early as 1954, first as a precocious child-actor, then as a leading actress in Fujianese (xiamenpian—more generally known as Amoy-dialect or Minnanhua films, or Taiyu films as they are more commonly called in Taiwan). Although a darling of the Minnanhua film circuit (STD, 1958: 9), she lingered on the fringes of the cinematic mainstream in the Chinese diaspora. In Hong Kong, Minnanhua studios were among the poorest, capital- and resource-wise, when compared to their Mandarin and Cantonese counterparts, and as such, were thought to be third-rate; according to Jeremy Taylor (2011), their films were chiefly made for direct export to predominantly Chinese settlements outside Hong Kong in the Chinese diaspora. Seeking to break into the mainstream, Siew Kuan began to work for Shaw around 1960, initially as a freelancer, accepting bit-parts in the Cantonese productions of Shaw affiliates, as well as shadow-singing for Shaw Brothers’ Huangmei opera films. Indeed, the best offer she could land at Shaw, prior to The Love Eterne, was the female supporting role in Hung Niang (1961). This Huangmei film production was never completed, but it gave her a chance to work with Lee Han-Hsiang, who was one of the known directors involved in the project. The meeting eventually led to their collaboration in The Love Eterne. At this point, Siew Kuan changed her screen-name to Ivy Ling Po, an infinitely more savvy appellation than Siew Kuan, which sounded unsophisticated and provincial. ‘Ling Po the person is like her name: a fairy,’ trumpeted the popular newspaper Sing Tao Daily (STD, 1963b). She went on to win the ‘Best Acting Award in a Special Category’ (2nd Golden Horse Film Festival, Taiwan, 1963) for this film, a prize that was created specially for her because she was not eligible for consideration in the Best Actor or Best Actress categories because her cross-sex performance exceeded the terms specified. After the phenomenal success of The Love Eterne, Shaw Brothers immediately signed up Ling Po on a long-term contract (seven years) and she made a total of thirty-three films of various genres with them, among them thirteen more Huangmei diao films: A Maid from Heaven (1963, Dir. Ho Meng-Hua/ He Menghua and Chen Yu-Hsin/Chen Yixin), The Grand Substitution (1965, Dir. Yen Chuan), The Crimson Palm (1964, Dir. Chen Yu-Hsin/Chen Yixin), The Female Prince (1964, Dir. Chow Sze-Luk) and Forever and Ever (1968, Dir. Lo Wei/Luo Wei), as well as Kao Li’s (Gao Li) Inside the Forbidden City (1965), The Mermaid

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(1965), The Perfumed Arrow (1966), Dawn Will Come (1966) and The Mirror and the Lichee (1967), and Griffin Yueh Feng’s Lady General Hua Mulan (1964), The West Chamber (1965) and The Three Smiles (1969). In all these films, as well as those she made during her post-Shaw Brothers years as a freelance actress, she performed a diverse array of cross-sex and gender-matching roles. Despite winning four other major acting awards (between 1964 and 1974), Ling Po could not escape from the long shadow of her role as Liang Xiong. After leaving Shaw Brothers in 1972, Ling immediately gave an extended reprise of her signature role for Taiwan’s CTS production of Husband and Wife for Seven Lives (1972), the first ever Huangmei opera TV serial, whose ninety-one parts tell the story of a couple’s seven reincarnations. In each reincarnation they are destined to meet, and every time they meet they are fated to part forever. The series is based on a portmanteau of seven well-known tragic folktales, one of which is based on the Liang–Zhu legend (Liang–Zhu is popular shorthand for Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai). This series and others, especially the Liang–Zhu 40: Forever Elder Brother Liang Musical (2003; Dir. Tsao Fu-Kuo/ Cao Fuguo) and Liang–Zhu 50: Classical Huangmei Diao Concert (2013, Dir. unknown) of more recent years, are testimonies to the persistent following that Ling Po (as Liang Xiong) and Huangmei diao music have continued to enjoy over the years. The former—a full-scale stage production of The Love Eterne, featuring Ling Po and other surviving members of the Shaw Brothers cast in their original role, with Hong Kong/Taiwanese actress Hu Chin/Hu Jin playing the Zhu Yingtai character—capped Taiwan’s island-wide commemoration of the fortieth anniversary of The Love Eterne phenomenon (Wang, 2003). In Liang–Zhu 50, Ling teamed up with Hu again, reprising Huangmei diao songs compiled from The Love Eterne and other Hong Kong Huangmei opera film classics: namely, Shaw Brothers’ The Kingdom and the Beauty (1959, Dir. Lee Han-Hsiang) and A Maid from Heaven (1963), and Cathay Studio’s The Story of Qin Xianglian (1964, codirs Yan Chun and Chen Yu-Hsin) (Ling, 2013). Both productions premiered at the National Dr Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall (Taipei); they have variously played elsewhere in the Chinese diaspora, reaching Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and the United States (Sha, 2014; Ng, 2016). The muchcelebrated Love Eterne has inspired other stage productions as well—for example, DAMA Music Theatre of Malaysia’s Butterfly Lovers—The Musical (2006, Dir. Pun Kai Loon) (Loo and Loo, 2012). Although Ling Po did not appear in this production, commemorative events, including her countless appearances in (other) concerts and on TV variety shows as a special guest, affirm her revered status as the most eminent Huangmei opera film actress and Huangmei diao songstress in the Chinese diaspora. Of her diverse film repertoire, her Huangmei opera films have likewise remained the best known and are usually the best

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Huangmei diao pian 79 remembered. If popular memory has kept the cross-sex-acting Ling Po’s Love Eterne ‘screen miracle’ alive, it is because popular demand for it has persisted.

Cross-Sex Acting In the post-war Hong Kong film industry (as in traditional Chinese opera), cross-sex acting was a serious career option. This was more the case for actresses than actors, with very few exceptions. Female-to-male cross-sex acting (fanchuan) was sometimes regarded as a vocation, as in the case of Yam Kim-Fei, who was firstly trained, from an early age, to be/become a fanchuaner on the Cantonese stage; after establishing herself as a fanchuan opera diva, she then moved on to become a Cantonese screen fanchuaner. Ivy Ling Po, on the other hand, became a fanchuaner by accident, in that this occurred only after her captivating performance as Liang Shanbo in The Love Eterne; prior to that, she was first and foremost a film actress, unlike Yam the opera diva, whose career, both on stage and in film, depended on her male-role acting specialisation. Whether by design or accident, fanchuaners as such are quite distinct from narrative cross-dressers. In the latter cross-dressing paradigm, for example, the Zhu Yingtai character in The Love Eterne (played by actress Le Di in a female role), cross-dresses as a male in order to go to school; or Master Plen (played by actor Qiao Zhuang in a male role) in The Bride Napping (1962, Dir. Yen Chuan) impersonates his fiancée so as to thwart a lascivious villain’s plan to kidnap her and make her his wife. These films, and the fanchuaners in them (sometimes referred to as ‘pretty stars’—see below), not only were commercially successful, but raise important issues for sinophone cinema. They articulated processes of transformation and accumulation within the ‘Gestalt of a culture’ (Idema, 2012: 12), which composed the cultural values, practices and priorities of a certain people, place or nation, drawing attention to cultural and political nationalisms, and the inherent struggles and tensions, in the PRC and also in the Chinese diaspora. These ‘pretty stars’ are not innocent or divorced from the varied and diverse processes (and consequences) of what I call here the ‘wrapping up of gender’ through disguise, cross-dressing and other means, particularly through the very popular Shaw Brothers’ Huangmei diao films. Overseen by the Shaw Organisation (Singapore), the Hong Kong-based Shaw Brothers studio’s mode of operation was akin to that of the classic Hollywood studio system. It had a vertically integrated structure, kept a stable of stars on exclusive contracts and made blockbuster films. For a time, Huangmei diao blockbusters were its premier productions. But Shaw Brothers also sought audiences outside the Huayu-speaking communities. For example, its blockbuster film ads, from Diau Charn to The Love Eterne, would appear in

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English-language newspapers like South China Morning Post and Hong Kong Standard. This, together with the films’ English subtitles, clearly targeted English speakers. But the Cantonese phrase, ‘The stars are pretty—beyond comparison’ (mingsing leng mou dak ding), appearing prominently in the ads, was clearly aimed at Hong Kong’s most populous demographics (Fig. 3.3, fourth line to the left of Zhu’s raised and folded fan, near bottom right corner). Similarly, with the sing-along as an attraction in mind, the ads called attention to the film’s subtitles: they are given in full for all the songs (pianshang xiangxi zimu/quanbu quci luoben), it shouts (Fig. 3.3, top middle, under the butterflies). The matter of cross-sex acting and cross-dressing, whether an actress playing a female playing a male (for example, Zhu Yingtai, the narrative cross-dresser) or an actress playing a male (for example, fanchuaners Ling Po, Yuan Xuefen or Yam Kim-Fei) inevitably raises questions about gender, masquerade and identity, in multiple ways. It should therefore come as no surprise that Raymond To’s Cantonese stage musical, The Lover (1998), sought to queer the story by creating a gay Liang Shanbo, whose heart breaks when he discovers that the ‘boy’, Zhu Yingtai, whom he has loved dearly and deep, turns out to be a girl, who in turn has mistaken a gay man for a heterosexual male (Li, 2003: 109–34). The queering here hinges on the much-mused over question: how is it possible for Liang

Figure 3.3

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The Love Eterne newspaper advert. Source: Sing Tao Daily [STD], 1 April 1963: 6.

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Huangmei diao pian 81 not to know Zhu’s true sex, having been in close proximity with her for three years? To’s answer is that he must be gay. That conclusion certainly challenges traditional caizi/jiaren heterosexist representations in opera and film (whether of the Huangmei diao, Cantonese, Shanghainese or Minnanhua [Taiyu] variety), where the cross-dresser and the cross-sexual characteristics, using the words of Keith McMahon, imply in their yin and yang interchange ‘a major aspect of the lovers’ complementarity . . . that patterns the lovers’ path to marriage’, and as such, has come to represent the ‘ideal, nonconformist way’ of challenging the establishment (McMahon, 1994: 229). Yet for Siu Leung Li (2003), ‘To’s The Lover is an incomplete “queering” project’ because it ‘ironically fell back on the traditional story’ since ‘the gay Liang, like the traditional straight Liang, failed to realize that Zhu is a woman’ (Li, 2003: 132). Li also notes that To’s queer turn was, in other ways, ‘self-cancelling’, in that the casting paradoxically straightened gender dislocations, adding that the gender-matching casting with regard to the roles of Liang and Zhu yielded ‘a degenderizing of desire’ that depended on ‘the romantic notion of “true love” to overcome the anxiety of sexuality differences’ (ibid.: 133–4). But there are still other ways too, as we can see in yet another take on this seemingly timeless legend.

The Butterfly Lovers—a Post-modern Take The Butterfly Lovers (BIG Pictures, 2008) was originally made in Cantonese and directed by Jingle Ma Chor-Sing; this is the most recent film adaptation of the popular legend. It was dubbed in Putonghua for distribution in the PRC and elsewhere in the Chinese diaspora, where the Cantonese version was also distributed. Subtitling the film in both English and Chinese (Mandarin) has become a standard industrial practice since the Shaw Brothers took the lead in the 1960s. Unlike the fifteen preceding film adaptations, Jingle’s is a wuxia (warrior-chivalry) film. However, like most, it ends with the butterfly transformation. This Chinese–Hong Kong co-production is perhaps the most transnational in configuration. Funded by Hong Kong’s China-based BIG Pictures and Xian Mei Ah, it features talents from Hong Kong (such as Jingle Ma as director and scriptwriter; actress/singer Charlene Choi as Zhu Yanzhi), Taiwan (singer Harlem Yu as Mao Tou Shishu), Brunei (model Wu Chun as Liang Zhongshan) and mainland China (actor Hu Ge as Ma Cheng’en). Rather than simply retelling the ‘Butterfly Lovers’ legend, Jingle’s swordplay film taps into, as it also blends together, two other folk legends: Qishi fuqi (‘Husband and Wife for Seven Lives’) and Sanshi fuqi (‘Husband and Wife for Three Lives’). The latter two folk legends contain composite tales about ill-fated couples (in Imperial China). The fuqi (husband and wife) in question were

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originally two divine beings: Jin Tong (Golden Boy) and Yu Nü (Jade Girl). At a party hosted by Yu Di (Jade Emperor) Jin Tong accidentally breaks a cup. Yu Nü calms him down. Suddenly, he giggles. The giggle betrays signs of human passion and weakness; this makes Jade Emperor furious. So he banishes the couple from Heaven, decreeing that they will always meet and experience romantic love (as mortals do), repeatedly enduring painful separation and sorrowful death until their third or seventh reincarnation, when they will eventually marry (Sanshi fuqi and Qishi fuqi respectively). In both story cycles, they are Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai during their second reincarnation (Idema, 2010: xxii, n27; see also https://baike.baidu.com/item/ᶫᶾ⣓⥣/262951?fr=aladdin). Jingle’s potpourri version yields a post-modern pastiche in which the Butterfly Lovers are reborn (and renamed) as Liang Zhongshan and Zhu Yanzhi during Jin Tong and Yu Nü’s tenth reincarnation; Ma Cheng’en, formerly Ma Wencai, their arch-rival in love in the Butterfly Lovers tale and also during Jin Tong and Yu Nü’s second lives in the two fuqi legends, yet again thwarts and obstructs the couple’s romantic fulfilment and matrimonial reunion. Jingle’s post-modern retelling of the classic tale, its particular fracturing, mixing and reinvention with regard to Chinese folklore, has the form of an egao (or in Cantonese ok gaau), or wicked spoof, that involves taking on the familiar and turning it, through subversive reversals of themes, scenarios and characterisations, into something that seems oddly familiar—yet not quite. As Gong and Yang (2010) put it, egao is a kind of subcultural practice. Immensely popular amongst the tech-savvy generation (in Hong Kong), egao ‘deconstructs serious themes to entertain people with comedy effects . . . [and] is characterised by humour, revelry, subversion, grass-root spontaneity [and] defiance of authority’ (Gong and Yang, 2010: 4). While light-hearted in delivery, the method of ok gaau/egao (‘ok’/‘e’ meaning ‘evil’ or ‘wicked’ and ‘gaau’/‘gao’ meaning ‘to work something up’ or ‘to create mischief’) has a ‘seriously playful’ impact (Li, 2012). Ok gaau humour has a strong wulitou (or, in Cantonese, mou lei tau) dimension. The Cantonese slang mou lei tau defies ready translation. Simply put, it means nonsense, generally referring to nonsensical speech or gestures, or silly situations that suddenly come to the fore out of nowhere, hitting the unsuspecting in swift and often hilarious ways. The hit is like the punch-line in a joke: the delivery is so swift that the context typically framing the joke is quickly forgotten. Popularised by Stephen Chow Sing Chi’s ‘nonsense comedy’, mou lei tau is both illogical and irrelevant. It is ‘just for fun’, ‘without the specific purpose of mocking any person or anything; in fact it does not seem to have any specific purpose at all’, except to elicit laughter and make entertainment (Hui, 2012; Ng, 2014). Working in concert with ok gaau mischief, mou lei tau has ‘anti-traditional, anti-authoritarian, anti-mainstream and anti-hegemonic’ appeal (Wong, 2013 cited in Ng, 2014).

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Huangmei diao pian 83 In Jingle’s Butterfly Lovers, the opening voiceover gives the first inkling of the film’s mou-lei-tau ok gaau, a recurrent theme throughout the film. The voiceover has an out-of-this-world quality, as if it is the voice of God (or its proxy). Countering this is a quiet montage, which begins with a black screen, followed by the production companies’ names and logos appearing in succession, calmly fading in from (and out of) black in turn. The ensuing white-flash transition shows a man (Liang Zhongshan), his back to the camera, gazing into the distance in a dream-like garden, surrounded by fluttering butterflies. Another white flash takes the viewers into the bedroom of a lady (Zhu Yanzhi), whose first words to her maid, upon stirring from her sleep, are: ‘I see that back again [in my dream]!’ The voiceover begins by briefly pointing out Jin Tong and Yu Nü’s transgressions, and then, contrary to the two fuqi legends, announces that they will endure punishment for ten lives, as thwarted lovers. This is heard over the logo sequence. The sudden turning of the tables swiftly creates a pendulum-like narration style that oscillates from explicitly listing the fuqi’s names from the first three reincarnations (in Qishi fuqi) to obliquely referencing the White Snake legend from the Sanshi fuqi story cycle via ‘Green Snake’:‘During the tenth reincarnation, the butterfly spirits are reborn; some people say it’s the Green Snake [story].’ In Sanshi fuqi, Yu Nü is reborn as White Snake (Bai Suzhen), with Jin Tong as Xu Xian during their third and final reincarnation. The former is a snake spirit, whereas Xu Xian is a human being. The two are this legend’s ill-fated lovers—not Green Snake, a spirit like White Snake and also the latter’s faithful companion, who does not have a lover and who, according to the legend, brings up White Snake’s love child (with Xu Xian) when a priest forces the couple to separate by capturing White Snake and imprisoning her under a pagoda. The love child has magical powers. Later, as a teenager, he recues his mother with the help of Green Snake, and finally reunites his parents, whereupon the four live together as a happy family. Like the allusion to Jin Tong and Yi Nü’s supposed ‘tenth reincarnation’, the ‘Green Snake’ referent (heard in the dreamscape shot) is thus at odds with the Sanshi fuqi/White Snake legend, the blatantly incongruous intertextuality highlighting yet another instance of mou-lei-tau nonsense. The last line of the voiceover, heard in the next scene as Zhu Yanzhi stirs from her slumber, revs up the film’s deliciously wicked promise and threat of more mou-lei-tau ok-gaau mischief. Instead of following through the allusion to Green Snake, it takes a turn for self-parody, thus: ‘Some people say it’s this story [or the story that follows].’ Silly and hilarious, Jingle’s spoof is nevertheless still a wuxia (mou hap) film. The generic choice is noteworthy in two ways. Firstly, it turns the dominant narrative form of the Butterfly Lovers story in film on its head. Since the 1920s, cinematic retellings of the tale have consistently situated it within the caizi/jiaren (choiji/gaaiyan) romance storytelling tradition, in which two

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superior people, the caizi (talented man) and jiaren (beautiful lady), meet by chance and instantly know they are meant for each other but will have to endure the tests of love (McMahon, 1994)—more of which below. While young, pretty, charming and chaste, like choiji Liang Shanbo and gaaiyan Zhu Yingtai, their reincarnations—Liang Zhongshan and Zhu Yanzhi—are not quite the man and woman of letters, but respectively a fine swordsman and a martial arts trainee: the former brutish but shy, the latter elfin. Secondly, send-ups like these highlight the film’s wacky, anti-traditional, anti-authoritative inclinations. In going against the grain, Jingle’s swordplay film ironically cuts an intersection with the Butterfly Lovers story’s lesser-known martial arts variation, which emerged in late Imperial China and in which Shanbo and Yingtai were, or have been, ‘resurrected’ as skilful warriors (Idema, 2010: xxiv–xxvi). We have seen, then, in this chapter, that not only did the more than thousand-year-old folktale telling the story of Butterfly Lovers Zhu Yingtai and Liang Shanbo find its way into film from the very beginning, but in versions like Shanghai Film Studio’s Shaoxing Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai (1954), Chik Lei (Zhili)’s Cantonese The Tragic Story of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai (1958, Dir. Li Tie) and Shaw Brothers’ Huangmei diao The Love Eterne (1963) a female is cast in the role of the male Liang Shanbo character; the parts were played by opera divas Yuan Xuefen, Ren Jianhui (Yam Kim-Fei) and Ling Po respectively. This has raised the very significant issue of cross-dressing, whether internal (an actress playing a female playing a male) or external (an actress playing a male) to the enacted story, and in turn, inevitably poses questions about gender, masquerade and identity, in multiple ways. There is clearly much more to explore, and I do so next in Chapter 4, ‘Caizi/Jiaren Romance in Disguise’, with a more detailed analysis of the caizi/jiaren romance at the heart of many of the Butterfly Lovers versions we have discussed so far; they appear not only within Huangmei opera films, but also in the wider qiqingpian genre in the post-war period, offering, as I suggest, potentially new readings for understanding some of the developments (and potentialities) of transnational cinema in its wider sinophone context.

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Chapter 4 Caizi/Jiaren Romance in Disguise

Zhu: They look like a perfect couple. Who is to act as their matchmaker? Liang: How could they be a couple? Zhu: They can’t. (The Love Eterne, 1963)

Qiqingpian Qiqing films (qiqingpian), especially those produced by the Shaw Brothers like The Love Eterne, which we met in the last chapter, tend, for the most part, to be costumed films set in an ancient China characterised by a mythical time, and often quite fantastical with themes based on well-known folktales. In A Maid from Heaven, for example, a fairy, moved by the filial acts of a humble labourer, descends from Heaven to marry him. In The Lotus Lamp (1963–5, Dir. Yueh Feng), a deity resuscitates a dead man and then falls in love with him; they become husband and wife. In Madam White Snake (1962, Dir. Yueh Feng), a thousand-year-old snake spirit repays a mortal for saving her in his past life by becoming his wife in the present one. These supernatural women all bear a child for their respective human spouse but the lovers are forced to separate, in one way or another. The fairy eventually obeys her divine father’s order to return to Heaven, albeit most reluctantly; this decision saves her beloved from certain death. In Madam White Snake, a priest deems the matrimonial union between a spirit and a mortal to be ‘unnatural’ and so works earnestly to tear it apart; he eventually succeeds in capturing the spirit and incarcerates her in a pagoda. In the Magic Lamp (1964, Dir. Wong Tin-Lam et al.), the deity too pays for her ‘unnatural’ transgression when her elder brother banishes her to a heavenly cell in a mountain. Both films end with the son, the love child of a mortal being and a supernatural entity who is now a teenager, rescuing his mother. Thus reunited, the lovers then live happily ever after (with their filial child). The Carp Spirit in The Mermaid (1965, Dir. Kao Li) likewise enjoys an ‘unnatural’ liaison with

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a mortal but receives lesser divine punishment when she agrees to trade her supernatural power for a life with her man and their (yet-to-be-born) child, as a mere mortal. In The Lover’s Rock (1964, Dir. Poon Lui/Pan Lei) two long-suffering wives become rocks on a coastline while waiting patiently, albeit in vain, for their seafaring husband to come home. This film, a modern-day drama set in 1960s Taiwan, recalls in an indexical and intertextual way the legend of Wang Fu Shan (which literally means the husband-gazing hill, or the lookout hill for the homecoming husband). This legend tells the story of a love-lorn wife who turns into a hill while longing for the return of her spouse. This particular metaphysical transformation, whether in film or old legend, is standard fare for qiqing stories in Chinese-language narrative traditions. It embodies the metaphor of an undying and transcendental love. When viewed in the historical context of Taiwan’s political estrangement from the mainland since 1949, however, that intertextuality arguably offers a bridge—however flimsy—to the cultural China of Chinese diasporic imaginaries using legends which provide a basis for imagining a shared cultural heritage. Qiqingpian are a primary subset of the Chinese-language romance film genre, in which the caizi/jiaren love stories feature prominently. They are soft films, and in Chinese-language film history first emerged during the first quarter of the twentieth century. Representatives include silent pictures The Lovers (based on the Liang–Zhu legend) and Madam White Snake, both made in 1926, directed by Shaw Runje and produced by the Shaw Brothers’ Tianyi Studio in Shanghai. Qiqingpian chiefly draw on Chinese legends and traditional folklore, and as a staple of pre-war Shanghai and pre- and post-war Hong Kong cinema they were made in Mandarin (Guoyu or Huayu), Cantonese, Minnanhua and Teochew languages. During the post-war years, Hong Kong was the chief production centre for such films, and they tended to respond to the changing economic–political terrains in colonial Hong Kong during this period, most especially when the territory was inundated with refugees and migrants from mainland China and from growing industrialisation (when post-war babies changed the demographic of the territory). Equivalent productions from the mainland were relatively few, while Taiwan-made Minnanhua and Hakka films came on to the scene only in the 1960s. The term qiqing is an adjective–noun composite, with qi variously signifying odd, strange and surprising (as in qiguai); amazing, astonishing and astounding (as in jingqi); marvellous, wonderful and miraculous (as in qiji); fantastical, bizarre and odd (as in qiyi); and finally, peculiar, extraordinary, special and queer (as in qite). The noun component, qing, generally refers to affective matter, and in the context of qiqing films characteristically encompasses sentimental love

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and romantic passion of the transcendental kind. As Taiwanese essayist Li Ao puts it, in a different context, qiqing is analogous to suqing—the latter referring to the earthly or down-to-earth (su) varieties of feelings and sentiments, including the love and passion experienced by everyday people; qiqing therefore contains sublime and magnificent affects (Li, 1989: 51–2). Qiqing narratives thus tap deeply into transcendental affects that exceed su experiences of love, passion and romance. The attendant themes and scenarios thus work variously and vicariously to expose the repetition, disjuncture and triteness of su feelings and sentiments, and offer relief from the monotony of su existence, as well as the dullness of the su way of life, thereby encouraging fantastical ways of seeing the su, through the familiar, banal and mundane, in qi bizarre and marvellous ways. What we might classify as classical qiqing films are those which characteristically draw upon pre-modern Chinese narratives, from the folkloric to the dramatic, from the literary to the operatic. As such, they are typically set in a distant and mythical ‘China’, characterised by temporal ambiguity and historical ambivalence. This gives them a timeless quality and a transhistorical dimension. Qiqing romance, then, is staple to ‘Chinese’ storytelling, past and present, and a recurrent theme in folk legends, literary classics and traditional opera, including supernatural love stories and caizi/jiaren romances. To begin with, classical qiqingpian were standard fare. They were not known for creating original storylines. The story typically begins with a chance meeting. The meeting may occur under mundane or extraordinary (li qi) circumstances, but that which follows would be more than mundane and extraordinary in a non-su way. They are fated for qi yuan—a kind of preordained destiny that allows their experience of love to soar above the su realms, reaching great heights of pleasure and fulfilment. Qiqingpian similarly acceded to the lang jian nűse nű shan langcai imperative of pre-modern caizi/jiaren romances which could be traced back to Sima Qian’s ‘Records of the Historian’ (Shiji, c. 104 bc) and first popularised through the Yuan zaju drama in the thirteenth century. This meant that the caizi had a pretty aura like the jiaren’s (lang jian nüse), and the jiaren was brilliant or talented like the caizi (nü shan langcai) (Song, 2004: 20–1). As Song Geng elaborates: A man of great literary talent, the caizi also has to be a handsome young man. By the same token, physical beauty as such is inadequate to qualify a girl as a jiaren, for the sine non qua of a jiaren also includes chastity, virtue, noble birth, and above all, extraordinary literary talent. (ibid.: 20) Both were young and civil, and hence wen characters (cf. Louie, 2009). The jiaren was quiet, modest, dignified and chaste, and when the occasion

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required, resourceful in action. Sometimes she had a clever and witty maid to attend to her needs. More often than not, the latter would act as an intermediary, facilitating the exchange of love messages between the jiaren and the caizi, as well as arranging a secret rendezvous for the two. The caizi was elegant, had fine and delicate features, and appeared effete. In affairs of the heart, he usually lacked ‘common sense’ (Hessney, 1979: 76). Physically and emotionally, he was weak, fragile and vulnerable, and was especially prone to lovesickness. He had access to formal education and so could become a scholar, and upon passing the imperial examination, a court official—even a shi (state official). This access was portrayed as a male privilege and preserve, to the exclusion of female participation. The jiaren had no career other than being the perfect lover and wife of the caizi, and also the mother of their child. By contrast, the caizi had the world at his feet, so to speak. The jiaren, on the other hand, was typically confined to her private quarters, family domicile or matrimonial home, where she spent her time doing needlework, making fine embroideries, and studying the (Confucian) classics. If she should venture outside, she needed a reason: to pray at a temple, to have fun at a fair, and so on. Whatever the scenario, she would have her family in tow, and if she had a personal maid, her too. The jiaren and caizi could therefore meet only by chance, and typically in a public place; when they did, they would simply fall in love at first sight. Their life-goal was marriage (based on mutual attraction and consent). The dictum that real love does not run smooth held true for the classical qiqingpian, as in the caizi/ jiaren romance, but the romantic couple would strive to overcome all obstacles to their love. The story would thus have a happy ending, in the form of either a reunion or marriage for the couple who endure the pain of love; this could happen in life or in death. There were thematic variations, though. For example, in Shaw Brothers’ A Maid from Heaven (1963) or Shanghai Film Studio’s equivalent opera film avatar Marriage of the Fairy Princess (1955), male protagonist Dong Yong is technically not a caizi, in that he is not a man of great literary talent, but he embodies that which the (learned) caizi is expected to have: filial piety, this being a mark of character. The jiaren may, on the other hand, be endowed with wu characteristics approximating martial valour and heroic chivalry, as in the case of the Shaw Brothers’ productions of Lady General Hua Mulan (1964, Dir. Yueh Feng) and The Perfumed Arrow (1966, Dir. Kao Li), for example. In both films, Ling Po plays the female lead: Hua Mulan and Wen Fei-E respectively. Mulan cross-dresses as a male soldier in order to take the place of her old and frail father in the army. Fei-E dons male disguise and goes to school; when not studying, she becomes a fighter for justice who pursues villains.

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Caizi/Jiaren: Huangmei Opera Film Avatars Not counting equivalent films made by Shaw Brothers, before and during this period, without Ling Po in the cast, from Diau Charn (1958) to The Story of Sue San (1964, Dir. King Hu) or Lady Jade Locket (1967, Dir. Yen Chuan), Shaw Brothers was indeed the foremost producer of this genre of musical films—far more so than all of its rival (Mandarin) studios combined. The PRC had only four Huangmei xi films. The spectacular success of Marriage of the Fairy Princess (1955) not only made the two leads, Yan Fengying (1930–68) and Wang Shaofang (1920–86), household names but also helped popularise Huangmei music and musicals (stage and film) in both Mainland China and the Chinese diaspora (except in Taiwan, where Mainland films were banned, and vice versa). Yan and Wang then teamed up, as they had in the Marriage production, with other members of the state-affiliated Anhui Huangmei Opera Troupe, and costarred in Shanghai Hai Yan’s The Female Consort Prince (1959, Dir. Liu Qiong) and The Cowherd and the Weaver aka Milky Way Lovers (1963/4, Dir. Cen Fan); the latter, a colour feature, was co-produced with Hong Kong’s Da Peng (HKMDBa; BAIKE.BAIDUa). The fourth was the Marriage remake (1963, Dir. Gu Eryi), this time in colour and with Yan and Wang as artistic consultants: namely, Huai Yin Ji (or Tianxian Pei aka Liu Yin Ji, otherwise known as Under the Ash Tree in English). Tian Ma (Shanghai) was co-producer, while its Hong Kong counterpart has been variously attributed to the Fan-Hua and Chang-Hong film companies (HKMDBb; Gao, 2005: 299; see also BAIKE.BAIDUb; BAIKE.BAIDUc). The sensational success of Sang Hu and Huang Sha’s Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai (1954), together with that of Marriage the following year, veritably kickstarted a ‘rage’ for Chinese-language opera film productions which lasted until 1966, the year the Cultural Revolution began. During the genre’s golden period, New China saw an annual average production of about eight opera films (based on different Chinese opera forms and in various Chinese languages). In 1962 China– Hong Kong opera film co-productions emerged, accounting for six of twelve such films that year. Five more (of ten) followed in 1963, with a final one (of five) made in 1964 (Gao, 2005: 290–302). Of the 105 Chinese-language opera films made during this period, only four were Huangmei opera films—all featuring the Anhui Huangmei Opera Troupe as the production mainstay or the films’ main attraction; of these, as also mentioned, two had a Hong Kong co-producer. Interestingly, in 1963, the year of the Marriage remake (HKMDBb; Gao, 2005: 299), two other Huangmei opera films about the Seventh Fairy Daughter (Qi Xiannü) legend, the fairy princess of Marriage, hit Hong Kong screens as well: one was Shaw Brothers’ A Maid from Heaven; the other was Taiwan’s Grand (Guolian) debut feature film titled Seven Fairies (Dir. Lee Han-Hsiang). Lee Han-Hsiang of The Love Eterne

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fame was the original director of the former film but left the production when he decided to strike out on his own and relocate to Taiwan to set up Grand. As a consequence, Ho Meng-Hua and Chen Yu-Hsin were enlisted as replacement directors, who then completed A Maid from Heaven based on Lee’s screenplay. Lee also wrote the script for Seven Fairies, Taiwan’s first Huangmei diao film. Two more followed: A Perturbed Girl (1966, Dirs Lee Han-Hsiang, with Sun Tsun-Shou and Liu Yi-Shih) and Feng Yang Flower Drum (1967, Co-Dirs Lee Han-Hsiang and Chu Mu)—both produced by Grand. Although Great Wall (Hong Kong) made the first Huangmei diao film, The Borrowed Wife (1958), in the Chinese diaspora, it would chalk up only one more to its name: Three Charming Smiles (1964, Dir. Lee PingQian). Meanwhile, Shaw Brothers’ major rivals, Cathay Studio and MP & GI (and their associates), had a total of six: Yen Chuan’s Liang San Poh and Chu Ing Tai (1964), Wong Tin-Lam’s A Beggar’s Daughter (1965) and The Lucky Purse (1966), Yuan Qiu-Feng’s Lady in the Moon (1966) and Tang Huang’s (Tong Wong) The Magic Fan (1967)—the last five all starring Betty Loh Tih, who was Zhu Yingtai of The Love Eterne; prior to her suicide in 1968, she completed Red Plum Pavilion (Dir. Wong Tin-Lam), which ended the cycle at Cathay Studio and associates. Shaw Brothers capped the cycle at its own studio the following year with Yueh Feng’s The Three Smiles (1969), which, like Great Wall’s Three Charming Smiles, forms part of the ‘Tang Bohu Story’ film cluster (see Appendix 1). In short, although Huangmei opera film avatars first emerged in the PRC, it was in Hong Kong that they developed a footing, gained traction and developed more fully as a film genre subset of the Chinese-language opera films. Seven Fairies is literally a twin film to Shaw Brothers’ A Maid from Heaven, which was similarly based on Lee Han-Hsiang’s script (also the film’s original director) before he abandoned the production and left for Taiwan. Both were inspired in turn by Shanghai Film Studio’s Marriage of the Fairy Princess. Drawing on the same well-known legend and sporting the same plot, this cluster of opera film avatars (see Appendix 1), whether released in the same year or over a few years, throws light on the cultural heritage of operatic and literary storytelling traditions in Chinese-language cinemas. The making of ‘equivalent films’ which are more or less based on the same source (legendary, literary or operatic, as well as the permutations and combinations thereof) and feature more or less the same plot, by film studios across geo-political locations as diverse as Hong Kong, Taiwan and Shanghai, was not an uncommon occurrence. Importantly, it was in Hong Kong that culturally connected but politically segregated and ideologically distinctive films such as these found a common marketplace. Unlike the PRC and Taiwan, Hong Kong offered the most friendly location for distributing Chinese-language films, regardless of their origins—relatively speaking. From Hong Kong, they then travelled to other diasporic Chinese locations with

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majority Chinese-descent migrant–settlers (such as Macao and Singapore), except for Taiwan (if the films were made in the PRC or Hong Kong’s left-wing studios), or where people of Chinese descent formed a minority group (as in Malaysia and the ‘Chinatowns’ in major Western cities). But they often did not come without issues.

The Gender Politics of the Caizi/Jiaren Romance The misfortunes of Yan Fengying (1930–68) of Marriage of the Fairy Princess provide a most telling example. After the film’s spectacular success in the People’s Republic and in the Chinese diaspora (except Taiwan, or wherever the film was shown), Yan became a sensation and went on to star in at least three more Huangmei xi films, some made in collaboration with Hong Kong’s film studios; she also travelled with the Anhui Huangmei Xi Troupe and performed around the country. The Cultural Revolution (1966–75) put a stop to all this. Once the toast of the town, she suddenly fell into political disgrace, along with many distinguished personalities in the arts including Peking opera master Mei Lanfang, Shaoxin opera diva Yuan Xuefen, novelist Ba Jin, and notable filmmakers of pre-war Shanghai cinema like directors Cai Chusheng and Sun Yu, actor Zhao Dan and actress Bai Yang (Bo, 2000; Wuchanze, 1968: 101, 102, 104, 120, 120, 134). In the particular realm of Huangmei xi (both opera and film), Cultural Revolution zealots found fault with the term ‘Huangmei’ (meaning ‘Yellow Plum’), insisting that it be renamed ‘Red Plum’ (‘Hongmei’) instead; they also targeted Yan (Bo, 2000: 68). Variously denounced as a ‘feudalist, capitalist and revisionist representative (feng zi xiu daibiao)’, and labelled as a ‘sanming sangao’ performer and a ‘heixian renwu’, she suffered immense humiliation (ibid.). The sanming sangao (literally, ‘three distinctions [and] three highnesses’) charges were often reserved for very eminent, highly rewarded and much-decorated artists (and officials) who were thought to have deemed themselves as being of greater or more paramount importance than anything else, while ‘heixian renwu’ (literally, black-line characters) were generally thought to belong to the counterrevolutionary cliché comprised of imperialist KMT agents, Trotskian elements, reactionary military personnel, or Communist renegades who hid deep in the revolutionary camp as counter-revolutionaries, ever determined to establish an independent underground kingdom (Wuchanzhe, 1968: 7). Yan was forced to confess that she was a ‘three-anti’ element (sanfan fenzi: that is, anti-Party, antiPeople and anti-Socialism) but refused to do so (Bo, 2000: 68). The persecutions and harassments eventually drove her to suicide. Even then, the condemnation did not stop: instead, she was further accused of killing herself out of fear of punishment (weizui zisha) (ibid.: 71). Furthermore, suicide would amount to

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‘an act of betraying the Party, tantamount to opposing the Cultural Revolution’ (zisha shi pandang xingwei, duikang wenhua dageming). Reportedly, her corpse was horrendously mutilated (Bo, 2000: 71). Although the caizi/jiaren romance drew heavily on popular legends, historical tales and other accounts of historical and mythical figures, its characters and often people like Yan, making the films in which these characters appeared, were thus not immune from politicisation. The traditional construction of the jiaren was, as we have seen, virginal and chaste, and young and beautiful. The caizi was young and dashing, weak, fragile and vulnerable, and somewhat devoid of yanggang (masculine and manly) traits—a particular characterisation which was to render the caizi a feminised figure. This idealised romantic couple was typically portrayed as matching, even equal, in terms of physical attributes, moral character and intellectual capacity, but the jiaren ultimately remained subordinate to the caizi in the hierarchy of social relationships. Stereotypes like these ‘reflect[ed] men’s own perception of ideal masculinity [and femininity] rather than women’s’, emphasising ‘male voices from the male perspective’ (Song, 2004: 1). But perhaps more importantly in post-Yuan Imperial China, they also came to stand for the dominant (official) notion of ideal(ised) masculinity and femininity, partly because the romance was chiefly written by (neo-)Confucian scholars who constituted the gentry class or ruling elites, and correspondingly, partly due to the political economy of (neo-)Confucian cultural (re)production. Shaw Brothers’ The Perfumed Arrow raises this gender issue a notch higher. It casts Ling Po in the role of jiaren Wen Fei-E, who is the titular nű xiucai character (literally meaning ‘female scholar’). This nű xiucai would cross-dress as a caizilike figure who goes by the male name of Wen Feijun when attending school (since women are barred from formal education). Fei-E also proves that she is physically the strongest (among men) when her male classmates, Du Zhijun and Wei Chuanzi, respectively played by actors Chin Feng and Ho Fan, both fail to best Feijun in a weight-lifting contest. Feijun also appears as a knight-like figure who bravely fights off a licentious villain, and in the process rescues another jiaren character, Jin Fuchun (actress Tina Chin Fei), from rape—the latter finding herself in turn falling in love with her saviour, who is, in fact, a female in male disguise. The narrative complication consequent on this disguise and gender confusion, a theme which the film plays out through multiple configurations, reaches a resolution when Zhijun, a caizi figure, turns up with a perfumed arrow to claim Wen as his jiaren-wife. Earlier in the film, Fei secretly shoots an arrow into the schoolyard from her family home as a way to divine her future spouse, using the ‘finders–keepers’ principle. Zhijun then becomes a first-order magistrate, having come first in the imperial examination. The film ends with a double wedding

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celebration when Fuchun agrees to marry Chuanzi, the other caizi figure, now also a magistrate but of the second-order kind since he came second in the imperial examination after Zhijun. Fei-E’s use of a perfumed arrow, a phallic symbol with feminine characteristics, to divine her husband symbolises the miracle of love motif in classical qiqing films like this. The caizi/jiaren romance between Fei-E and Zhijun is equally miraculous because Zhijun is, in fact, Fei-E’s secret love to begin with. Like Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, and Seventh Fairy Daughter and Dong Yong, in the ‘Butterfly Lovers’ and ‘Seventh Fairy Daughter’ clusters of equivalent films (see Appendix 1), the caizi/jiaren are positioned as ‘superior’ people (McMahon, 1994). They are a match made in Heaven. They are meant to be and they know so, never failing to recognise their destiny, since they know at first sight that they are fated to be together. Nor would they agree to bigamous or polygamous relationships. In traditional caizi/jiaren stories, two-wife bigamy is acceptable and typically arises when ‘the two wives, often good friends, are equal in rank’: ‘Theirs is like a marriage of three people to each other rather than one man to two women’ (ibid.: 234, 237). But if the man were to have more than two wives, the genre’s ‘symmetry of mutual correspondence or complementarity’ would break down as the wives would be reduced to ‘subordinate stations for his revolving visitations’, while the husband would take over centre-stage (ibid.: 244). They are pure and chaste. They avoid sex and discipline lust, and, much like their Ming and Qing counterparts, ‘[replace] sex with words: poems, letters, and polite conversation [so that they] end as zhiji, “intimate companions” or “knowers-of-each-other’s-innermost thoughts’” (ibid.: 229). The chaste couple seek romantic love based on self-determination, free will and free choice. Their ultimate goal is a monogamous marriage. Sometimes, they conveniently find each other through the Confucian practice of arranged marriage, as in, for example, Shaw Brothers’ The Female Prince (1964), or its equivalent from Shanghai Hai Yan, The Female Consort Prince (1959), respectively starring Ling Po and Yan Fengying, who play the female lead. Although the jiaren has different names, Qin Fengxiao and Feng Suzhen respectively, the two films are similar in terms of plot. To save their betrothed, who is framed for a crime he did not commit, both Qin and Feng pose as a caizi in order to take the imperial examination, so that they can become an imperial magistrate: such a magistrate has the authority to re-examine cases of miscarriage of justice. However, complications arise when the royal matchmaker arranges for the cross-dresser to marry the Princess. Her objections fall on deaf ears and the marriage proceeds as arranged. On the wedding night, the Princess, upon discovering her husband’s true gender, is furious but, after hearing her out, not only decides to forgive her but also agrees to help her obtain the Emperor’s permission to annul their marriage. All turns out well when the Emperor pardons her. Not only that, but he adopts her

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as his royal stepdaughter and orders the immediate release of her betrothed so that they can marry. As in The Perfumed Arrow, the film ends with a double marriage when the Princess agrees to marry a young and dashing court official, a caizi who happens to be the cross-dresser’s elder brother. Scenarios where a matrimonial arrangement is reached independently by the caizi and jiaren are frowned upon as anti-Confucian, but are occasionally tolerated, even accepted; the arrangement must, however, eventually have the blessing of the parents (as in The Perfumed Arrow). Parental approval is indeed absolute; without it, tragedies will surely ensue (for example, as in the Butterfly Lovers cluster of films; see Appendix 1). In any case, the path to true love is typically never smooth. Chance often plays Cupid, since the jiaren and caizi are compelled by ‘legalised Confucianism’ (Wu, 1968; Barlow, 1994) to live in gender-segregated spaces. The jiaren typically stays at home, while the caizi generally can go anywhere, except the jiaren’s boudoir. A gender-neutral place like the temple is thus a likely location where they might chance upon each other (as in The West Chamber and Three Smiles). Here the jiaren would appear dressed as for her true sex, usually in the company of family members and trusted maids. In other public places that are marked off as exclusively male, such as a school (as in The Perfumed Arrow), a path through the wilderness (The Love Eterne), a battlefield (Lady General Hua Mulan) or an examination venue (The Female Prince), the jiaren is usually in male disguise—a ploy she uses to circumscribe the Confucian patriarchal laws that restrict her movements outside the familial or matrimonial home. But as Dorothy Ko (1994), in her study of a group comprising one male teacher and ten female students in eighteenth-century Suzhou, might suggest:‘If Confucian norms could in fact dictate the realities of gender interactions . . . [there is] a curious gap between the ideological rigidity of separate spheres and their laxity in practice’ (Ko, 1994: 199). For example, disguised as a male, Ling Po’s Qing Fengxiao character in The Female Prince finds upward mobility—much like Ling’s Hua Mulan (Lady General Hua Mulan). While the latter, from her humble beginnings as a village girl who is skilful in archery and horse-riding, goes on to become an army general, the former wields her literary skills and successfully takes the (male-only) civil examination; after passing it with distinction, she receives an official appointment. This ploy, she hopes, will help secure the release of her wrongly accused betrothed, Li Rulong, from prison. Once this is achieved, she will revert to her sex and marry her betrothed. But she is compelled to marry Princess Anning (meaning calm and peaceful). When the Princess discovers that her ‘husband’ is a woman, she is very upset; she contemplates having the husband executed but cannot face the prospect of widowhood for life because, as jiaren Liu Zhenlian says to her father in Forever and Ever (1968) when he tells her that he has

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arranged for her to remarry, ‘A virtuous woman should not know two husbands’ (lienü bu er fu). This echoes Qing’s sentiments when she expresses her objection to her parents’ attempts to break off the original arranged marriage (because Rulong is poor) so that she can marry a rich man. At the end of The Female Prince, the Emperor, with the help of the Princess, pardons Qing as well. Not only that, but he orders Rulong’s immediate release and adopts his ‘son-inlaw’ as his daughter, conferring on her the royal title of Princess Jieyi (meaning righteous). It just so happens that Fengxiao’s elder brother, Qing Fengsheng, a distinguished scholar–official, is also in attendance at the Emperor’s court. This kind of narrative coincidence—like the chance meeting between the caizi and jiaren—is yet another leitmotif of the genre. In Qing caizi/jiaren stories like this, The Female Prince could also easily end in a two-wife marriage for Rulong, since the wives are now of equal rank (McMahon, 1994: 234, 237); however, as if cognizant of the more modern-day sensibilities of post-war Hong Kong, it concludes with a double marriage instead. In more ways than one, the adventures of Qing Fengxiao and Hua Mulan embody the fulfilment of the superior woman’s wildest dreams:‘Though in body, a female,’ says jiaren Yang Juying in the Qing novel, Baigui zhi, by Wei Wu Hui Bian (1807), ‘in ambition, I surpass men (shen wei nüzi, zhi sheng nan’er).’ By contrast, the supernatural jiaren does not need a male disguise: she has magical powers, and so goes wherever she pleases. In the ‘Seventh Fairy Daughter’ cluster of equivalent films, Seventh Fairy Daughter stages her initial encounter with male protagonist Dong Yong (played by Ling Po in a cross-sex role in A Maid from Heaven), as if it were a chance meeting. Unbeknown to the latter, her self-appointed mission in the mortal world is to marry him. The other supernatural jiaren is in the ‘Carp Spirit’ cluster of equivalent films (see Appendix 1). When human, Carp Spirit assumes the form of Jin Mudan, the spoiled brat who refuses to marry her betrothed, Zhang Zhen (played by Ling Po in a cross-sex role in The Mermaid, 1965), because of his low social standing. Carp Spirit also adopts Jin Mudan’s name as her own. Mudan’s supernatural doppelgänger lives in a lake next to caizi Zhang’s tiny study, behind the Jins’ majestic house. She appreciates his kindness (for example, he feeds the carps) and admires his scholarly prowess; so much so that she, like Seventh Fairy Daughter, takes charge of her own affairs of the heart, visiting Zhang nightly in his study. The two fall in love and have sex as (if) a married couple. For this they are punished accordingly, since their sexual behaviour is, technically speaking, pre-marital: not only do their marriage vows to each other not have parental blessing, but they have not been formalised through the Confucian rituals for marriage. However, the solemn vows of lasting commitment based on mutual love, in attesting to their virtuousness and chastity, will eventually redeem them. That is to say, it is love,

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not lust, that determines the sexual relationship. In the ‘Seventh Fairy Daughter’ cluster, the jiaren is separated from her beloved and compelled to return to Heaven (punishment), but will come back with their love child (reward). In the ‘Carp Spirit’ cluster, she must give up her supernatural powers (punishment) for a life with her beloved and their love child (reward). In the ‘West Chamber’ cluster (see Appendix 1), there are no supernatural entities but the couple has so-called pre-marital sex. Hong Niang arranges and facilitates the secret nightly meetings between the young mistress and her lover at the west chamber. At their first meeting, both are dressed in red—the traditional colour for wedding clothes, meaning they agree to marry. For that, the young mistress’s mother beats Hong Niang severely. Thanks to her quick wits, the latter manages to persuade the mother to allow them to marry. As a result, Hong Niang occupies a central place in Chinese love mythologies as the perfect matchmaker—the Chinese Cupid, so to speak. Finally, Yan Qiurong in Dawn Will Come (1966, Dir. Kao Li) meets the worst fate. She allows Gai Liangcai to take shelter from a storm in her home. Her father happens to have gone on a trip. Gai drug-rapes her and they maintain a sexual relation that is not based on love. Later in the film, he murders her in a deserted temple; she is pregnant with their child at the time. For his crime, his magistrate–father eventually executes him. In short, death awaits the irredeemable. Normally, the jiaren and caizi abide by the code of the patriarchal family and its attendant practices of filial piety, gender segregation, arranged marriage and female chastity. The father’s authority must be obeyed (fuming bu ke wei). The caizi and jiaren may object and resist—even rebel against it—but ‘fuming’ determines all outcomes. Thus Wen Fei-E/Wen Junqing’s finders–keepers ploy in The Perfumed Arrow, for example, concludes with a happy marriage because her father (and mother) gladly endorse the outcome, as in the case of the ‘Female Consort Prince’ cluster, in which the Emperor embodies ‘fuming’. This kind of happy ending eludes Dong Yong and Seventh Fairy Daughter because their marriage is self-determined. In Huangmei opera and equivalent films, narrative tension inevitably arises when ‘affairs of the heart’ run counter to ‘fuming’. This can yield suspense (as in the ‘Lichee–Mirror’ cluster, in which the father reneges on the arranged marriage despite the jiaren and caizen’s objections); tragedy (as in the ‘Butterfly Lover’ cluster, in which the father agrees to an arranged marriage, against the wishes of his jiaren–daughter); or comedy, based on the playful breaching and restoring of Confucian norms (as in The Perfumed Arrow, in which the father tolerates the jiaren’s playful finders–keepers ploy). In films with elopement themes, the jiaren runs away with her beloved. This is portrayed as a last-resort decision and happens when the headstrong father is depicted as xiaoren, a mean-spirited person who is especially greedy for

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handsome dowries (as in Forever and Ever or the ‘Lichee–Mirror’ cluster). In Forever and Ever, the jiaren fakes her death before fleeing to her beloved’s home. In the latter cluster of equivalent films the jiaren leaves the familial home with her mother’s blessings, before escaping together with her beloved. As the most ardent defender of legalised Confucianism, and therefore a symbol of patriarchal oppression, the father may be called upon to arbitrate on Confucian morality. In Dawn Will Come he is forced to abide by its ethical code, even if this means executing his own son for murder. If the father is physically absent from the narrative, his proxies may include Heavenly Guards (the ‘Seventh Fairy Daughter’ and ‘Mermaid’ clusters), a patriarch-like female employer (the ‘Tang Bohu’ cluster) or a patriarch-like mother (the ‘West Chamber’ cluster) (see Appendix 1). The last scenario is rare, though. More often, as the long-suffering wife, the mother is supportive of her child’s aspirations and pursuits, albeit discretely (as in the ‘Butterfly Lovers’ and ‘Lichee–Mirror’ clusters). Female bonding is indeed important. The six older fairy sisters have a hand in making the miracle of love happen between Dong Yong and their younger seventh sister. In The Female Prince and equivalent films, Qin Fengxiao and Princess Anning help each other overcome their respective predicaments. This results in the two finding the man of their dreams through self-determination and free choice. So when the heart, mind and desires of the young are at loggerheads with fuming, the battleline lies firmly in the jiaren’s hands. In such instances, female bonding helps, but only up to a point. Otherwise, she would become increasingly more yang (masculinised) so as to offset or provide a counterbalance to her generally yang-deficient romantic hero. As a consequence, she is often portrayed as bolder in deed, if not the most rebellious in action: she may be a daughter (for example, Zhu Yingtai or Qin Fengxiao), a wife (Wen Shuzhen of Dawn Will Come) or a supernatural being (Seventh Fairy Daughter or Carp Spirit). High romance also comes in other forms. Liu Zhenlian’s miraculous cure in Forever and Ever is exemplary. She has leprosy; no doctor in the land can help her. But after drinking wine from a vat into which a python has fallen and drowned, she is completely healed. No longer infected with a disease that disfigures her horrendously, she finally consummates her marriage with Li Xiaowen, who, as a sign of his virtuous devotion and undying love, has been patiently waiting for this moment. In Dawn Will Come, the storyline is more about crime and punishment than love and marriage. Wen Shuzhen has an unhappy marriage. As a dutiful wife (in the Confucian sense), she nonetheless tries to make the loveless union work. She also attempts to reform her unfaithful husband, eventually drawing the line when she witnesses his murderous deed. Outraged, she hauls him before a magistrate, who happens to be her father-in-law and who eventually proves his righteousness by executing his son for his crimes. This also means

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that she has to uphold widow chastity for the rest of her life, which she has braced herself to accept. This melodrama of high romance, about love and duty, law and justice, and finally crime and retribution, variously works to challenge Confucian patriarchy but, as it turns out, upholds it as well.

Challenging the Confucian Patriarchy: Disguise in the Caizi/Jiaren Romance Tapping into the Confucian patriarchal notion that the woman’s place is (to stay) at home, the world outside her boudoir or home compound is commonly portrayed as unsafe for the female sex. Because of this, female characters in Huangmei opera films generally do not venture far from home, the exception being supernatural ones. If they do, they typically assume a male disguise; without it, they risk being raped (The Perfumed Arrow) or killed (Dawn Will Come). More crucially, disguise grants the cross-dresser privileges otherwise exclusively enjoyed by men—part of the caizi/jiaren romance’s narrative pattern for the lovers’ complementarity (McMahon, 1994: 234). Apart from safe passage, she can receive formal education (Zhu Yingtai and Wen Fei-E/Wen Junqing). She can defend her country and become a general (Hua Mulan). She can also become a warrior who bravely fights off the villains (Wen Fei-E/Wen Junqing). Or else, she competes in the exclusively male Civil Examinations, and earns an appointment as a court official (Qin Fengxiao). Disguised as males, women thus get to travel and variously prove themselves equal to, if not better than, men in the areas of literary or military excellence, thereby demonstrating their resourcefulness and courage, as well as their will for self-determination. As Annette Aw and I have argued elsewhere: To achieve these via recourse to sartorial disguise highlights female marginalisation within the Confucian society at large. This marginalisation . . . points to an aspect of social injustice that needs addressing, including gender discrimination. At the same time, it also points to the possibility of alternatives. (Tan and Aw, 2008: 140) These alternatives obviously include doing male things and enjoying male achievements. Hua Mulan (Lady General Hua Mulan), for example, in addition to being adept at fighting, drinks with ‘his’ male pals and fellow-soldiers: a particular marker of masculinity. The significance of the ‘man’ whom the cross-dresser performs can, indeed, be understood as ‘a crucial part not only of subject formation, but of the ongoing contestation and reformulation of the subject’, which yields a performativity based on ‘the carnivalesque power [of] a woman–man’

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(ibid.: 140; cf. Butler, 1997: 160). Within the story world of qiqingpian, this power not only enables female mobility, but also serves as a critique of Confucian masculinist practices, drawing attention to their oppressive effects and consequences. The ‘sex’ of male actors, for example, is never in question, but this is not so for the male impersonators in these films. They must take the utmost care to avert or throw off suspicion that they are, in fact, a woman in male disguise. There appear to be no female impersonators in qiqingpian, the rare exception being Shaw Brothers’ The Bride Napping (1962, Dir. Yen Chuan) or Great Wall’s equivalent Shaoxing opera film, Bride Hunter (1960, Co-dirs Hu Siao-Fung/Hu Xiaofeng and Louis Cha/Jin Yong), in which the male protagonist impersonates his betrothed so that the villain kidnaps the wrong bride. In any case, those in the know either help the female cross-dresser maintain the disguise or choose not to expose it, and they are usually women—for example, Zhu’s trusty maid and the teacher’s kind wife in The Love Eterne. More frequently, the cross-dresser’s ‘sex’ would be, or could become, a subject of curious interest and speculation. When this happens, ‘he’ would cleverly ward off the potential threat of exposure with play-acting and witty stories. In The Perfumed Arrow, for example, when schoolmate Wei Zhuangzhi calls ‘him’ girlie, Wen Fei-E/Wen Junqing, who takes the historical Hua Mulan as her role model, challenges ‘his’ schoolmate to compete in a weight-lifting, spear-fighting and archery contest. ‘He’ takes him to ‘his’ exercise courtyard at home, bringing along their mutual (male) friend, Du Zizhong, as a witness. At the courtyard, ‘he’ shows off ‘his manliness’ by lifting a set of heavy concrete barbells, executing a mock-fight with ‘his’ spear, and finally by shooting three arrows into the bull’s-eye. Wei, on the other hand, cannot even lift the barbells over his knees, so he apologises to ‘him’ and agrees not to call ‘him’ girlie again. Does this make Wen ‘more man than a man’ and, by the same token, Wei somewhat ‘less than a girl’? And when, later in the film, Zizhong accidentally discovers Wen’s true sex, how much of a difference does this make to an audience? Equally typical is when the cross-dresser becomes the subject/object of unwanted amorous attention from other female characters (such as Wen Junqing/Wen Fei-E). A variation on this is when ‘he’ receives a marriage proposition made on behalf of a female who speaks but remains unseen (Lady General Hua Mulan). Qing Fengxiao actually marries a princess in The Female Prince. Mistaken identity is fertile ground for comedy, but it also puts the cross-dresser in a dire quandary. In any case, when the truth is finally revealed, the cross-dresser is always forgiven, and the misplaced amorous attention invariably forgotten. Such forgive-and-forget scenarios as narrative resolutions positively affirm female compassion and solidarity.

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Overall, in qiqingpian, women tend to be cast in a more positive light than men. They are beauties with substance, and so they variously embody highly desirable traits such as heroic valour (for example, Hua Mulan), intellectual prowess (Zhu Yingtai), outstanding moral virtues (Wen Shuzhen) and undying devotion (Liu Zhenlian). They can be witty (Qiu Xiang in The Three Smiles) or humble (Qi Xiannü or ‘Seventh Fairy Daughter’ of the film cluster of the same name). Or else they are women with a steel will (Carp Spirit or Wang Qianjin in The Crimson Palm, who, despite her father reneging on the arranged marriage, is determined to marry her betrothed, Lin Zhaode—whatever the cost). They are never snobs, unlike (the human) Jin Mudan (the ‘Mermaid’ cluster; see Appendix 1). The latter is a shallow, spoiled brat who has the looks of a jiaren but not what it takes to be one; she is inauthentic because she rejects her betrothed, Zhang Zhen, on the grounds that he is poor. An ‘authentic’ jiaren, on the other hand, would choose her caizi solely on the basis of his moral character, never his wealth or the lack of it (for example, Carp Spirit or Wang Qianjin). She would stand by her man, through thick and thin, going so far as to give him travel money to sit for the Civil Examinations in the distant capital city so that he may return to her in glory (Wang Qianjin). Otherwise, she would embark on a rescue mission to save her man (Qin Fengxiao), or else protect him at all costs (the ‘Seventh Fairy Daughter’ and ‘Mermaid’ clusters). In sum, like the Ming and Qing caizi/jiaren stories, these qiqingpian are ‘full of clever women with brilliant schemes, “enterprising and ingenious women” (also “bold, resolute, and resourceful”), who are more active than men in pursuing goals of self-interest, which they put ahead of the traditional goals of self-sacrifice’ (McMahon, 1994: 228). The jiaren also has a strong sense of right and wrong, and if necessary, pursues justice resolutely (Wen Shuzhen). This trait is extended to female supporting characters as well (for example, Ling Mu in The Crimson Palm). Some may be naive but they cherish life (Yan Qiurong, who refuses to commit suicide because her unborn child will die with her too). Others help the jiaren escape from the oppressive patriarchal home (Huang Biju’s mother in The Mirror and the Lichee or the trusty maid in Forever and Ever). By contrast, the supporting male equivalent is a staunchly conservative father (Zhu Yingtai’s father) or, at best, a benevolent one (Wen Suzhen’s father-in-law). He may be a greedy, mean-spirited man (Huang Biju’s father or Wang Qianjin’s father). Otherwise, he is a comedic figure (Liang Shanbo’s servant), a compliant employee (Gai Liangcai’s attendant) or a murderer (Gai Liangcai). Finally, the jiaren is a rebel with a cause, in that she seeks equal opportunity and self-determination. In so doing, she may find social and upward mobility (Hua Mulan and Qin Fengxiao). Above all, she has unmovable convictions. And when it comes to love, she is prepared to pay the ultimate price: to die for it

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(Zhu Yingtai), to break with family and elope with her lover (Huang Biju and Liu Zhenlian), or to give up her supernatural power (Carp Spirit). In the particular case of Zhu Yingtai, while impeding her transformation into a revolutionary heroine who can break free of all social restrictions, her suicide is never portrayed as the result of a rash decision. Instead, it is depicted as an action of the last resort, occurring only when she has exhausted all avenues to negotiate a suitable arrangement that serves her interests. Her suicide is therefore as much a defiant assertion of self-autonomy and a reasoned refusal of victimhood as it is a powerful indictment of Confucian feudalist patriarchy. Or else, as in the case of Wen Shuzhen, she makes the decision to stay put in the matrimonial home with her benevolent father-in-law, but not before convincing him to execute her husband for his crimes, even if this means that she never marries again, remains childless and spends the rest of her life as a chaste widow. One must ultimately uphold justice, Wen reminds her father-in-law, as he deliberates over her charges against her husband/his son. The jiaren’s romantic significant other, the caizi, on the other hand, is less decisive or resolute. He is also less likely to be a martyr to love: he probably dies of lovesickness instead (Liang Shanbo). While he awaits death, bedridden with a broken heart, the jiaren continues to fight the system that her father-figure embodies (dogmatism, conservativism and masculinism) on their behalf, so as to find ways for them to be together, in life (Huang Biju and Carp Spirit) or in death (Zhu Yingtai). Whereas she does not give up the fight easily, he most likely faints at the sight of impending combat (Dong Yong or Zhang Zhen). Furthermore, he is portrayed as somewhat less intelligent than she is. Both love literature, yet he takes to it in an overly bookish and uncritical way (Zhu Yingtai versus Liang Shanbo). Or else, he is a pathetic bookworm who complains endlessly about his personal misery and misfortune (Zhang Zhen). He broods but she acts. For example, bored with ‘her’ life as a 500-year-old carp in a lake next to Zhang Zhen’s study, Carp Spirit makes a midnight call on Zhang Zhen. They fall in love. This silences his pitiful grumbles about loneliness and desertion. If Carp Spirit embodies the ultimate delight of a caizi—that he has given his heart to the right woman, never mind if she is not a human to start with—then Gai Liangcai in Dawn Will Come epitomises the jiaren’s utmost dread: that she might give her heart to the wrong man. As if purposefully eschewing the male role in this film, actress Ling Po, who plays Wen Shuzhen, for example, ‘sticks’ to her gender as a ‘straight-playing’ woman and delivers Gai his come-uppance as his wife: ‘I must avenge the death of my “sister”,’ vows Wen Shuzhen, as Yan Qiurong dies before her eyes. Like all ‘authentic’ jiarens, Wen shows yet again that women are intellectually and morally superior to men. This can also occur on the battlefield: the man may be a brave soldier, but it is the woman who fights

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more bravely, more skilfully and more strategically (General Li versus Lady General Hua Mulan). To sum up all of this, then: in the caizi/jiaren romance the jiaren has no access to formal education and her life choices are confined to the following social roles: dutiful daughter, subservient wife, loyal mother or chaste widow—in short, she is a noticeably quiet and patient woman, who makes suffering a virtue. Her ideal romantic hero, the caizi, a literary talent who, one day, will pass the imperial examination, attain public office and become a shi (state official), is distinct from macho stereotypes like the da zhangfu (great husband), yingxiong (hero) and haohan (good man) who exude yanggang zhi qi—the energy of yang (masculine) and gang (brutal strength). Macho men as such populate the wu (military) paradigm of pre-modern narratives like The Three Kingdoms and The Water Margin. They are adept in martial arts and generally avoid romantic sentiments. Strong and powerful, masculine and muscular, they fight for social justice, take on corrupt officials and rebel against imperial dictatorship. They roam the jianghu (‘rivers and lakes’), and prefer a homosocial world of honourable brotherhood, pursue grand undertakings in male valour and chivalry, and variously consider women a hindrance (to be kept at the distance), a nuisance (to be held at bay) and a threat to brotherhood bonding (to be dispatched, even killed). Women are thus relegated to the narrative margin, even rendered into total invisibility, while heterosexual activities like courtship, romance, marriage and procreation are characterised more by narrative dearth than abundance—in short, are almost non-existent. Macho men in pre-modern narratives are, in this sense, desexualised. The opposite is the case in caizi/jiaren romances: here the jiaren is a narrative focus, as is her beloved caizi—the feminised heterosexual hero who, like his lovely jiaren, will deliver love poetry and indulge in romantic passion at the drop of a hat. The caizi/jiaren romance nonetheless witnessed modifications through history. For instance, during the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) periods, the southern zhuanji (marvel tale) drama rose to prominence, and with that, began to reshape the genre. With the addition of supernatural and martial art elements to the stories, the genre also became ‘more sophisticated’, and in that sense it would develop a ‘more involved plot and a greater variety of scenes and situations’ (Song, 2004: 31). The genre, Song continues, eventually reached saturation point, when the works became known for their standardised stories and highly conventional and increasingly hackneyed style, themes, characterisation, creating stereotypes that dovetailed with ‘established gentry-class notions of masculinity and femininity’ (ibid.: 19–20). Although Confucian patriarchal characteristics mark the diegetic environments, the qiqing films manifest modern sensibilities and sensitivities as well. Narrative themes like youthful rebellion symbolising the struggle between

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traditional and modern, old and young, are thus standard for the genre. Classical qiqingpian question discriminatory forms of Confucian patriarchal practices that serve to maintain hierarchies of unequal social relations based on age, sex and class. They express disdain for patriarchal dictatorship, gender segregation and arranged marriage. In the matter of courtship, love and marriage, they espouse self-determination and are critical of efforts that seek to thwart free will. Importantly, then, qiqing films, especially those from the Shaw Brothers studio in the 1960s, manifest a rebellious streak. They typically take against traditional Confucian feudalist patriarchy—that which stringently upholds the father (or his proxy) as the indisputable head of the family, who steadfastly endorses arranged marriage as the normative social practice for patrilineal procreation. Instead, they promote, albeit in highly romanticised terms, young peoples’ wishes for self-determination in the matter of love, romance and marriage as an inalienable right. This insistence runs smack into the Confucian practice of filial piety, and the ensuing tension can result in untold tragedies for the young. It can also create possibilities of liberation. Qiqing romances, while constrained by the imperatives of Confucian patriarchy as such, therefore seek to escape its constrictions. Yet where two butterfly spirits may roam free in the heavens (the ‘Butterfly Lovers’ cluster), the fairy (the ‘Seventh Fairy Daughter’ cluster) and the deity (of The Magic Lantern) know only too well that it is just a matter of time before the patriarchal gaze will catch them out. Apart from the lovers struggling to find a room of their own where they can exercise the right to love of their own volition, qiqing fantasies from the Shaw studio are ultimately unable to offer, let alone sustain, an alternative to their critique of the patriarchal dictates which put a lid on youthful aspirations. These unsustainable alternatives to patriarchal dictates in qiqing films nevertheless temptingly invite queer readings and reclamations, demonstrating, as they do so powerfully, the paradox involved in the power-resistance dialectic between the domineering and the less-than-dominant. But of course, these films were not labelled ‘queer’. This is to be expected, since the term, as understood today in queer studies, had no transaction value at the time. Following queer studies scholars such as Michele Aaron, Henry Benshoff and Sean Griffin, Helen Leung, for example, defines queer texts as works that would, first and foremost, refuse all essentialist figuration and configuration of gender and sexual identities. Queer works would therefore be made by ‘queer artists [and practitioners]’, ‘contain queer characters’, ‘engage with queer issues in some meaningful ways’, manifest ‘queer sensibility’ and ‘queer forms’, and cater, whether directly or indirectly, to ‘queer spectatorial position[s]’ or the permutations and combinations therein (Leung, 2008: 2). Perhaps. But this should not close off potential ‘queering effects’ at play, and the tensions that come with those effects. We

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have seen some of these tensions throughout this discussion of the caizi/jiaren dynamic, and the consequent contributions to new Chinese imaginaries in the developing sinophone diaspora. In Chapter 5, ‘Fanchuan Acting: Cross-dressing and Performative Transsexualities’, I explore these themes in more detail, again in selected Hong Kong (Shaw Brothers) qiqing films, and most especially with respect to some of the likely queering effects, and the impacts these may have on new Chinese imaginaries in sinophone cinema.

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Chapter 5 Fanchuan Acting: Cross-dressing and Performative Transsexualities

Dear brother, oh no . . . dear sister. Masquerading as a man, you have fooled me. (The Perfumed Arrow, 1966)

Fanchuan Performers: Cross-gendered Impersonations In the year 1747, a dignitary once asked an actor who he really admired: ‘There are so many of you in your profession; why are you the only one who is really good on the stage?’ The actor replied: ‘When I impersonate a female on the stage, I not only try to look like a female in my physical appearance; I also try to feel like a female in the depth of my heart. It’s the tender emotions together with the sweet and delicate demeanour of a female that enthrals the audience. If I keep my male feelings, even just a trace, it will betray my true self; then how can I compete for the audience’s affection for feminine beauty and guile? When I play a chaste female, I fill my heart with purity and virtue, so, even if I am having fun joking and laughing I do not lose my chaste inner core. When I play a morally loose female, I fill my heart with lust, so, even if I am sitting stately, I cannot hide my loose nature. When I play a noble female, I fill my heart with dignity, so, even if I am dressed in plain clothes, I retain my nobility. When I play a plebeian female, I fill my heart with pettiness, so, even if I am outfitted in grandeur, I still personify vulgarity. When I play a kind female, I fill my heart with loving tenderness, so, even if I am angry, I do not behave harshly. When I play a fiery female, I fill my heart with wilful hot temper, so, even if I am obviously in the wrong, I cannot be humble in my words. I always put myself in the shoes of my characters, completely identifying with their emotions: happiness, anger, sorrow, or joy as well as kindness, resentment, love, or hate. When I don’t simply play the role but

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really live the part of my character, the audience accepts me as such too. The reason I am the best on the stage is because I am different from the other female impersonators, who may look and move like their female characters but do not feel like them. This was a conversation between an unnamed fanchuan actor and his admirer, Ji Yun (1724–1805), in the eighteenth century (Ji, 2002: 89–90). The actor’s lengthy reply to his admirer offers an insider’s perspective on the performative transsexualisation that characterises cross-gender impersonations in Chinese theatre. It makes it clear that successful cross-gender performers are thoroughly aware of their audience, treating them as intelligent, demanding and discerning, and that they do not play stereotypes. Identification with the characters they play is essential. This requires self-reflexivity, or ‘introspection’, as Chinese modern theatre director Huang Zuolin (2002: 157) might call it: a critical process which involves a self-conscious eradication of the ‘self’ in the performer (ibid.: 157). This process also demands a heightened self-awareness of the constraints of one’s (biological) gender/sex, and of the need to ‘free’ oneself from these constraints in order to get to, as it were, the other side/sex. The ‘freeing’ of oneself is related to the principle of ‘xieyi’, which is akin to the freehand in Chinese brushwork that lifts the constraints and such like ‘over and above the real’ (ibid.: 154). As opposed to xieshi (writing the real, or realist writing) that seeks to describe reality, xieyi, as Victor Fan expounds with particular reference to early Cantonese sound films, is ‘perhaps best understood as sketching ideation, i.e. sketching an idea in the process of informing’ (Fan, 2015: 153–4). Fan elaborates: [Ideation] sketches an outline of life that involves an affective state, which in turn invites the spectators to engage themselves in the process of ideation . . . [so that] they would appreciate not a fictional representation of life, but life itself as it is instantiated in a network of human relationships . . . [Thus xieyi is about] life, its ontological and political existence, at play. (ibid.: 154) Finally, citing Hong Kong film director, music supervisor (Cantonese opera) and painter Mak Siu-Ha’s (Mai Xiaoxia) Brief History of the Cantonese Theatre (1940), Fan says: The essence of sketching ideation is to approach life in the form of xiangzheng [often translated as symbolisation or representation, but perhaps more closely rendered as biomimesis] . . . [S]ketching ideation is a way to ‘mental reconstruction’ and ‘spiritual triumph’ to emancipate the human soul. (ibid.: 163)

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While engaging the audiences mentally and spiritually, that principle of xieyi aids ‘introspection’ on the part of the performer and gives form to the performance. With particular reference to the works of well-known fanchuan Peking opera actor Mei Lanfang (1894–1961), Huang Zuolin notes that: [T]he ideal [acting] method is to combine the ‘inner technique’ of introspection with the outgoing technique of representation. Take Mei Lanfang’s performance in Beauty Defies Tyranny, in which he played the part of a young woman who feigned madness to tease her father, who wanted her to marry the emperor. In this part he impersonated insanity yet at the same time remained sane as the impersonator himself. (Huang, 2002: 157) This sort of performative transsexualisation clearly goes beyond sartorial transvestiism. To be sure, sartorial transvestitism is a characteristic of all fanchuan performances if one accepts the expression that ‘clothes maketh the man’—or for that matter, the woman as well. In the specific context of Chinese opera, vestimentary codes (clothing as a system of signification) are one primary way to distinguish the various role and character types. Other codes include singing styles, speech patterns, stage movements and make-up. In this book the term ‘fanchuan’ is used more in its colloquial sense than its ‘proper’ meaning. The latter generally refers to actors who occasionally act in parts outside their specialisation. This may entail acting across the gender line—for instance, a sheng (male) in a dan (female) part. The performance may also require such actors to cross the age and class line. The ‘proper’ meaning of the term thus implies a multitude of possible ‘crossings’ along the gender, age and/or class continuums. As such, it is not strictly gender-specific, as opposed to the colloquial sense of the term, which specifically refers to performers who specialise in cross-gender roles, or who act especially in roles whose gender does not correspond with their biological one. In short, fanchuan performers are specialist gender-benders.

Conjectures of the Queer Kind . . . In the 1966 film The Perfumed Arrow, the fanchuan Wen Fei-E character (played by Ling Po) is caught out. In the context of Huangmei opera films, this is an exceptional occurrence. The character Du Zizhong (male) stumbles upon Wen Fei-E’s secret inadvertently. The ‘male’ friend, Wen Junqing, whom he has slept side by side with in the same bed the night before, is revealed the morning after as actually being a woman, and is, in fact, Wen Fei-E (female). Wen Fei-E’s ‘long’, ‘soft’ and ‘fragrant’ hair gives the game away: ‘[The hair] looks like a woman’s,

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not a man’s,’ says Zizhong to himself (in a solo), as he staggers away from the bed quietly—shocked and amused at the same time. For him, the sleeping figure of Junqing now has the ‘aura’ of a woman. Rather than confronting Junqing there and then, he leaves the room. This unveiling of as yet unrevealed mystery wrapped up in clothes, which has kept the matter of sex (in the physiological sense) under tight wraps, is unprecedented in this genre of films. ‘Wrapping up’ gender like this is not, however. The night before, after dinner, Zizhong (male) invites Junqing (apparently male) to stay over. Junqing is initially reluctant. Then, realising that it is too late at night to find a suitable alternative, ‘he’ accepts the invitation. When Zizhong takes ‘him’ to his bedroom, the latter tries to make a hasty retreat when ‘he’ sees that the room has only one big bed. The latter shrugs off Junqing’s protests, telling ‘him’ that Master Wei sleeps in this same bed with him whenever he stays over, implying that he sees nothing improper about two men sharing the same bed. (Master Wei is Wei Zhuangzhi, their close friend from school.) Then Zizhong locks the door, leaving Junqing with no choice but to make the best of the situation. So Junqing immediately places a small tea table in the middle of the bed, as a divider. Zizhong objects, saying, ‘How inconvenient!’ But Junqing will not relent. As Zizhong changes into his nightclothes, Junqing quickly crawls into ‘his’ side of the bed, and falls, or rather pretends to fall, asleep. Before turning in, Zizhong notes that Junqing is still fully clothed and thinks it even odder that ‘he’ sleeps with ‘his’ hat on. Above all, he is disappointed that the two will not have a late-night conversation in bed. Is Zizhong a latent homosexual? Maybe there is something more to him? Perhaps. There is a flash of actual female nudity in this film, but not at this point. It occurs in the scene where an unnamed hoodlum (male) strips the drugged Jing Fuchun (female). No sexual/gender ambivalence here. The breasts of this lady, when exposed, are a dead giveaway of her sex. But the ‘aura’ of a clothed, sleeping figure tantalises in a different way. If beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, what does the beholder of such an ‘aura’ see? Zizhong, for example, looks at the sleeping Junqing; he detects an aura and senses a woman, but with his eyes he sees a ‘man’. What might viewers of the film see? Let us revisit this bedroom scene. Viewers do not know for sure what kind of late-night conversation Zizhong has in mind, but they do know he is disappointed when Junqing falls asleep before he can broach the subject. But more curious viewers might wonder about the conversations Zizhong and Master Wei Zhuangzhi have had before in this bed, while lying together without a divider between them. What did the two men talk about? Did they just talk? Did they simply fall asleep, after talking? Did they do more than talk? The answers are left to the viewers’ imaginations.

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What, then, might these same viewers make of the aura of ‘effete’ romantic caizi-heroes such as Zizhong and jiaren Junqing, who profusely populate this genre of film. Some might look at their aura and see a man in both characters, whether that man is played by a real-life male actor or, as in the case of this 1966 film, by real-life actress Ling Po playing a man disguising a woman. Others may detect something else. The allure of caizi/jiaren romantic characters is fertile ground for what might be tantalisingly called speculative conjectures of the queer kind. This is precisely because the characteristic play with themes of transvestitism and mistaken sexual identity in these films, together with the frequent use of ambivalence and equivocal speech, is highly suggestive of multiple desires and multifarious points of identification—some colluding with the genre’s theme of compulsive heterosexuality, others taking the ‘aura’ in quite different directions. The banter which Zizhong exchanges with Junqing, for example, while accompanying ‘him’ home the morning after the night they have spent together in the same bed, might suggest just such a different direction. Along the way, Zizhong and Junqing make two stops—the first by a picturesque lake and the second at the deserted Mountain God Temple. The first stop by the lake ostensibly takes (in song) the Mandarin ducks as a topic for discussion, and ends with Zizhong saying to Junqing: If I were a girl, I would marry you. It does not matter if you are a girl. Zizhong knows by now that Junqing is a girl, and he himself is a man, but continues to play along with Junqing in her disguise. So might this suggest samesex or transgendered desires? In Chinese culture Mandarin ducks are symbols of romantic love. They are believed to have an everlasting passion for each other, as not only are they monogamous, but, when their spouse dies, they remain ‘single’ until the end of time. Are we witnessing, then, a possible love duet? The second stop reveals a markedly ambivalent attitude to the matter of love and marriage. This attitude deviates from the genre’s penchant for high romanticism, in that it uncharacteristically lacks romantic passion. For caizi Zizhong, a wife is partner, companion and baby-maker—full stop. In the 1966 film, Wen Fei-E (Junqing) generally does not come across as a jiaren who is passionate about the matter of love and marriage. Indeed, as seen earlier in the film, it is her parents who push her to look for a husband, and she does so in the end by shooting a perfumed arrow into her schoolyard. In short, she leaves the matter of love and marriage completely to chance. And as she tells Zizhong when they stop at the Mountain God Temple, she is a firm believer in fate and destiny; as a result,

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later in the film, she accepts Zizhong’s eventual marriage proposal. Her reason is simple: Zizhong is the ‘finder–keeper’ of her perfumed arrow. If the eventual marriage of Zizhong and Fei-E is not based on romantic love that stands the test of time, what then? The two marry out of a sense of filial duty: where Fei-E obeys her parents in the matter of finding a husband, Zizhong wants a wife for breeding the Du line. But could this be a marriage of convenience as well? If so, what might that mean? The circumstances that lead to Wei Zhuangzhi and Jing Fuchun’s marriage are equally strange, and in specific reference to the Huangmei opera film, might be considered odd and peculiar, not because of the wrapped-up gender issues but because the matrimonial base is built on the principle of love at first sight alone. In short, it is atypically founded on untested love. Indeed, like Zizhong and Fei-E, the two have treated the affairs of the heart rather frivolously, in more ways than one. Let’s begin with Zhuangzhi. Near the beginning of the film, Zhuangzhi has asked Junqing to act as a matchmaker for him when he learns of Fei-E’s existence during a conversation with Junqing. From this conversation, he suddenly wants to marry Fei-E, even though he has never met her in person. He does not know at the time that Junqing is Fei-E in disguise. He finally gets to meet Fei-E near the end of the film, and becomes cross with Junqing/Fei-E for taking him for a fool; but he quickly forgets Fei-E as an ‘object of love’ when Fei-E introduces him to Jing Fuchun. But the complications do not end there. Fuchun and Zhuangzhi both fall in love at first sight. But where Zhuangzhi wants to marry Fei-E (supposedly Junqing’s ‘fictitious sister’), Fuchun has—prior to her meeting with Zhuangzhi— desired Junqing as a husband. This occurs in the scene where Junqing rescues her from rape. A grateful Fuchun offers herself to ‘him’ in marriage. Junqing turns down the offer and escorts her home: ‘he’ enjoys playing the role of a chivalrous knight. Later, at Fuchun’s behest, her parents pursue the matter with Junqing, first at their home and then at Junqing’s house. With Fuchun and her parents hot on ‘his’ heels, Junqing decides to reveal her sex. Upon seeing Fei-E instead of Junqing, Fuchun cries, ‘You may have changed into women’s clothes, I will still marry no one else. I will marry only you!’ Fei-E then asks her, how can two women be properly married since they cannot use the Heaven and Earth Ceremony to formalise the marriage? Fuchun retorts, saying, ‘That is not my problem — you sow what you reap!’ At this point, with Zhuangzhi now in the picture, the film comes to an end in a rather hasty way, with a double-wedding celebration, explicitly and conveniently casting off the queered ambiguities between the four jiarens and caizis in favour of heteronormativity. Fei-E (female) marries Zizhong (male), while Zhuangzhi (male) hurriedly takes Fuchun (female) as wife.

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Taking an Even Queerer Route The overt expediency and the insistent logic of heteronormativity notwithstanding, The Perfumed Arrow tumbles over itself to the queering and queer gaze. Ambivalent language and equivocal speech based on double entendres, euphemisms and sexual innuendos inundate the film, yielding narrative gaps and fissures that invite viewers to delve beneath the gloss of compulsive heterosexuality and ask the following question: could the marriages be a cover for the love which dares not speak its name? Indeed, there are more queer questions to be asked, especially when looking at the relationship between the two men, Du Zizhong and Wei Zhuangzhi. They are classmates and close friends who like to hang out with Junqing. They occasionally share a bed together. Could they be closet homosexuals? In addition to fulfilling filial duties, does Zizhong see a wifely Fei-E as a provider of (mutual) sexual pleasure as well? If so, who does he prefer? The ‘bright and lovely’ girl he sees in Fei-E? The ‘dear younger brother’ he sees in Junqing? Or the androgynous Junqing/Fei-E in his bed—that sleeping male figure who has the aura of a woman? In short, who exactly does he desire sexually: Fei-E, Junqing or all of the above? Might Zizhong also have latent transgender desires? Fei-E, on the other hand, enjoys cross-sex romps. Fei-E stays at home, while Junqing has the freedom to do whatever ‘he’ pleases, go wherever ‘he’ wishes, play with whoever ‘he’ wants to. ‘He’ can even become a chivalrous hero. Fei-E has no friends. Junqing has all the fun. Or to put this in another way, it is more fun to be Junqing than Fei-E. Moreover, Fei-E is not fussy about choosing her future husband carefully: the finders–keepers principle will do. Given her general ambivalence towards love and marriage, is it not reasonable, then, to ask if she would have consented to marrying Fuchun if there were procedures for same-sex marriage? A viable extension of this question might even be: what if Fuchun were the first to find her perfumed arrow? The film’s narrative compulsion with respect to the assumption that the finder has to be a young man belies both ageist (that is why an old sweeper who first spots the arrow first does not pick it up) and heterosexist underpinnings (that is why the school compound has no female figures). Fuchun marries Zhuangzhi after falling in love with him at first sight. Yet she will tell Fei-E, only seconds before she meets Zhuangzhi, that she would marry Junqing/Fei-E, regardless of whether Junqing has changed into a woman or whether Fei-E is actually female. Does Fuchun have latent lesbian desires, then? Indeed, does Fei-E correspondingly see in Fuchun’s tearful outburst a fleeting sense of her own lesbian desires—one that provokes her question or observation about the lack of marriage procedures for two women desiring

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marriage? At the same time, Fuchun might also appear to have a bisexual inclination as well, given her desire to marry Junqing at first, and then Fei-E. One can never be sure. But viewing through the genre’s characteristic penchant for using analogies, metaphors and euphemisms, including double entendres, to allude to things sexual, then one might be tempted to take the queer route and answer all the above questions in the affirmative. Moreover, Fuchun’s marrying Zhuangzhi carries certain advantages. For a start, Fuchun does not have to go back to her family home and her parents. That would mean that she would never ever see either Fei-E (whom she seems to desire in a lesbian way) or Junqing (whom she wants to marry as well), or both of them, again. Secondly, as Zhuangzhi’s wife, Fuchun would be in close proximity to Fei-E and Junqing, or both, since Zhuangzhi usually spends time with Zizhong (Zhuangzhi’s close friend/Fei-E’s husband) and Fei-E (Zizhong’s wife)/Junqing (Zhuangzhi’s close friend). Now, that would make a party (of four). The party may well be, or even become, a polymorphous ‘five-way’ tug-of-love-and-desire, if one were to include in the mix Fuchun’s unnamed maid, first seen at the inn where Fuchun is kidnapped by the cai hua zei. One might be tempted to ask the que(er)stion: why were Fuchun and her maid staying overnight at an inn? Or more particularly, why were they in a bedroom that was away from the gaze of Fuchun’s parents? The film does not give a narrative motivation for this, which, with such queered speculation as mine here, would seem rather unusual. Insofar as Huangmei opera films are concerned, any respectable jiaren like Fuchun would not wander away from the patriarchal home without, firstly, obtaining explicit parental permission, and secondly, without donning a male disguise. This is a very queer situation indeed—not just for the film, but for its viewers—and, I would suggest, has metaphoric implications for the wider sinophone diaspora. Comfortable cultural familiarities, like the old caizi/jiaren romances were, through film especially, being challenged. Familiar romance may be disguised in apparently familiar wrapped-up genders, for sure, but that disguise may well extend to challenging some of the norms wrapped up in hitherto unquestioned definitions and understandings of what both China and Chineseness might mean within the much broader sinophone context in which these films played out.

The Power-Over-Sex Imperative The enactment of a romance like this may have its complications and complexities, as we certainly see from the above, but it remains firmly human (and therefore messy) in its scale. But it can get ‘messier’ when it transcends the human with the addition of a supernatural dimension to its complexities. In qiqingpian,

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the jiaren may also be a deity, a spirit or a ghost, but in classical qiqingpian of this supernatural kind the caizi is inevitably and invariably mortal. The mortal caizi and supernatural jiaren not only fall in love, but they also produce the labour of that love—whether suggested in the motif of a pregnant jiaren or the actual visibility of a love child. Cultural boundaries and margins of morality are therefore being played with here well beyond those already described in films like The Perfumed Arrow. Some norms of behaviour are put at risk, and indeed, some are redefined (see Tan and Jiang, 2011). Similarly, further complications arose with the Confucianisation or sinification of zaju and other populist dramatic and narrative forms, where qiqingpian came to represent a significant exchange and mediation between elite culture and popular culture that combined the written and vernacular. Although the shi (state official) took the yang (male) position in relation to his wife, for example, it was, in fact, standard practice for him to adopt the yin (feminine) position and speak in the feminine voice when addressing the Emperor (Song, 2004: 15–16). The shi thus downplayed, even negated, his yanggang (masculine and strong) capacity in deference to the Emperor. The correspondent ‘institutionalised yin status’ with regard to the shi underscored their degendered feminisation, while highlighting their marginalisation in Imperial China’s political/ideological structure (Zhou, 2003: 5). Celebrating the yanggang characteristics in males other than the Emperor, whether in literal or symbolical ways, put the writers at the risk of being charged with insubordination since only the Emperor represented, in the totalising sense, perfect yang embodiment. The element of risk in drama (and later, more so in film) was present from the very beginning. In Confucian or sinified cultures in general, for example, the Emperor was thought to have a heavenly mandate to rule over all and sundry, and so stood at the apex of a political structure characterised by a top-down mode of governance with a vertical social organisation. The Daoist yin/yang conception of the cosmos was mobilised to support this kind of political construct, and the attendant social structure in which imperial ideologues, primarily composed of Confucian scholars, politicised the yin and yang, bent them in service of the Emperor and instituted ‘a hierarchical dominance of yang over yin’ (Song, 2004: 131). The last not only stood in sharp contrast to, but also departed from, a Daoist understanding of cosmic energies as the giver of life, and also as an inhibitor in the nurturing process, metaphysically understood in terms of instability, fluidity, interactivity and circularity. The Emperor therefore had the monopoly on yang, which meant that all his subjects, male or female, would be yin by default. Seen from this political perspective, the (neo-)Confucian discourse on gender could be said to be ‘more power-based than sex-based’ (ibid.: 13). The power-over-sex imperative symbolically castrated the shi, and with the shi

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pushed into the feminine realm, women encountered further displacement in the gender hierarchy—in a downward spiral. This resulted in severe discrimination against (and oppression of) women in (neo-)Confucian societies. Femalephobic views—such as ‘women are calamitous torrents (huo shui)’, ‘only women and small-minded people are difficult to care for; if kept in close proximity, they become haughty; if kept at a distance, they will complain (wei nűzi yu xiaoren nan yang ye/jin zhi ze buxun/yuan zhi ze yuan)’, and ‘an uneducated woman is a moral asset’ (nűren wucai shi de)’—thus came to prevail in (neo-)Confucian gender discourse. Paradoxically, as Zhou Zuyan puts it in his study of androgynous entities in late Imperial Chinese literature, the authors’ alienation complex vis-à-vis their institutionalised yin status, political or ideological, often engenders an intensified awareness of their yin status, hence a shared gender identity with women. Their subsequent aversion to such imposed feminisation is often artistically projected onto literary characters of ambiguous gender, be it transgressive women or feminine men. (Zhou, 2003: 3) This introduces gender crisis to male–female and ruler–subject relationships and makes them subversive to the patriarchal order (ibid.: 3); this is crucial to an understanding of any analysis of the cross-dressing (fanchuan) performances in qiqingpian.

The Queer Art of Fanchuan Performances Some of the most popular 1960s Shaw Brothers Hong Kong Mandarin films featured fanchuaners like Ivy Ling Po and Cheng Pei-Pei, who acted extensively in Huangmei opera films and swordplay flicks, respectively. In their pictures, they frequently played the male protagonists or female-to-male narrative crossdressers, while other actresses—for that matter, actors in general—invariably acted in gender-matching roles, like Ling Po’s rival, Cantonese opera film actor Yam Kim-Fei, whose movies (as well as her opera works) were extremely popular and well received. Unlike Ling, Yam had a solid opera training background, having learned the trade as a child, and was a professional full-time fanchuaner on stage and in film, in the sense that she would typically play the male (sheng) role: for example, as Liang Shanbo in Lee Tit’s 1958 Cantonese opera film The Tragic Story of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai. As also mentioned before, cross-sex performers (fanchuaners) are not uncommon in traditional Chinese opera, and are a trademark of Yueju (Shaoxing) opera, which has had a long tradition of training and employing only female performers who specialise in sheng (male) or dan (female) roles (see Li, 2006).

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One most notable cross-sex performer of this theatre, concurrent with the time of the post-war Huangmei opera film cycle, was Yuan Xuefen, who plays the male lead, Liang Shanbo, in the PRC’s first Shaoxing opera film, Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, the first colour feature of New China and the forerunner to Ling Po’s signature film, The Love Eterne. Cross-gender performances are likewise not an exclusive preserve for actresses in Cantonese or Mandarin films. In the history of post-war Hong Kong Cantonese and Mandarin cinemas (not to mention their Teochew counterparts), it is indeed not uncommon for the gender line to be crossed, or breached, by actors of either sex. Film actors have been known, albeit relatively rarely to be professional gender-benders too—for example, Banri An (1904–64), who was well known for his parts as old women (or in opera terminology: laodan) (Ji, 1987/2003: 53–7). In other Chinese opera traditions mixed troupes were more typical, with performers usually appearing in roles that corresponded with their physiological sex. But exceptionally talented female impersonators have arisen from such troupes; the most famous was, of course, Mei Lanfang, whose fanchuan performances as female on stage and, to a lesser extent, in film, wowed Peking opera fans (worldwide) during the second quarter of the twentieth century (see Duchesne, 1994). Although Ling Po predictably could not escape for a time the fate of being typecast, she was, at best, an occasional fanchuaner (unlike, for example, professional fanchuaner Chan Chor-wai of the Teochew opera stage and film, who also specialised in the sheng role), not simply because she also had a talent for performing female roles in and outside the opera film genre, but because she was not formally trained and moulded for fanchuan roles; Yam Kim-Fei and Chan Chor-wai, on the other hand, had both appeared in female roles, but in rare and exceptional cases. Like Yuan Xuefen, Yam Kim-Fei would be a ‘shijie’ to Ling Po—that is, an ‘older sister’ in the (cross-sex) acting profession. She too had the male lead role of Liang Shanbo to her acting credit. In actuality, she had played the role in two different Cantonese opera film productions—at first in Chan Pei’s Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai (1951) and then in Lee Tit’s The Tragic Story of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai (1958). Unlike her two shijie, including Mei Lanfang and Chan Chor-wai, Ling Po had no formal opera training. In Chinese, the term fanchuan refers less to playing roles from other than one’s own biological sex, than to the complex performative process by and though which the performer becomes the very sex he or she impersonates.This involves transsexualisation at the levels of the emotional, psychological and corporeal (but not in the literal sense of gender reassignment surgery), as we saw at the beginning of this chapter. Fanchuan is distinct to yizhuang, which describes the transvestitial process of cross-dressing in order to pass as the other sex. Thus the female Zhu Yingtai character in the ‘Butterfly Lovers’ cluster would

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yizhuang in order to go to school as a male student, while Ling, or for that matter Yam as well, would fanchuan for the corresponding Liang Shanbo part. Yizhuang amounts to a drag act of sorts, while fanchuaners are, both literally and metaphorically speaking, transsexual(ised) entities.

Queer Challenges Whether fanchuaners or yizhuangers, the performers (and performances) embody queerness and display mixed yin/yang characteristics. They are neither strictly male nor strictly female, and yet both male and female all the same. If, in the matter of love and marriage, heteronormativity invariably offers narrative closure for playful ‘gender trouble’, then the contradictions, as we have already seen, show that fanchuan and yizhuang performances, despite their seemingly traditional veneer, can actually result in calling out traditional Chinese patriarchies by showing their way of social organisation to be outmoded, even redundant. For example, in many of the later qiqingpian in the Shaw Brothers’ archive, patriarch figures may saunter around. None, however, is always in complete control of the young, or is seen to hold sway over the ways in which the young go about conducting their business and lives, as (patriarchy-independent) individuals. The young people may or may not have family. They may not always be keen on heterosexual union that leads to marriage and family. Procreative sex is not their only life goal. ‘Queer’ films like this, in depicting conflicting genders and sexualities, thus raise deeper questions about the social construction of identities. The term ‘queer’ generally corresponds to that commonly understood by queer theorists, in that it similarly challenges supposedly stable binaries such as male/female, gay/straight and sex/gender. More specifically, though, I seek here to locate the queer factor in fanchuan performative acts, and by extension, 1960s Hong Kong qiqingpian. The work, for example, of fanchuaners like Ling Po and Yam Kim-Fei, as talented cross-dressing artists in ‘wrapped-up gender’ identities and reversals, lends itself to what Paul Burston and Colin Richardson have said about queer theory, because their performativity ‘seeks to expose and problematise the means by which “sexuality” [has been] reduced to the definitions and relations of gender’ (Burston and Richardson, 1995: 1).

Cross-gender Performativity As far as traditional Chinese theatre is concerned, specialist cross-gender performativity is common. Mei Lanfang (1894–1961) would probably count as the most famous of such performers in the twentieth century (see Mackerras,

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1975: 59–62). Mei came from a family of theatre artists: like his grandfather and father, his stage speciality was to play dan roles in Beijing opera. Mei differed from Yam, Ling and other female-to-male opera performers, including Yuan and Chan, in several fundamental ways. Sex (in the biological sense) was one: Mei was a man, while the rest were women. Role specialisation was another: the former was a dan, while the latter group were sheng. Finally, they belonged to different schools of Chinese opera. In opera terminology, dan and sheng are two of the four primary role specialisations, the other two being chou and jing. The four terms are also vocational designations for performers specialising in corresponding role types or character types: dan (female), sheng (male), chou (jester or clown) and jing (‘painted faces’) (see Wichmann, 1991: 7–12; Tan, 2015). The former two types may be played by male or female actors, while the latter two types are usually male parts, and often played by male actors. In addition to gender, the four role or character types all have age and class markers—for instance, young or old, and poor or rich. Additionally, they each have a distinct singing style, speech pattern, stage movement, costume convention and makeup. Finally, the practice of role specialisation in Chinese theatre does not necessarily reduce performers to stereotypes because, as Elizabeth Wichmann points out, they play characters who: may be good or bad, strong or weak, intelligent or stupid. Role-type specialisation produces patterns (guilü) of performance technique rather than dramatic characters with stereotyped personalities. [Besides,] performers of each role type specialise in the display of certain selected performance skills. (Wichmann, 1991: 5) Functioning within a complex system of signification, then, not only do the actors and actresses bring together a kaleidoscopic array of theatrical elements which consist of story, music, voice, movement, make-up, costume and stage properties, but their characters also speak in a number of registers: class, gender, sexuality and erotic styles. Although playing to different audiences, Yam was a much more accomplished film actor than Mei, a consequence arising from her experience working in movies which were largely made for commercial exhibition and public consumption. Mei’s film works were less so, being primarily non-commercial film documentations or straightforward records of his stage repertoires. However, Mei was no less a celebrated cross-gender opera performer than Yam, and their respective rendition of dan and sheng characters enthralled audiences both at home and abroad. In the specific case of Mei, his tours in Japan, the United States, Europe and Russia during the 1930s helped establish Peking opera as a

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revered theatrical form in the international artistic, dramatic and literary community (Mackerras, 1975: 60). They also made him an eminent figure in this community. It was around this time that the German dramatist Bertolt Brecht saw him perform. Tremendously impressed by what he saw, Brecht wrote (for example), ‘[By] comparison with Asiatic acting our own art still seems hopelessly parsonical’ (Willet, 1964: 94). Elsewhere, the drama theorist Faye C. Fei has articulated the significance of Mei’s contributions to Chinese theatre differently from Brecht. In particular, she is interested in the cultural and social implications of cross-gender performances in relation to discourses of gender. ‘Among his many contributions’, she wrote, Mei was credited for upgrading the literary standards of the plays with strong women characters and for combining and developing techniques for better showcasing the performers’ versatility in singing, dancing, movement, speech, and acrobatic skills. As a result, Mei helped to turn the young female characters on the stage into more respected, intelligent, talented, cultivated, and dignified human beings. (Fei, 2002: 143) All-male Huangmei opera troupes were not unusual prior to 1949 but disappeared in post-war New China, when a mixed cast with players in gendermatching parts, such as that seen in Marriage of the Fairy Princess (1955), became the norm. This gender-matching casting pattern has remained a constant in the PRC’s Huangmei opera/opera film productions, including their latter-day TV equivalents. Initially, Hong Kong’s Huangmei opera films, such as The Borrowed Wife (1958) and Diau Charn of Three Kingdoms (1958), typically had a gendermatching cast. Shaw Brothers’ production of The Dream of the Red Chamber (1962, Dir. Yuan Qiu-Feng) marked a departure when its director cast actress Yam Kit in the male lead role of Jia Baoyu. This departure paved the way for Ling Po’s Liang Shanbo character in The Love Eterne. Ling’s highly successful debut as a cross-sex actress led to her being pigeonholed, at least in her Huangmei opera film work, for she was almost always typecast as a male or a female cross-dresser. Her success, however, made cross-sex acting a trendy pursuit for actresses of the Mandarin screen. Freelancer Li Li-Hua thus played the male scholar (caizi) in Cathay Studio’s Liang San Poh and Chu Ing Tai (1964) and Shaw Brothers’ Lady Jade Locket (1966, Dir. Yen Chuan), while superstar Lin Dai appeared in the twin role of mother and son in Shaw Brothers’ The Lotus Lamp (1963–5, Dir. Yueh Feng), with Cheng PeiPei as the father. The Lotus Lamp is Cheng’s first and only Huangmei opera film. According to Cheng, Shaw Brothers had hoped to groom her as ‘Ling Po Number Two.’ She found stardom as the queen of wuxiapian, or swordplay films, instead

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(Cheng, 2000: 76). To a certain extent, the trend helped build a bridge to Hong Kong’s post-war Cantonese or Teochew opera films, especially those starring Yam Kim-Fei or Chan Chor-Hui respectively, but the bridge was not long enough to interface with the PRC’s all-female Shaoxing opera films of the time, even though those male parts were invariably played by actresses. Nonetheless, as mentioned before, in the post-war Hong Kong film industry (as in traditional Chinese opera), cross-sex acting was a career option. That, together with the prevalence of sex/gender reversals, whether integral or external to the narrative world, in Hong Kong’s Huangmei (and other) opera films, thus suggests a strong degree of social tolerance, if not acceptance, of transgender activities on the screen (see Ko, 1994). The public recognition accorded to professional cross-sex fanchuaners (such as Ling/Liang) or narrative cross-dressers (Le/Zhu) by way of acting awards further attests to this. There was, for instance, no indignant protest when both Le/Zhu and Ling/Liang respectively walked away with the ‘Best Actress’ and ‘Best Acting Award in a Special Category’ at the 2nd Golden Horse Film Festival in Taiwan, 1963. Neither were there cries of moral outrage when Ling went on to accept the ‘Best Actress’ and ‘Most Versatile Talent’ awards for her respective performances as the titular cross-dresser in Lady General Hua Mulan (1964) at the 11th Asian Film Festival (Taipei), and the male lead in The Mermaid (1965) at the 12th Asian Film Festival in Kyoto. The headline in Hong Kong’s Sing Tao Daily of 25 October 1963, ‘1963 Belongs to Ling Po’, both expressed and reflected a similar sentiment of acceptance and celebration. The accompanying article elaborates: [Liang Xiong conveys] the pains of youth in the most piercingly sharp way. Awed by Ling’s [cross-sex] performance, people would often make the remark that men see Ling/Liang as a woman, while women view Ling/Liang as a man. (STD, 1963: 8) This commentary fell short of making mention of same-sex spectatorial identification, however. The silence here does not demonstrate a corresponding absence of same-sex discourses elsewhere. Nor can it, as I shall argue below, impede queer spectatorship, even though the notion of queer, as the term is presently understood, was not fashionable then. Though not spoken of in the past, queer subtexts do exist in Ling’s Huangmei opera films, including The Love Eterne and especially The Perfumed Arrow. And after many years, The Love Eterne eventually became the subject of a queer reclamation when, for instance, the 15th Queer Melbourne Film Festival (2005) unabashedly and unapologetically promoted the film as an ‘unmissable queer cinematic event’. To a certain extent, Ling Po’s performances in Mandarin films helped boost the reclamation process, albeit in both ironic and indirect ways, when this star

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of past queer films appeared in a cameo in the award-winning Rice Rhapsody (2004, Dir. Kenneth Bi), along with husband Jin Han, previously a Shaw Brothers actor too, who had once played the role of Mulan’s love interest in Lady General Hua Mulan or Qin Fengxiao’s in The Female Prince. Filmed and set in contemporary Singapore, this comedy has no cross-dressing themes or crosssex acting: it is about two apparently out and proud, gay, young Singaporeans and their somewhat sexually ambivalent younger brother. It is ambivalent because it is never clear which side the latter will decide on. The film is Canadian Kenneth Bi’s directorial debut. Bi also happens to be Ling Po and Jin Han’s son. Finally, it is worth noting that Ling Po’s achievements as a prominent cross-sex fanchuaner did not restrict her repertoire or range of acting roles. In her non-Huangmei opera films, Ling has created memorable female characters in her time. These include the female lead in Too Late For Love (1967, Dir. Lo Chen/Luo Zheng) and My Father, My Husband, My Son aka Father, Husband and Son (1974, Dir. Pai Ching-Jui/Bai Jingrui et al.), for which she won the Best Actress Award (6th Golden Horse, Taiwan, 1967) and the ‘Outstanding Acting Award’ (20th Asian Film Festival, 1974).

The Fairy Phoenixes Cantonese opera diva and film actress Yam Kim-Fei (1913–89) should not go unmentioned in this context. Although no longer in production, the Cantonese opera film (movies adapted from Cantonese opera) was one of the major genres of the post-war Hong Kong Cantonese cinema (mid-1940s to late 1960s). Its heyday was the 1950s, when it accounted for one-third of the 500 or so Cantonese films produced during this period (see Li, 1987/2003b: 9). One of the foremost performers of this genre was the revered Yam Kim-Fei, also deferentially referred to as ‘Yidai Yiren’ or ‘The Artist of a Generation’ (Lu and Liu, 1990). Of the 300 or so movies attributed to her, most were Cantonese opera films. She occasionally appeared in modern drama, sometimes playing gendermatching female roles: for example, the ‘straight’ woman in Two Naughty Girls (1952, Dir. Ng Wui/Wu Hui) and Blessings Come in Pairs (1955, Dir. Yeung KungLeung/Yang Gongliang) (see Huang, 2009; Lu and Liu, 1990; Wu, 1990; see also Lam, 1987/2003; Li, 1987/2003b; Ng, 1987; Sek, 1987). Movies featuring her in female roles were equally rare since, as a specialist cross-gender performer, her forte was to play ‘man’ (so too in the case of her opera works). Cantonese Opera Film Retrospective, a bilingual catalogue first published in 1987 and then revised in 2003 (edited by Li Cheuk-to), is probably the most comprehensive attempt to study the genre. Yet none of the papers in the catalogue offers an exclusive study of Yam or her works. Nonetheless, they acknowledge her contributions to

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the genre, often in venerated terms (see Sek, 1987; Ng, 1987; Lam, 1987/2003; Li, 1987/2003b, 1987/2003c). Yam’s cross-gender acts, like Ling Po’s, similarly showed the malleability of gender. They likewise revealed that gender is a cultural construct. By achieving eminence in her chosen profession, she, like Ling Po, also helped elevate the status of female performers in the culture industry, as well as extending the paradigm of their acting repertoire. Furthermore, her work not only improved the general standard of, but also set the standard for, Cantonese opera and opera films, as well as their Shaoxing counterparts in Shanghai. As Sek Kei puts it, Yam’s renditions brought unprecedented ‘romance and beauty to the Cantonese opera film’, and in doing so, ‘elevated the genre to heights of neo-classicism’ (Sek, 1987: 17). Neo-classicism reworked the classicism of Yuan and Ming plays by infusing it with ‘strong dramatic plots’; ‘extravagantly romantic’ lyrics that, while ‘classical’, were ‘never anachronistic or esoteric’; and finally refreshing melodies that, while having an ‘unflinching sense of nostalgia’ for classicism, were in actuality not classicism (ibid.: 17). The neo-classical turn in post-war Hong Kong Cantonese opera films may be attributed to a fruitful partnership between Yam, her long-time companion, Pak Suet-Sin (Bai Xuexin; b. 1926), and their close collaborator, Tong Dik-Sang (Tang Disheng; 1917–59) (Yu, 1987: 95, 110–12). In 1956, Pak and Yam cofounded the Cantonese Sin Fung Meng (Fairy Phoenixes) Opera Troupe. At the time, they were both riding the pinnacle of their separate yet connected careers as opera divas and film actresses. By installing themselves as the respective resident sheng and dan of their troupe, Yam and Pak as the fairy phoenixes appeared in eight sensational seasons of opera over the next two years, primarily performing the neo-classical pieces written by resident librettist Tong and based on well-known Chinese legends. The Yam–Pak–Tong collaborations yielded instant opera ‘classics’ which, when adapted into films, became movie ‘classics’ as well. Their partnership was sadly cut short by Tong’s untimely death during the stage premiere of what turned out to be his last completed libretto, The Reincarnation of Red Plum (1959). It would take some two years before grief-stricken Yam and Pak resumed work, staging the troupe’s final season and showcasing Tong’s partially finished libretto, The New Legend of the White Snake (1961). Their opera/film sound recordings were also released on phonograph (7-, 10and 12-inch vinyl discs). During their separate yet connected careers, they cut thirty-three phonographic albums together and co-starred in sixty movies. The vast majority were Cantonese opera films, including the Yam–Pak–Tong stage collaborations: namely, The Gold Braided Fan (Dir. Chiang Wai-Kwong/Jiang Weiguang); Triennial Mourning on the Bridge (Dir. Yue Leung/Yu Liang); Lee Tit’s The Purple Hairpin and Butterfly and Red Pear, and Lung To’s (Long Tu) The Happy

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Wedding and Tragedy of the Emperor’s Daughter—the latter co-directed with Cho Kei (Zuo Ji). These stage-to-film adaptations were all made in 1959. It is estimated that Yam and Pak each acted in more than 300 and 200 films respectively. Pak’s movie debut was in a Cantonese opera film, Wife in the Morning, Sisterin-Law at Night (1947, Dir. Hung Chung-Ho/Hong Zhonghao). Yam also made her film debut with a Cantonese opera feature. It was called The Handsome Hero Perplexed by Love, aka Love Traps Warrior Pan An (1951, Dir. Chan Pei), in which she plays the titular hero, Pan’an. In 1968, Yam and Pak retired together. Their screen swansong was Tragedy of the Poet King (1968, Dir. Lee Sun-Fung/Li Chenfeng). In retirement, they groomed a new generation of Cantonese opera performers under the umbrella of Chor Fung Ming (Young Phoenix) Opera Troupe (COFR, 1987: 119–24; Lu and Liu, 1990: 97, 100–7). On their retirement, Cantonese filmmaking would go into a hiatus (until 1972). Prior to that, Chi Luen and Gam Gwok studios released The Reincarnation of Red Plum aka The Reincarnation of Lady Plum Blossom or Love in the Red Chamber (1968, Dir. Wong Hok-Sing/Huang Hesheng). Based on the libretto originally written by Tong Dik-Sang about a decade before as part of the Yam– Pak–Tong stage collaborations, the belated film production of The Reincarnation of Red Plum stars Yam’s disciple, Connie Chan Po-Chu, otherwise known as the ‘Movie-Princess of the Cantonese screen’. It tells the qiqing story of caizi Pei Yu (Connie Chan in a cross-sex role) and jiaren Li Huiniang (played by Nam Hung/ Nan Hong). As is typical in caizi/jiaren romance, the two fall in love at first sight but Li is the concubine of Jia Sidao, a powerful eunuch. When Jia gets wind of the love affair, he kills Li, who then returns as a ghost—not to avenge her death, but to meet her mortal lover. Her ghostly spirit takes possession of the body of a dead girl called Lu Zhaorong (also played by Nam Hung), who happens to look like her. Thus reincarnated, Li Huiniang/Lu Zhaorong and Pei Yu live happily as a couple, while Jia falls into poverty and becomes destitute. The young phoenixes came of age in the mid-1970s, which coincided with the renaissance of Cantonese cinema, driven by the phenomenal successes of Shaw Brothers comedies The House of 72 Tenants and The Warlord (1972, Dir. Lee Han-Hsiang). Overseen by Yam and Pak, the Chor Fung Ming Opera Troupe made its film debut with Laugh in the Sleeve (1975, Dir. Lee Tit), followed by Princess Chang Ping (1976, Dir. John Woo Yu-Sum) and The Legend of the Purple Hairpin (1977, Dir. Lee Tit). The first of these falls into the ‘Tang Bohu’ film cluster (see Appendix 1), and is a romantic comedy about maverick poet and painter Tang Bohu’s intense and successful courtship of a maid called Qiu Xiang, who works for a high official, and with whom he immediately falls in love when the two meet by chance in a temple. The latter two films are remakes of Yam, Pak and Tong’s 1959 classic stage-to-film productions: Tragedy of the Emperor’s Daughter and

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The Purple Hairpin. Like their mentor, Yam Kim-Fei, protégées Lung Kim-Sang (Long Jiansheng) and Chu Kim-Daan (Zhu Jiandan) are fanchuan actresses who specialise in playing sheng roles. Pak Suet-Sin’s disciples are Mui Suet-Sze (Mei Xueshi), Kong Suet-Liu (Jiang Xuelu) and Yin Suet-Fan (Yan Xuefen). They specialise in dan roles. Significantly, the disciples all take a part of their respective mentor’s name: the masculine-sounding Kim or Jian (meaning sword) in the former case, and in the latter case the feminine-sounding Suet or Xue (meaning snow). All three films are caizi/jiaren romances, with Lung Kim-Sang invariably playing the male lead, and Mui Suet-Sze always cast as the female lead. The Legend of the Purple Hairpin is based on a Tang legend-novel called Huo Xiaoyü Zhuan (The Legend of Huo Xiaoyü), written by Jiang Fang (1550–1616). It is about the abuse of power in high office, which forces Huo Xiaoyü and Li Yi to endure the pain of long separation. The purple hairpin is Li’s betrothal token, a gift of love, to Huo, a symbolic eyewitness to the couple’s untold miseries and, above all, their undying love for each other. Set in the final days of the Ming Dynasty, Princess Chang Ping narrates the tragedy of the fallen royal family, ending with the double suicide of the Princess and her consort (Chou Shih-Hsien). It has a supernatural theme: the couple becomes flower spirits after death. Supernatural or not, all three films are qiqingpian, in that the love story is not su or mundane but of the sublime type: the couple meet in extraordinary situations and secure marvellous love, under even more extraordinary circumstances. As it turns out, The Legend of the Purple Hairpin ended the once popular Cantonese opera film genre. According to Stephen Teo (1997), there were two reasons for its disappearance. The first relates to Hong Kong’s emerging middle class, who could afford to go to the theatre to watch their favourite performers live on stage. The second relates to the fact that kungfu films, perpetuated by Bruce Lee and such, were now the rage (Teo, 1997: 43). Popular cultural artefacts such as these, together with the efforts to train a new generation of Cantonese opera artists, thus confirmed Yam’s and Pak’s achievements as extremely impressive. They variously worked to position them centrally within the prevalent cultural mythologies of, and from, the post-war era. The enormous success of A Sentimental Journey (1999, 2005, Dir. Clifton Ko), a musical–play based on Yam’s and Pak’s life, their career as opera divas and film actresses, and also their collaborations with Tong, which reformed and modernised Cantonese opera, bear testimony to the continuing influence they had on the popular consciousness of late twentieth-century Hong Kong (Li, 2007: 459–62). This proved all the more so when this musical–play made boxoffice history by having the longest run ever (Ho and Wong, 1999a: 1). Written by Raymond Wong Kwok-Wai (1999), it ‘filled in the gaps of memories and created a marvellous recall of an era’ (Ho and Wong, 1999b: 3). In the musical, Yam

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was portrayed as ‘totally devoted to her art’, to the extent that she was ‘determined to be better at playing a man than the male actors themselves’ (ibid.: 3). Incidentally and interestingly, Connie Chan, one of Yam’s disciples, played her mentor (Li, 1999: 14–17). Following in the footsteps of her mentor, Chan, a Cantonese film idol in the 1960s, was a ‘very versatile actress [who has played] both female and cross-dressed roles’, writes Kay Li; ‘[h]er return to the theatre to portray Yam brought to life a very significant segment of Hong Kong cultural history’ (Li, 2007: 460–1). In this way (and others), the legend of Yam (and her collaborators) lives on in contemporary Hong Kong. Yam was, by profession, a sheng—or more appropriately, a wenwusheng. This is a sheng whose specialist repertoire was primarily comprised of the following character types: wensheng (learned man), wusheng (military man) and wenwusheng (learned military man). In other words, she was a fanchuan actress whose forte was playing all three character types. As a wenwusheng, Yam’s specialist repertoire was playing the ‘straight’ man: a role-type paradigm consisting of filial sons, gentle husbands, kind fathers and benevolent emperors. It also comprised the various roles of a poor but charming and diligent (male) scholar, or a brave and chivalrous (male) warrior. In all of these cases, Yam’s characters would possess the seductive charm of a talented man, which beautiful women somehow found irresistible. Over and over again, they would fall in love romantically, even desperately, with their female counterparts. Yam’s love-objects on stage, and in celluloid, range from mortals to spirits, and from ghosts to fairies, and would invariably be women. They are also always played by female performers, one of whom was Pak. Sometimes, Yam’s characters would woo the heroine elegantly. Sometimes, the heroine would court them gracefully. The hero (Yam) and heroine might fall in love at first sight, or they might secure their affection through extravagant plans. Their love might transcend class or be constrained by it. It might conclude happily or tragically. If the latter, in death the star-crossed lovers would experience rebirth as immortals or fairies, and live happily as a couple for eternity. Representative examples of such instances include films (or, for that matter, their opera counterparts) such as The Tragic Story of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai (1958) and Tragedy of the Emperor’s Daughter (1959). Although infrequently, Yam played the ‘straight’ woman in, for example, Two Naughty Girls and Blessings come in Pairs. In such instances, Yam would be a ‘modern woman’. Yam’s repertoire as a woman also contained reverse cross-dressing characters— for example, in The Handsome Hero Perplexed by Love she plays a wenwu character called Ping Niang, who goes by the name of Chu Yun when disguised as male, much like Ling Po’s Junqing/Fei-E of The Perfumed Arrow. In this film, Yam plays a commoner/woman-warrior (wudan) who, for the most part, cross-dresses as a male martial hero (wusheng). The film ends with the Empress adopting her. As

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a princess, she marries the male protagonist. But playing reverse cross-dressing parts was rare for Yam. In any case, her woman characters—like her man characters elsewhere—would likewise have to endure the test of (‘heterosexual’) love. In surviving its many trials and tribulations, they would eventually reconcile with their beloved and then live happily ever after, often partaking in heterosexualesque activities such as delightful marriages and blissful family lives.

Performative Transsexualisation What we have seen, then, especially with respect to both Ling Po’s and Yam’s various fanchuan impersonations, highlights what I call ‘performative transsexualisation’, a performance process which enables cross-sexual transcendency. Huang Zuolin’s study of the cross-gender art of Mei Lanfang throws light on what that process entails (Huang, 2002: 154–8). According to Huang, Mei’s success as a female impersonator stems from his mastery of three interrelated performative elements of ‘xieyi’, ‘introspection’ and ‘representation’. Xieyi literally means ‘writing essences’ or, as discussed above, sketching ideation. It rejects realism as a defining principle for creativity, but not in toto, for its manifestation stems from a critical engagement with realism, this being a way of getting at, and eventually to, the heart of the matter that xieyi seeks to depict. That is, it endeavours to capture ‘the essentialism of life . . . not life as it is but life as extracted, concentrated, and typified’ (ibid.: 158). To put this in another way, it basically demands that art forms (including opera) be a refinement of life itself so that life becomes art, and art becomes life (Jia, 2002, 146–53). To achieve this, it must exceed not only real life but also real time and space. The excess ‘frees’ the life-in-art from the constraints of real life, thereby lifting art to the level of the sublime (Huang, 2002: 153). Mei’s performative art demonstrates xieyi in action. This accounts for the gender transcendency that makes his fanchuan performances credible and convincing. Huang also observes that the transcendency further rests on a masterful synthesis of two acting styles on the part of Mei: ‘the “inner technique” of introspection’ and ‘the outgoing techniques of representation’ (ibid.: 157). This gender transcendency—‘performative transsexualisation’—makes fanchuan performances both credible and convincing. But more than that: they effectively become symptomatic of the changes taking place in diasporic societies, where the familiar, the hitherto unquestioned and the political, social and cultural norms have been disrupted. I explore some of those disruptions in more detail in Chapter 6, ‘Tongzhi Articulations in Fengyue Films’, most especially through a tongzhi-queer lens, by concentrating on the two Shaw Brothers Chinese courtesan fengyue (erotic) films: Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan (1972) and its remake, Lust for Love of a Chinese Courtesan (1984).

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PART III NEW IMAGINARIES

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Chapter 6 Tongzhi Articulations in Fengyue Films

In Taiwan I knew nothing about homosexuality. I didn’t know such a thing existed. (Betty Pei Ti, in Wang 1972)

Extending the Qiqingpian In 1972, at the zenith of a stellar career with Shaw Brothers (Hong Kong), and two years before she married a tycoon, became a tai-tai (‘lady of leisure’) and retired from the Hong Kong film scene, Lily Ho (He Lili) played a sex slave in the ground-breaking Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan (1972, Dir. Chor Yuen). At the time of this film’s release, Shaw Brothers was the best-known and best-equipped film studio of the Chinese diaspora, primarily producing Mandarin (Guoyu or Huayu) films. The competitive edge it had over its rivals in terms of financial resources, technological knowhow and film distribution networks contributed to its phenomenal success. It would lose its dominant status as newcomers and independents such as Golden Harvest (1970– ), Cinema City (1980–91) and Film Workshop (1984– ) came on to the scene, but Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan—envisaged as a ‘xinchao guzhuang dongzuo yanqingpian’–was made at the height of Shaw Brothers’ reign as Hong Kong’s leading film company. The film had two English pre-release titles: Body and Sword and Loving Slave. The compound description highlights the film’s multifaceted design and hybrid characteristics: a trendy (xinchao—literally, new wave), ancient-costumed (guzhuang), action (dongzuo), erotic (yanqing) film (pian). This was erotica, and featured not only Lily Ho but also Yueh Hua (Yue Hua) and Betty Pei Ti, two more top names of the day, depicting, according to an article in Southern Screen, ‘human nature at its best and worst’ and claiming to offer ‘a casual analysis of the psychology of [sexual] perversities: sex orgies, sadomasochism, voyeurism and homosexuality’ (SS, 1972a; SS, 1972b). What it lacks, lamented film critic Sek Kei, is ‘the normal and natural love between men and women’, or as the translation of Sek’s essay puts it, ‘a healthy male/

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female love relationship’ (Sek, 1984: 80). Explicit portrayal of ‘perversities’ was unprecedented in Chinese-language cinema, and as such, Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan extends the qiqingpian paradigm by intersecting with much that was to emerge in the fengyue (‘wind and moon’) films. It was one of the first films of the emergent erotic versions of fengyuepian (fengyue films) popularised by Shaw Brothers in the early 1970s, having at its core a love–hate relationship between two women who, in many respects, are doppelgängers of each other. Fengyuepian may contain yanqing (tasteful eroticism) and seqing (vulgar eroticism) scenarios. Both yanqing and seqing generally pertain to the matter of sexual desire and passion. Although a thin line separates the two, they differ in terms of attitude to and treatment of the subject matter. In portrayal and performance, yanqing favours subtlety of speech and action. It demands artful and delicate management, characterised by stylish finesse. Seqing is, by contrast, repugnant behaviour to the point of being rude and indecent, even obscene and offensive. Fengyuepian thus has both commendatory and derogatory denotations and connotations. Etymologically speaking, the term ‘fengyue’ derives from a particular genre of ancient poems, known as fenghua xueyue, which eulogises nature and the natural world: wind (feng), flower (hua), snow (xue) and moon (yue). In such poems, flowery language and ornate diction are the norm. The overuse of flamboyant metaphors, however, tends to give the poems, already short in content, a hollow ring. As a result, fengyue also comes to stand for trivial and frivolous pursuits. It is not clear how and when, but the term has since gathered erotic connotations and become analogous with sexual frolics. Classical Chinese erotica from the late Ming/early Qing era, such as Lan Ling Xiao Xiao Sheng’s Jin pingmei (The Golden Lotus) (c. 1617) and Li Yu’s Rouputuan (The Carnal Prayer Mat) (c. 1657) are hence classified as fengyue literature. In its modern usage, fengyue is a euphemism for sex, used both to celebrate sexual pleasure and to disparage sexual practices characterised by excessive indulgence. Whether positive or negative, the meanings of fengyue—as a term of description or nomination—are thus always context-specific. Finally, brothels, bars and other places noted for debauchery are sometimes also called fengyue changhe (locations) where fengyue revellers, regardless of class and status, could gather to enjoy a fenghua xueyue time together. It was perhaps inevitable that, in time, fengyue films would emerge. Chor Yuen’s Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan, followed by Lee Han-Hsiang’s (1926–96) Legends of Lust (1972) later that same year, also produced by Shaw Brothers, set a new trend in Hong Kong filmmaking. In 1974, Lee adapted Lan Ling Xiao Xiao Sheng’s Jinpingmei (believed to be China’s first erotic novel) as The Golden Lotus (1974), produced by Shaw Brothers (see Yau, 2007, 2008). Some twenty years later, he revisited the novel in two further films: The Golden

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Lotus ‘Love and Desire’ (1991) and The Amorous Lotus (1994); these last two were produced by independent Canon Profit Film and United Productions respectively. Li Yu’s Rouputuan/The Carnal Prayer Mat, on the other hand, inspired the Sex and Zen film trilogy (1991, 1996, 1998), directed by Michael Mak Dong-Git/ Mai Dangjie, Cash Chin Man-Kei/Qian Wenqi and Aman Chang/Zhang Min. The latest adaptation is 3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy (2011, Dir. Christopher Sun Lap Key/Sun Liji). Produced in 3-D, this fengyuepian reportedly broke boxoffice records in Hong Kong. Like the preceding trilogy, including Lee’s latter two adaptations, 3D Sex and Zen is a Category III or Adult (over 18) only film. In 1988 the Hong Kong Television and Entertainment Licensing Authory (TELA) introduced the age-based rating system, and with that the Category III films were born. Between 1988 and 1999, they accounted for about 45 per cent of the films (both local and foreign) submitted for classification, including straight-to-video releases (Davis and Yeh, 2001: 11). As Darrell Davis and Yeh Yueh-Yu have noted, the label Category III films ‘works as both warning and selling point’: this ‘means the film will probably contain explicit—but not hardcore—sex, gruesome violence, indecent language, or all three’ (ibid.: 14). Although marked out as not suitable for children, Category III is ‘mainstream’ fare: ‘its transgressive, offensive qualities mark it as a “come-on” and serve to integrate it into the market’ (ibid.: 14). Like classical fengyuepian, from Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan, Legends of Lust and The Golden Lotus in the 1970s through to those made in the 1980s, such as An Amorous Woman of the Tang Dynasty (1984, Dir. Eddie Fong Ling-Ching/Fang Lingzheng) and Chor Yuen’s remake of his first fengyuepian, Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan, as Lust for Love of a Chinese Courtesan (1984), Category III films have a quasi-pornographic quality in that both types would show naked bodies (but no genitalia), foreplay, copulation and orgasmic pleasure that cater to the scopophilic gaze. However, the earlier paradigm would be relatively more ‘modest’ or ‘restrained’ when depicting sexual gratification and activities. Whereas fengyuepian delight at having a fengyue time, not all Category III films have fengyue themes. Both Category III films and classical fengyuepian may have a period or contemporary setting. Period fengyuepian, whether Category III or not, are distinct from the ‘China Forever’ films we have already encountered, in at least two ways, even though both are set in a mythical China. Chinese/oriental exoticisms abound in these overlapping genres of films, but, as we saw earlier, the latter has a predilection for an ‘idealised morality’ based on Confucian notions of filial piety, chastity, purity and loyalty, which is typically portrayed as immutable and which both feeds on, and contributes to, nostalgia for the ancestral homeland and cultures in traditional China. This then functions as the undisputable source of cultural

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essentialist authority for Chinese civilisation (Fu, 2008b: 13, 15). This timeless ahistoricism in turn plays to the ‘sinicist melancholia’ for the loss of Chinese oneness—oneness in the sense of ‘one China, one people, one culture’—in contemporary times (see Tan, 2001). That is not to say that Confucian morality and nostalgia are totally absent in fengyuepian: they do exist, but to a significantly lesser extent, and in particular they avoid the insistent tone of didactic sinicism inherent in ‘China Forever’ films. An additional distinction between the two genres is that ‘China Forever’ films eschew any explicit portrayal of sexual activity, unlike the examples of fenguypian under close scrutiny in this chapter. ‘China Forever’ films, especially Huangmei diao films, as we saw earlier, had been flagship productions of Shaw Brothers from 1958 until at least the mid1960s. These blockbusters were chiefly composed of period epics and musicals based on Chinese historical figures, household legends, traditional folklore or literary classics, in which effete heroes and male effeminacy generally were commonplace. They typically deferred to the China-homeland’s prelapsarian gardens as a source of cultural authority. This entailed ‘[inventing] . . . a changeless China’, and ‘an idealised morality supposedly existent in traditional China: notably filial piety, chastity, purity, and loyalty’ (Fu, 2008b: 13). By tapping into the homeland myth in an idealised and ahistorical way, and also through the highly repetitive tropes of nostalgia and melancholia, ‘China Forever’ films acceded to ‘melancholic sinicism’ that helped shore up cultural nationalism. They accordingly emphasised the primacy of homeland traditions and cultural rootedness as identificatory norms. That, together with the ‘sumptuous display of . . . exotic “Oriental flavour[s]”’ (ibid.: 9) had a strong appeal for the refugee generation and the diasporic Chinese of the period immediately following World War II, many of whom were nostalgic for the ancestral homeland from which they had been banished, and where ancestral traditions were coming under increasing attack from the communist state. Classical fengyuepian, while they prefigured the Category III films which mushroomed in Hong Kong after the creation of the age-based film rating system in 1988, hold within them both the histories of the older films (the sort we have discussed so far) and the challenges of the new, especially as social and cultural changes were to become so rapid in the diasporic fortunes of sinophone cinema. Prior to this, there was no age restriction, which meant classical fengyuepian could be seen by persons of any age. Before 1988, Hong Kong had an informal film censorship body, which had no legal authority but operated ‘under strict confidentiality’, and the public and film industry were denied direct knowledge of and participation in its workings (see Chan, 1988; Ng, 2008: 27). According to Kenny Ng, the colonial censors were most alert to the sort of political films, regardless of origin, that might, among other things, pull Hong Kong into the

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Cold War in Asia; allow the colony to be caught up in the disputes between the communist government on the mainland and the KMT government-in-exile in Taiwan; and jeopardise the city’s relations not only with friendly powers but also with neighbouring geo-political entities (Ng, 2008). Overtly pro- and anticommunist films were thus treated with the utmost caution, and were usually banned. Films from the Chinese mainland which dwelled on ‘recent political history or themes like class exploitation, women’s liberation, and heroism’ encountered similar restrictions (ibid.: 28). The local film industry operated under a laissez-faire attitude, practised selfregulation and avoided participation in anything which was considered political or was, or could be, politicised. The isolated case of censored films like Lung Kong’s (Long Gang) The Plague (1968) and Tsui Hark’s The Gang of Four or City on Fire (1980–1) show that the censors were quick to exercise strict control over local films deemed politically sensitive or detrimental to social harmony. These particular two films were eventually released under the English titles of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1968–70) and Dangerous Encounter—1st Kind (1980– 1), respectively. The ‘gang of four’ in the pre-release title for Tsui Hark’s film refers to a teenage gang in the film, not the PRC’s infamous ‘Gang of Four’. Such disputes and their arbitration, however, have led to costly revisions and other delays (see Ng, 2008: 30; Tan, 1996a). However, to counter the rising popularity of television, which had gone from strength to strength since 1968, film studios gradually turned sex and nudity into standard fare, offering a showcase for sensational experiences such as sexual deviance and excessive violence, or indeed anything that was normally forbidden on television. Against this background, and partly because the censors had become relatively more relaxed about the matter of sex and nudity on the big screen, fengyuepian emerged strongly in the early 1970s. The production agenda for Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan, for example, reflects these conditions in an explicit and unapologetic appeal to film-goers’ ‘secret desire for something different’: ‘perverse love’ or ‘a homosexual relationship between Lily Ho who plays prostitute Ai Nu, and Betty Pei Ti who portrays the brothel owner Chun Yi’ (SS, 1972c: 40). Homosexuality in this context had novelty value, as evident in the film’s publicity poster, featured on the inside cover of Hong Kong Movie News (HKMN, 1972), which promoted the production as the boldest (zui dadan) of its kind in terms of subject matter (ticai) and treatment (miaoxie). Perverse acts, and the perverse pleasure of viewing such acts, were the film’s primary selling points. Intimate Confessions was well received at the box office, and was ranked sixteenth on the 1972 box-office hit list, chalking up a respectable HK$1.11 million (Chan, 2000: 467), shocking and impressing both critics and viewers alike. The remake, Lust for Love of a

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Chinese Courtesan, was fifty-sixth in the box-office rankings in 1984, with estimated earnings of HK$2.94 million (ibid.: 519). In these films, representations of gender and sexuality that disturb the conventional understanding of erotic desire, embodiment and sexual identity are recurrent, and both films merit close attention. The subject of female homosexuality unsurprisingly became a talking point, though it is unclear what the prevailing attitude was. Based on media discourses, including the interviews which actresses Lily Ho and Pei Ti granted to popular film magazines, it would seem that social attitudes to homosexuality at the time vacillated between curiosity and tolerance, hostility and ambivalence. The Chun Yi role was initially slated for a Korean actress, but when that fell through, Betty Pei Ti, then a Taiwanese singer, was brought in as replacement. Her debut as an actress in Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan made her an overnight sensation (MW, 1973: 49–50), and she found herself in the unenviable position of a becoming a de facto spokesperson, supposedly in possession of ‘new insights on homosexuality’ (Wang, 1972: 39). She found the imposition of this role wearisome: ‘You’re not going to talk with me about tongxinglian (homosexuality) again, correct?’ she said to a reporter at the start of an interview. As the reporter struggled for a suitable response, Pei took the opportunity to launch into an account of her childhood in Taiwan (ibid.: 38). In another interview she offered a rather bland description of the kissing scenes between Chun Yi and Ai Nu: ‘We touched lips. That was it. No big deal!’ On the matter of homosexuality, she had this to say though: ‘In Taiwan I knew nothing about homosexuality. I didn’t know such a thing existed. After making the film, I have learned a lot’ (ibid.: 39). She then remarked: Frankly speaking, homosexual love is not such a bad thing . . . I don’t have this kind of a hobby. When a heartless man jilts a woman, and when she turns to homosexuality as an emotional surrogate, I personally think this is a very normal response. (ibid.: 39) Finally, she added: ‘I can’t guarantee I won’t allow homosexual experiences to happen to me. Human emotions and affects, it is very hard to say with certainty, don’t you agree?’ (ibid.: 39). Pei’s candid take on female homosexuality in the specific terms of a leisure pursuit, a refuge for jilted women, an emotional experience and a human phenomenon thus framed female same-sex behaviour as a ‘secondary gender’ which women can slip on and off at will. Lily Ho, on the other hand, ironically regarded homosexual behaviour as alien to Chinese/Hong Kong culture. Although this imported form of ‘new and amusing . . . fun’ did not agree with her personally, and although she herself

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preferred heterosexual sex, she equally did not adopt a moralising stance against homosexuality. While recognising the social constraints that impeded their articulation, she conceded that social attitudes towards homosexuality might become more accepting in time: ‘Society has been known to change in progressive ways,’ she said, emphasising the point with an analogy: ‘In ancient times, arranged marriages were the norm; nowadays, marriage is about the freedom to love, to choose one’s spouse’ (ibid.: 27). Ho’s attitude, like Pei’s rumination, seems to entertain not so much the politicised notion of lesbians or lesbianism as a category associated with identity politics which has become so familiar to us now, but a much more laissez-faire position, rather more along the lines of what Denise Tang has referred to as a queer sensibility (Tang, 2011: 3)—rather more, it seems, pragmatically for these two actors as something they simply had to do in the film, rather than as their actively taking part in a campaign/debate about sexual identities and orientation. That said, the ground-breaking film in which they both starred was, nevertheless, part of a developing paradigmatic shift in sexuality-related debates in which certain fenguypian, like the ones they starred in, should now be recognised for the important role they played in the development of queer sensibilities. (For studies of homosexual practices in Imperial and modern China, see Sommer, 1997; Kang 2009, 2010; Vitiello, 2011; Hinsch, 1992; Stevenson and Wu, 2012). The media discourses at the time of the release of Intimate Confessions, however, tended to view female homosexual behaviour through a rather less benign lens than Ho and Pei. For example, Cinemart casts it as a ‘problem for everybody’ (Wang, 1972: 27), while Southern Screen (SS, 1972a; SS, 1972b; SS, 1972c) refers to pathological terminologies using terms like ‘perverse psychology’ (biantaixing xinli), ‘perverse lifestyle’ (biantaixing shenghuo), ‘perverse love’ (biantai aiqing) and ‘sexually perverse characters’ (xingbiantai de renwu). In a similar vein, Hong Kong Movie News calls the character Chun Yi a ‘sexually perverse whore’ (xingbiantai yinfu) (Dong, 1972: 36). A 1972 review by the well-known film critic Sek Kei for a mainstream newspaper, Ming Pao, while noting that the film contains ‘weird subject matter’ (qiyi ticai), makes no mention of homosexuality at all (Sek, 1999, vol. IV: 37–8). However, this same film reviewer would, twelve years later, refer to homosexuality (tongxinglian) and its variants casually and repeatedly in his reviews for the same newspaper of, for example, the remake of Intimate Confessions, Lust for Love of a Chinese Courtesan and An Amorous Woman of the Tang Dynasty. However, this was not necessarily indicative of increased social acceptance of non-heteronormative behaviour and practices (Sek, 1999, vol. III: 111–18; vol. IV: 97–8). In addition to female homosexuality, Intimate Confessions and its remake, Lust for Love, as significant examples of Chinese courtesan fengyuepian (which

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will be discussed in much greater detail later in this chapter) also feature bisexual themes. In Lust for Love, director Chor Yuen reconfigures the Chun Yi character: where, in Intimate Confessions, the original remains an unrepentant lesbian to the end, in that she stays steadfast in her refusal of male sexual advances the reconfigured Chun Yi in Lust for Love succumbs to the temptation of heterosexual conversion—eventually. In the remake, the almost persistent portrayal of lesbian sex as a trick of the trade, which can be taught and learned, further acts as a narrative pivot for the twist that serves to tear away from the queer radicalism that colours the original film. Set against these developments in film, then, were the debates and controversies brewing after two highly publicised media events which, according to Denise Tang, helped ferment public discourse around, and consciousness of, sexualities among lesbians, gays and bisexuals in the community (Tang, 2011: 11). The first was the Operation Rockcorry Incident, which led to a petition to decriminalise (male) homosexuality in Hong Kong (see Chan, 2008). The second was the John MacLennan Incident, which led to a Royal Commission Inquiry (1980–1) into the death of this Scottish Inspector with the Royal Hong Kong Police (Yang, 1981). MacLennan was found dead in his home with five gunshot wounds, and a suicide note laid nearby. At the time he was being investigated for ‘acts of gross indecency’ with male prostitutes. Among other things, the Commission heard allegations of a conspiracy against MacLennan, involving gay community leaders and government officials who feared that he might name and expose them. Despite rumours of foul play, the inquiry eventually recorded a verdict of suicide. This inquiry, together with the Law Reform Commission of Hong Kong, set up around 1980 for the purpose of considering the criminal laws against male homosexuality, paved the way for a nascent queer-consciousness. Homosexuality for consenting males over the age of twenty-one eventually became legal in 1991. Sex between women, however, was never a criminal offence in Hong Kong: the English law to which the then British colony ascribed recognised only male homosexual conduct, supposedly because, when the original Act was being written, Queen Victoria flatly refused to believe that there could possibly be such a thing as a lesbian. A century later in England and Wales, the enactment of the Sexual Offences Act of 1967 finally decriminalised male homosexual conduct, but this was not immediately extended to the British Colony of Hong Kong (Parliament of the United Kingdom, 1967: chs 60, 1 and 11 [5]). It is perhaps for this reason that female homosexuality and bisexuality came to be portrayed on the big screen, without legal controversy, as early as 1972. But the cinematic depiction of either male homosexuality or bisexuality in explicit and affirmative ways had to wait until the legal proscription had been lifted. This resulted in the

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emergence of films such as A Queer Story (1997, Dir. Shu Kei/Shu Qi), Happy Together (1997, Dir. Wong Kar-wai/Wang Jiawei) and Bishonen (1998, Dir. Yon Fan/Yang Fan), as well as Stanley Kwan’s (Guan Jinpeng) Hold You Tight (1998) and Lan Yu (2001) (see Lim, 2006). They collectively mark a stark contrast to earlier Hong Kong films depicting male homosexuality, especially Sex for Sale (1974, Dir. Chang Tseng-chai/Zhang Cengze) and Lost Souls (1980, Dir. Mou Tun-Fei/Mou Dunfei). Both were Shaw Brothers productions. Sex for Sale is primarily about a young man’s experience as the toy-boy of rich and powerful women. It differs from Intimate Confessions in three crucial ways. Firstly, it is set in contemporary Hong Kong and comments on the fashion industry, where young male models such as the lead character Lin (the toy-boy) fall prey to rich, powerful and lascivious women. Although a couple of punches are thrown in this social drama, it is by no means an action film, and the theme of same-sex desire forms no more than a subplot. Singer Laurel, a closet homosexual, is consumed by desire for toy-boy Lin, who is ‘straight’. This notwithstanding, Sex for Sale opened up new ground for Chinese-language films about gay (male) desire, as it was the first Hong Kong film to feature a male homosexual figure overtly in the character of an effeminate drama queen who falls for a young man and, out of self-hatred and unrequited love, eventually commits suicide. But, in addition to the film showing the impossibility of love between men, male homosexuality itself is portrayed as a ‘contagious’ disease. Lost Souls is, on the other hand, a sexploitation film about human traffickers and Chinese illegal immigrants, who are repeatedly subject to the torture of physical and mental abuse, with a young man being one of the rape victims. The Chinese Courtesan fengyuepian differed from these types of film in that they are co-terminous with the swashbuckling wuxiapian, or warrior-errant films, especially noted for their bloody combat, spectacular acrobatics and breathtaking wire-fu. This is rather unusual for fengyuepian of the time. Other fengyuepian with female homoerotic motifs from the Shaw Brothers studio include The Bamboo House of Dolls (1973, Dir. Kuei Chih-Hung/Gui Zhihong) and An Amorous Woman of the Tang Dynasty. The Bamboo House of Dolls is set in a female concentration camp, located somewhere in Japanese-occupied China, during World War II, and features a sadistic Japanese discipline-mistress who makes her charges yield to her sexually. The film shows interracial lesbian sex, or more particularly, the seemingly insatiable lust of a Japanese woman for both Chinese and white females, with some of the victims displaying signs of the Stockholm syndrome when they become emotionally attached to their abuser; it comes close to sexploitation. An Amorous Woman of the Tang Dynasty tells the story of Daoist poet/nun Yu Xuanji (844–70), a historical figure from the Tang Dynasty who enjoys sexual pleasure with both men and women. The field

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for this genre is wide and was generally made possible by the growing market capitalism in Hong Kong, together with the genre’s symbiotic relationship with the pink eiga from Japan, R-rated (softcore) films from Europe and the USA, or other similar cinematic phenomena of the time (see Sharp, 2008; Andrews, 2006; Taylor, 2012; Leung, 2008; Tang, 2011).

Rereading Fengyuepian: Tongzhi Sensibilities So far I have been using the term ‘queer’, but in 1992 a new term, tongzhi (what we might call ‘queer consciousness’), was introduced and popularised by Hong Kong playwright Edward Lam. It is an important term because it gives a specifically sinophone dimension to the developing argument about queering sinophone cinemas. Tongzhi literally means ‘comrades’, and quite brilliantly displaces the more clinical term tongxinglian (homosexuals or homosexuality) (see Cheung et al., 2011a: 9–12). As Helen Leung notes, [Tongzhi] shares the appropriative and irreverent spirit of ‘queer’: it is a superbly ironic re-articulation of the serious political address of ‘comrade’ used . . . by both Nationalist Party [Taiwan] and Communist Party [People’s Republic] members . . . [T]he term’s innovation of unity and solidarity implies a coalitional approach to sexual identity (Leung, 2008: 1, 3) That ‘innovation’ in finding new ways of talking about sexual identity is critical for our contemporary understanding, and rereading, of some of the changes taking place in the films of the sinophone diaspora, particularly as we continue, as I have been doing in this book, to start redefining older, more essentialist traditions, in the ways we see terms like ‘China’ and ‘Chineseness’ beginning to alter so that they acquire much greater semantic diversity as things were changing in the diaspora. The playful variance of women sleeping with women, women sleeping with men and women, and so on, challenges the representational logic of heterosexuality and homosexuality, and problematises the restrictive nature of ‘gay’ and ‘lesbian’ as a category of analysis. Indeed, identitarian politics based on sexual orientation alone would be antithetical to the budding queer-tongzhi consciousness evident in Hong Kong fengyuepian which feature (female) homoeroticism and which, as Yau Ching might put it, carry: A subversive force to destabilise firmly established power structures, political, class and moral regulatory forces, using sex sprees as a shield against officialdom and family and political authority charging at them, practicing . . . ‘civil disobedience of pornography’. (Yau, 2007: 112)

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This nascent consciousness predates the queer scholarship, criticism and filmmaking that first appeared in the 1990s in and via the West (see Aaron, 2004; Benshoff and Griffith, 2006). This has since been appropriated, though not without controversy, by tongzhi articulations emanating from Hong Kong and the ‘Chinese’ elsewhere, including the PRC, where Shaw Brothers productions were once banned but now circulate with fewer restrictions. There are numerous posts on Chinese websites, for example, referring in particular to Intimate Confessions (Ai Nu), calling it Hong Kong’s ‘first nütong movie’ and China’s first ‘nütongxinglian film’ (https://baike.baidu.com/item/⠅཈/15390?fr=aladdin). Nütong is shorthand for nütongxinglian, which means female (nü) homosexuals or homosexuality (tongxinglian), and the Chinese courtesan movies are now readily available online (for example, Amazon.com or https://www.taotaoxiang. cc/detail2/50338-0-1.html). This queer-tongzhi sensibility resembles Fran Martin’s ‘non-identitarian approach’ to the representations of same-sex love between women in contemporary Chinese public cultures—one that necessarily entails rejecting ‘the a priori imposition of a homo/heterosexual dichotomy’ which historically has given rise to the ‘self-conscious, minoritising, Western-style lesbian identity’ (Martin, 2010: 16–17). This non-identitarian take on the question of sexual orientation helps to frame and locate my reading of the two Chinese courtesan films below in relation to Chinese queer-tongzhi consciousness, in both prospective and retroactive ways. Martin’s position derives from a particular study of widely available literature about Chinese schoolgirl romance, in which it is ‘remarkably common’ for female homoeroticism to be depicted as a ‘universal female experience’ (ibid.: 8). According to Martin, such female homoerotic fantasies typically feature a narrative tension between marital heterosexuality and female memorialisation: the former ‘de-realise[s] lesbian possibility’ by ‘corralling . . . women’s same-sex love and homoerotic desire into the past’, whereas the latter strives to keep alive memories of prematurely truncated homoerotic moments that featured in the lives of young and unmarried girls (ibid.: 16ff ). As a consequence, female memorialisation—that which uses the homoeroticised ‘backward glance’ to interrogate the imposed heteronormativity—harbours a ‘vigorous critical energy’. This drives the romance’s concurrent capacity ‘to close down the possibility of a lesbian erotics . . . [while opening] it up’; to show the existence of ‘secondary gender’ (portrayed as transient) while affirming ‘established gender’ as normative; to offer a ‘remarkably candid critique’ of adult heteromaritality while reinforcing its imperatives; and finally, ‘to naturalise adult heterosexuality . . . [while foregrounding] the tragedy of its imposition’ (ibid.: 8, 15–16). That is, mass-oriented schoolgirl romance on the themes of female homoeroticism and marital heterosexuality contains structures of feelings for the lesbian- and

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heterosexual-identifying—not unlike those that actress Pei and Denise Tang talk about in relation to women with same-sex desires. That said, fengyuepian are, by no stretch of imagination, the stuff of schoolgirl romance. The two Chinese courtesan films have no heteromaritality scenarios—only premarital sex and, for the married, adultery, but according to Martin’s non-identitarian approach, the queer-tongzhi matrix is relevant to an understanding of the films, while her notion of female memorialisation helps to throw light on the films’ frequent use of flashback as a narrative device for depicting female memorialisation and melancholia. They are, in short, complex films and require complex readings. The focus in Intimate Confessions, for example, on the love–hate relationship between two female protagonists has the simultaneous effect of rendering male characters in the film secondary and making traditional Confucian feudalist patriarchy redundant as a form of social organisation, signalling a change in societal values and possibly also an indication of women’s improved social positioning in the economic realm. The boss in Intimate Confessions is not only a woman but a tough one as well. This is a far cry from the 1960s qiqing films we have seen so far, particularly where the ultimate goal of the single woman is to find a mate of her choice, get married and make babies, while weaving her life around the man whom she chooses for a husband. The female boss, on the other hand, controls her destiny and guards her territory jealously. She has become individualistic, no longer as family-orientated as those before her. Is it therefore surprising that the female boss in Intimate Confessions is also a lesbian—an entity which male characters in the film (mis)construe as ‘man-hater’? Perhaps not. This aside for the moment, this particular qiqing movie is a fairly standard warrior-errant film (wuxiapian), a staple of post-war Hong Kong cinema, especially noted for bloody and violent scenarios, as well as strong themes of combat, chivalry, vengeance and betrayal. With a narrative structure reminiscent of mystery thrillers, this production taps into the fengyue genre, typically drawing on classic Chinese literary erotica. Not unlike the warrior-errant film, however, it too uses lavish settings and elaborate costumes to create and construct auras of ‘ancient China’. Intimate Confessions, with a story primarily driven by deadly women warriors, appears also to be a critical response to Chang Cheh’s highly homoerotic yanggang films and Bruce Lee’s muscular masculinity movies of the same period (Desser, 2000: 19–43; Lam, 2003: 237–54; Law, 2003: 191–206; Teo, 2003: 207–20). Intimate Confessions, then, is ground-breaking in terms of the film’s treatment of sexual issues, deviating from the prim and chaste terms that characterise 1960s qiqing romances. It has flashes of female nudity, shows acts of copulation and contains rape scenes. It clearly and unabashedly foregrounds sex and sexuality as discrete units of identity constitution, whereas the 1960s qiqing

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films have a distinct penchant for cloaking the issues with much more playful acts of sartorial transvestitism, gender-bending and sexual inversion. Fengyuepian tended, therefore, to depict sex and desire in explicit ways not seen before. Although sexual organs are never shown, pubic hair may be visible on occasion, but usually at a distance. As we have seen, the male protagonists in qiqingpian are, more often than not, played by female actors (The Magic Lantern and the ‘Butterfly Lover’, ‘Seventh Fairy Daughter’ and ‘Mermaid’ clusters; see Appendix 1), while female characters are occasionally given to sartorial cross-dressing (as in the case of Zhu Yingtai in The Love Eterne). The resulting gender confusion that simultaneously occurs in the performative and narrative worlds of the 1960s qiqing romance creates possibilities for describing what David Halperin has called ‘zones of freedom, pleasure and erotic excitement’ (Halperin, 1989: 53) that exceed heteronormative imperatives. In this sense, it lends to tongzhiqueering but, as Judith Mayne reminds us in a different context, this simultaneously demands ‘a convenient forgetfulness or bracketing’ of what happens in the plot and in the narrative, which usually works towards the restoration of ‘heterosexual symmetry’ (Mayne, 1990: 67, 84, 152). The two Chinese courtesan films were not made by lesbian directors or intended primarily for lesbian audiences. They were, on the contrary, produced for popular consumption and potentially available to audiences of all ages since the age-based film classification system was not in place at the time of their release; they merit close attention.

Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan (1972) Intimate Confessions opens with a black-and-white sequence showing Chief Constable Ji (Yueh Hua) and his staff arriving at a murder scene, late one wintry night. At first glance the sequence has the feel of a flashback, even though it contains no subjective point-of-view shots; nor does it have a narrator recounting a back story. The flashback is, in fact, a kind of parodic ‘flashforward’, since the sequence is repeated about thirty minutes into the film, frame for frame, but this time in colour. While making it abundantly clear, in a retroactive way, that the investigation scene belongs to the story’s primary sequence of events, this doubling creates temporal confusion that momentarily disrupts the film’s sequential order, giving rise to an overwhelming sense that the diegetic present is being narrated in the past tense. At the murder scene, Old Master Liao’s corpse lies still on the floor of a study, as snow gently falls on his lifeless form through a hole in the roof. After inspecting the scene, Ji turns to the butler and asks, ‘Did the old master spend the night alone?’ The butler fumbles for a reply. ‘Yes,’ he says, as if by reflex, and then immediately corrects himself: ‘No, Ai Nu

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was here.’ At the mention of the name ‘Ai Nu’, the film cuts to a snow-white curtain, behind which a beautiful woman is seen waking up to the lush colours of Shawscope and the soft non-diegetic strains of traditional instruments. The words ‘Ai Nu’, in Chinese calligraphy, together with the film’s English title, both in brilliant yellow, fill the screen. As the credits roll, the woman, dressed in a silk nightgown, twirls about in slow motion in the markedly feminine room, her long black hair swirling in the air. Attended by maids, she appears to revel in her beauty and status. The slow motion suddenly stops; real time sets in. The woman, now in a highly ornate day dress, sits in front of a bronze mirror at her dressing table, her elaborate hairdo pinned with intricate jewellery. As she stares at the mirror, the camera moves in for a close-up on her reflection. A look of sorrow suddenly flickers across her misty eyes, anticipating and motivating a flashback to her sorrowful past. This flashback literalises the woman’s backward glance, through the mirror, that calls forth the memories of a young girl’s loss of innocence. This girl is and was Ai Nu. ‘Ai’ means love, while ‘Nu’ literally translates as slave: thus the name encapsulates the idea of enslavement with love. Ai Nu is her birth name. It has an endearing ring, expressive of the affective bond shared by the parents (who so named her) and the child (who bears the name). When appropriated by her boss, brothel madam Chun Yi (literally, Aunty Spring), the name—now forcibly removed from the familial context and inserted into the harsh world of forced prostitution—becomes an ironic symbol for Ai Nu’s loss of self-identity and individual freedom. Whether understood in the sense of ‘beloved slave’ or ‘love slave’, it amplifies her subservient status: this star courtesan of the high-class Si Ji Chun brothel, despite being shrouded in a spectacular aura of nobility, is but a prized possession of Chun Yi—the brothel owner who bought her from the traffickers. The flashback continues as follows. While inspecting the latest haul of girls in the yard of her brothel, Chun Yi notices Ai Nu and is immediately attracted to her. She also foresees her potential as a money-spinner: ‘Men will go crazy for a girl like her,’ she announces. Ai Nu is defiant. So Chun Yi works determinedly and cruelly to break the young girl, using a mixture of soft persuasion tactics and harsh treatment, including selling her virginity to the highest bidder. Four wealthy men take part in the record-breaking bidding war, and then separately rape her. In her backward glances, Ai Nu vividly recalls the trauma of violation. Four separate freeze frames crystallise the trauma of each rape, focusing on the lust-filled faces of her attackers as they quite literally throw themselves on her. Emphasising Ai Nu’s point of view, these shots are actually secondary flashbacks, or flashbacks within the primary flashback. She also recalls her failed suicide, her equally unsuccessful attempt to escape from the brothel with the

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help of a sympathetic guard, and—before Chun Yi killed him—his plea that his death be avenged. In despair and seemingly with no options left, Ai Nu submits to her fate as a prostitute and as Chun Yi’s love slave. Chun Yi provides her with abundant material rewards and grooms her to become the ultimate courtesan; she also teaches her martial arts. In her backward glances, Ai Nu sees herself going to Chun Yi’s chamber. There Chun Yi does not force herself on Ai Nu; neither does she drug her or tie her up—unlike the rapists. In bed, the love slave takes the ‘top’ role, while her mistress lies beneath her, keenly responding to her kisses. Both remain fully clothed. (Any naked women in the film are played by non-credited actresses who bare their breasts and appear like ‘props’ within the mise-en-scène.) The lovemaking is portrayed as consensual, warm and tender. Ai Nu no longer feels disgust—a sharp divergence from the scene in the cell, seen earlier in her primary flashback, where Chun Yi performs cunnilingus (offscreen) on the terrified Ai Nu. Heterosexual copulation is invariably portrayed in the film as aggressive and animalistic, most notably in the rape scenes (and later in the revenge scenes when Ai Nu kills her rapists during consensual sexual encounters, playing out sadomasochistic acts with deadly intent). This bedroom flashback scene foreshadows the narrative and metaphorical reversal in the film’s constructions of the power relations between the strong and weak, the intimidator and intimidated, the owner and owned, the master and slave. It anticipates the narrative pivot that returns the film’s diegetic time to the present. This temporal transition entails an exact recreation of the black-and-white sequence that opens the film, but this time in full colour. The repetition—which occurs immediately after Ai Nu and Chun Yi’s lovemaking scene, just before Chief Constable Ji questions Ai Nu about the murder of the guard, Old Master Liao, at the brothel—figuratively disrupts Ai Nu’s melancholia and sets in motion the affectivity of her melancholising. It tears her away from depressive melancholia, putting her on the restorative path shown in the backward glances and propelling her into (even more) purposeful action—the undercurrents of sorrow and hate replaced by (even stronger) bursts of retribution. From this point on, Ai Nu, as if awakened from the stupor of her memorialisation, is a righter of wrongs—a female warrior who seeks justice and dispenses punishment on her own terms. She shows her tormentors no mercy, and in the midst of her justice-seeking missions she takes time out to draw Constable Ji’s attention to the whereabouts of the traffickers, and to set free the girls in Aunty Spring’s brothel. Film columnist Dong Zhi has described the Chun Yi character as cold and ruthless—a ‘sexually perverse whore’ who dispatches her enemies not with conventional weapons but her bare hands (Dong, 1972: 36). Chun Yi has the marks of the ‘monstrous feminine’ (Creed, 1993). When killing, her feminine hands

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become phallic, endowed with the lethal power of Yuanyang guishou, capable of penetrating the human body (Yuanyang guishou, or ‘Mandarin Duck Ghost Hands’, according to the name of the martial skill Chun Yi possesses). She literally and figuratively loves the taste of blood: she is seen licking her victim’s blood with glee. The film also portrays her as a shameless, unrepentant and narcissistic lesbian. Spurning Bao Hu (Tong Lin)—her right-hand man, who once saved her life and has long hoped to convert her to heteronormativity with love and devotion—she tells him in no uncertain terms: ‘Too bad, I am not interested in men. Love is very strange indeed. You love me, but I love Ai Nu!’ Ai Nu, on the other hand, loves no one. Both Chun Yi and Ai Nu clearly hate men. Chun Yi is comfortable being a lesbian. It is never clear if Ai Nu is a lesbian or not, even though she partakes in lesbian sex acts. Sleeping with Chun Yi has its rewards: Chun Yi teaches her martial arts, dotes on her and finally trusts her. Relative to Chun Yi’s, Ai Nu’s sexual orientation is, in fact, ambivalent, despite the fact that it is her job to entertain men in sexual ways. In curious and interesting ways, the master–slave relationship between Chun Yi and Ai Nu blends together what we might associate with Nietzsche’s genealogy of morals and Hegel’s dialectical model of domination and submission, which has ‘become central to any account of oppression, marginalization, and . . . liberation’ (Williams, 2001: 164). In Nietzsche’s configuration, the master is the measure of all things noble: he creates values, interacts only with his equals, identifies with the strong and despises the weak. For the master, there are good or bad slaves; for the slave, the master is always evil and wicked. The tension therein ferments the slave’s acts of rebellion, which could lead to the toppling of the master. In reacting to oppression and in demonising the oppressor, the slave predictably seeks opportunities for subversion and revenge that grow from feelings of rage, resentment and passion about that over which he has no control; he accordingly struggles for equality and a restoration of rights, desiring freedom and cherishing the morality of utility—kindness, humility, sympathy, patience—all that the master has deemed to be the inherent flaws of the slave (Nietzsche, 2001: 151–8.) The rebellious slave also entertains the fantasy that the master might be somewhat ‘good-natured, easy to deceive, maybe a bit stupid’ (ibid.: 156). Despite all the warning signs about Ai Nu’s rebellious nature, Chun Yi allows herself to fall into the slave’s deceptive, fatal web of love. To Chun Yi, Ai Nu has been a good slave until she turns on her. Chun Yi’s death confirms the nobility of the master’s morality. Her last words to Ai Nu—‘I don’t hate you . . . I love you’—articulate noble love, and affirm the Nietzschean belief that masters are creators of values and sentiments, to which slaves can react only with resentment. Ai Nu’s acts of humility (she just wants vengeance), patience (she bides her time), sympathy (she sets the girls free),

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kindness (she kisses Chun Yi), subversion (she uses the illusion of love to fool Chun Yi) and revenge (she kills Chun Yi and others) mark out the slave’s morality based on utility. Her acts of vengeance are an effect of what may be called ‘actional melancholising’ because it leads to agency. Revenge restores honour to her (Nietzsche, 1996: 317.) As for the men who once raped her, sadomasochism with deadly intent is her way of redeeming her lost honour. When killing them, she typically gives them a taste of their own medicine, as if righting the wrongs through a parodic enactment of reversals: the man who deflowered the drugged Ai Nu dies from an overdose of sexually enhanced medication. The one who lashed the sexually inexperienced Ai Nu is whipped to death. The one who raped the bound Ai Nu is fastened, spreadeagled, to the bed and burned to death, and so on. Ai Nu seems to have no other goal beyond revenge; her obsession with revenge obscures all other possibilities. It is actually Chun Yi who masterfully determines the final outcome: that master and slave shall live and die together, and that the slave shall never usurp the master. It is ironic that, while successful in achieving her goals, Ai Nu does not live to enjoy the fruits of her labours. Instead, she dies because she takes pity on the dying Chun Yi and heeds her wish for a final kiss, without realising that her master/ mistress/lover/tormentor has lethal poison in her mouth. This unequal situation contrarily poses a challenge to the master’s self-certainty, since his validation as master is both derived from coercion and reliant on the acknowledgement of dependent and inessential beings. In the film, Chun Yi thus finds herself needing constantly to test Ai Nu’s loyalty until she is satisfied that her love for, and training of, Ai Nu has indeed produced, as she wishes, a love slave, an obedient paramour and a star courtesan who bears her self-image. This satisfaction can be seen in her delighted response to Ai Nu’s admission to Old Master Liao’s murder: ‘I think I’m like you now,’ Ai Nu confesses calmly: ‘I have started to hate men. This is why I seek revenge. That way, I can love you more. I don’t like the affection of another man. . . . You and I, we are now one and the same.’ This confession offers Chun Yi a mirror reflection/refraction of her own self: reflection because Ai Nu now resembles her; refraction because Ai Nu is not the master that Chun Yi is (and also because, unbeknown to Chun Yi, though not to the audience, the confession is part of Ai Nu’s elaborate web of deceptive love). As a result, Chun Yi nobly and repeatedly comes to Ai Nu’s defence. The experience of her first successful murder helps Ai Nu to lose her fear of death (‘I relish the taste of blood,’ she admits to Chun Yi)—that very fear which, earlier in the film, forced her to recognise her position as slave. In doing so, Ai Nu becomes able to challenge the master since ‘it is the slave in whom labour and suffering become transforming and liberating’ (Williams, 2001: 184). This

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insight sums up the capacity of Ai Nu’s actional melancholising. But Ai Nu eventually is unable to overcome the slave morality when she takes pity on the dying Chun Yi. When dying from the poisoned kiss, it is also clear that Ai Nu has yet to overcome her fear of death, and is thus denied the status of master equivalence: unlike Chun Yi, she is not prepared to die. In the climactic showdown at the end of the film, the defeated Chun Yi pleads for a final kiss: ‘I love you . . . Fulfil a dying woman’s last wish,’ she beseeches Ai Nu, who, in feeling pity for Chun Yi, kisses her on the lips. This kind act redeems Ai Nu as a monster consumed by hate, but it also seals her own death, for Chun Yi’s lips are laced with fatal poison from a pill which she bites on as Ai Nu bends over to kiss her. Chun Yi thus breathes her last words: ‘Thank you for joining me in hell.’ The tongzhi love between two feuding women thus comes to its conclusion, with the lesbian having the last say. The film thus ends in nihilism: neither master nor slave survives.

Lust for Love of a Chinese Courtesan (1984) In Lust for Love of a Chinese Courtesan, director Chor Yuen’s backward glances at his 1972 original, some twelve years later in 1984, created the allegory of a melancholic community and increased the amount of sexually explicit material. The result is a soft-porn fengyuepian which contains more daring, risqué and explicit fengyue scenes: heterosexual copulation, brutal gang-rape, male masturbation, bisexual activities, sex orgies, voyeurism, cunnilingus and female same-sex lovemaking. The moans and groans of sexual ecstasy are seen and heard; penetration and ejaculation are gestured towards. In the remake, four men chase Ai Nu (played by Nancy Hu Kuan-chen) around a bedroom and gang-rape her, and the film makes a fetish out of the bleeding of a virgin girl. Female nudity is more extensive but still stops short of the full-frontal shot. The remake also has male nakedness (shots of buttocks) and hints at the existence of male homosexuality. In this film, the introduction of a staunchly masculine warrior is made in a way that indicates his homosexuality: ‘He does not like women but prefers to take the mountainous tracks (shanlu) instead.’ Shanlu here functions as a euphemism for the less-trodden (sexual) paths which male homosexuals would take, as opposed to the well-trodden ways of the heterosexual mainstream. Finally, female same-sex erotics are now portrayed as a sensual art that can be taught and learned, and which, when properly performed, can give enormous pleasure to consenting partners. In contrast to Pei Ti’s Chun Yi in Intimate Confessions, the character is not explicitly linked here to sexual orientation. Furthermore, while the homoerotic sex act between Chun Yi (Aunty Spring) and her beloved slave is an exclusively private affair in Intimate Confessions, in this remake it is literally made available for the male voyeuristic gaze. Xiao Ye (played by Chang

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Kuo-chu) peeps at the act from behind a door and, thus aroused, he retreats into the garden and masturbates to the memory of the two women having sexual fun in the indoor pool. Xiao Ye is the equivalent of Bao Hu from the earlier film, in that both love Chun Yi (played in the remake by Candice Yu On-On) with utter devotion, except that he is now also Chun Yi’s hit-man. The remake is set in the fictitious county of Merryland, or Kuai Huo Lin, which literally means the Forest (lin) of Fast (kuai) Living (huo). Here, Yu OnOn’s Chun Yi operates her high-class brothel, also known as Kuai Huo Lin. As in Intimate Confessions, the character is well connected to the rich and powerful, except that she now runs an assassination business as well. No longer having martial skills, she relies on Xiao Ye, her childhood lover, to protect and defend her, as well as running her assassination errands. Ai Nu is a homeless girl who wanders the streets of Merryland, nameless until Chun Yi, on acquiring her from the traffickers, gives her a name. She has considered killing herself and makes unsuccessful attempts to run away. Chun Yi loves her dearly and passionately. She teaches her the sensual art of female same-sex lovemaking and gives her the ‘best’ clients in the house—in effect, this means the old, wealthy but impotent men. Ai Nu is not always keen on her assignments, even killing one client by accident. The new Ai Nu has no martial arts skills and the remake dispenses with her revenge theme. The change in thematic focus yields a paradigm shift that, among other things, accords a significant ambivalence to the master–slave relation between Chun Yi and Ai Nu. Although the former similarly ‘owns’ the latter, Hu Kuanchen’s Ai Nu—unlike the original—is never compelled to ‘recognise’ (in the Hegelian sense), under the threat of death, her position or fate as slave who must struggle to liberate herself from the master’s oppressive control. The shift also provides a narrative basis to reconfigure the characterisation of the two women. For example, as master, the new Chun Yi is both weak and ineffective; as slave, on the other hand, the new Ai Nu has infinitely more room for (self-)reflection, and thus (self-)redemption. In contrast with the 1972 original, where Ai Nu is obsessed only with taking revenge, the new Ai Nu even entertains the possibility of finding romantic love with Chief Constable Lin Yun (played by Alex Man). She also seduces Xiao Ye, thereby becoming privy to the master’s intimate secrets. That infuriates Chun Yi, who then attempts to slay Xiao Ye with an axe while he sleeps. Her plan backfires when Xiao Ye, suddenly woken from his deep slumber, as a reflex action, attacks his assailant with his sword, unintentionally killing Chun Yi, who has already managed to deliver a lethal blow. As a result of this double killing, the remake ends with Ai Nu becoming the new master of Merryland Brothel. Chun Yi’s ineffectiveness as Ai Nu’s master may be attributed to the fact that Ai Nu serves as a persistent reminder, in terms of temperament

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and looks, of her younger self, metonymically representing that which the older Chun Yi wishes for but cannot return to. This makes her less obsessive than the original Aunty Spring when it comes to moulding her love slave in her own selfimage, and explains one facet of the brothel madam’s depressive melancholia— a point I shall expand on in the theme of recurrent melancholia. The world of Merryland is morally corrupt and spiritually bankrupt. Here money talks. ‘Gold is King,’ Chun Yi tells Ai Nu unequivocally. The actual phrase in Chinese is huangjin shi wangfa, which literally translates as Gold (huangjin) is the King’s Law (wangfa). ‘The world outside Merryland, as you will discover, is not a better place,’ Xiao Ye shouts after Ai Nu, as she flees the brothel. Xiao Ye, as Ai Nu is to discover, is right. She does not have to go far. The old man who offers her food and shelter tries to rape her. The Merryland police, who promise to exact justice on her tormentors, accept Chun Yi’s bribe, and despite Ai Nu’s loud protests, allow the madam to take her back to the brothel. In Lust for Love, there are two non-Merrylanders. Both are the symbolic embodiment of the world that exists beyond the county. One is a spy sent by the Imperial court to gather evidence of the county magistrate’s misdeeds. He is referred to simply as the Man in White. The other is Chief Constable Lin Yun (the equivalent of Chief Constable Ji in Intimate Confessions). His task is to investigate the rumour that Mr Lee (whom Ai Nu accidentally killed) died in the brothel. If the spy (whom Xiao Ye successfully assassinates) inspires fear, then Lin Yun (who Chun Yi calls an out-of-towner) exerts an even more terrifying hold over the Merrylanders. Portrayed as mysterious and uncompromising, even unknowable and unfathomable, he is all the more frightening since Xiao Ye, the finest hit-man in Merryland, is no match for him. But Lin Yun is also capable of kindness. At the start of the film he is shown giving a hungry, shivering and homeless girl (who turns out to be Ai Nu) a thick blanket and a bowl of warm noodles. He is morally upright and, it turns out, self-righteous, instantly despising Ai Nu when he discovers that she has turned to prostitution. Despite her plea for understanding, he stays on his high horse: ‘Once a criminal, always a criminal,’ he tells her coldly. His judgemental and unforgiving ways break Ai Nu’s heart and she returns to the brothel, this time of her own volition, to consider her (lack of) choices and to melancholise on the meaning of life. Existential angst permeates Lust for Love of a Chinese Courtesan to such an extent that it is as if a skin of contemplative melancholia has grown over the film. Variously characterised as self-absorption, inaction, complacency, cynicism and even fatalism, contemplative melancholia describes a particular type of ennui that arises from the ‘feeling that one’s own experience of the present is contingent, fugitive, and fleeting, that the passage of time itself means that the world around one is forever eluding one’s grasp, producing . . . an endless

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accumulation of losses’ (Flatley, 2008: 28–9, 64–75). This is central to the film’s construction of a community of melancholic people in the ironically named Merryland. Chun Yi’s numerous backward glances at her past, conveyed via separate flashbacks, revive memories of her late mother: how they were thrown out of the family abode together when Chun Yi was a young girl; how the two became wandering beggars; and how her tubercular mother died. She also recalls how Xiao Ye, then a young boy, came into her life: how he helped her and her sickly mother, and how the two fell in love. She has fond recollections of the former madam of Merryland as well: how she took her off the streets, taught her samesex love and, above all, showed her that ‘Gold is King.’ Material wealth may have lifted her out of poverty but it does not bring her happiness or contentment. She thus struggles perennially between material acquisition and romantic love, between unrequited love (for Ai Nu) and fear of betrayal (by Ai Nu and Xiao Ye). Meanwhile, Xiao Ye wallows in the sentimental love of his youth. His wish for a ‘good life’ is just as illusory as Chun Yi’s yearning for a trustworthy lover-cum-home-provider (guisu). He clearly cherishes the memories of his happy childhood, told through fragmented flashbacks, for the days when he, as a street-kid, stumbled upon the homeless Chun Yi and her sick mother, who took him under their wing. He also memorialises his first and, as it turns out, only love (Chun Yi), and the scent of roses that was there when they first made love, years before. Now he laments the passing of the familiar in the present time. ‘We have changed,’ he says to Chun Yi. ‘You have become selfish, cruel and greedy, while I have become a solitary man— heartless and inhumane.’ Ai Nu is similarly a lost soul in Merryland. Whereas Chun Yi and Xiao Ye recall distant memories, Ai Nu indulges in relatively recent ones. She has no proper recollection of her childhood, only flickering memories of her cold and hungry days on the streets, peppered with flashes of her brutal rape at the brothel and Xiao Ye’s remarks about the outside world being no better than Merryland. Above all, she remembers the warmth of a stranger’s blanket, but later despairs at the realisation that this same stranger (Lin Yun) can be cruel to her as well. This makes her introspective, and the attendant contemplative melancholising eventually leads her down the materialist path, fulfilling Chun Yi’s prediction. Chun Yi’s and Xiao Ye’s death at the end of the film ironically affirms their love for each other. In death they return to the regressive fantasy of a memorable love they once had, but which has since been lost. In not fearing death, they are portrayed as masters of their own destiny. In Intimate Confessions, Ai Nu’s solipsistic flashback recounts a young girl’s loss of innocence sequentially, taking about thirty minutes, or one-third of the film’s total duration. Conversely, in Lust for Love, the backward glances of

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Ai Nu, Chun Yi and Xiao Ye are fragmented and dispersed throughout the film—sometimes as solipsistic reminiscences, sometimes as shared flashbacks in which one character is privy to the affective reminiscences of another. The particular fragmentising and dispersing of past memories, together with the film’s perennial construction of the past as fleeting and momentary, and the present as contingent and illusive, gives the film’s themes of memorialisation a schizophrenic quality. Unlike the original Ai Nu, who finds transformative strength to (re)assert her subjectivity and avenge her violation, the melancholising in the remake does not translate into affective action that can effect change in any significant way. It nevertheless grants access to the historical origins of the characters’ respective and collective losses, as well as the historicity of their melancholic affectivity. Tenacious self-absorption thus characterises them as contemplative melancholics. While enabling the retreat from the disheartening world of the present, contemplative melancholy is ‘a barrier to the collective action . . . necessary for the transformation of the conditions creating despondency in the first place’ (ibid.: 38). As such, in imbuing Merryland with a prevalent sense of contemplative melancholy, turning Merrylanders into a set of objects with no significant function or meaning, and constructing the world external to Merryland as simultaneously incomprehensible and formidable, the film prepares the grounds for ‘allegorical transformation’ (ibid.: 37) that, as I shall show, links the film’s contemplative melancholia to present political concerns. In China into Film, Jerome Silbergerd likens allegory to ‘deconstructive discourse’ because both ‘[stimulate] “reading” but [allow] no particular reading, [thereby] distributing authorship among the audience’, who, as Walter Benjamin would put it, can then make ‘any person, any object, any relationship . . . mean absolutely anything else’ in accordance with their personal and collective experiences (Silbergeld, 1999: 111; see also Benjamin, 2009: 175). ‘[T]he weakness of allegory—the uncertainty of how to read—becomes a strength’, less because allegory takes its impetus from ‘the need to negotiate from a position of inferior authority’ than because, as a mode of speech, it ‘unites the past with the present’ (Silbergeld, 1999: 109, 111). Put contextually, the sex scene in the garden, with Ai Nu and Xiao Ye locked in naked and ecstatic abandonment, best exemplifies this allegory of temporal unity that seeks not to escape from the present, but paradoxically to be more attentive to it. Xiao Ye’s flashbacks of the consuming passion he experienced with Chun Yi in a bath, years before, including his olfactory recollection of the intoxicating scent of rose petals that floated in the tub, are intermittently intercut with this scene. As Ai Nu and Xiao Ye reach an orgasmic climax, he clings tightly to her but repeatedly calls out the name of his beloved, Chun Yi. This sequence simulates a ‘threesome’ sex

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act that allows Ai Nu to experience, up close, Xiao Ye’s emotional losses and melancholic attachments. The losses that generate melancholia and melancholising are thus intricately intertwined with the social forces in operation in Merryland. These forces affect everyone in idiosyncratic and overlapping ways—the only exception, unsurprisingly, being Lin Yun, who is not a Merrylander. In the Merrylander imaginary, Lin Yun is an outsider, a mysterious entity. His intrusive presence, for the most part, is tolerated; at least until Chun Yi, out of fear that Ai Nu might leave her for him, orders Xiao Ye to kill him. But Xiao Ye fails in the task, posing the questions of why the world external to Merryland is constructed as incomprehensible and formidable, why fleeing Merryland is not portrayed as a viable option for the unhappy Merrylanders, and why their melancholia is depicted as reaching crisis level. The reasons are, I suggest, revealed when Lust for Love is placed in the twin contexts of the film’s construction of the insider/outsider divide and its highly discernible aura of depressive melancholia and contemplative melancholising. This structure of feeling allegorises the crisis mentality amongst the middle classes in Hong Kong as they contemplated, indulgently, cynically, complacently and/or fatalistically, the political implications of the territory’s impending ‘homecoming’ to China, after more than 140 years of British colonial rule, set against the disparities and contradictions between the PRC’s nationalistic discourse about the ‘motherland’ which ‘stress[ed] ethnic, cultural and political continuities’ (Ho, 2001: 193), and Hong Kong’s selfnarrative about the city’s economic achievements and its pride at being one of the four Asian tigers. Lust for Love was released in late September 1984, about three months before the official signing of the Sino-British Joint Declaration in Beijing that winter. The negotiation process had begun as early as September 1982 and had excluded Hong Kong representatives—the secrecy that shrouded the negotiations kept the people of Hong Kong in the dark. Little wonder that Lin Yun would ride into Merryland (which allegorises Hong Kong) in the dead of night. Like Man in White, who has access to the magistrate’s secrets, Lin Yun is awesome and mysterious, carrying the allegorical embodiment of the motherland. He is aloof, stern, overbearing and lacking in humour, though he is also capable of showing occasional kindness. He regards prostitution as a crime—not unlike the PRC, which outlawed the practice in 1949 and had reportedly eradicated it by the early 1960s (see Jeffreys, 2004). In Hong Kong, prostitution is legal, though brothels are not, so it is interesting that Lin Yun is seen directing his anger, not at the brothel or the traffickers, but at Ai Nu, whom he calls a criminal for being a prostitute. In the opinion of Chun Yi, who sees her work as a form of service provision, Lin Yun

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is ‘a man with no future’. This is why she strongly objects to Ai Nu becoming romantically attached to him. ‘Does that mean the poor cannot have love?’ Ai Nu retorts, allegorising the economic disparity between the PRC (Lin Yun) and Hong Kong (Merrylanders). The PRC was then still an underdeveloped country, while Hong Kong was already an economically advanced global city, adhering to the mantra ‘Gold is King’. Lin Yun is portrayed as different from Merrylanders in other ways. He not only writes highbrow, sentimental poetry but also, quite literally, rides on a high horse when Merrylanders themselves are neither horse riders nor poets. This differentiation carries the allegory of cultural distinctiveness between two peoples: the ‘Lin-Yun-ers’ or non-Merrylanders, and the Merrylanders. In condemning Ai Nu, he ignores the historicity of the Merryland’s highly exploitative economy, and selfrighteousness therefore renders him insensitive to Ai Nu’s plight. He is equally as self-absorbed as the Merrylanders, though in different ways and for different reasons. This prevents meaningful dialogue. Finally, although Lin Yun is ineffective at solving crimes (which the locals are good at covering up), he is seen to be authoritatively superior. Xiao Ye fails to assassinate him, while Ai Nu is unable to make him love her. In this and other ways, Lin Yun and, to some extent, the ‘Man in White’ as well, form the allegorical sites in which undercurrents of anxiety over questions of Hong Kong’s self-identity and self-determination are brought to the fore, and from which its inhabitants ponder their achievements and losses in relation to an external force that shows vastly different ethnic, cultural and political values and priorities. The films ends with Ai Nu immersing herself, in happy abandonment, in gold, pearls and other symbols of material wealth. In following the mantra ‘Gold is King’, Ai Nu takes the pragmatic decision which, among other things, will help her to buy her passage out of Merryland (Hong Kong) and away from the mainland, if she so chooses. In so doing, she rejects the ‘Lin Yun’ option and, by allegorical extension, the romance of the ‘motherland’ and the myth of a happy ‘homecoming’, aligning herself, come what may, with the promises of capitalist materialism that—exploitation notwithstanding—a vibrant, globally oriented British colony seems able to deliver. Those ‘promises of capital materialism’ were writ large in a Hong Kong which had rapidly developed as a global financial hub. They redefine, in many ways, what constitutes the China and Chineseness of the British colony—and, even more importantly, threw up numerous challenges to those redefinitions post 1997. Hong Kong is no longer an ‘innocent’ canvas for filmmakers to paint images of some supposed ‘essentialist’ idea of what China and Chineseness might mean to its people. It has become (and remains even more so today) socially, culturally and politically mercurial, and the following chapter, ‘Transness: Hong Kong’s

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Bond Movies (Bangpian)’ engages with some of those challenges and redefinitions as they play out in Shaw Brothers’ phantasmagorical Bond movies (bangpian) with their promises of fantasy and escapism from the harsher realities of Hong Kong’s ‘lived space’. Bangpian offer up heroic individualism and themes of cosmopolitan living and upward mobility targeted at young cosmopolitans in the Chinese diaspora who sought and embraced the fun of ‘transness’ that the cosmo-localised pastiche of these films supplies within the ever more contested space that was (and is) Hong Kong.

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Chapter 7 Transness: Hong Kong’s Bond Movies (Bangpian)

There is not one language of cosmopolitanism, but many languages, tongues, grammars. (Beck, 2002: 35)

Transformations About thirty minutes into the Shaw Brothers’ 1967 Huayu film The Black Falcon (Dir. Furukawa Takumi, named in the credits in Chinese as Tai Kao-Mei/Dai Gaomei), the hero foils a deadly scheme and saves the heroine’s life. Full of gratitude, she asks her tall and handsome saviour how he knew about the poison in the brandy. He bows—‘My apologies!’– and pauses long enough to give a charming smile, then adding, ‘Because James Bond is my sworn brother (jiebai xiongdi).’ The heroine, Tan Lisi, studies art in France and is in Hong Kong for the summer holidays, staying with her aunt in a large European-style mansion. She keeps a modern studio downtown, where she paints nudes and other portraits. She drives a flashy red sports car and wears mini-skirts. Lisi, in short, is a cosmopolitan 1960s bohemian. Zhang Shijie, the equally well-groomed hero, believes that ‘life should be adventurous’. He enjoys water-skiing, and picking up girls at the pool or at the ‘a-go-go’ bar, where Lisi goes occasionally. He wears Western-style suits, complete with pencil ties and pointed shoes. In Mandarin, ‘Shijie’ is a homophone for ‘the world’; it also means, both literally and figuratively, ‘hero of the world’. This hero of the world works as a private investigator, whose current mission is to locate the missing leader of the notorious Black Falcon Gang, Tan Gongying, who just happens to be Lisi’s father. He is skilled in the arts of boxing, karate and judo, and alert to the danger of concealed weapons, such as the poisoned needle in a harmless-looking cigarette holder which recalls James Bond’s mini-rocket cigarette, capable of shooting a jet-powered projectile accurately up to thirty

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yards in You Only Live Twice (1967, Dir. Lewis Gilbert). Coincidentally, the film’s prologue is set in Hong Kong, where Bond fakes his death. Shijie is played by Chang Chung (aka Paul or Zhang Chong). This veteran actor was named ‘Hong Kong’s James Bond’ in 1966 for his performance as Zhang Baoluo, a Bond-like insurance agent, in The Golden Buddha (1966, Dir. Lo Wei), which was shot in Hong Kong and Thailand (SS, 1966: 32). This very popular movie marked the beginning of Shaw Brothers’ Bond-style crime thriller film cycle that lasted until the early 1970s, while precipitating ‘bangpian’ co-productions with studios in Japan, Malaysia and the Philippines (Ng, 2005a: 1–5; see also HKF, 2007: 83, 118–19, 130, 139, 163). For example, Shaw Brothers co-produced and remade The Black Falcon with a Filipino studio, based on the same screenplay, and casting a Filipino star in the Bond role but retaining the original supporting cast. It was made in Tagalog and also dubbed in Malay for release in Malaysia (ibid.: 130). In Hong Kong, bangpian is the film industry term for contemporary actioners inspired by James Bond movies: bang (which sounds like Bond in both Mandarin and Cantonese) signifies both Bond movies and global Bondmania, while pian refers literally to films. Global Bondmania spawned the James Bond film series (and related paraphernalia and franchises), while creating clusters of fans for Bond movies beyond the English-speaking world. It has also triggered Bondinspired film productions around the world (Hawkins, 2010; see also Lindner, 2009a). Like the original Bond movies, Hong Kong’s bangpian carry the promise of heroic individualism and themes of cosmopolitan living and upward mobility. Unlike the original Bond movies, however, they primarily targeted the Chinese diasporic film markets. They had particular appeal for young cosmopolitans in the Chinese diaspora who sought and embraced the fun of ‘transness’ that such cosmo-localised pastiche, fluidity and hybridity afforded. This involved, in terms the Shaw Brothers marketing department would definitely not have used, a ‘methodical cultivation of a degree of estrangement from one’s own culture and history’, leading not to cultural uniformity but to ‘diversity within sameness’ (Beck cited in Rantanen, 2005: 24). In other words, in tapping into the growing global Bondmania citizenry, Shaw Brothers tapped into cosmopolitanisation, offering dreams for audiences to break out of the tired and familiar: to transform themselves. Bangpian (amongst other studio products), then, were the specific result of the Shaw Brothers’ own cosmopolitan dreaming, creating local phantasmagorical cultural forms with cosmopolitan appeal. Their emergence in the mid1960s coincided with a corresponding decline in audiences for Shaw Brothers’ once very popular ‘China Forever’ films (Fu, 2008a) and the studio’s increasing push at this time for what might be called ‘cosmo-localism’. This phenomenon can be witnessed, for example, in their new-style wuxiapian (martial chivalry

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or warrior-errant films), which drew inspiration from Samurai films and, like bangpian, were action-oriented, featuring new, young and athletic stars (Desser, 2005a; Teo, 2010; Yau, 2005; Li Siu Leung, 2005). The stars of ‘China Forever’ films were, by contrast, ageing, while the productions had become formulaic and predictable. Furthermore, action movies like Samurai films and spaghetti westerns, not to mention the James Bond film, were making huge impacts on the international film market with transnational reverberations. Regional film professionals, especially those from Japan, who helped modernise and diversify Shaw Brothers’ film output had no vested interest in the nostalgic and melancholic sinicism that had gripped the older generation. Bangpian like The Black Falcon, Asia-Pol (1967, Dir. Mak Chih-Ho/Mai Zhihe, original Japanese name Akinori Matsuo) and Interpol 009 (1967, Dir. Yang Shu-shi/Yeung Shu-Hei/Yang Shuxi, original Japanese name Nakashira Kō), for example, variously employed Japanese talent and received Japanese funding or technological knowhow, from as early as 1957. They included cinematographer Nishimoto Tadashi of Shintōhō Studio, and from Nikkatsu Corporation music composer Hattori Ryūichi and action-movie directors like Inoue Umetsugu, Furukawa Takumi, Matsuo Akinori and Nakahira Kō (see De Boer, 2014; Yau, 2005, 2009; Schilling, 2007). Only Nishimoto and Inoue each signed a long-term contract with Shaw Brothers. In Operation Lipstick (1967) they worked with Hattori, who, prior to that, had scored MP & GI’s Father Takes a Bride (1963, Dir. Wong TinLam) and Because of Her (1963, Dirs Wong Tin-Lam and Evan Yang). MP & GI was Shaw Brothers’ major rival. Other than Hattori and Inoue, Nishimoto (the cinematographer of The Love Eterne and Lady General Hua Mulan, for example)— like Furukawa, who directed The Black Falcon—adopted a Chinese screen name, Ho Lan-Shan, as did Matsuo (Mak Chih-Ho) and Nakahira (Yan Shu-Shi), the directors of Asia-Pol and Interpol 009 respectively. In addition to action films, expatriates—Japanese or otherwise—had also helped rework and revitalise contemporary musicals and other youth-oriented film (see Davis and Yeh, 2003). Like bangpian, these films featured new actors such as Jenny Hu Yan-Ni (The Black Falcon) and Jimmy Wang Yu (Asia-Pol), and sought to engage with the world outside Hong Kong—a world beyond the China-as-ancestral-homeland imaginaries, and outside the rubric of the Chinese party-state ideologies. This resulted in cosmo-local films that were neither always nationalistically Chinese, nor provincially Hong Kong, nor fashionably Western(ised). Such films also steered away from the political concerns of the cosmopolitanising pan-Chinese world in the Cold War era, where ideologies, values and practices regarding tradition and modernity splintered, collided and merged in multiple, sometimes irreconcilable, ways. They were as politically neutral as the character Zhang Shijie in The Black Falcon.

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Nevertheless, bangpian consciously sought to be in tune with the cosmopolitan aspirations and sensibilities of young viewers in the 1960s, who hankered after the era’s promise of free love, jet travel, fast cars, nightclubbing and rapacious consumption. The films offered fun and individualism, celebrating the ‘transness’ of mongrelisation, creolisation and hybridisation, or, as Salman Rushdie has said in another context, ‘the transformation that [came] of new and unexpected combinations of human beings, cultures, ideas, politics, movies, songs’ (Rushdie, 1991a: 393, 394). Such young people in 1960s Hong Kong became a significant consumer group for films and other popular cultures, and may be termed ‘third culture kids’, where ‘third culture’ is understood as an amalgam of the (first) birth culture and the (second) culture of another (Pollock and van Reken, 2017). Bangpian tapped into this popular youth third culture. They fostered links, for example, with Bond movies, Bondmania and other globally popular phenomena, all the while kicking and shooting their way out from the ‘China-homeland’ shadow that, as we have seen in previous chapters, shrouded the ‘China Forever’ (and many other) films. That said, it should be emphasised that bangpian (sometimes known as special agent films, tejingpian) and 007-type thrillers were not ‘ludicrous James Bond imitations’ (Wong cited in Lai and Ma, 1993: 20). That assertion presupposes Western-driven, globally popular cultures as having priority and authority over all they come into contact with. Overestimating the cultural hegemony of global Bondmania and the capacity of Bond movies to devastatingly crush everything in their path underestimates the ability of bangpian makers to effect a range of responses that voice local resistance to, and abrogation of, the foreign. On the contrary, bangpian enabled the globally popular to function as though it were a local, indigenous product (see Olsen, 1999). It is therefore inaccurate to think of bangpian as passive and disengaged imitations, and more fruitful to see them as cosmo-localised films manifesting active and interested participation in global Bondmania, which then had the capacity both to change and to broaden the terms of its cultural membership. Importantly, then, saying ‘James Bond is my sworn brother (jiebai xiongdi),’ as Zhang Shijie does in The Black Falcon, consciously expresses the wish to indigenise James Bond by transplanting a global icon into the spectrum of Chinese narrative traditions about comrades-in-arms, sworn brotherhood and male bonding. This apparently light-hearted joke, therefore, marks a powerful moment in cross-cultural syncretism. Its attendant ironies, parodies and mimicries accentuate the crucial roles these narrative elements play in cultural transfers and indigenisation—roles that yield, and yield to, practices of cosmolocalisation. That is to say, bangpian are not simply imitative but can actively contribute to global Bondmania, adding nuanced texture to this phenomenon.

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But they also do more. Bangpian may be further regarded as a contemporary update of the wuxiapian, which, as we saw earlier, were first popularised in Shanghai in the late 1920s. Wuxiapian typically featured lone heroes (both male and female) who possessed gravity-defying skills and other supernatural powers. They were thought to promote superstition and antisocial behaviour. In 1930s China the KMT government deemed this genre of film to be detrimental to social harmony and so banned their production. Cantonese studios in Hong Kong were the first to revive wuxiapian after World War II. In the mid1960s the genre morphed into bangpian at much the same time as the Bond movies became popular, coinciding with Shaw Brothers’ launch of the new-style wuxia era as a fresh direction for film productions (Teo, 2009; Cho, 2010). This involved a markedly conscious spatio-temporal shift that relocated the genre’s original chivalrous warriors and other stock characters, often dating from the very distant past of a fictional China, and importantly for any understanding of transnational cinemas in a sinophone context, to contemporary narrative settings like Hong Kong. As a result, bangpian characters, whether heroes or villains, all wear fashionable Western-style attire (as opposed to period costumes). They play with guns and explosives (as opposed to swords, sabres and other traditional weapons), and wield mechanical gadgets (as opposed to flying daggers, darts, coins, or martial powers of a supernatural kind). They become experts in judo, karate, boxing or other non-Chinese martial forms, eschewing traditional forms of combat that use kungfu or qigong (the gravity-defying art of gliding through the air). Meanwhile, hidden passages, intriguing dungeons and jiguan, or mechanically operated traps or trapdoors, commonly seen in wuxiapian, receive a significant technological overhaul in bangpian. Much like their equivalent in Bond movies, bangpian villains have hi-tech lairs, complete with automated doors, flashing lights, mysterious push-buttons and deadly traps. Furthermore, often incorporating the narrative conventions of wuxiapian, there are playful shades of the jianghu in bangpian as well (see Chan, 2010). In Chinese action-oriented narratives the jianghu, literally meaning rivers and lakes, is an entity with no fixed structures or boundaries. It is co-terminous with the State but exists autonomously, in that it is not a political establishment like the State. This highly anarchic and action-filled place comes into being wherever itinerants and roving mavericks, both male and female, gather in significant numbers. Skilled in martial arts, these characters are called jianghu ke, or guests of the jianghu, implying that the jianghu is not a permanent place of abode since, like guests, they may come and leave at will. These are ‘stateless’ people by choice, who refuse to swear allegiance to the government of the day. They have a ‘floating’ existence and make their ‘home in the four seas’ (sihai wei jia)—the seas being a metaphorical extension of the jianghu. Jianghu ke thus

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operate by the jianghu laws, unwritten but understood as the moral and ethical code governing the jianghu. They may, therefore, not coincide with the State’s priorities, with jianghu ke typically settling disputes the jianghu way rather than using the machinery of the State. They may be loners. They may form factions. Close male friends may become sworn brothers (jiebai xiongdi) by taking the ‘Peach Garden Oath’ (or equivalent). Their progenitors have long been thought to be Liu Bei, Guang Yu and Zhang Fei, who lived during the Three Kingdom era, or in the final years of the Han Dynasty (between 206 bc and ad 220). As the legend goes, these three warriors made a pledge of total commitment and utter devotion, over and above familial obligations and patriotism, to the State, in a peach garden, and cemented the vow of jiebai xiongdi by drinking from a bowl of wine containing their blood (see Lo, 2002; Louie, 2009; Chan, 2010). In the jianghu, endless feuds between individuals or factions are a way of life, spawning narratives about equality and mutual support, heroic action and fulfilment, as well as developing complex tropes of chivalry and justice, vengeance and punishment, deliverance and redemption. Crucially, therefore, unlike James Bond who needs a State-authorised licence to kill, bearing arms, whether for defence or aggression, is the ‘birthright’ of jianghu ke. This is a given in wuxiapian and bangpian. Zhang Shijie’s joke in The Black Falcon about James Bond being his jiebai xiongdi is therefore not a real joke at all. It is making explicit a major thematic connectivity between bangpian and wuxiapian, as well as between Bond movies and bangpian. The connectivity is further affirmed, for example, in Summons to Death (1967, Dir. Lo Wei), when the film’s bang figure, Deng Lei or Owl, explicitly acknowledges the jianghu as his locus of operation, thereby correspondingly identifying the jianghu as the film’s arena for combative intrigues. The recurrent jianghu metaphorics, including those associated with sworn brotherhood, thus help implant bangpian within the wuxiapian traditions of Chinese-language cinema that, as we have seen, pre-date Bond movies. In short, while simultaneously marking and extending Bondmania imaginaries with indigenous (Chinese) narrative forms and imageries, bangpian are co-terminous with both the wuxiapian that preceded Bond movies and with global Bondmania. This, in turn, had a contemporising effect on wuxiapian, causing them to morph into bangpian with cosmo-local characteristics, as well as further contributing to the transcontinental cultural symbioses that variously formed, shaped and extended global Bondmania.

Bangpian Bangpian were made in Mandarin (Guoyu or Huayu), with both Chinese and English subtitles—this being Shaw Brothers’ language policy for its Mandarin

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productions. They were not mere copies of Bond movies but more of an offshoot of global Bondmania. Idiosyncrasy and idiom played a crucial role in transmuting the Bond film paradigm, characterising the similarities, differences and distance between the two filmmaking practices. Mandarin bangpian or, for that matter, Shaw Brothers’ non-Mandarin remakes, co-produced with regional studios, thus arguably helped extend the cultural citizenship of global Bondmania. Bangpian made up a significant part of the Shaw Brothers studio’s stated ‘go global’ production agenda, like prior Huangmei opera films and other blockbuster productions in the late 1950s and early 1960s, some of which we have already seen in earlier chapters. The ‘go global’ push actively sought access to, and recognition and participation in, the global marketplace of films. It vigorously pursued a ‘cosmopolitan dreaming’, which Fu Poshek describes as carrying: the dream of making Chinese-language cinema . . . [into] a world-class cinema to be consumed and acclaimed by a global audience; [it ran with] the modernising logic inspired by the nationalist desire of catching up with the West and becoming an equal member of the international community of powers (Fu, 2008a: 384). The outcome was an improvement in production facilities and standards in Hong Kong. The resultant diversification of products yielded ‘cosmopolitan bodies’ like bangpian, which were ‘fit to travel’ in local terrains (as phantasmagorias) and, at the same time, would ‘travel to fit’ with local demands and cosmopolitan expectations; the former suggests adaptability, the latter flexibility (see Molz, 2006). All these contributed to the rise of Shaw Brothers as ‘a pan-Chinese film empire . . . [that] helped globalise the entertainment cultures of Hong Kong and . . . transformed the social attitudes and cultural identities of [diasporic] Chinese audiences around the globe’ (Fu, 2008a: 384). Though pre-dating digital globalisation, Shaw Brothers’ cosmopolitanisation had the effect of challenging, albeit in uneven ways, existing ‘tightly territorialised, spatially bounded, historically unselfconscious, [and] culturally homogenous’ interests in the trade and commerce of filmmaking (Appadurai, 1996: 48). Against these phantasmagoric images of cosmopolitan and upward mobility in Hong Kong’s post-war prosperity and modernity, political disruption and social turbulence rumbled in the territory’s underbelly. The colonial government continued to grapple with the ‘problem of people’ that resulted from successive waves of Chinese immigrants from the PRC, which in 1956 had caused the territory’s population to rocket to 2.5 million from the pre-war level of 1.6 million; one-third of the new arrivals were refugees. Between 1959 and 1962, a further 142,000 or so crossed the border—this time largely driven by widespread

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starvation in the wake of the disastrous Great Leap Forward campaigns (Mark, 2007). By 1967, Hong Kong’s population had swollen to 3.7 million. While the mainland brain drain brought with it an increase in talent, money and ideas, the ‘problem of people’, coupled with attendant issues of overcrowding, unemployment, poverty and poor hygiene, even lawlessness, created social tension and discontent. The Cultural Revolution, which erupted in the PRC in 1965, soon created even more refugees, while social unrest—collectively spurred on by runs on the bank, recession in the property market, high inflation and unemployment, a widening income gap and widespread police corruption—culminated with the 1967 riots against British colonial rule. All these significantly tested the precarious social and cultural balance, which in turn provided both risks and opportunities for the growing middle class, whose upward mobility depended upon continuous economic growth and political stability (see Wong and Wong, 2008; Yep, 2008; Lam, 2004; Ku, 2004). Against this often volatile background, Shaw Brothers maintained its push to ‘go global’, chiefly making films for Chinese diasporic audiences while striving to expand its markets beyond their traditional domains. The studio practised self-regulation and self-censorship, so as to avoid situations that might put the studio at risk of censure. Shaw Brothers took care to steer its products away from the battlefields of local politics, as well as those of the Cold War and other global controversies. Bangpian, like other Shaw Brothers productions, were thus ‘blind’ to the politics of the day, ignoring the medium’s ability to express local, national or international concerns. In this sense, bangpian functioned as distractions from political concerns of particular places and times. They were escapist fantasies characterised by a studied filmic amnesia about the conflicts, tensions and processes of domination and negotiation both in the colony’s everyday local spaces and in the cosmopolitan ones beyond its borders. That said, bangpian, like the Bond movies themselves, nevertheless sought to connect to, as well as to be one with, the world at large. But, importantly, this came with what Paul Rainbow in another context has referred to as an ‘acute consciousness . . . of the inescapabilities and particularities of places, characters, historical trajectories, and fates’ (Rainbow, 1985: 258). What that means, in effect, is that the Shaw Brothers’ bangpian serve as a very important vehicle for discounting the often dominant theoretical paradigm of ‘one cosmopolitanism, one world community’ (Beck, 2002: 35). Without necessarily understanding it in these terms, Shaw Brothers’ cosmopolitan dreaming in bangpian, whatever their underlying economic and cultural motivations, was protean in character but reflexive in practice. It embodied, as Hiro Saito might put it, mechanisms of cultural appropriation and ethnic tolerance: the former referring to ‘a disposition to appreciate a wide variety of

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cultural objects’, with the latter ‘encompass[ing] positive attitudes toward ethnic outgroups . . . [Both] are manifestations of cosmopolitanism as openness to foreign others and cultures’ (Saito, 2011: 128–30). This ‘openness’, so central to Shaw Brothers’ ‘go global’ push, circumscribes and allows for that which Elisabeth Sinn has noted, in her study of post-war Hong Kong’s phenomenal success as a world port-city, as a vital ‘space of flow’ for capital, people, labour, ideas and objects germane to global trade and commerce (Sinn, 2008: 13–14, 42–3; see also Curtin, 2003; Wong and Wong, 2008). According to Ulrich Beck, a primary key to understanding cosmopolitanisation as a side-effect of global trades is the generation of ‘internal globalisation’, or ‘globalisation from within [particular] societies . . . [that] transforms everyday consciousness and identities significantly’ (Beck, 2002: 17; see also Rantanen, 2005). Internal globalisation, in turn, engenders cosmo-localisation, while simultaneously mapping processes of transculturation and translocality that result from and in cultural domestication and cross-cultural symbioses (Ma, 2002, 2006; Cohen, 2002; Chan, 2002). The cosmopolitan dreaming manifested in and through bangpian thus entailed dealing with the co-existence of competing ways of life, historically and geographically. It was not merely about moving beyond one’s confinement or rootedness to local environments and conditions, nor was it simply about breaking down ethnocentric barriers. In practice, it demanded astute engagement with the ‘clash of [diverse] cultures and rationalities . . . making it a matter of fate to compare, reflect, criticise, understand, and combine contradictory certainties’ (Beck, 2002: 18). This is central to understanding the ‘dialogic imagination’ operating in the processes of cosmopolitanisation (ibid.: 18). The resultant self–other hybridities point to cultural internalisation that turns the external forces of cosmopolitanisation into cosmo-localising impulses. Such impulses, by definition, would disembed the local, generating phantasmagorias that speak to, and of, an ‘actually existing cosmopolitanism’ that displays a twisted reality of ‘(re)attachment, multiple attachment, or attachment at a distance’ (Robbins, 1998: 3). But Shaw Brothers’ ‘go global’ push, as it turned out, stopped short of partaking in ‘cosmopolitics’—that ‘collective endeavour to form a transnational public and debate global risks as citizens of the world’—because it avoided ‘contentious political practices pertaining to conflicts and problems that cut across national borders . . . [and that test] the limit[s] of openness’ (Saito, 2011: 139). This, together with the studio’s policy of disengaging from the political situations and realities of the Hong Kong habitus that included a disavowal of Chinese party-state politics, produced an apolitical cosmopolitanism. This particular disengagement and disavowal simultaneously manifested as detachments from Hong Kong as a ‘lived space’, and attachments instead to phantasmagorical Hong Kong, with particular appeal to ‘third culture kids’.

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Wuxiapian and Jianghu Ke Returning to Shaw Brothers’ character of Zhang Shijie in The Black Falcon, we are presented with as apolitical and denationalised figure as we can get. This roving private investigator is shorn of the normal citizenship categories—be they of the CCP socialist, KMT nationalist or, for that matter, British colonial variety—while his national allegiance, like that of his employers, is obscure. Similarly, although The Black Falcon is a made-in-Hong Kong film, one can never say with any certainty that Shijie is a Hong Kong(-identified) person. The same applies to the other characters in the film, and indeed to all bangpian characters. Whether heroic or villainous, male or female, bangpian characters always seem to be coming from and going to somewhere and nowhere. They are all, in one way or another, cosmopolitan entities of uncertain nationality and political persuasion, existing beyond, and hence exceeding, the political boundaries of the nation-state. They often work for international organisations with no explicit national connections. For instance, though based in Hong Kong, the villainous Black Falcon Gang has branches around the world, while Shijie is an employee of the International Private Investigation Organisation (Guoji sijia zhentanshe), which has affiliated offices outside Hong Kong. Although Shijie is portrayed as loyal to his Hong Kong-based employers and clients, this loyalty has an expiry date and is limited to the job he is contracted to do. However, unlike the very British and patriotic James Bond, bang characters manifest detachment from the national commitments and affiliations that would otherwise constrain their lives. They are, as seen above, akin to the jiangwu ke, their ambivalent relationship with the State characterised by aloofness, indifference and distance. There are four discernible types of bang character. They all enjoy thrills and adventures, and like James Bond, are seen as ‘an icon of adventure, a guru of [fashion], an emblem of glamour, a champion of consumerism and . . . a loaded symbol of sex and violence’, who has ‘the last word in gadgetry’ (Lindner, 2009b: 1). The first type is composed of private individuals with a job, such as Zhang Baoluo (an insurance agent in The Golden Buddha) and Zhang Shijie (the private investigator in The Black Falcon). The second sort consists of roving mavericks who are self-sufficient loners without a proper job—for example, Owl in Summons to Death, who lives in a large European-style mansion, complete with hi-tech fittings. Special agents make up the third type—they are like James Bond but with no known national affiliation. They work for intelligence agencies with international connections: for example, Chen Tianhong, who is Agent 009 of Interpol Paris (Interpol 009), or Yang Mingxuan, who in Asia-Pol is employed by the fictional Japan-based Asia Police with affiliates in Beirut, Singapore, Bangkok, Manila, Macao and Hong Kong. Some ten years later, the Golden

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Harvest (Hong Kong) production of The Man from Hong Kong (1975, Dirs Wang Yu and Brian Trenchard-Smith) saw Asia-Pol’s Wang Yu taking on George Lazenby, who played James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969, Dir. Peter Hunt). In this action-packed thriller, Wong’s Inspector Fang Sing Leng is a Bond-like undercover detective from Hong Kong, while Lazenby’s Jack Wilton is a mob boss in Sydney, Australia. Finally, there is what I call the female bang. She jumps the gender divide and, like the male bang, has no explicit national affiliation. The most remarkable would be Ai Si in the two Angel films directed by Lo Wei: Angel with the Iron Fists (1967) and its sequel, The Angel Strikes Again (1968). Regardless of type, all bang characters, like the honourable jiangwu ke in wuxiapian, are typically portrayed as justice-fighters who steadfastly side with the righteous, readily come to the aid of the needy, and selflessly combat the villainous.

Zhenjiebang (Female Bang Films) The female warrior, generally unknown in the 1960s Bond movies, is a stock character in wuxia narratives, and I would argue that it is a significant cosmolocalised move that female bang feature prominently in the wuxiapian-scape of bangpian as modern-day action heroines. The Cantonese filmmakers were probably the first to explore this character type, with action movies like the crimebuster Wong Ang films or, most particularly, Yam Pang-Nin’s (Ren Pengnian) How Wong Ang the Heroine Solved the Case of the Three Dead Bodies (1959) and How Wong Ang the Heroine Caught the Murderer (1959) (see HKF, 2003: 366, 369). Next to come was the Nü Shashou series (1966–7). The titular character is literally called Lady Bond. This forms part of some of the series’ English titles, Lady Bond (1966), and its sequels: namely, Return of Lady Bond (1966), The Perilous Rescue (1967) and Dragnet of the Law (1967). All directed by Mok Hong-See (Mo Kangshi), they star Connie Chan Po-chu as Lady Bond, or Nü Shashou (HKF, 2007: 98, 116–17, 143, 170). Nü Shashou, which may be literally translated as ‘female killer’, is the female protagonist’s nickname in the film; she is a crime-buster like Wong Ang. In promotional material, like film ads, Nü Shashou is advertised as a ‘James Bond-style lady killer’, who ‘battles evil forces with the fury of fire’ (SGW, 1966). Lady Bond was the catalyst for the ensuing Zhenjiebang film cycle in the Cantonese film industry, which, according to Sam Ho, peaked the following year with some thirty productions (Ho, 1996). Ho coined the term zhenjiebang, which he translates as ‘Jane Bond’, to refer to female chivalrous warriors in contemporary Cantonese action thrillers who are ‘licensed to kick men’ (ibid.: 41). Ho considers this figure as ‘Hong Kong’s answer to her Western cousin James’ (ibid.: 41). Zhenjiebang films were chiefly female-centred, capitalising on the star-power of female teen idols

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who had a large female following. Other than Chan Po-Chu, her screen rival, Josephine Siao Fung-fung, also has at least one ‘Jane Bond’ film to her credit: namely, The Lady Information Agent, aka Lady in Pink (1967, Dir. Yueng Kuen/ Yang Quan). Although a modern-day nüxia (female chivalrous warrior), Wong Ang is not a zhenjiebang. The Wong Ang films pre-date global Bondmania, and in Cantonese cinema mark a specific pivotal point between the nüxia figure in traditional wuxia narratives and the nü shashou persona in modern action thrillers that feature zhenjiebang. The female bang is also not zhenjiebang, though the two, like Wong Ang, are similarly configured as having cosmopolitan characteristics: they all have a taste for Western-style sartorial fashions, for instance, and in their respective ways represent symbols of female power and patriarchal resistance, in that they are modern-day female warriors who seek gender equality in the matter of access to and participation in traditionally male-dominated terrains. But unlike bangpian, zhenjiebang films were ultimately rooted in localised Cantonese parochialism. While the female bang have strong connections with internationalised (often criminal) environments in which, for example, people of Chinese descent are seen to mingle with other races, zhenjiebang battle unscrupulous, usually local, wealthy businessmen and villains. Zhenjiebang are also renowned for their conservatism, unlike the female bang who is very much at home in the swinging sixties: sexually liberated, she is portrayed as a funloving girl who eschews the bonds of marriage, family and domestication, and makes the most of the greater mobility afforded by the jet-set era. Shaw Brothers, for example, created Ai Si in the Angel films as both the ‘Orient’s Modesty Blaise’ and also, as signalled in the films’ Chinese titles, a Tie Guanyin. This angel is an iron (tie) lady. She is also akin to Guanyin, or the Goddess of Mercy. Guanyin is a powerful and resourceful deity in Buddhist beliefs and Chinese folklore, especially revered for her patience and kindness, and is a transgender entity who was born male. As an amalgam of the global/foreign (Modesty Blaise) and the indigenous (Guanyin), the configuration of Ai Si underscores the sort of double identity and cross-cultural identification in bangpian that is found in Shijie’s announcement that ‘James Bond is my sworn brother.’ In the two Angel films, Ai Si would occasionally cross-dress as a male bang, and she is named Agent 009 (though of unknown affiliation), who, together with Owl (of Summons to Death) solves the case of the Explosive Gang, a group of criminals who enjoy planting bombs in banks and blowing up planes. As in the Bond movies, this gang has a high-tech lair, housed in a cave inside a hill by a deserted beach. Unlike the Bond movies, however, the chief villains in bangpian would never seek to hold the world to ransom with weapons of mass destruction. Nor are

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they bent on creating mischief with the aim of bringing the three Cold War superpowers—the USSR, PRC and USA—into conflict, with globally catastrophic consequences. Instead, bangpian villains are more likely to be preoccupied with treasure quests (Summons to Death), leadership struggles (The Black Falcon), family feuds (The Golden Buddha) or personal vengeance (Asia-Pol). It is not unusual for the chief villain to be a woman in bangpian, but as Southern Screen announces, she should ‘never [be] an ugly old hag but always pretty as a flower’ (SS, 1966: 33).

Third-(Trans)culture Kids: Bangpian and Cosmo-local Internationality Importantly, Shaw Brothers’ bangpian use standard Mandarin (guoyu), often regarded as the language of the cosmopolitan and educated, as opposed to regional Chinese languages (fangyan) such as Cantonese, which are deemed by some to be provincial and parochial. Although Hong Kong Cantonese has long been the lingua franca of the territory’s indigenous film industry, and as we have seen in earlier chapters, Cantonese studios did not have the comparative advantage that Mandarin studios such as Shaw Brothers enjoyed in terms of equipment and financial might. From the point of view of quality and polish, their productions were accordingly thought to be inferior. At best, they had niche appeal, while Mandarin productions captured the lion’s share of the market in the Chinese diaspora. In bangpian, the characters would normally speak standard Mandarin. The use of other languages such as English, including Minnanhua (to signify the presence of Taiwan, as in Asia-pol) is occasional. Cantonese is never spoken. Furthermore, the ubiquitous shidaiqu, or popular modern songs, are performed in Mandarin, usually in seedy cabaret-bars with English names like Club Fantasia or Blue Pool Nightclub. Here salacious dances, often performed by a scantily clad white woman, are a highlight of the show. The bang figures would party at such clubs in Hong Kong, and like James Bond, the male bang would always draw sexy and beautiful women to him, as if by a magnet, and was much given, especially in the case of Tianhong (Special Agent 009), to making wisecracks in English, such as ‘Sorry, girls! Duty calls! I have to go!’ Special Agent 009 makes this quip on a beach, where he is enjoying a ménage à trois with two bikiniclad white girls when a radio transmitter, next to the picnic basket, suddenly summons him to report for work. Reluctantly, he bids the girls ‘adieu’. Similarly: ‘Danger? It’s my middle name!’ Special Agent 009 nonchalantly throws this out at the Interpol Headquarters (Paris), when his white, unnamed boss expresses concern about an assignment in Hong Kong that involves his taking on a vicious currency forgery gang.

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Using English like this, in Mandarin bangpian in particular, is typical of an internationalised variety rather than being the privileged speech of the British colonisers or of the anglicised Hong Kong elite. The particular shift in register, together with the dominant use of non-indigenous languages, especially Mandarin, displaces local, Cantonese identity in bangpian. The literalisation of such a displacement, or the extent to which bangpian had ‘de-Cantonesed’ Hong Kong, is most evident in the casting of Lai Man (a veteran actress of some 400 Cantonese films) in The Black Falcon as an unnamed character with no speaking part and, above all, no acknowledgement in the credits. The Cantonesed local thus disappears into ‘phantasmagorias’ of cosmopolitanisation, whereby the distant influences of cosmopolitanism refract feelings of the familiar and the local, giving impetus to cosmo-localisation affectivities (cf. Giddens, 1990: 108–9). A further striking example of this filmic indivisibility lies in the ways that bangpian utilise the new Hong Kong Kai Tak International Airport as a narrative backdrop. Completed in 1962, Kai Tak heralded a ‘coming-of-age’ for Hong Kong’s post-war modernity; the world was now only a jet flight away. Little wonder, then, that the new airport would become a much sought-after shooting location in bangpian. Zhang Baoluo in The Golden Buddha jets off from Kai Tak to Singapore, and his unplanned stopover in Bangkok leads him into romance and adventure. In Angel with the Iron Fists, Ai Si flies from London to Kai Tak, where she proceeds to avenge the death of her boyfriend, murdered by the leader of the Devil Girls’ Gang, Black Widow. She seduces Black Widow’s most trusted henchman and infiltrates the gang, eventually decimating, with a thumb-sized bomb, a criminal organisation that spans continents. In Interpol 009, Special Agent 009 flies from Paris to a ‘dangerous place’ called Hong Kong, via the Philippines. Yang Mingxuan of Asia-Pol, on the other hand, enters Hong Kong on a fake British passport from Japan, in order to avenge his father’s death, while simultaneously stopping the villain, George Eaton’s, fanatical plan to destroy the Japanese economy by flooding the country with gold—a parody of the use of gold as a weapon of mass destruction in Goldfinger (1964, Dir. Guy Hamilton). Eaton, it turns out, is also his father’s murderer. Mingxuan’s Japanese girlfriend, Misaki (played by Ruriko Asaoka), also a colleague at Asia-Pol Tokyo, is modelled after Miss Moneypenny from the James Bond series. The final showdown is staged in a cargo ship on the open seas, after which Mingxuan and Masaki jet off to Bangkok for a romantic holiday. To that end, the Shijie–Bond double identification in The Black Falcon— much like the corporeality of Ai Si as a figure that straddles and combines Modesty Blaise and Guanyin in the Angel films—reveals a matrix of flexible positionalities that shift along, as well as across, ethnic, cultural and national boundaries. These positionalities articulate the dynamics of struggles and

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interactions that highlight the tensions between cultural rootedness, appropriations and expropriations. This network of ‘transness’ charts the traces of cosmopolitan forms that are not only ‘culturally simultaneously global and local’ but also have ‘roots’ and ‘wings’ at the same time . . . [that allow them to reject] the dominant opposition between cosmopolitans and locals’ (Beck, 2002: 36). Since ‘borders are no longer predeterminate’, Ulrich Beck concludes, ‘they can be chosen (and interpreted), but simultaneously also have to be redrawn and legitimated anew’ (ibid.: 19). Bangpian characters like Ai Si, Shijie, Tianhong and Mingxuan thus manifest ‘culturally simultaneously global and local’ characteristics, with floating ‘roots’ and soaring ‘wings’ both to flirt and to engage with the sort of cosmolocal internationality (ibid.: 19, 36) so attractive to third-(trans)culture kids and the transnational networks they are hoping to be part of. Third-culture kids, by definition, would have spent a good part of their formative years outside their parents’ birth culture, and so have wider and more varied exposure to other cultures. These ‘transculture kids’ are products of ‘place-polygamy’ (Beck cited in Rantanen, 2005: 258–9) or entities who are ‘married to many places in different worlds and cultures’, whereby place-polygamy nurtures translocal forms (both human and non-human) that circulate in fluid networks of interconnectedness, and offers ‘gateway[s] to globality’ that result in ‘cosmopolitanisation from within’. Living in different cultural worlds to their parents’ generations, third-culture kids are cultural chameleons who develop a heightened sense of belonging everywhere and nowhere, and who, as Salman Rushdie might put it, would be more than comfortable with a ‘mongrelisation’ that celebrates ‘hybridity, impurity, intermingling, the transformation that comes of new and unexpected combinations of human beings, cultures, ideas, politics, movies, songs’ (Rushdie, 1991a: 393–4). Paul Gilroy has theorised that sense of suspendedness in terms of a ‘where we’re at’ and ‘where we’re from’ paradox that circumscribes tensions between the ‘roots’ and ‘routes’ discourses of diasporic experiences (Gilroy, 1991: 3–16). Actress Jenny Hu, who plays Lisi in The Black Falcon, for example, would be a real-life third-(trans)culture kid personified. Born in Guangzhou, China, in 1945 to German and Chinese parents, she lived in Taiwan and Germany before going to Hong Kong to work for Shaw Brothers. Hu’s Lisi character is likewise a ‘place-polygamous’ person. Tan is her surname, so one can suppose that she has a Chinese father (to whom she is not particularly close). The ethnicity of her mother is unclear, though; she has no diegetic presence in the film, but based on Lisi’s looks, which are of Eurasian character, her mother would most probably be Caucasian and not Chinese. Lisi travels between her art studies in France and her family in Hong Kong. Her nationality is never mentioned—saving her the

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burden of explaining where she is ‘from’—and neither is she portrayed as Hong Kong-identified. Instead, she is presented as being at home anywhere: the mark of a cosmopolitan who is comfortable with her ‘where you’re at’ situations or situatedness. The fact that Hu was the first Eurasian actress to find fame in an industry long dominated by ethnically Chinese stars further suggests that thirdculture kids were more accepting of ‘mongrelisation’ than their predecessors. This acceptance has since opened the door for other ‘mongrelised’ talents well into the twenty-first century. They include Helena Law Lan (Luo Lan; Indian/ Chinese), Maria Cordero (Portuguese/Chinese or Macanese), Anthony Wong (Wang Qiusheng; British/Chinese), Karen Mok (Mo Wenwei; British/Welsh/ Persian); Cecilia Cheung (Zhang Bozhi; British/Chinese); Edison Chen (Chen Guanxi; Portuguese/Chinese); and Michele Lee, otherwise known as Michele Monique Reis (Li Jiaxin; Portuguese/Chinese)—to name but a few.

Cosmopolitan ‘Transness’ The particular allure, then, of cosmo-local ‘transness’ in bangpian appealed particularly to third-culture kids or young people who sought connections with the global popular. In 1961, about 20 per cent of the total population in Hong Kong were between the ages of fifteen and twenty-nine. Those in this age group increased by 132 per cent between 1961 and 1966, signalling an ‘abrupt’ change in the population (Wong and Wong, 2008: 89–92). This significant demographic shift accounted for the ‘rapid growth of youthful work forces’ (Siu and Ku, 2008a: 84): that is, the post-war baby-boomers in the 1960s. Whether born in Hong Kong, refugee orphans or children of exiles and refugees who grew up in Hong Kong, they had no particularised first-hand contact with life in mainland China, and so did not always share their parents’ passionate nostalgia for the ancestral homeland. With their distinctive tastes, values and life experiences, these thirdculture kids were less likely than their parents or the older generation to retain strong cultural and emotional attachments to the ‘lost home’ in China. Another interesting parallel to the ‘transness’ of third-culture kids in bangpian is the Jimmy Wang Yu–Yang Mingxuan amalgam in Asia-Pol. Born in Wuxi, China, in 1943, Wang Yu went to school in Shanghai and relocated to Hong Kong at the age of seventeen, where he continued his education before signing up with Shaw Brothers in 1963. In Asia-Pol, Jimmy plays Mingxuan, a character who, as a child, was separated from his Chinese parents when they mysteriously disappeared in Hong Kong. He was adopted by a Japanese couple, who took him to Japan. As an adult, he works as a special agent at Asia-Pol headquarters in Tokyo, which has affiliated offices across the Far and Middle East. His Japanese boss assigns him a mission that takes him to Hong Kong. He is a stateless person

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and so travels on a fake British passport. In Hong Kong, he runs by chance into Yang Minghua (played by Fong Ying), who is, in fact, his younger sister, though he does not at first know this as she was born after he lost his parents. Minghua usually lives in Thailand, where she grew up under the care of their (late) mother; their father, when alive, frequently worked in Hong Kong. Jenny–Lisi and Jimmy–Mingxuan (and, for that matter, Ying–Minghua), as third-culture kids, are thus embodiments of cosmo-local internationality and place-polygamy. Such biangpian narratives about mongrelisation, and related scenarios of place-polygamy, in real or reel life, are highly illustrative of the sort of cosmopolitan ‘transness’ that contributes significantly to the phantasmagorias of cosmolocalisation. In bangpian they are ubiquitous and expressed in various forms. For instance, it was fashionable for Hong Kong’s actors and actresses to adopt Western names, such as Jenny and Jimmy, while, as we saw earlier, Japanese directors such as Furukawa Takumi (The Black Falcon) and Matsuo Akinori (AsiaPol) adopted a Chinese screen name: Tai Kao-mei and Mai Chih-Ho respectively. This paradigm of name-polygamy refers both to characters (such as the villain in Asia-Pol, who has Japanese and Malaysian parentage and goes by the English name George Eaton) and to places (such as Club Fantasia or the Blue Pool Nightclub, where Mandarin shidaiqu is often heard and sung to the accompaniment of a backing band composed of Filipino musicians). In addition to songs, cosmopolitan ‘transness’ is further expressed through a variety of dances (belly dance, go-go and cha-cha); certain dispositions (such as individualism and sexually liberated behaviour); particular mannerisms (Special Agent 009 speaking English like a British gentleman in Interpol 009, for example); dress codes (bikinis, mini-skirts, beehive hairdos, androgynous or space-age styles); home decor (modern or bohemian); and material possessions (from European-style mansions to racy sports cars). All these ‘salad-bowl’ mixes, cluttering the mise-en-scène with ‘transness’ of identities, places, situations and things, underscore the ‘de-territorialised concept of society’ in cosmopolitanisation and cosmo-localisation discourses, and are a defining feature of bangpian breaking away from both well-established Chinese film genres (such as the ‘China Forever’ films) and non-Chinese genres such as the Bond movies themselves. Furthermore, the multiethnic casting patterns reflect and reinforce this ‘transness’ of mixture and mixing. Shaw Brothers’ co-produced Asia-Pol, for instance, showcases Japanese talents such as producer Kenzô Asada, scriptwriter Gan Yamazaki, film editor Mutsuo Tanji and director Akinori Matsuo, as well as their compatriots Kimihiko Nakamura, Kazumi Iwasa, Toshirô Mayuzumi and Koshiro Jinbo, the film’s artistic director, cinematographer, music composer and sound recordist respectively. Yuen Fang of Shaw Brothers is the make-up artist. The bangpian also features Shaw Brothers’ acting talents such as

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Wang Yu, Fong Ying and Wang Hsieh. These three actors were all born in China but went on to live in the Chinese diaspora. They appear with a cast of Japanese notables such as Ruriko Asaoka and Jô Shishido. The film touches on transborder and transcultural romance when Ruriko is cast as Mingxuan’s girlfriend, paralleling the interracial romance between Shijie and Li Si in The Black Falcon. Jô plays the film’s chief villain, George Eaton, who grew up in abject poverty with his Malaysian mother, harbouring extreme bitterness against his Japanese father who, after cheating his wife of her fortune, abandoned them. He now owns ADU, a transnational firm used as a cover for his gold-smuggling activities, which spans Switzerland, Macao, Hong Kong and Tokyo. Finally, Wang Hsieh’s unnamed character, an undercover agent for Asia-Pol Macao, can speak both Mandarin and Minnanhua, a major regional language of the Fujian Province, China. Minnanhua is also widely spoken in Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore and elsewhere in the Chinese diaspora. Indeed, the occasional appearances of languages other than Mandarin, such as English (but never Cantonese), in Asia-Pol and other bangpian imbue the films with a cosmopolitan appeal, while the presence of Japanese, Caucasians, Filipinos, Thai and other races colours the genre with additional layers of internationality.

Cosmopolitan Dreaming Without belonging to any geo-political entity and with no political affiliation that bonds the films and characters to a particular government or political ideology, bangpian demonstrate those tensions very powerfully. As such, Shaw Brothers sought to create the jianghu of bangpian as exceeding the territorialised boundaries of a British colony or a Chinese State, populated with concurrently denationalised and cosmo-localised entities who, being stateless, make their home in the four seas (sihai wei jia). With a dip into the imaginary cultures of ethnic China, they created bangpian that could simultaneously spread their wings and soar into a universe of cosmopolitanism that welcomed foreign others, and celebrate mongrelisation, creolisation and hybridisation—free of the constraints of political China, whether represented by the CCP’s PRC or the KMT’s ROC. These denationalised and depoliticised tropes and characters, both within and as bangpian, embodied cosmo-local affects and affectations. While connecting with the global popular (for example, Bondmania and its movies), bangpian are also conscious of their imaginary cultural roots (in the jianghu–homeland). Most significantly, I would suggest, by moving in the fluid geographies of the cosmo-local jianghu, and operating from the hybrid environments of phantasmagoric Hong Kong, the bang figure, male or female, is a symbolic personification of the aspiration and sensibility of third-culture kids and other young viewers

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who were at home with the ‘transness’ of cosmo-localisation. Through Shaw Brothers’ bangpian, they easily responded to, though did not necessarily fulfill, the calls of a cosmopolitan dreaming that carried the promise of heroic individualism and middle-class upward mobility. In the Hong Kong of the mid-1960s, which looked at its present and also to its future with some anxiety, against the background of the Cultural Revolution-inspired riots and other social unrest in Hong Kong, as well as across the border, Shaw Brothers’ bangpian heeded the call of a cosmo-local jianghu over that of cultural nationalists, while simultaneously keeping the demands of political nationalists at arm’s length. Managing this tricky balancing act was not unknown in Hong Kong cinema, but through the Shaw Brothers’ films it was more comprehensively articulated than ever before. This cosmopolitan dreaming was not, however, the sole preserve of Shaw Brothers’ films. It was developed in significantly powerful ways by a new wave of Hong Kong film directors, most especially in extremely challenging and highly resistive ways, by Vietnam- born Tsui Hark in a number of early films (1979– 84), to which I now turn in the final three chapters.

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PART IV NEW WAVES

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Chapter 8 Tsui Hark: Accented Cinema

In accented cinema every story is both a private story of an individual and a social and public story of exile and diaspora. (Hamid Naficy, 2001)

Tsui Hark: Voluntary Repatriate Tsui Hark is a third-culture individual personified. He was born and raised Tsui Man-Kong, in a third world, pre-socialist Vietnam (1951–65), to a large huaqiao (overseas Chinese) family. Of Cantonese descent, he was witness to the nationalist struggle for sovereignty and independence from French colonialism, and subsequent to this, the American-led Vietnam War, which hindered the country’s unification until 1976. Vietnam was a hot spot of the Cold War that ensued from the end of World War II (1939–45), and internecine wars were commonplace. No sooner had the Japanese Imperial Army surrendered, after occupying the territory between 1940 and 1945, than the First Indochina War erupted in 1946. This occurred when Ho Chi Minh’s negotiations for national independence and sovereignty, with French colonial authorities who were intent on reclaiming French Indochina, broke down. The French eventually exited in 1954 but the American military came hot on their heels. As a result, the Second Indochina War (1955–75) was waged, hindering Ho’s plans for the reunification of post-French Vietnam. In the midst of this, at the age of fifteen, Tsui left Vietnam in order to pursue his secondary school education in the British colony of Hong Kong (1966–9). Within a year of his arrival, civil strife broke out in Hong Kong, as the May 1967 riots, a spill-over from the Cultural Revolution in the PRC, escalated. As the Cultural Revolution continued to rage across the border, labour disputes in the territory turned into large-scale demonstrations against British colonial rule, as leftists clashed with the colonial authorities. In the aftermath, social pressure groups emerged, some demanding the recognition of Chinese as an official language alongside the colonial tongue, English. Connected to the

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sexual liberation and anti-Vietnam War movements, youth countercultures burgeoned and, as we have already seen, Cantonese cinema began to run counter to the more dominant Mandarin film industry; what became known as ‘New Wave Hong Kong cinema’ (xianggang xin langchao dianying) emerged in earnest before the decade was out (see Law, 2001). Tsui Hark, as Tsui Man-Kong was to become, was a significant part of that new wave. Tsui Man-Kong left for the United States in 1969. He studied film and television in Texas, and for the most part felt like an ‘outsider’ (Tsui Hark, 2002 (1998): 175). Known to his friends as King Kong, he became a political activist, and participated in ‘patriotic’ demonstrations against foreign intrusions on Chinese territories—most particularly the 1971 Diaoyu dispute, which erupted when Japanese boats sailed into the ‘Chinese’ fishing zone of the Diaoyu Islands. Similar demonstrations were held in Hong Kong. While in the United States, Tsui also took part in the growing anti-Vietnam War protests and civil rights movements. During this time, he made ‘documentaries . . . about American imperialism, ethnic minorities and human-rights issues . . . [that] had a distinctive Third World perspective’ (ibid.: 175). His political participation, in this way, was redolent of past and lingering experiences, or, as Tsui put it pointedly in an interview: ‘I grew up in a colonial environment [and was interested in colonial issues]’ (ibid.: 174). The political and the personal thus converged. Around this time, Man-Kong took the name of ‘Hark’, which in Chinese means ‘overcoming’ (see Dannen and Long, 1997: 136). After graduation, Tsui Hark moved to New York, where he soon became involved in Christine Choy’s production of From Spikes to Spindles (1976) for the Third World Newsreel, a noted documentary about Chinese immigrants in the city’s Chinatown (see Choy, 1998). He also edited a Chinatown newspaper, worked for Chinatown Community Cable TV and developed a community theatre group. This type of political participation addressed a lingering past experience where the personal would seem simultaneous with the political, and as many scholars have pointed out over the years, the personal experience of the colonised is central to any study of filmmaking practices that engage with colonial or neo-colonial cultural dominance (Solanas and Gettino, 2000; Pines and Willemen, 1989). It is therefore not surprising that people with a colonial provenance have variously used the film medium to address the psychic damage of colonialism; foster anti-colonial sentiments, cultivate post-colonial sensibilities, and redeem nativist cultures where recourse to ‘local accents and vernacular languages’ as ‘decolonising’ agents is standard practice (Armes, 1987: 5–20, 83, 229–40). In sum, and as Shih Shu-mei would put it, Tsui’s background would have primed him with sinophone sensibilities and consciousness.

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In 1977, Tsui returned to Hong Kong, but it was a Hong Kong quite unlike the one he had left as Man-Kong some eight years earlier. At first, he worked for TVB and then for CTV, where he directed the sensational Golden Dagger Romance (1978), a nine-episode wuxia (warrior-chivalry) TV series based on Gu Long’s novel. But he was soon to establish his reputation in film as a New Wave director, alongside other third-culture directors such as Yim Ho (Yan Hao), Ann Hui, Patrick Tam and Allen Fong (see Cheung et al., 2011a). Amongst them, and alongside them, Tsui Hark was (and is now) regarded as a Hong Kong director of international stature with a major transnational following, and has made films that seem, to some at least, very ‘Chinese’ indeed. Yet he is not a Hong Kong native. When he embarked on a filmmaking career in Hong Kong in 1979 he had, in actuality, no more than five years of accumulated residency in the territory. His background would initially constitute him as an ‘expatriate’ when working in Hong Kong, whether that was with TV stations (1977–9) or film studios (since 1979, including his own Film Workshop, established in 1984). Yet in another sense, this transnational diasporic (Indo-)Chinese wanderer could also be thought of in terms of a ‘voluntary repatriate’, in that his place of relocation is to a ‘Chinese’ territory where he lived briefly as a teenager (1966–9), and where he would pass as ethnic Chinese in colonial Hong Kong, and so blend in well with the vast majority of people living there (see Li, 2002).

Flexible Citizenship Though uneven, Tsui’s impact on film audiences, Chinese, global or otherwise, has been widespread. In Hong Kong, he has long been revered as ‘a rare auteur’ who manages to rise above the ‘cut-throat commercial system [which] reigns so tightly [in Hong Kong]’ (Lau, 2005: 739). Other film critics have praised him for making films that are ‘very Chinese indeed, referring as they do to Chinese history and culture’ (Teo, 1997: 148), suggesting that his work constantly demands a rethinking of what constitutes ‘Chinese’ and ‘Chineseness’. The 16th Busan International Film Festival (2013) added nuances to the question of Tsui’s political and cultural identity as a diasporic Chinese working in transnational contexts when it honoured him with the Asian Filmmaker of the Year Award (2013), making him the fifth diasporic Chinese filmmaker to receive such a prize—the others being Hou Hsiao-hsien (Hou Xiaoxian, 2004), Edward Yang (Yang Dechang, 2007), Tsai Ming-liang (Cai Mingliang, 2010) of Taiwan and Andy Lau Tak-Wah (Liu Dehua, 2006) of Hong Kong (Chu, 2011). In many ways, then, transnational Tsui Hark has left indelible cine-prints, not only as a trendsetter for contemporary Chinese-language, cinema, but also as a post-colonial sinophone filmmaker who has operated within a third space of

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cultural citizenship. He has reworked both literary and filmic Chinese classics, and rethought Chinese history along a new historical–fictional continuum. He eventually went on to become known transnationally as the ‘Steven Spielberg of Asia’ (Hendrix, 2003) or ‘Hong Kong Spielberg’ (Corliss, 2000), although his relative ‘lack of success in Western countries’, Lisa Morton suggests, ‘can probably be boiled down to three main obstructions’: First, unlike much of Jackie Chan’s work, Tsui’s movies tend to be intensely Chinese in theme and design; second, whereas John Woo’s films are almost entirely about men and male bonding, Tsui’s female-driven and transgendered cinema is a tougher sell in Western culture; and third, in contrast to Wong Kar-Wai . . . the Hollywood marketers simply cannot pigeonhole the prolific and versatile Tsui Hark. (Morton, 2001: 1) Central to the difficulties (if they are indeed such) of being able to pigeonhole Tsui Hark are the different accents evident in his early films, in which conflicting themes about homelands, borderlands and diasporalands abound. Integral to these themes is the inevitable question of displacement, home and belonging. Whether experienced at the individual or collective level, Tsui’s multiple yet particular encounters with territorial colonialism and national independence, extraterritorial nationalisms and diasporas, and global re- and deterritorialisation invariably invite us to look beyond the simple labelling of his work, despite Stephen Teo’s assertion to the contrary, as ‘very Chinese indeed’ (Teo, 1997: 148) or as manifestations of a quintessential ‘national [Chinese] style and polemic’ (ibid.: 167). They index instead, in both literal and analogical ways, transnational sensibilities that come with ‘flexible citizenship’ (Ong, 1999). This is a citizenship that is marked by, but not exclusive to, national(ist) affects, but also by other post-national(ist) constructs based on class, ethnicity, gender and education. That is to say, Tsui’s penchant for mixing and remixing has characteristically involved playing the familiar and against the unfamiliar, and vice versa; the resultant mind-boggling juxtapositions in his films, characterised by irrational mishmashes and ridiculous leaps, signal split-place polymorphous subjectivities that cannot be comfortably co-opted for Chinese nationalism—whatever the variety. Tsui’s characters in these films are not heroes from the old China romances that we have met in earlier chapters. Nor are they the fanchuan, cross-dressing, gender-bending ciazi/jiaren characters of operas and films that we have seen so many of in this book as well, but they are, at times, transgendered and politically ‘queered’ in ways that have hitherto not been witnessed. Unlike much of what had been seen before, these films feature a dystopia of bloody violence and chaos. They are not the eroticised fengyuepian, or the cosmopolitan bangpian characters aimed at the third-culture kids; nor are their actions fetishised

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as heroic. They are products of the here-and-now Hong Kong (1979–84) which is facing a very uncertain future. Tsui Hark’s early films capture this changing Hong Kong and its people, who are caught in a vicious circle of ultraviolence, the (by-)product of colonialism, capitalism, globalisation, modernism and urbanism, with which they deal on a day-to-day basis. They are characters struggling, as Hong Kong itself was struggling at this time, not only with figuring out what it was to be Chinese in a British colony, but what being Chinese was going to mean when the territory was ceded back to China and the British left in 1997. One critic later describes Tsui the filmmaker as akin to ‘the swordsman’ who roams the jianghu of contemporary Hong Kong cinema (Ho, 2002: viii).

New Waves Tsui’s stay in Hong Kong in the late 1970s came with the force of a revelation: that Hong Kong people could take on occidental rationality at its own game, on local terms, to produce a global outcome, and that Hong Kong’s economic triumphs rested on an astute accumulation of ‘foreign’ capital for localised manipulation and a shrewd amassing of ‘local’ capital for global transactions. This led to a new form of localism, premised on a ‘cancel out and pass on’ attitude (Abbas, 1997: 26), which celebrated Hong Kong’s economic achievements and global interconnectivity, while happily throwing out past connections that were deemed parochial. But as the ‘1997’ issue emerged, and became a matter of concern, a sense of foreboding also started to set in. In the cultural realm, around 1980, the Hong Kong New Wave—also known as the New Hong Kong Cinema—rolled into sight. In his book Hong Kong: Culture and Politics of Disappearance (1997), Ackbar Abbas observes that this new cinema has yielded films that ‘[assert] the importance of the local’, while at the same time drawing attention to the presence of ‘foreigners and foreign elements’ in the territory in sustained ways not seen before. In so doing, it manifests an interest in ‘[investigating] the dislocations of the local’ (1997: 28ff ). Caught between the ‘local’ and the ‘foreign’, the cultural space of Hong Kong becomes difficult to represent since it disappears as soon as it appears, thus making Hong Kong as a subject elusive to grasp, and the subjectivity of Hong Kong even more slippery to behold. This particular elusiveness and slipperiness conveys a feeling of déjà disparu that, according to Abbas, is highly reflexive and expressive of the ‘cancel out and move on’ attitude prevalent in Hong Kong society at the time. Abbas explains: Hong Kong‘s history is one of shock and radical changes. As if to protect themselves against this series of traumas, Hong Kong people have little memory and no sentiment for the past. The general attitude to everything,

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sometimes indistinguishable from the spirit of enterprise, is cancel out and pass on. (ibid.: 28) As such, the déjà disparu phenomenon in relation to the new cinema presents makers of this cinema with two very specific challenges. How to capture the cultural space of Hong Kong that is ‘always on the point of disappearing’? And how to ‘construct images out of clichés’—those which the déjà disparu leaves behind—so that they can be experienced in refreshing ways (ibid.: 25–6)? Sinophone cinema, in the hands of Tsui Hark, amongst others, was on the move, as Hong Kong’s middle class grew and the city became a global financial hub, although now increasingly troubled by the looming uncertainty of ‘1997’. Like Tsui himself, the characters, and indeed Hong Kong itself, in these films parallel Tsui’s own existence as a deterritorialised Chinese diasporan. The ever-present and developing internal diaspora theme conveys a story about metaphorical and philosophical journeys of displacement and home-seeking. The storylines of the early films unfold in the midst of often bloody chaos and internecine battles, and track utopian-like journeys, often via circular narrative structures, to places (and to beginnings and to endings) that seem always to be illusive. Caught between the familiar and the strange within these illusive interstitial spaces, that quest for utopia, home and belonging is therefore always as elusive as it is delusive. Home, in this context, is always within reach but also always out of range: always within sight but also always beyond touch. In terms of content, Tsui’s first films can be as cliché-ridden as the ‘standard’ Hong Kong film of that time. But films that analogised ‘the modern reality of Hongkongers were the taste of the decade, and Mandarin took a back seat’ (Davis, 2019). Tsui’s peculiar taste for reworking film genres, forms, styles and compositions (imageries) that fostered new ways of seeing the familiar and the known, however, makes his works stand apart from the rest. Multilayered miseen-scène, multi-perspectival staging of action, and other formal and stylistic innovations, including playful shot mismatches, razor-fast editing and cocktails of genre-mixing, are his signatures. They accentuate difference as much as they create accents of difference. Conflicting themes about homelands, borderlands and diasporalands abound, and central to these themes is the inevitable question of displacement, home and belonging which characterises the diasporic mindset of Tsui Hark in his films. Tsui Hark, as an admirer of Akira Kurosawa among others (Tsui, 1998: 173), responded to those challenges way ahead of 1997. He made his debut in Hong Kong with The Butterfly Murders (1979), a period film which blends Hong Kong wuxia (warrior-chivalry), Hollywood sci-fi and Japanese popular culture, from manga to Samurai films. Since that time, his movies—regardless of format—

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have travelled far and wide, with uneven impact in home and global film markets. I will concentrate on four of these films, made on his returning to Hong Kong, not only because they helped to shape his very distinctive style as a director, about which much has been written, but also because they raise particular issues about Chineseness, identity, home and diaspora that are crucial to any understanding of early transnational sinophone cinema. They are The Butterfly Murders (1979), We’re Going to Eat You (1980), Dangerous Encounter—1st Kind (1980) and Shanghai Blues (1984). While these, and other later, movies may have given Tsui Hark the status of a ‘New Waver’ (see Law, 2001; Rodriguez, 2001), more importantly, they function within sinophone cinema as allegories of displaced people within their homeland, offering numerous metaphors of diasporadom in the interstices between the marginland and the mainstreamland of Chinese societies: in ancient China (Butterfly), in Republican China (Eat), in late colonial Hong Kong (Dangerous) and in 1930s Shanghai (Shanghai Blues).

The Butterfly Murders (Die bian) (1979) Shot in Taiwan, The Butterfly Murders (hereafter Butterfly) appears at first to be a conventional wuxia (warrior-chivalry) film with characteristic wire-action combat scenes and typical themes of deception and chivalry—but it transforms into a fiery ‘sci-fi martial arts mystery thriller that doubles as an expose on human nature’ (Tsui, 2002: 175) The film begins with a voiceover which recounts the internecine wars that raged in ancient China. The voice belongs to scholar Fong, who has travelled alone far and wide across the land, keeping punctilious records. Loner Fong is a war reporter of sorts, and the film portrays his written accounts as being eagerly sought after for commercial reproduction, using moveable print, which, together with the motifs of gunpowder and papermaking, serves as a terse reminder of ancient China’s contributions to human civilisation. Set at some time in the thirty-sixth year of a fictive New Era, the story principally concerns Master Shum’s lust for total power, conquest and control (a metaphor for authoritarianism and internal colonialism). It unfolds linearly but seems to be told in the past tense. This produces a temporal dislocation which, along with surrealist-like composites such as a bird-bomb and killer butterflies, and locations such as Shum Castle, adds to the film’s surrealistic collages. Master Shum’s invitation to investigate the sudden appearance of these killer butterflies at his castle spurs Fong’s journey. At Shum Castle, Master Shum receives Fong in a chamber below ground. (The killer butterflies have forced Master Shum, his wife and their ‘mute’ maid to seek refuge underground. The maid only pretends to be mute, however, as she is frightened that Master Shum will kill her if he knows that she can speak his secrets.) Underground, then,

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Fong meets Boss Tien and others, including an uninvited guest, Green Shadow. All except Fong are martial arts experts. Later, other warriors appear periodically and mysteriously under cover of the night, and the plot thickens with the sudden death of Master Shum—seemingly a victim of the killer butterflies. In actuality, Master Shum is alive and well, and the killer butterflies turn out to be a hoax. He has concocted this trick as a way of luring top-class warriors, including and especially Boss Tien, to his castle. His aim is to eliminate all his rivals for he wishes to rule the martial arts world as its most supreme warrior. In the final showdown, he unleashes a tiny bird at Boss Tien and Green Shadow. Green Shadow leaps into the air and grabs it, but the bird turns out to be a flying bomb. The ensuing explosion causes the underground structure to cave in, burying all except Fong, who thus lives to tell the tale of yet more senseless warfare. Fong’s quest takes him to the metaphorical edges of Chinese civilisation, where internecine tussles, intraracial conflicts and cannibalistic behaviour are widespread. Loner Fong is effectively a roaming diasporan. He is a homeless figure—a type set to recur often in Tsui Hark’s films, where border consciousness drives their instinct for survival. At the end of Butterfly, Fong takes to the road again, only to find (more) fresh and mysterious corpses ahead. But he remains caught in war zones with no firm closure at the end of the film, allowing his seemingly endless search for home to continue. It is a powerful analogy for deterritorialised Chinese diasporans on the one hand, and on the other, signals too their ambivalence in the matter of home and belonging. The wish to go/come home is simultaneously played out with an overwhelming sense of futility. But if home is where the heart is, where is the heart? As we have seen so far in all the previous chapters of this book, it is the double question of sinophone cinema that never goes away—just exactly what is China and Chineseness? Welcome to the world of Tsui Hark, where all is not as it would first appear.

We’re Going to Eat You (Diyu wumen) (1980) Three men and a woman flee a coastal village inhabited by cannibals on a wooden raft. One man is a secret agent (Agent 999) and the second man a thief, while the third is the woman’s younger brother. The woman is called Ah Lin—previously the favourite mistress of Security Chief and now the lover of Agent 999. While running away from the village, Agent 999 accidentally kills Security Chief, the tyrannical village head who lorded over his charges with an iron fist. Behind the leafy foliage on the raft is a fourth man. Suddenly, he leaps at Ah Lin. Comedic and frantic chaos ensues. Ah Lin’s brother falls off the raft. He cannot swim, so the thief jumps into the river to save him, forgetting momentarily that he

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cannot swim either. Meanwhile, the tussle on the raft continues, ending only when the fourth man dies—falling on a pointed branch which Ah Lin happens to be holding at the time. Blood spatters everywhere. Agent 999 then dives into the water and swims towards the drowning men. Ah Lin, on the other hand, retrieves a small knife from her pocket and stabs the dead man’s chest with it—repeatedly. As the three men reach the raft, Ah Lin thrusts the dead man’s still-pulsating heart in their faces. Smiling gleefully, she says to the secret agent, ‘Look, it is the heart!’ This gift of a human heart—which happens to be Ah Lin’s favourite meal, and for her fellow-villagers in general, the most prized human part—as an expression of love closes Tsui Hark’s second film, We’re Going to Eat You, produced by Seasonal Films. It marks the film’s most surreal moment, representing a culmination of its unrelenting play with incredible juxtapositions, ridiculous behaviours, hallucinatory reality, delirious jumps, and other distortions of the recognisable that simultaneously make the familiar strange and the strange familiar. This kind of narrative and compositional style yields conceptual surprises, perceptual disorientations and situational conundrums, typifying the many surrealisms of Tsui’s films. These, in turn, manifest uncanny parallels, in a parodic way, to the works of early European surrealists such as Salvador Dalí, including Dalí and Luis Buñuel’s pioneering surrealist short, Un Chien Andalou (1928), in which mutilated bodies and nightmarish creatures abound, alongside surrealist themes of destruction, death and rebirth; decay, putrefaction and metamorphosis; and sexual excesses, paranoia and obsessions (see Williams, 1981; Clifford,1981; Ross, 1990). The baffling play with curious juxtapositions, unusual placements and weird combinations in this and Tsui’s other early films additionally generates imageries of the grotesque. Consider, for instance, the famous hand-at-the-door motif in Un Chien Andalou, where a sexually aroused man tries to break into the room of a woman. She reacts by slamming the door on his hand. In Eat, the castrated hand-as-mutilated-body metaphor manifests a number of parodic reversals: it becomes the man who, in fleeing the amorous pursuit of a nymphomaniac (played by a large man in a cross-gender role), jams the woman’s hand in the door. Horror meets kungfu here in black comedy. Hong Kong film enthusiast Lisa Morton sees this film as a ‘parody of communism’, which simultaneously makes cheeky gestures at slasher movies like Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and other US media products like the cartoons of Tex Avery or Chuck Jones (Morton, 2001: 40). I am sure it does do that; but it also does much more. Eat offers a satirical portrait of the early twentieth-century ‘Chinese nation’, one mired in an underdeveloped economy (in the modernist sense of the term), and populated by a people seemingly resigned to dictatorial governance. The

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film’s sometimes comedic and sometimes striking parable about the ‘humaneat-human’ world offers a route into this nation’s heart of darkness. Its surreal tale about cannibals and cannibalism unfolds in an unnamed coastal village, and runs alongside the adventures or misadventures of Agent 999, the film’s main character, who comes to the village to apprehend a criminal called Rolex. Agent 999 is, of course, initially unaware of the villagers’ unusual culinary tastes. The village—or, as the film’s Chinese title calls it, the gateless hell (Diyu wumen), is taken from the Chinese saying ‘Hell has no gate (Diyu wumen), yet you force your way into it (Ni pianpian chuang jin lai)’—is located somewhere between Hong Kong and Guangzhou, in Republican or post-Imperial China. Its inhabitants, all cannibals, have no visible means of production—no agriculture, no trade, no market. Security Chief is in charge here. He is an agent of a certain Central Government, and his heavily accented Cantonese marks him out even more as an outsider from the village. With the help of his outsider-followers, he has bullied the villagers into fearful submission. Kept on the verge of perpetual hunger, the superstitious and fatalistic villagers dance to his whims and fancies: they do all the dirty work—from hunting down passers-by to chopping them up; from bagging up chopped-up body parts for distribution at the village temple, to praying for the souls of the slaughtered there. Security Chief invariably presides over the distribution and habitually keeps the choicest cuts, especially the human heart. Fugitive Rolex, now an aide to Security Chief, desperately wants to put a stop to such institutionalised cannibalism. He is therefore more than willing to lead a rebellion, but fails because the perpetually bickering villagers ultimately lack the collective will to dispose of their self-appointed leader. Rolex himself eventually becomes an item for chopping and bagging up before distribution at the temple. Although successful in fleeing from the village, Agent 999, in an open-ended ending like Butterfly, now has two cannibals as fellow travellers: Ah Lin (who offers him a human heart as a love token) and her younger brother. Everyone in this village—whether villagers or outsiders—is of Chinese origin. If the conflict between the two groups suggests intraracial strife (Chinese fighting Chinese; Chinese killing Chinese) and internal colonialism (Chinese from outside the village subjugating those inside), then the film’s passing reference to colonial Hong Kong—together with Security Chief’s Western-style military garb and names like Rolex—would allude to the presence of non-Chinese powers near the village. This allusion circumscribes the allegory of China-in-crisis at the beginning of the last century—a situation brought about by the combined processes of foreign invasion, colonial subjugation, Western modernity, internecine strife and authoritarianism. Finally, while the trope of a successful escape from this hell of a place offers hope of self-salvation, Eat is silent about what and where this escape would lead to.

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Queering the Familiar: Collage Practice Butterfly and Eat, though critically acclaimed, were both produced by independent studios and did not fare well at the box office. They seem at first to be potentially popular commercially, but they contain political overtones and offer the sort of social critique akin to Mike Ingham’s notion of the film director as a public intellectual who makes ‘film essays’ that not only express independent thought, but also articulate personal objections, public grievances and social injustices (Ingham, 2011). But whether critically or commercially successful, Tsui’s early films pulsate, often in analogical ways, with the private stories of individuals, together with the social and public stories of colonialism, migration, exile, diaspora and deterritorialisation in the transnational/translocal. Recurrent themes about the desperate search for utopia, home and belonging reside at the heart of the stories Tsui Hark tells, which simultaneously accentuate the contradictory and conflicting feelings which he has for home and diaspora. The smorgasbord of genre-mixing and dizzy film collages, clearly evident in these early films, reflects and refracts these feelings in multiple ways, though less so when this has the effect of throwing conventional film genres, forms, styles and compositions into disarray and chaos than when it has the effect of queering the familiar simultaneously as both familiar and strange. Caught within an interstitial space between the familiar and the strange, that quest for utopia, home and belonging is therefore always as elusive as it is delusive. For sinophone citizens like Tsui Hark, then, as demonstrated by the few characters left at the end of these films, home is always within reach but also always out of range; always within sight but also always beyond touch. In more ways than one, then, Tsui’s eclecticism alludes, if not attests, to the filmmaker’s familiarity with the universe of representations in the arts and other cultural practices of the world at large, from the painterly to the cinematic, past and present. This lends itself to collage practice—that which involves dismantling the familiar into vignettes for reassembly in new, sometimes surprising and sometimes shocking, contexts. The resultant surrealist(-like) imageries, hybrid genres and intertextual parodies accordingly highlight processes of cooptation and assimilation, mimicry and inversion, displacement and appropriation in these early films. They point to processes of adapting and adopting that add slants and twists to extant cultural traditions, intellectual ideas, artistic practices, cinematic styles and filmic forms already in circulation in Hong Kong and beyond; the slants and twists in turn foster new and different ways of seeing the familiar—the known. Tsui Hark’s trademark mixing and remixing, his ‘collage practice’, typically entails disassociating the familiar from its habitual environment and then

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reassociating it with unfamiliar contexts in ways that render the familiar, the known, into fragments of distortions, or parodies of its former self (see Corliss, 2000; Highmore, 2002). This reassembly of seemingly unrelated material in highly unusual situations yields new forms, produces pastiches and hybrids, and creates auras of surrealisms. Collage practice thus exposes the repetition, disjuncture and triteness of everyday things and routines; offers relief from the monotony of everyday living, as well as from the dullness of everyday things and routines; and finally, induces new and different ways of seeing the familiar, the banal and the everyday in bizarre and marvellous ways, thus rendering the ordinary extraordinary and the extraordinary ordinary. Collage practice produces ‘shocks and sparks’ of dis-conjunctions and confronts ‘habits of minds that have become blinkered by routinised thought’, thereby pointing out the possibility of change and transformation (Highmore, 2002: 50–1).

Accented Cinema Tsui Hark’s film-collages contain these ’shocks and sparks’ in varying sizes and intensities. They are created in, at and through the interstices of incredible juxtapositions and ridiculous combinations that yield bizarre forms, preposterous situations, mind-boggling distortions and surreal(ist) mishmashes. Hamid Naficy, though never referring to Tsui Hark’s work, very valuably describes the work of interstitial filmmakers like Tsui as ‘accented cinema’ (Naficy, 2001). This throws a useful light on such ‘interstices of social formations and cinematic practices’, revealing ‘interstitial’ filmmakers at the border, where, in Robert Stam’s words, ‘multiple determinants of race, class, gender and membership in divergent, even antagonistic, historical and national identities intersect’ (Stam, 1994: 10, 31). This, he suggests, accentuates in multiple ways the sense of displacement and bewilderment experienced by those filmmakers who have to deal with contradictory feelings about the matter of homeland(s), hostland(s), compatriotland(s), borderland(s) and diasporaland(s) in the post-modern world. The resultant tropes about ‘outward journeys of escape, home seeking, and home founding; journeys of quest, homelessness, and lostness; and inward, homecoming, journeys’ hence articulate ‘metaphoric and philosophical journeys of identity and transformation that involve the films’ characters and sometimes the filmmakers themselves’ (Naficy, 2001: 33; cf. Shohat and Stam, 1994). Such tropes both yield from and yield to ‘border consciousness’ that highlights a heightened awareness of the presence of ‘multifocality, multilinguality, asynchronicity, critical distance, fragmented or multiple subjectivity, and transborder amphibolic characters [or themes]—characters [and themes that] might be best called “shifters”’ (Naficy, 2001: 32). As a consequence, accented cinema

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manifests ‘a state of tension and dissension’ that variously speaks to, and of, the filmmakers’ relation to art, commerce and society; to power, subjugation and resistance; and finally, issues of displacement, home and belonging, producing trajectories of identities that parallel the filmmakers’ existence as ‘luminal’ subjects within interstitial locations, and their correspondent search for dialogues with home and host societies, as well as compatriot communities and transnational audiences that, in the Hong Kong context, would be additionally framed by ‘extraterritorial’ issues, concerns and considerations (Fan, 2019). Accented cinema is therefore an ‘engaged cinema’, posits Naficy, who then suggests that: Its engagement is less with ‘the people’ and ‘the masses’ . . . than with specific individuals, ethnicities, nationalities, and identities, and with the experience of deterritorialisation itself. In accented cinema, therefore, every story is both a private story of an individual and a social and public story of exile and diaspora. These engagements with collectivities and with deterritorialisation turn accented films into allegories of exile and diaspora — not the totalising ‘national allegories’ that Jameson (1981) once characterised Third World literature and cinema to be. (Nacify, 2001: 33) Tsui’s shocks and sparks can show up in his highly distinctive accented cinema at the level of particular shots that feature a cluttered compositional quality (mise-en-scène, decor and costume). Curious editing of shots, sequences, scenes and sounds that shadow, jostle, undercut and taunt one another additionally sparks off Eisenstein-like montages of conflict. Meanwhile, the combined use of continuous and discontinuous editing, whether simultaneously or by turn, has the effect of pitching these montages against the classical Hollywood linear continuity models (and vice versa), in dramatic and dialogic ways. Liberal borrowing of film forms and styles, past and present, and parodical referencing of socio-political phenomena, covert or overt, on the other hand, throw up even more sensory perplexities, perceptual confusions, delirious conundrums and situational chaos. All these kinds of mixing and juxtaposing engender turbocharged rhythms that send the pace of narration into a stupendous spin, the storytelling into a staggering speed, and the visuals into a hyperkinetic swirl. When pushed to the limits, collage practice à la Tsui Hark spawns hybrid genres. If collages of violent surrealisms, like Tsui Hark’s, represent a symbolic display of irrationalities and absurdities that haunt and taunt colonial Hong Kong’s political unconscious, then it is the fatal encounter between a group of Hong Kong adolescents and a group of American Vietnam War veterans in Tsui Hark’s Dangerous Encounter—1st Kind (1980) that prises the barbarous heart of transnational Hong Kong’s laissez-faire economy wide open. The hypnagogic spectre

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of US neo-imperialism lurks in this heart, with the Americans offering symbolic cues to its shadowy presence. There is no doubt that, in 1980, Tsui understood and knew these issues well, along with the ‘taboos’ that came with them. In his endeavour to test them, it is therefore not at all surprising that Dangerous landed on the wrong side of an administrative body: the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority (TELA) which oversaw the then Panel of Film Censors. The first version of Dangerous was banned. It is an interesting story, and one highly relevant to understanding further the role of Hong Kong New Wave cinema in the development of new Sinophone cinema, and one I explore in more detail in Chapter 9, ‘Tsui Hark : Time-bomb Cinema’.

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Chapter 9 Tsui Hark: Time-bomb Cinema

‘Beware! Category One Danger (or Dangerous Goods)!’ Ban(g)! Ban(g)! Resistance Cinema A group of unidentified children drops a bag of red paint from the top of a dilapidated building on an unidentified pedestrian below. The bag hits the ground, missing her. She bellows at the children, cursing them. But there’s more . . . : A white mouse with a pin pushed into its brain squeaks a slow and agonising death. A fencer unexpectedly meets a brutal death in a changing room. A hooker is stabbed repeatedly with a piece of broken glass in a seedy hotel room. A man is killed in a hit-and-run accident. A road-sweeper making her rounds at dawn finds bits and pieces of a chopped-up body. A home-made bomb goes off in a crowded cinema. Another home-made bomb blows up a money-changer and his bodyguard. A group of adolescents is chased by gangsters armed with knives, baseball bats and chains. A group of arms-trafficking American veterans of the Vietnam War tie up a gangster chief (Uncle Hak). Suspended from a chain, mouth stitched up with a wire, the chief is punched and flayed by turn. A teenage girl (Wan-Chu) meets the same fate as the cat which she tossed out of her kitchen window several days earlier: impaled on the spikes of a fence, two floors below that same window, her warm blood gushing next to the cat’s rotting carcass. A detective of the Royal Hong Kong Police (RHKP) Special Branch slumps on a car seat, behind the steering wheel, a knife in his head.

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The mangled body of a local police officer (P.C. Tan) lies motionless in a cemetery, bleeding. Around him lie bullet-ridden bodies. Traumatised by the carnage at the cemetery, the sole survivor (Ah Kao) loses his mind, laughing and crying hysterically as he sprays the air with a machinegun. Against the rattling sounds of the machinegun are flashes of newspaper clippings about real-life violent crimes in Hong Kong.

Real Life/Reel Life Straddling the real-life world of violent crimes and the ‘reel-life’ ferocious confrontations between local gangs (Wan-Chu’s ‘Gang of Four’ and Uncle Hak’s gangster group), fierce squabbles between a local and a colonist in the Royal Hong Kong Police (RHKP), and bloody fights between local gangs and a group of foreign gunrunners (in which P.C. Tan of the RHKP becomes an accidental contestant), Tsui Hark’s third film, Dangerous Encounter—1st Kind, begins as a standard social drama about delinquent teenagers but ends up in the realms of a gun-actioner. Wan-Chu, the kid sister of P.C. Tan, is the self-appointed leader of the ‘Gang of Four’, comprised of herself and three male adolescents: Ah Paul, Ah Loong and Ah Kao. She is responsible for the death of the mouse and the cat. In the gunrunner group are some American war veterans; they deal in left-over weaponry from the Vietnam War. They are in Hong Kong to sew up a transnational deal that involves the delivery of left-over arms from the Vietnam War to Japan, and are variously responsible for the death of the fencer in Thailand, and the hooker and gangster chief in Hong Kong. Both of the deceased are locals. The two groups cross paths by chance, but big trouble befalls Wan-Chu and the gang when, out of mischief, they run off with a bag belonging to one of the Americans. They do not know at the time that this white man is an armstrafficker, and that the bag contains bank drafts to the tune of 800 million yen. The drafts, which help fuel a transnational laissez-faire economy spanning Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand and the United States, ironically turn out to be the gang’s death warrants. This mix of characters contains a certain ‘subversive[ness] that makes the film [hover] between fantasy and reality’, according to its director (Tsui, 2002: 176). In many ways, it is an ‘angry young man’ sort of movie, which pitches teenage delinquents against greedy gangsters (locals) and enterprising ex-soldiers (foreigners), with tragic and fatal consequences for all. The teenagers prefer to wander the streets of Hong Kong, and when bored, create mischief. They do not regard their family abode as home, and at one point in the film express a collective wish to emigrate. Upon stumbling inadvertently on the illicit arms-trafficking trade, the

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teenagers suddenly find themselves a target. The ensuing carnage leaves only one survivor. Traumatised, the lone teenager goes mad. While all the blood and gore in Tsui’s modern-day fable of ultraviolence in colonial Hong Kong is never gratuitous, it nevertheless characterises Dangerous as a militant and cautionary anti-colonialist film. It is militant because it points, in a sleight-of-hand manner, to a struggle for freedom through violence; and cautionary because, while seeing violent struggles as inevitable, Tsui refuses to romanticise them. Violence may well be in their bones but the locals in the film are not ‘woke’, seeking the destruction of a colonial system that involves planning and putting into motion the ‘Manichean’ struggle that has historically developed into anti-colonialist movements (see Fanon, 1967). However, the film is anti-colonialist, to the extent that the locals are seen to have partaken spontaneously and resistively in battles with the colonial bodies, ranging from the superintendent of the RHKP (an Englishman) to the ex-Vietnam War gunrunners, whose very presence furnishes analogical indices of, and metonyms for, British colonialism and American neo-imperialism respectively. The film’s original title in Chinese was inspired by a warning sign: Dai Yat Lui Ngai Him (in Pinyin: Di Yi Lei Wei Xian), literally meaning ‘Category One Danger or Dangerous Goods’. ‘A year before production I saw the sign, “Beware! Category One Danger (or Dangerous Goods)!” at a gas station,’ recalls Tsui Hark, adding: ‘The warning refers to easily combustible liquids’ (Tsui, 1980: 10). For the Hong Kong Royal Fire Services Department, there were ten categories of dangerous goods. Topping the list was ‘explosives and blasting agents’ (Dangerous Goods Ordinance 1956/1983, 2016). The Chinese title thus neatly captures the film’s explosive-action motifs. The production originally had two English working titles: ‘City on Fire’ and ‘The Gang of Four’. The latter title, specifically referring to Wan-Chu’s fourmember teenage gang, could well have been an allusion to the PRC’s infamous Gang of Four, the political faction led by Jiang Qing, Mao Tse-tung’s last wife, which was brought to trial in November 1980. Investigations into the gang’s misdeeds during the Cultural Revolution had begun as early as 1978. The gang was formally charged in September 1980, about the same time Tsui began his appeal against the government censors’ decision to ban Dai Yat Lui Ngai Him/ City on Fire/The Gang of Four. Their trial, held in November and televised across China, was breaking news for the global media as well. In January of the following year, all four were convicted of anti-party activities and other treasonous crimes, and sentenced to death, or life or long imprisonment (Jiang Qing’s death sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment). By then, Tsui had successfully appealed against the ban and the film was eventually released with cuts, reshoots and re-edits under the new Chinese title of Dai Yat Lui Ying Ngai

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Him (Di yi lei xing weixian). Dangerous Encounter—1st Kind was the film’s official English title on release. The new film (also known unofficially as Don’t Play with Fire) had its midnight premiere at the Royal and Universal Theatres on 7 December 1980 and opened simultaneously at six movie houses (Royal, Universal, Olympia, Princess, Golden Gate and Cathay Theatres) two days later. It closed on 17 December 1980 (SCMPa, 1980: 7; SCMP, 1980b: various pages) The film ranked a modest thirty-third on Hong Kong box-office lists of 1980, although the gross takings were still higher than Butterfly Murders or We’re Going to Eat You (Morton, 2001: 39). Given the topicality and political sensitivity of the Gang of Four trial at the time, it seemed prudent for Tsui to drop the ‘Gang of Four’ English title, giving one less reason for the TELA to justify its decision to ban the film. The Film Censorship Standards: A Note of Guidance booklet, published by the Secretariat for Home Affairs in 1973, or four years before TELA was set up, had no legal authority. Neither did the ‘Places of Public Entertainment Regulations’ (1934) and the ‘Film Censorship Regulations’ (formulated in 1953, amended in 1956). That notwithstanding, TELA’s predecessors had been known to defer to them, especially if a film was deemed to have the potential to ‘damage good relations with other territories’ (Yau, 2015: 175–6). ‘The Gang of Four’ as the film’s English title would have been a little too close to home for comfort. In any case, the guidelines set out in this booklet and others were eventually gazetted into the Film Censorship Ordinance (1988), which was also to put in place the age-based three-tier film classification system (ibid.: 203). This ordinance eventually gave the government the legal legs to determine film and media censorship. Whatever Tsui’s thinking about the ‘gang of four’, it is clear that the gang’s membership, in both instances, consists of one female and three males, with the former as gang-leader; Wan-Chu, the gang’s leader in the film, typically wears a baggy shirt and trousers, and sports short hair in a bob—not dissimilar to Jiang Qing’s public persona when she was a high-ranking CCP cadre. As Herman Yau suggests, the transdiscursive connection between Tsui’s ‘Gang of Four’ and its namesake in mainland China could have served as a political allegory for the Cultural Revolution and for this revolution’s destructive spillovers that spurred the violence of the leftist riots in Hong Kong in 1967 (ibid.: 187). I agree. The film’s Chinese-release title, Dai Yat Leui Ying Ngai Him, is similar to the original one, except that it has an additional character, ‘Ying’. In the film poster, the Ying character is distinct to the other five characters. Rather than being red, it is white in colour; it is also smaller in font size. There is a caret symbol between the characters ‘Leui’ and ‘Ngai’ which separates the red characters into two groups: ‘Dai Yat Leui’ and ‘Ngai Him’, which respectively mean ‘First Kind’

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Figure 9.1 Film poster for Dangerous Encounter—1st Kind (1980). The film’s original Chinese title, given at the top of the poster, has five characters: Dai yat leui ngai him (in Pinyin: Deyi lei weixian). The released title retains the original name but inserts a new character, Ying (in Pinyin: Xing), using a caret mark. and ‘Danger’. The caret symbolically pries open a gap – a sort of ‘third space’, if you like – for the placement of the Ying character so that the latter, slightly skewed, occupies a slightly higher position than the five red characters, or the film’s original title (Fig. 9.1). This particular skewering, together with the variance in colour, font size and word placement, emphasises difference in multiple ways. It draws attention to an act of defiance, a site of intervention, doubling as an indelible reminder of the film’s tempering in the imperious hand of a colonial authority, and perhaps more importantly, one executed against Tsui’s will and also in spite of his protestations. ‘Ying’ and ‘Lei’ are, in fact, tautologous: both mean ‘type’ or ‘kind’. On the one hand, the tautology marks a superfluous redundancy, but on the other, their coupling adds a semantic twist to the original idea, or meaning, of ‘Category One Danger or Dangerous Goods’ (the original Chinese title’s literal translation). The ‘danger’ or ‘dangerous goods’ associated with the ‘category one’ type/kind is thus pushed out of the highly technical or clinical domains of categorised descriptions and classifications

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into the social realms of the lived or living, of the everyday, where types/kinds of people mingle and where types/kinds of situations occur—or, as the official English title suggests, types/kinds of encounters come to sight. If the warning sign at the petrol station inspired the film’s first Chinese title and the production motivation for making a movie with explosive action, then the bilingual released titles, together with the leui–ying coupling, help to convey ‘danger’ or ‘dangerous goods’ in the direction of the personalised and humanised spheres of the everyday, the living and the lived. This, in turn, offers a metaphorical twist for characterising the film’s action and narrative as dangerously intense and explosive, while simultaneously constructing the film’s characters as allegories of ‘time-bombs’ (Tsui, 1980: 10). In Dangerous Encounter—1st Kind, these are time-bombs in a dangerous environment collectively fettered by the combined violence of British colonialism and American neo-imperialism, with—as Wan-Chu’s ‘Gang of Four’ and the namesake in the initial English title or in the high-profile trial might suggest—the PRC’s political nationalism lurking in the shadows. Not surprisingly, then, Tsui’s bag of red paint, amongst other things in Dangerous, hit many a raw nerve at the heart of cultural productions in the still-colonial Hong Kong, drawing the ire of the colonial authority. Not coincidentally too, the original title is also deep red. While traditionally a colour associated with celebratory occasions, and commonly used for births, marriages and Spring Festivals in Chinese societies, red has, since 1949, generated new denotative meanings. Most particularly, it has become the national colour of the PRC and the party colour of the CCP. In Dangerous, the blood and gore have the vicissitude of irrationality. But Frantz Fanon has argued, in a different context, that the irrationality of violence was an inevitable response to, and consequence of, the ‘rationality of colonialism’ (Fanon, 1967: 55). Extremely challenging and highly disturbing images of such ‘irrationality’ occur throughout the film, as highlighted in the epigraph to this chapter, and while it seems almost passé (even dangerously politically incorrect) to say this so many years on and after so much has happened in the last forty years, when Tsui Hark made this ground-breaking film in 1980, terror as a dominant feature of Dangerous seemed to be a perfectly logical filmic expression of that ‘irrational’ response. It was ‘new’ at that time and it was profoundly shocking. The bag of red paint? Unmistakably a metaphor for the blood that seeps through—indeed, splashes everywhere—in this film. As one critic put it, ‘For sheer concentrated nastiness, there was nothing else in world cinema in 1980 to come near to it’ (Rayns, 1991: 61). If nothing else, then, Dangerous makes one thing very clear. Tangled in the net, with the oppression of colonialism or neo-imperialism on one side and the might of (an invisible yet omnipresent) mainland China on the other, Hong

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Kong is the home where, for better or for worse, the people of Hong Kong—or ‘time-bomb people’ (Tsui’s term)—live and die. Wan-Chu and the gang are all third-culture kids, for whom Hong Kong is the only home they know. Dangerous similarly ends where it starts, when the film’s ending repeats the sequence which opens the film: some unidentified children hurl a bag of red paint from the top of a decrepit public housing apartment block; the bag misses an unidentified pedestrian below, who then bellows hysterically at the children. The site— a symbol of colonial housing policies for the poor—is clearly not a homely place, but an area of tension and conflict—as, of course, was Hong Kong itself at the time, and is, even more so, today. But in the film no one profits, including the gunrunners. All except Ah Kao of Wan-Chu’s gang die in the final surreally staged carnage at the cemetery. Traumatised, the lone survivor goes mad, spraying a machinegun into the air. This scene is swiftly followed by quick flashes of old newspaper clippings about reallife violent crimes in colonial Hong Kong. This montage/collage then cuts to a rattling bullets segue, an aural spillover from the immediately preceding scene. The parasocial connection here intensifies the film’s surreality, while the frenzied juxtaposition of real-life crimes and ‘reel-life’ racial wars blurs distinctions between fact and fiction, adventure and everyday existence, dreams and consciousness, art and life, as well as essence and appearance. The violent slaughter at the film’s end (and elsewhere in the movie) additionally amplifies issues about resource inequity, and points to the uneven playing field in the contact zone of US neo-imperialism, or, for that matter, the colony itself. The American gunrunners, for example, have ready access to heavy firearms: automatic rifles and machineguns. The Hong Kong adolescents, on the other hand, are unarmed for the most part, occasionally using Molotov cocktails to create mischief—a parodic reminder of the leftist protests in 1967, when Molotov cocktails were the least deadly of the leftists’ weaponised arsenal. As for the local gangsters, they typically rely on switchblades, batons and chains to carry out their threats of brutal terror. Of the locals, only P. C. Tan has access to gun power: a small service revolver. Late colonial Hong Kong, Tsui’s hostland, is clearly no utopia: ‘The movie itself is Tsui’s own bag of red paint, hurled into the heart of Hong Kong’ (Rayns, 1991: 64).

Censorship Dangerous is not just an interesting (and pioneering) film from the early years of New Wave cinema in Hong Kong (and now, over forty years on, an apparently highly prescient one); it is also an important document for understanding the workings of censorship in relation to a history of ‘resistance cinema’ in Hong

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Kong and the Chinese diaspora overall (Cheuk, 2008; Li, 1992; Chan, 1988). As mentioned before, there are two versions of Dangerous: the banned one and the released one. I have so far referred exclusively to the released version of the film—and will continue to do so—since I have no access to the banned version. Obviously, this marks a limitation to analysis. But Tsui’s account of his closed-door dispute with the censors (Tsui, 1980), Hong Kong film reviewer Luo Weiming’s comparative review of the two versions of the film (Luo, 1980a), and the censor Pierre Lebrun’s letter in response to Tsui’s article (LeBrun, 1980), all published in Ming Pao Weekly (MPW), are significant documents for understanding the nature of the dispute. Together with the fact that Tsui had to rescript, reshoot and re-edit parts of the film after meeting and consulting with Lebrun, these documents provide some basis for examining a practice of negotiation, which demonstrates, to use Derrida’s words, both the vigilance and the failure of censorship (Derrida, 1978: 226). The film shows not so much how it has circumvented censorship but how ‘compromises’ by Tsui, as director, have indeed turned censorship upon itself, revealing both its rigours and its failings. Luo Weiming, for example, has framed the dispute over censorship of the film’s original version as providing ‘an opportunity for masticating on, and pondering upon, questions that exist beyond the film’ (Luo, 1980a). I do some of that masticating and pondering here. Censorship happens everywhere and differs more in degree than form (Peleg, 1993a; Jansen, 1993), so film censorship in colonial Hong Kong was not new, of course (Yau, 2015; Ng, 2008; Shu, 2005). A public spat between Hong Kong censors and filmmakers was, however, a rare occurrence. Although the dispute did not attract widespread media attention, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported on Dixon Mak’s emergency press conference of 7 September 1980, at which the deputy manager of Fotocine, which produced City on Fire/The Gang of Four, announced the TELA decision to ban the film (SCMP, 1980a: 7). Prior to TELA, censors were not subject to public accountability, unlike those associated with TELA, and indeed the film industry was not aware of the Film Censorship Regulations (1953/6) which had guided censorship practices in the territory during the post-war years, until May 1973. Prior to that, the government kept its existence a secret (Yau, 2015: 175). Warranted by the Places of Public Entertainment Regulations (1934), the Film Censorship Regulations were characterised more by ‘vagueness’ than ‘objective criteria or guidance for the censors’; this effectively gave the government ‘unlimited power’ over film exhibition matters (Yau, 2005, 2009: 145). In his doctoral thesis, The Progression of Political Censorship: Hong Kong Cinema from Colonial Rule to Chinese-style Socialist Hegemony (2015), Herman Yau provides an impressive survey of film censorship practices from the days of

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early cinema to Hong Kong in the twenty-first century, along with the nuances and complexities therein and thereof. Here I will provide a sampling of postwar censorship practices in order to provide a pertinent context for locating the ban on Tsui’s film. According to Yau (2005, 2009), sometimes citing Shu Don-lok’s study (2005) of the Southern Film Corporation, a major distributor of the PRC’s films in Hong Kong from 1947 onwards, during the post-war years, films—regardless of whether they were documentaries or fiction, or of place of origin—that were deemed to be ‘[p]olitically sensitive’, detrimental to ‘the diplomatic relations with neighbouring countries’ or carriers of blatant ‘political propaganda’ were closely scrutinised and especially affected. They ranged from those about the anti-Japan war, the Chinese Civil War and the Korean War, to those showing the courageous deeds of the KMT or CCP armies, and the racial conflict between black and white Americans (see Yau, 2005, 2009: 146–51). For a time, shots of the PRC’s national flag, national anthem, national emblem, even its national leaders, or scenes showing the People’s Liberation Army were excised (ibid.: 151–2). After 1965, such restrictions were relaxed when it became clear to the government, based on box-office records, that the local populace was generally unenthusiastic about PRC films, including revolutionary model opera films made during the Cultural Revolution (ibid.: 155). If the colonial censors appeared overall to be ‘hard on PRC films and relatively lenient towards Taiwanese films, then they had likewise not been hesitant to throw the sledgehammer at Taiwanese films with explicit anti-communist themes, including those, made in the early 1980s, that depicted “the dark side of Maoist China”’ (ibid.: 151). The censors also did not warm to films that could, for example, ‘induce labour disputes or even riots’ (ibid.: 158–9). Nor were they enthusiastic about films with ‘anti-Chinese content’ or ‘anti-colonial themes’ (ibid.: 153–4, 161–2). In sum, the colonial government had striven to maintain political neutrality and non-interference. But films perceived to have challenged this neutrality were either banned outright or released with excisions; in some cases, the bans were eventually lifted. Every dispute has a story to tell. As for Tsui’s Dangerous, it began with a rumour that his submission of The Gang of Four/City on Fire would not be approved. The confirmation finally came in the form of a notice from TELA’s Panel of Film Censors, which, for days, had firmly refused to respond to Tsui’s anxious queries (Tsui, 1980: 10–11). According to Tsui, the panel objected to the film’s propensity to incite violence and its alleged contempt for the law and its representatives, putatively contravening the terms for an exhibition permit (clause 6A, in particular). It would appear that at least one meeting between Tsui and Lebrun to discuss the ban took place, with some of Tsui’s associates, including the producers, at this meeting too. The meeting led Tsui to believe that

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the panel was specifically circumspect about his film’s depiction of foreigners in ‘ugly’ terms. As Tsui puts it in his Ming Pao article: ‘The Panel objects to the Mormon-bashing scene, the cruelty of Vietnam War veterans, and the confrontation between school students and foreigners’ (Tsui, 1980: 12). This Lebrun denies, saying: During the meeting, I pointed out that the film shows a gang of students acting criminally. But they are apparently unremorseful of what they do. Nor are they perturbed by their criminal ways. The majority of the general public will find it difficult to put up with such content. (MPW, 1980: 13) Lebrun’s specific objections reveal a moral objection to unaccountable criminality, while his invocation of the ‘general public’ is not unexpected since this imaginary public has been a time-honoured shield for legitimising bureaucratic actions. The Mormon-bashing, the veterans’ cruelty and the student–foreigner confrontation would seem to contravene the Film Censorship Standards (1973) guidelines that proscribed ‘crimes of violence’, racial ‘hatred’ and ‘unwarrantably offend[ing] religious bodies’ (Yau, 2015: 176), but these guidelines had no legal foundations. Tsui did not sue TELA but worked with the censors and addressed their concerns to the best of his ability. He was, in fact, adamant about keeping the foreigner segments: ‘We will not cut them out,’ he writes. ‘We will supplement the film! We will add another narrative thread that will make the story more complete’ (Tsui, 1980: 11). The reworked version thus has what Luo Weiming called ‘the fourth narrative strand’ (Luo, 1980a: 14). Although the Mormon-bashing scene was removed, the released version has two discernible narrative supplements: one involves the reconstruction of the adolescents (seen initially by the censors to be ‘anarchists’); and the second pertains to the inclusion of RHKP’s Special Branch as the law-enforcer. In the reworked film, the teenagers are thus recast as social misfits bent on creating havoc. Not only that but they are all transformed into products of dysfunctional families, who are variously hopeless at holding down a job, hostile to the well-meaning efforts of a social worker, and given to playing truant and reckless driving. Although this reconfiguration helps cancel out their original signification as alienated social rebels without a cause, the reworked version nonetheless retains the nihilistic tone of its predecessor. Tsui was not giving in to the censor LeBrun; he was, in the end, resisting him—not unlike the defiant caret in the film’s new Chinese title. Tsui’s dealings with LeBrun overall could be read as acts of resistance against the sort of colonial authority which Lebrun embodies, as mapped in Table 9.1.

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Table 9.1 Contesting colonial authority Tsui’s Anxious Encounter with Lebrun (the repressed internalised)

The Manifest Content in Dangerous (the repressed returns as displacements)

Lebrun and I (Tsui) have a dispute.

P.C. Tan (Tsui) and the superintendent (Lebrun) have a heated argument.

Lebrun wants to ban my film.

The superintendent takes P.C. Tan off a homicide case, in which the latter has a personal interest: the murder of WanChu, P.C. Tan’s kid sister (Tsui’s film).

Reluctantly, I agree to rescript, reshoot and re-edit Dangerous.

Grudgingly, P.C. Tan agrees with the superintendent.

Lebrun has irrational fears.

The superintendent gives the case to the Special Force because he suspects P.C. Tan of having links with the armstraffickers. A large amount of Japanese bank drafts is inexplicably found in the flat he shares with Wan-Chu.

Lebrun keeps his eyes on me.

The Special Force shadows P.C. Tan.

How do I circumvent Lebrun’s panoptic gaze?

The Special Force loses P.C. Tan.

I defy Lebrun and get away with it.

Despite the superintendent’s explicit order to stay out of the case, P.C. Tan tracks down the three boys linked to it: Ah Paul, Ah Loong and Ah Kao. These boys are wanted by the Special Force for questioning.

I defy Lebrun and get away with it again.

P.C. Tan slaughters the arms-traffickers who trail him to the cemetery, where the boys hide out.

P.C. Tan lies in a pool of blood, badly Self-parody and black humour: this is a literalisation of my defiant spirit: to ‘fight wounded or dying. [Lebrun ] to the end, or till death’. I have the last laugh: Lebrun will never beat me at what I do.

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Ultimately, the Special Force cannot establish if P.C. Tan has any definite links with the traffickers.

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Tsui displaces the ‘closed door’ negotiation between himself and Lebrun about the censoring of his film into an argument between P.C. Tan and his (white) superintendent in the film. This allows Tsui to transpose the original ‘private’ dispute into a ‘public arena’. The analogy is not difficult to draw. Both are about the rights of expression. The original dispute was over a filmmaker’s right to express and a censor’s right to intervene. In the case of the released version of the film, the issue is over P.C. Tan’s right to investigate a homicide case and the superintendent’s right to appoint an investigator of his choice for the case. The parallel between Tsui’s affective investment in Dangerous and that of P.C. Tan in his dead kid sister (Wan-Chu)—the victim of the homicide—is striking on several levels. The initial ban on City on Fire/The Gang of Four has the effect of sounding a symbolic death knell for Tsui’s career. Tsui seeks to revive his film from that ‘death’ by entering into a closed door negotiation with Lebrun. Likewise, P.C. Tan’s struggle with the superintendent for the right to investigate the homicide and to pursue the murderers of his sister, Wan-Chu, is symptomatic of a desire to keep her ‘alive’. This scene thus embodies a ‘displacement’, which, as Levine puts it, ‘represents a . . . process that redefines both the terms and the field of conflict [that] can involve the creation of new values’ (Levine, 1994: 82). Like the initial dispute, the argument in the film also occurs behind closed doors. Outside the superintendent’s office, one of P.C. Tan’s colleagues overhears the argument. Inside, the superintendent attempts a feeble defence: ‘The political situation in Hong Kong is rather special.’ The superintendent beseeches P.C. Tan, ‘It is very sensitive. It is no good offending any side . . . I want no trouble for all of us’ (Cantonese dialogue in the film, translated and adapted). Denying its cowardice and hypocrisy, disavowing its complicity with the ‘naturalisation’ of a political order and hierarchy (‘Hong Kong is rather special’), and constructing ‘dissenters’ of such an order and hierarchy as ‘trouble-makers’ is bureaucracy at its best. If Tsui makes a point of framing this scene a little too literally, it is precisely this accentuation of the literal that discloses a narrative frame and framed narrative, which repeatedly interrupts and frames the actual and the displaced. In addition, this scene sets into motion a ‘transferential’ mapping of an imaginary relationship that develops a narrative impetus of its own and that enables an analogical reading of resentment for censorship, of a strong desire to defy it and of a will to overcome it. In this sense, the changes made here with respect to the RHKP may be argued as Tsui’s desire for catharsis, using P.C. Tan as his proxy and the superintendent as a stand-in for Lebrun. It is framed predominantly as a ‘battle of wits and wills’—a battle of prohibitive power and resistance to that power. Within that battle the narrative shifts between P.C. Tan’s (Tsui’s) need to collaborate with the colonial (censor’s) gaze and the

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wish to return it defiantly, as well as between P.C. Tan’s (Tsui’s) obligation to accommodate the demands of a colonial administrator, the superintendent (Lebrun), and the desire to resist them successfully. The reworked version also retains the original portrayal of Hong Kong people as angry ‘time-bombs’ (Tsui, 1980: 10–11). It is similarly awash with bloody scenes of astounding violence. The blood splatters are so relentless that they make the bloodless conflict between the police superintendent of the RHKP and his local subordinate, P. C. Tan, look like a well-worn cliché of colonial power, subordination and resistance. More crucially, perhaps, the splatters beat a bloody path to colonial Hong Kong’s ‘political unconscious’ (Jameson, 1981), or heart of darkness, and in the process, unravel the bizarre, the monstrous and the grotesque that reside within. The related hallucinatory imageries of stupendous terror and senseless violence give the film its surreal(ist) saturation: a white mouse with a pin in its head squeaks a slow and agonising death; a dead cat rots on a spiked fence; a hooker’s chopped-up body lays on a rubbish heap; a tied-up gangster chief, suspended on a chain, his mouth stitched up with a wire, mumbles his way towards a tortuous death as he is punched and flayed in turn. Several years after the initial banning of City on Fire/The Gang of Four, Frank Ching filed two reports with the Asian Wall Street Journal (Ching, 1987a; 1987b), having compiled them from confidential official documents, which included minutes from the Hong Kong government’s Executive Council’s (ExCo) closed-door sessions. According to Ching, film censorship practices in Hong Kong had been illegal since 1953. The documents also showed that the colonial government had been told so by their legal advisers as early as 1972. Rather than taking remedial action, the government continued to give censors unfettered discretion to regulate, censor and ban films. Ching also noted that films since 1973, especially those which depicted China unfavourably, were invariably banned, implying the existence of a ‘conspiracy’ between the Chinese and Hong Kong governments. According to Stephen Teo, one such casualty was Cecille Tong Shu-Shuen’s (Tang Shuxuan) China Behind (1974), banned for being ‘anti-China’ (Teo, 1988: 40–1): ‘[It was] the first to criticise [the Cultural Revolution’s] madness and to see it as having catastrophic implications for a whole generation of young people’ (Teo, 1997: 215). In short, this Hong Kong film was perceived to have the potential to ‘damage good relations with other territories’ (Yau, 2015: 166). The ban was finally lifted in 1987. Another casualty was a Taiwan-made film, The Coldest Winter in Peking (1981, Dir. Pai Ching-Jui). Although TELA passed the film for general distribution, it retracted the approval the day after it had premiered. Lebrun ordered the film to be withdrawn because it ‘had political overtones which are liable

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to exploitation’ (SCMP, 1981a: 1). The film is about family tragedies set during the Cultural Revolution (SCMP, 1981a, 1981b, 1981c, 1981d, 1981e; Xiao, 1981; Yau, 2015: 179–81), and later that year, another Taiwan-made film, If I were Real (1981, Dir. Wang Tung/Wang Tong), was banned on similar grounds as ‘[I]t is likely to be used as propaganda and not in the interest of Hong Kong’ (SCMP, 1981f). Based on a play by three Shanghai authors, the film tells the story of how a Chinese youth swindles millions of dollars by claiming to be the son of a general in the Chinese Communist Party (Luo 1981; Wang, 1981; Huang, 1981; Yau, 2015: 179–81). After some seven applications, the ban on If I Were Real was lifted on 19 January 1989 (MPW, 1989). According to Yau (2015), like China Behind, the two Taiwanese films were thought to be in breach of the ‘good relations’ requirement. Both were eventually released in Hong Kong in the summer of 1989. If I Were Real opened on 4 May 1989, while The Coldest Winter in Peking opened three days after PLA tanks rolled over Tiananmen Square on 4 June 1989 (Yau, 2015: 181). About a year after Ching’s report, which the government had initially sought to discredit, it took remedial action and pushed the Film Censorship Ordinance through the Legislative Council (LegCo) in May 1988 (LegCo, 1988). In a retroactive sense, then, this ordinance protected its ‘outlaws’ and their prior abuses. Section 10(2)(c), in particular, instructs the Film Censorship Authority to consider, during its appraisal of a film, ‘whether there is a likelihood that the exhibition of the film would seriously damage good relations with other territories’. Many in the Hong Kong film industry understood the ‘other territories’ to mean China (Lau, 1987; Pomery, 1988). In a joint report, the Hong Kong Journalists Association considered the said section to be both inconsistent with and a clear violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), as well as Article 16 of the Bills of Rights (Goddard et al., 1993: 42). The controversies notwithstanding, Section 10(2)(c) reiterated Ching’s suggestion of an unacknowledged ‘conspiracy’ between the two governments. Conspiracy or not, Herman Yau’s anecdote about China Behind, especially the questions it raises, is telling in an interesting way: the Xinhua News Agency invited Tong Shu-shuen over for a ‘chat’ about China Behind after the film had been submitted for [review]. Xinhua asked about the aim behind making such a film, and if the source of funding was from ‘Soviet Revisionism’. How could Xinhua have seen the film which had not been released? How could they get a copy for their viewing? In fact, Hong Kong filmmakers at that time were well aware of the covert negotiation and collusion between the colonial government and representatives of the [CCP] in Hong Kong. (Yau, 2015: 166)

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Transferential Interventions Censorship, despite its debilitating effects, engenders resistance, with the potential, as we see in City on Fire/The Gang of Four/Dangerous, of creating a ‘queered’ representation of what once was. For example, the supplements which resulted from Tsui having to rescript, reshoot and re-edit parts of Dangerous mark bureaucratic interventions whose aim it is to contain the film within the comfortable limits of the colonial gaze. They also simultaneously embody Tsui’s counter-interventions. On the one hand, they raise questions of active ‘collaborations’ with the colonial gaze. On the other, they also cut through that gaze since ‘collaborations’ describes ‘a style of writing in which opposing forces are bound to each other in a relationship of conflictual interdependency’ (Levine, 1994: 2). For example, the reconstruction of the adolescents as ‘social misfits’ accommodates Lebrun’s objection to them as figures of unaccountable (and therefore to him, as colonial representative, unacceptable) criminality. This entails their effacement as ‘social rebels with anarchist tendencies’. Also, the addition of the RHKP’s Special Branch as law-enforcers defuses the particular objection to the film’s contempt for the law and its representatives. It would be wrong, I think, to presume that the censors revised their initial objection to the film by allowing the unapologetic display of violated and mangled bodies—blood, gore and the rest—to appear in the released version. The censors permitted these scenes, I would argue, precisely because they work now to frame more fully the adolescents as ‘social misfits’. In the reconstruction, Wan-Chu becomes a delinquent, who cannot keep a job and who is disdainful of the enthusiastic social worker assigned to help her ‘fit’ into society. She gets her thrills, for example, from hijacking a coachful of Japanese tourists with a ‘bomb’ she improvises from firecrackers. Ah Paul becomes the classic poor little rich boy: a transformation which suggests that affluence does not come with tender loving care. His close friends from school, Ah Loong and Ah Kao, live in housing commission flats. The boys fall from ‘grace’ when they become involved in a hit-and-run accident. Not only do they drive without licences, as they are still at school and not of a legal age to drive, but they also flee from the scene of the accident. Although the car belongs to Ah Paul’s father, the boys do not have permission to use it. Through these reconstructions, the adolescents become variously stigmatised and ridiculed as ‘delinquents’, ‘reckless drivers’ and ‘carthieves’: in short, ‘social misfits’. ‘Social misfits’ demand vilification, whereas ‘social rebels’ raise uncomfortable questions about the society that produces them. In the context of Hong Kong’s popular memory, a paradigm of contemporary ‘social rebels’ might include the Molotov cocktail-throwing leftist students during the 1967

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anti-colonialist riots. The riots were an inglorious historical moment, which, according to Teresa Ma, the colonial government has chosen to remember simply as a ‘busy’ year (Ma, 1988: 77). Some of the official highlights for that year included extensive road constructions, successful raids on narcotics and illicit alcohol rings, the rationing of the water supply, three typhoons, two plane crashes and the opening of the Lion Rock Tunnel. The riots were mentioned only in passing and without any explanation as to their causes and consequences. Where an association was made between Molotov cocktails and their historical referents as tools of social anarchism and anti-colonialism in the colony in the banned version of Dangerous, this was dramatically ‘muted’ in the released version, where Molotov cocktails simply provide the means for the adolescents to save themselves from the local gangsters’ deadly ambush in an underground car-park. In short, Molotov cocktails as a potential political referent is depoliticised, becoming a tool for self-defence instead. But perhaps more worrying is the alignment with an understanding of ‘social misfits’ which adheres to the classic colonial narrative paradigm for depicting locals as negative stereotypes (Fanon, 1967: 31–5; Said, 1985). Deconstructed in this way, the changed narrative from the original film therefore doubles back on itself, revealing its colonialist affiliation under the guise of filiation. Its reconstruction of the adolescents as the terrifying and terrorising ‘other’ of the colonial underscores the very anxious and perverse conditions that characterise colonialist representations.

Queering the Narrative If the narrativisation of adolescents as ‘social misfits’ works to encourage viewers’ dis-identification, then it also serves to identify the laissez-faire economy of Hong Kong as an alienating one. The irony cannot be understated. The adolescents’ difficult identification with such an economy is clear. An obvious example is their inability to ‘profit’ from the bank drafts, which are worth 800 million yen in total and which come into their possession by accident. These drafts, cashable only in Japan, belong to the arms-traffickers (American Vietnam War veterans), who are in Hong Kong to sew up a transnational deal which involves the delivery of leftover arms from the Vietnam War to Japan. Three times, the adolescents attempt to turn the drafts into hard cash. Three times, they fail. Their first attempt to cash a one-million-yen draft ‘legitimately’ at a bank fails when Ah Paul, chosen as the person for the job through the drawing of straws, gets cold feet. Noticing the bank’s security cameras, Ah Paul beats a hasty retreat—his mission unaccomplished. The draft and the cameras provide the police with vital leads to the adolescents. Next, they seek out a licensed money-changer. Keen on getting rid

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of the boys, he gives them misleading information, only to find them returning the following evening to teach him a ‘lesson’ with Wan-Chu’s bomb; they had not expected this to be fatal. Needless to say, the fatality brings out the police again. On their third try, they come face to face with crooks. Upon successfully cashing about twenty drafts in the office of a ‘respectable’ merchant, who buys the drafts at 30 per cent of their actual value, they lose the money to the middle-man, Uncle Hak (also the leader of the local gangsters), in a near-death ambush. Suddenly, they are wanted by the police for questioning; they are also being pursued by gangsters, who want the rest of the uncashed drafts; and they are also being hunted by the arm-traffickers, who just want their drafts back. Likewise, P.C. Tan’s struggle with the superintendent for the right to investigate the homicide and to pursue the murderers of his sister, Wan-Chu, is symptomatic of a desire to keep her ‘alive’. This scene thus embodies a ‘displacement’, which, as Levine puts it, ‘represents a . . . process that redefines both the terms and the field of conflict [that] can involve the creation of new values’ (Levine, 1994: 82) Tsui’s humour is at its blackest when the censors insist on the inclusion of RHKP’s Special Force as figures of law-enforcement, which effectively enables a reading for them that Hong Kong is not the lawless society as seen in the activities of the adolescents. But Tsui subsequently depicts the highly organised and well-equipped Special Force as ultimately ineffective for the task of law enforcing. He queers the ‘vigilance’ of the initial censorship and creates the context for its subsequent failure. Clearly, Tsui’s tactical depiction of the RHKP in such instances pokes fun at the colonial fantasy of absolute control and management. While the superintendent (a proxy for the coloniser) still retains the privilege of giving orders to P.C. Tan (a proxy for the colonised), who have no reciprocal rights, such orders are, nevertheless, seen to be challenged, refused and even disobeyed in the film. Thus, the up–down power relation, institutionalised and normalised in the colonial hierarchy, is disturbed. A space for counter-(colonial) conventions is opened up, encouraging subversive, resistant readings of the film. Furthermore, the image of a substantially larger number of ‘yellow’ bodies than ‘white’ ones in the RHKP does not merely portray an unequal colonial structure but persists as a reminder of the colonised’s potential revolutionary power, or, as we have seen, what Frantz Fanon theorises as the ‘Manichean’ struggle that has historically developed into anti-colonialist movements (Fanon, 1967: 31–2). After all, as Fanon puts it: ‘[V]iolence . . . is just under the skin . . . [When] colonised people . . . have spontaneously brought their violence to the colossal task of destroying the colonial system . . . [t]he time for dancing in the streets has come’ (ibid.: 56–7).

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Tsui’s early films are not all drenched in the bloodbaths of Dangerous. But there tends to be no utopia. They likewise have in common the allegorical theme of homelessness in one’s homeland, and manifest, albeit covertly, a humanist concern apropos democracy, social equality and human rights. Allusions to both British and French colonialism, together with imperialisms of various kinds, including American, before and after 1945, feature significantly in Tsui’s early films in one way or another, but perhaps less so in his sixth film, Shanghai Blues (1984). Made after 1982 (the year that Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, visited the PRC to begin the process of negotiating Hong Kong’s return to Chinese sovereignty) and released in 1984 (the year in which the SinoBritish Joint Declaration to revert Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty in 1997 was signed), Shanghai Blues is the debut of Tsui’s newly-formed Film Workshop. It was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Song at the 5th Annual Hong Kong Film Awards in 1984. It is, without doubt, a significant addition to the important New Wave Hong Kong cinema developing at this time. It adopts (in the words of Ackbar Abbas, though not in direct reference to this specific film) ‘spatial narratives to suggest dislocations’ and contains ‘a new complexity in the treatment of affects and emotions, a creative use of popular genres, a new localism, and a politics that can only be indirect’ (Abbas, 1997: 33). It is to that new localism and new complexity within sinophone cinema (not a term Abbas used), with exemplification from Tsui Hark’s Shanghai Blues, that I now turn in the final chapter, ‘Tsui Hark: New Localisms’.

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Chapter 10 Tsui Hark: New Localisms

The love of my heart / is it the dream of your heart? Is it possible to borrow a bridge / for us to connect? On this borrowed bridge / the I of tomorrow, the you of tomorrow Can the embrace be like the other day again? (Shanghai Blues, 1984)

Shanghai Blues/Shanghai Zhi Ye (1984) Shanghai Blues, directed by Tsui Hark and released in 1984, is set in Shanghai around 1937, just prior to the Japanese invasion of the city; it then moves on to 1947 and the Chinese Civil War, which broke out within months of the Japanese surrender in September 1945. It ends with people leaving or fleeing the city on a Hong Kong-bound train, as the civil war escalates. This turbulent setting serves as a backdrop for the film to track dislocations in post-war Chinese (Shanghai) society, first using the dislocations to tell stories about a society in chaos and individuals in crisis (as well as the choices and decisions they make), and then turning these stories into analogies for putting a trace on the correspondent crisis mentality in relation to the ‘1997’ factor in Hong Kong (for example, Lu, 2008), about home and belonging, and also about impending homecoming and displacement. But Shanghai Blues does more than express this social concern. The allusion to the Shanghai leftist film classic Crossroads (1937, Dir. Shen Xiling) and the depiction of Shanghai as a magical metropolis are, according to Stephen Teo, Tsui Hark’s ways of paying tribute to the golden era of Chinese cinema. ‘Shanghai Blues’, he writes, ‘is the first explicit indication of Tsui’s status as a true “movie brat,” conscious of Chinese film history and its links with Hong Kong cinema’ (Teo, 1997: 167). In Shanghai Blues, Tsui Hark assembles a cast drawn from the Chinese diaspora: some, like Kenny Bee (Zhong Zhentao) from Hong Kong and Sylvia Chang from Taiwan, are stars. Others are well-known veterans of Hong Kong’s postwar cinema—for example, Tin Ching (Tian Qing)—and there is Huang Man of

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the Mandarin screen, and Wu Fung (Hu Feng) and Patrick Lung Kong (Long Gang) of the Cantonese screen who, like Kenny, are originally China-born. Newcomer Sally Yeh is a Canadian national but, like Sylvia, was born in Taiwan. I am not sure if Sylvia is a fluent Cantonese speaker. Most probably not, since Cantonese is not widely used in Taiwan, but, as during the heyday of Huangmei diao opera films, the right voice could always be found, if necessary, and as before, the name of the dubber would not appear in the credit roll and therefore is unknown. The making of twin films by dubbing also resulted from the employment of translocal non-Cantonese-speaking actors and actresses in Hong Kong film productions. Famed actress Sylvia Chang, for example, was a Taiwan talent who found a second career in film acting in Hong Kong (while juggling filmmaking commitments in Taiwan), having appeared in, among others, New Waver Ann Hui’s (Xu Anhua) The Secret (1979), Karl Maka’s (Mia Jia) It Takes Two (1982) and Eric Tsang Chi-Wai’s (Zeng Zhiwai) Aces Go Places I and II (1982, 1983). Prior to Shanghai Blues, she had collaborated with Tsui Hark on the third instalment of the madcap Aces Go Places series, Our Man from Bond Street (1984). Others who made the move to Hong Kong include Chang KuoChu (Zhang Guozhu), who, for example, played Master Shum in Tsui Hark’s shot-in-Taiwan Butterfly Murders (1979), and most notably, Brigitte Lin ChingHsia (Lin Qingxia), who played the lead roles in Tsui Hark’s Zu: The Warriors of the Magic Mountain (1983) and Peking Opera Blues (1986), and then went on to become one of Hong Kong’s movie queens in the 1980s and 1990s. In 1990, she won the Best Actress award at the 27th Golden Horse Film Festival for her lead role as Shen Shao Hua in Red Dust (1990), directed by Yim Ho. Like other creators of New Wave Hong Kong cinema in the 1980s, they would here—in the words of Ackbar Abbas, which they themselves would probably not use—‘adopt . . . spatial narratives to suggest dislocations’, manifesting ‘a new complexity in the treatment of affects and emotions, a creative use of popular genres, a new localism, and a politics that can only be indirect’ (Abbas, 1997: 21). Nor can one say with certainty whether Shanghai Blues was originally shot in Cantonese or in Guoyu. In all likelihood, both Chinese languages were used since there were Cantonese- and Mandarin-speaking actors or actresses and behindthe-scene workers on the film set. Shanghai Blues has (at least) two Chinese versions: one in Mandarin, the other in Cantonese. Voice-dubbing, like dubbed films, is not new, of course, but selective dubbing within a particular film would seem refreshing. For example, in both versions, Tin Ching plays Twentieth Uncle. In the Cantonese version, all characters speak standardised Cantonese but the songs, whether diegetic (sung by Sylvia’s Shu-Shu on the cabaret stage) or non-diegetic (sung by Sally on the soundtrack), are all in Mandarin. The Mandarin version features the same songs, showing the profound influence of

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Cantopop music, which was immensely popular at the time. Hong Kong’s homegrown Cantopop, write Yiu-Wai Chu and Eve Leung (2013), had, from the mid1970s onward, ‘a significant impact on Chinese popular music in general, and a profound influence on the music made in East Asian Chinese-speaking countries such as Taiwan, Singapore and mainland China itself’ (Chu and Leung, 2013: 66). In the film’s Mandarin version, though, not all the characters speak standardised Mandarin. Twentieth Uncle, for example, uses Shanghainese-accented Mandarin, which, unlike the Mandarin Cantopop songs, would seem, comparatively speaking, more congruent with the soundscape of post-war Shanghai. Tin Ching (1935–93) was born and raised in Shanghai, before moving to Hong Kong with his parents in 1949, so it is conceivable that Twentieth Uncle’s voice is his own. However, the selective dubbing raises the following questions: which actors or actresses use their own voice? In which version of the twin films do they do so? Or correspondingly, which characters have a dubbed voice and in which version? One cannot be sure. Twin films as such were common in the industry. The phenomenon signalled a turning point in industrial practices. If the choice of language (Mandarin, Cantonese, Minnanhua or Teochew) had formed an indelible mark on the brand identity of a studio and their productions in the past, as it had often done, this was no longer the case with twin films in the 1970s, and later it would often add an ironic twist to the resurgent Cantonese cinema’s efforts to connect with the new localism of the time. Interestingly, there is a particularly telling irony in the way in which the PRC has made retroactive claims, especially in the second decade of the twentieth-first century, about (pre-1997) Hong Kong film productions, as (if) claiming them as its own. In by no means an isolated incident, Baidu Encyclopedia (https://baike.baidu.com) has, for instance, reclassified Shanghai Blues’ Mandarin version as a Putonghua film, while in the Tencent (PRC) online streaming version (https://v.qq.com) the film’s madcap sex scene, in which two men unwittingly have sex with a drugged woman, has been excised. The opening of Shanghai Blues dazzles the senses with Tsui’s signatory trademarks: quick cuts, sharp camera movements, unmotivated actions and cluttered mise-en-scène. Taking the form of a prologue, the opening scenes unfold rapidly in, or around, two main locations: a cabaret called ‘No Night City’ in the French Concession of Shanghai, and ‘Soo Chow Bridge’ on that city’s outskirts. The cabaret is smoky, loud and noisy, with dolled-up women dressed in colourful glittering cheongsams cha-cha-ing in step on stage. Waving their plumed fans in unison, they cheerfully belt out a Cantopop-style Mandarin song: ‘[This place or city is] playground for the adventurers, heaven for the tycoons, and fun-spot for the ladies . . . Nowhere on earth can match [Shanghai],’ they sing. Off-stage are rowdy customers, both local and foreign. Businessmen keep an interested eye

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trained on the dancing girls, while closing deals or making jokes at each other. Outside, a jeep speeds towards the cabaret. In another part of town, two strangers, a man and a woman, take cover from a Japanese air-raid under a bridge, as the bombs rain down in the distance. In the darkness, they seek comfort from each other, occasionally making small talk. The bombings stir his patriotic heart, so he decides to join the army, as patriots in national defence films would. Then he gives her some money: ‘This is all the money I make today,’ he mumbles quietly. ‘Take it. Just in case. For urgent needs. At the frontline, I have no need for money.’ She appreciates the kind gesture and so accepts the money. Both express confidence that China will win the war, thus making a metaleptic connection with the historical event of the Japanese surrender in 1945. They agree to meet at the bridge after the war. A siren blasts out loudly, drowning their voices as he asks for her name. They hurriedly emerge from beneath the bridge. Before they can take a clear look at each other, a stampede of people on the bridge separates them. This abrupt ending to the prologue leaves a puzzle that is not unfamiliar from many war films: how will the two strangers recognise each other, let alone fulfil their promise to meet up again? At this point, viewers may sense a romantic melodrama in the making; those who know the genre well enough a staple of commercial cinema anywhere—would not be surprised if the two strangers eventually do get together somehow, especially since the two are billed as the film’s lead characters. As the film unfurls, it becomes increasingly apparent, though, that Shanghai Blues is more than just a romantic melodrama. The boisterous bittersweet romantic comedy is, in fact, a multi-generic film, with narrative elements drawn from slapstick comedies as well as the social satire film, the social realist film, the neighbourhood film and the backstage musical. The prologue is followed by the film’s main story, set in the post-war Shanghai of 1947. Four characters from the prologue are retained for the main story and so become named entities (everyone in the prologue is anonymous): Do-Re-Mi (Kenny Bee) and Shu-Shu (Sylvia Chang) are the two strangers under the bridge, Do-Re-Mi’s Twentieth Uncle (Tin Ching) is a vaudeville clown, and finally Boss (Lung Kong), one of the businessmen in the cabaret, will later preside over a beauty contest in which Stool (Sally Yeh) participates by accident and eventually becomes the winner. The accidental beauty queen then stumbles into the world of the decadent rich, generating slapstick mayhem. The bridge where Do-Re-Mi and Shu-Shu were first seen is also given a name retroactively: Soo Chow (Suzhou) Bridge. The main storyline focuses primarily on the experiences and (mis)adventures of Shu-Shu and Do-Re-Mi, with their new friend, Stool, in tow. Shu-Shu now works as a cabaret performer at No Night City. An ex-soldier with a university degree, Do-Re-Mi—like male protagonist Lao Dan and other university gradu-

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ates in the 1937 Shanghai Crossroads (Dir. Shen Xiling)—is unemployed. With his uncle’s help, he manages to scrape a living as a part-time clown. He nurtures a dream of becoming a composer for a well-known Shanghai recording company, while his uncle wishes to migrate to tropical Nanyang or the South Seas—‘When I have saved enough money, that is,’ he will tell his nephew repeatedly. Stool is a newly-arrived, naive migrant from rural China, and the scene where Stool and Shu-Shu first meet effectively amounts to a parodic reversal of the suicide theme in the earlier Crossroads. Crossroads opens with a despondentlooking young man (Xiao Xu) leaning against a lamp post by the river bank. He is contemplating suicide because he has just failed his university entrance examination. As he hurls himself over the bank, Lao Zhao grabs him in the nick of time. After recovering from his depression in Lao Zhao’s tenement room, Xiao Xu leaves for home. At the end of the movie, Lao Zhao learns about Xiao Xu’s death from a newspaper when he reads about a university graduate killing himself over unemployment; next to the report is picture of Xiao Xu. After a short pause, Lao Zhao says to his friends: ‘We should not be like Xiao Xu. He is weak. Instead we should face the future boldly—like a big and strong fellow (da ge)!’ Shanghai Blues reverses Crossroads’ didactic tones through comedic co-optations and madcap slapstick. Like Xiao Xu, Stool is an out-of-towner. On her first day in Shanghai, the city’s glitter both amuses and amazes her, but by the end of the day she has not only failed to make contact with her relatives (they have left town) but also lost all her money to a pickpocket. Later that evening, she stands by a river bank next to a lamp post, feeling miserable and tired. She hugs an umbrella with one arm, holding a suitcase with her other hand. Shu-Shu, after a hard day at work, turns up at the same site; she stands a little distance away from Stool, next to a lamp post. A floating object in the river catches Stool’s attention. Curious, she puts down the suitcase and walks towards the river. Mistaking Stool’s sudden lurch as a suicide attempt, Shu-Shu rushes towards her, crying frantically: ‘Don’t commit suicide!’ Startled by the sudden cries and on seeing Shu-Shu running towards her like a mad woman, Stool reflexively turns around; the umbrella hits Shu-Shu and knocks her into the river. Shu-Shu cannot swim and so calls for help. Stool chides her, ‘Only fools commit suicide!’ She then continues: ‘Say you regret it! Or I won’t save you!’ Shu-Shu expresses regret; by that she actually means she regrets having tried to prevent a suicide. But Stool misunderstands her. Thinking that Shu-Shu regrets her ‘suicide’ attempt, she jumps into the river and pulls her ashore. The madcap episode ends when Shu-Shu, out of pity for Stool, who is now penniless and has nowhere to go, takes her home. They become flat-mates. Shanghai Blues manifests many more instances of parodic reversals like this that similarly speak of mimicry and inversion, displacement and appropriation,

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adaptation and adoption that collectively put intertextual slants and twists on well-established cinematic poetics and styles as diverse as those seen in pre- and post-war Hong Kong cinemas, as well as in pre-war Shanghai and war-time Hollywood cinema. With particular regard to the pre-war Shanghai Crossroads, Lao Zhao and female protagonist Xiao Yang are tenants in the same tenement; so are Shu-Shu (and Stool) and Do-Re-Mi, the latter living one floor above, while Lao Zhao and Xiao Yang have rooms separated by a shared wall on the same floor. As in the typical tenement stories film, whether from pre-war Shanghai (like Crossroads) or pre- and post-war Hong Kong (for example, Boundless Future aka Ten Thousand Li Ahead (1941, Dir. Cai Chusheng) and Half Way Down (1957, Dir. Tu Kuang-Chi/Tu Guangqi)), the young, ranging from university graduates to the lesser-educated, often have to live on their wits; the unemployed live in perpetual fear of a stock character of the genre—the mean and nasty landlady. Lao Zhao, when unemployed, has one such person to contend with. But although, in Shanghai Blues, the landlady has no physical presence in the diegesis, she is nonetheless alluded to when one of Do-Re-Mi’s male friends, a tenement dweller, comes to borrow money: he is especially anxious to pay off his rent arrears. Although they are tenants in the same tenement, Lao Zhao and Xiao Yang do not know they are neighbours. Neither do Shu-Shu and Do-Re-Mi until Shu-Shu shares her umbrella with a stranger (who turns out to be Do-Re-Mi) desperately seeking shelter from the downpour. They then walk down the street together and finally, to their mutual surprise, discover that they actually live in the same alley and in the same tenement. Lao Zhao and Xiao Yang find out that they are neighbours after a chance meeting on a crowded tram (in the middle of the film), and after a date, fall in love with each other. When Xiao Yang’s factory shuts down, Lao Zhao suggests she move in with him but she chooses to leave instead because, as she tells her good friend, she does not want to be reliant on a man. After discovering that they are neighbours, Do-Re-Mi and Shu-Shu have a quiet evening together on the tenement balcony, where they each unexpectedly find out that the other is the very person they have been looking for since they parted at Soo Chow Bridge some ten years before. This is now the middle of the film. Shu-Shu then decides to leave Do-Re-Mi, in part because she cherishes female independence and also in part because she cannot bear Stool’s idea of a ‘three-people family’, consisting of herself, Do-Re-Mi and Stool, who has fallen in love with Do-Re-Mi and plans to marry him. At the end of the movie, Shu-Shu and Do-Re-Mi reconcile on a crowded train and, characteristically of madcap slapstick, their fellow-travellers applaud and cheer as the couple embrace. The graduation photo motif in Shanghai Blues contains interesting parodical reversals as well. Like Lao Zhao in Crossroads, Do-Re-Mi lines a wall in his tenement room with his graduation photo, alongside other pictures including his

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Figure 10.1A Crossroads (1937). Figure 10.1B Shanghai Blues (1984). Xiao Yang holds the framed picture of Stool puts her finger on Do-Re-Mi’s Lao Zhao’s framed graduation photo framed graduation photo; next to it is a and, as given in the subtitle, reads the drawing of his ‘girlfriend’. On her face words on the sticky label across his is a question mark because he does not face: ‘Unemployed No. B’ (00:51:32). know what she looks like (00:31:47). friends’ graduation photos. Lao Zhao sticks a label over his face containing the words: ‘Unemployed No. B’ (Fig. 10.1A). Do-Re-Mi does not have a sticky label over his face, but a similar kind of self-deprecating humour is seen in the drawing next to his photo (Fig. 10.1B). The sketch outlines the face of a female. She has no nose or eyes; in their place is a big, bold question mark. The caricature wears a cheongsam and has a hair-do similar to Shu-Shu’s at the bridge. ‘She is my girlfriend,’ Do-Re-Mi tells Stool. Blushing, he continues: ‘I have been looking for her for ten years but I don’t know what she looks like!’

Dislocated Spaces In Shanghai Blues, Shanghai is portrayed as a city of abundant and missed opportunities. It is filled with pimps, prostitutes, thieves, conniving acquaintances, quick friends and greedy businessmen. In their midst are also returning soldiers, worldly-wise cabaret girls, country folk and fortune hunters. It is a dislocated space, where affective emotions may be misplaced (for example, Stool’s unrequited love for Do-Re-Mi), wasteful (Twentieth Uncle’s affection for Do-ReMi), fanciful (Stool’s idea of a ‘three-people’ family) or, in the case of Do-Re-Mi and Shu-Shu, elusive. The city, vibrant, colourful and sparkling, has hyperinflation and high unemployment. Amid the gloom and glitter are glimpses of an endemic sex trade, painting a picture of despair and exploitation; physical and sexual violence marks the everyday. Do-Re-Mi and Shu-Shu are melancholics: the two yearn to relive the memories of their pleasant encounter under a dark bridge, ten years previously. The

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seed of their romantic love for each other is sown at this bridge. Nurtured by fond memories, the seed sprouts a shoot of undying love—a recurrent scenario in much caizi/jiaren fiction, as we have seen. Their repeated visits to the bridge help keep the memories alive, nourishing hope of a miraculous reunion. The motif that absence makes the heart grow fonder is standard to romance stories about the long-suffering couple; in this regard, Shanghai Blues contains shadowy flashes of Mervyn LeRoy’s Waterloo Bridge (1940), in which two strangers, Vivien Leigh’s Myra and Robert Taylor’s Roy Cronin, chance upon each other in a war bunker near Waterloo Bridge and then experience an unforgettable night when they embrace tightly as the bunker lights dim. However, Shanghai Blues is a boisterous romantic comedy, not a romantic tragedy like Waterloo Bridge. Nonetheless, like the melancholic Myra and Roy, both Shu-Shu and Do-Re-Mi have become for each other what Jacques Lacan would call an ‘objet petit a’, that object which they (mis)recognise as missing in their lives and which, if found, will make their lives complete (Lacan, 1981a). Do-Re-Mi and Shu-Shu eventually reunite in a crowded train compartment. But their melancholia impedes their capacity for romantic love at this time, which explains why the two do not fall in love, despite living in close proximity. As neighbours, they run into each other from time to time, including a chance meeting at that same bridge where they parted ten years previously; but on occasions such as these, they maintain their distance. Yet, while it might be said that their hearts are bursting with love (for each other) and a desire to love and be loved, they are constrained. The framed picture which Do-Re-Mi hangs in his apartment would seem to index that (see Fig. 10.1B). If melodrama is the privileged narrative for depicting the reconciliation of two pining hearts in the moving train at the film’s close, then it is simultaneously undermined by the comic element introduced in the scene immediately preceding. There, Shu-Shu boards a Hong Kong-bound train. She has decided to leave Shanghai for good: she cherishes female impendence and has become tired with Stool’s innate chatter about the ‘three-people family’. On the platform is Do-Re-Mi, who runs after the moving train at superhuman speed. Through a window, they catch sight of each other. Do-Re-Mi immediately jumps on to the train. Rather than moving towards him, Shu-Shu tries to get away instead. She has an injured foot and so hobbles, with the help of a crutch, to reach the other end of the jam-packed train. He similarly has to beat a path through the crowds, pursuing her until she has no more room to move ahead. The contest of genres— melodrama, comedy and slapstick—thus reaches its peak when the two eventually come face to face with each other. The past, so to speak, has caught up. Presently standing a short distance apart, they stare at each other silently, not sure what to do next. The hesitation creates dramatic suspense: will the two make up

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or not, now that they have found each other again? The song on the soundtrack echoes the lovers’ quandary: ‘Can the embrace be like that day again?’ The hesitation also permits the passage of time to clarify Do-Re-Mi and ShuShu’s proximal relation to the other passengers, who will soon witness the reconciliation drama with either interest or indifference. The otherwise intensely private moment between Do-Re-Mi and Shu-Shu is thus hauled into the public domain as if an entertainment for nosy onlookers. The particular transgression of the private/public divide further builds the film’s comedy of a lovers’ quandary. The montage that follows on from the previous shot showing DoRe-Mi and Shu-Shu, immobilised to the spot and staring at each other silently, capitalises on the comedy, as follows. Firstly, it has three distinct compositional frames. In one there is Shu-Shu, with some male passengers behind her. Another captures Do-Re-Mi standing in front of some female passengers. Both are midshots. The third shot shows only a bunch of soldiers; it sports a slightly tighter frame than the first two. Tsui Hark’s signature cluttered mise-en-scène characterises all three shot compositions (see Tan, 2015). Whereas the passengers in the first two shots appear uninterested (at first), the soldiers, though similarly anonymous, quickly develop a morbid interest for the comings and goings unfolding before their eyes. Structurally speaking, the soldier shot, or for that matter, all the passengers in the three shots, has/have a syndetic function. They are like conjunctions in a sentence. Alternating between the three shots, the montage bobs to the beat and tempo of the closing song (an extract of which is given in the epigraph to this chapter), while the soldiers’ synchronised and animated turning of the head comedically draws attention to the lovers’ dilemma. As Do-Re-Mi and Shu-Shu eventually embrace, the soldiers, followed by the passengers in the first two shots, applaud and cheer heartily. Finally, the equally sudden roar of approval heard throughout the train caps the montage, as the train speeds towards Hong Kong—a similarly dislocated space which the film has earlier depicted as an unknown entity. ‘Where is Hong Kong?’ Shu-Shu asks Manager Kam (Wu Fung) of No Night City cabaret, who offers no reply. Meanwhile, back at the station, is Stool, who chooses to remain in Shanghai. After the train pulls away, she strides back to the glittering city centre, (re-)entering it armed with worldly-wise confidence. Stool the country girl is naive no more.

Convergent Histories The film’s sympathetic depiction of Do-Re-Mi, Shu-Shu and Stool as caricatures of the ‘underclass’ who actively stand up to the onerous environs in postwar Shanghai is consistent with the political sensibilities of 1930s Shanghai leftist cinema, or for that matter, post-war Hong Kong’s left-wing films, as is

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its satirical portrayal of the exploitative rich and their follies. As symbols of the struggling ‘everyday people’, Do-Re-Mi, Shu-Shu and Stool may be poor, but they are resourceful and resilient, never overwhelmed by the vicissitudes of daily life. They do not falter in the face of the increasingly desperate socio-political situation that was emerging in China at the time. In addition to having its economy turned topsy-turvy by hyperinflation, high unemployment and widespread corruption, post-war China was experiencing, not demobilisation and peace, but a rapid transition from war with Japan (1937–45) to a full-scale civil war, as the CCP and KMT clashed over leadership (1946–9). Using this turbulent socio-political period as the film’s main backdrop, and its central characters as metaphors for the poor, the underprivileged and the downwardly mobile young people of that period, Shanghai Blues thus foregrounds a relationship of the individual-in-history and the personal-in-crisis in relation to a city-in-chaos. The film additionally makes socio-political connections between the ‘blues’ of individuals (Do-Re-Mi, Shu-Shu and Stool), communities (that which Do-ReMi, Shu-Shu and Stool collectively represent, for example), a city (Shanghai), a country (China) and an epoch (the post-war years in urban China). In so doing. Shanghai Blues not only oscillates between a ‘historical fiction’ (history imagined as fiction) and a ‘fictionalised history’ (fiction imagined as history), but also seeks a convergence of the two, the inherent contradictions notwithstanding. Although the division between fact (historical event) and fiction (cinematic event) is operative in those connections, it is also simultaneously made indistinct. This is perhaps most evident in the unmotivated appearance of a billboard advertising the Hollywood musical South Pacific in the filmscape (Fig. 10.2). Upon seeing the billboard, Twentieth Uncle becomes excited. He confuses ‘Nan Taipingyang’ (South Pacific) in the musical title for Nanyang, or South Seas, home to many diasporic Chinese communities and settlements in the Southeast Asian region. So he tells Do-Re-Mi he wants to migrate to Nanyang to escape poverty and make a fortune. (The musical’s full Chinese title is Nan Taipingyang zhi lian, transliterated literally ‘The Romance of South Pacific’). Do-Re-Mi, who does not share his uncle’s dream, listens to his chatter as they head off to work. The billboard affords more opportunities for making wicked jokes as it lists the musical’s screening venues, urging movie-goers ‘not to miss the limited releases’. Some venues bear what looks like the name of the theatres: for example, Mei She, Ming Xing and Ming Guang. Others are named after cities like Shanghai and Nanjing, and in one case, after a province in northwest China: Shanxi. Shanxi was already under communist control by 1947, which means that Joshua Logan’s South Pacific could not have been released there at all. The billboard also names the two acting leads but neither is in the South Pacific cast. Most mischievously, the film, in actuality, was not made until 1958.

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The ‘South Pacific’ billboard. Source: Shanghai Blues (1984, Dir. Tsui Hark, Film Workshop).

Parody as Resistance To understand better Tsui Hark’s parodic invocation of the Hollywood musical in Shanghai Blues, it is necessary to explore the ‘mix’ with respect to ‘race relations’ in the South Pacific cultural industry. South Pacific, the movie, has a pedigree genealogy. Chiefly shot in Hawaii with the aerial shots taken in Fiji, the movie is based on the long-running and multi-award-winning Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway musical of the same name (1949), which, in turn, is adapted from James A. Michener’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book Tales of the South Pacific (originally published in 1946). The process of transformation from a bestselling, prize-winning book into a Broadway hit, and then into an acclaimed Hollywood film, testifies to the generative, constitutive and synthesising power of a post-war US economy of cultural (re)production, all making history by celebrating tales written by an insomniac American naval officer (Michener) who, during the US occupation of the South Pacific, ‘two-fingered’ at an old typewriter at eleven each night in a Quonset hut, using a lantern for light and a mosquito bomb to ward off insects (Michener, 1992: 28). The continuing effect of this economy can be seen, for example, more than thirty years later, in Michener’s illustrated children’s book South Pacific (1992). In this book, Michener makes clear his endorsement of the musical: it ‘creat[ed] a well-crafted drama with a

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beguiling heroine, a charismatic hero, and a rowdy bunch of sailors’, ‘produced a magical set of songs’ and ‘offered sharp dramatic and musical comment on one of American’s critical problems, race relations’ (ibid.: 28). Finally, Michener concludes that the musical has ‘a mix of realism and fantasy that could rarely be equaled’ (ibid.: 28). In Michener’s Tales of the South Pacific, navy nurse Nellie Forbush, an Arkansas girl, falls in love with Emile de Becque, a French planter–tycoon, but rejects his marriage proposal when she finds out that the never married Emile has sired eight daughters with various natives. For Nellie, ‘[A] man who had openly lived with a nigger was beyond the pale. Utterly beyond the bounds of decency’ (Michener, 1951: 103). The musical removes this stain by turning Emile into a widower with two children. It also transforms the French planter into an American patriot when he accepts a reconnaissance mission for the United States Marines, with the task of spying on the movements of Japanese ships in the South Pacific region. The musical, as in the film adaptation, thus redeems the somewhat imperfect Emile (in the book) and makes him respectable. In marrying Emile, Nellie becomes stepmother to ‘two sweet native children, the off-spring of a Polynesian woman and a European’, and therefore not Emile’s bastards (Michener, 1992: 149). For Michener, ‘this is one of the unexpected virtues of South Pacific’ [the musical] because Nellie ‘solves the [race] problem by marrying her French planter and adopting his two half-Polynesian children’ (cited in Hague, 1992: 28). That which is being upheld here is, of course, postwar America’s white middle-class values and its attendant cachet of moral standards, xenophobia and racism included. Also, in the book, Lt Joe Cable, a young, middle-class Princeton man from Philadelphia, keeps his affair with Liat, a native girl, out of sight from his fellow Americans because he fears stigmatisation: ‘Very few self-respecting American men would attempt to knock off a piece of jungle julep’ (Michener, 1951: 149). Eventually, Liat’s mother exposes his cowardice and hypocrisy before his mates. In the stage musical, as well as the movie, Joe is similarly caught in the trap of his own prejudices and fears, but is spared a public humiliation. For a start, he does not love Liat—as Joe tells Nellie (in a duet): ‘My Girl Back Home/I almost forgot/A blue eyed kid/I liked her a lot.’ In the end, Joe is elevated to the status of a martyr of war; this happens during a reconnaissance mission (with Emile). Tsui’s invocation of South Pacific in the filmscape of Shanghai Blues, then, is anything but coincidental. In South Pacific, the movie, France Nuyen plays Liat. Nuyen—named after the country of her birth (France Nguyen Vannga)—is of French–Vietnamese ancestry (French mother, Vietnamese father). Like Tsui, she too was a child of the second French colonial empire period (1830–1962). Her mother, ‘Bloody Mary’, also has a French–Vietnamese connection since

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she was a Tonkinese (North Vietnam) souvenir dealer. Both Tsui and Nuyen, in turn, are part of the Indochinese diaspora that ensued from the collapse of French-occupied Viet Nam Quoc (1804–1945), and later from the ravages of the Vietnam War (1955–73). Sometimes regarded as the second major Asian actress to become a star in Hollywood after Anna May Wong, Nuyen has, in fact, spent almost all her adult life in the United States. Though some twelve years younger than Nuyen, Indochinese Tsui likewise has lived and worked outside his birth country, including the United States, where he used to make anti-racist/anti-Vietnam War films and videos for New York Third World Newsreel (in the 1970s). South Pacific in Shanghai Blues thus speaks of, and to, the Vietnamese–French–American connection that Tsui and Nuyen have in common. Above all, the juxtaposition belies—in a corresponding way—anti-colonial sentiments and sensibilities. The South Pacific billboard paints a critique of the American occupations in the South Pacific during and after World War II, but it also recalls, in both analogical and allusive ways, ‘treaty-port’ colonialisms in mainland China, and by extension, other similar forms of imperialism that beset the Orient in the last century: French colonialism in Indochina, British colonialism in Hong Kong, Japanese militarism in China and other Eastern and Southeast Asian locations, and American neo-imperialism in post-World War II Vietnam. The billboard abounds less with Orientalist fantasies (Said, 1979; Marchetti, 1993) than their parodies. It has coconut palms, islands, sunshine, open seas, blue skies and, above all, native girls in grass skirts and flower decorations, some shaking their hips and waving their hands invitingly. Against this background is a white couple. He is a navy man and so has an occupation. The girl does not. She is adorned with a grass skirt, a flower garland around her neck and a big red flower in her brown hair. Head tilted at an angle, the ‘gone-native’ girl waits for the navy boy to kiss her, attesting to his irresistible desirability and, of course, masculine prowess. From exotic customs and settings to romances in exotic places, these colonialist or imperialist themes of, and metaphors for, self–other constructs and representations are, similarly, the leitmotifs in both Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical film and the musical’s film posters (Fig. 10.3). In Shanghai Blues, there are no coconut palms, exotic islands and (native) girls in grass skirts or adorned with flowers, except for those painted on the bill, which additionally carries the all-cap, ziggurat-shaped English title used in both the musical film and the film posters. However, there are wiggling girls in shimmering cheongsams during show-time in the No Night City cabaret, where businessmen, local or foreign, would leer at them while closing deals. In contradistinction to Nellie and her fellow-nurses, the cabaret girls do not sing about washing men right out of their hair. The closest corresponding scenario

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Figure 10.3 Two original film posters of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical blockbuster South Pacific (1958). The cheerful Mitzi Gaynor as Nellie, in beachwear, takes centre-stage in the first poster (left). In the second, wearing a grass skirt, she stands on the far right side of the poster, leaning against a coconut palm and gazing into the distance, as if love-lorn.

in Shanghai Blues would be when Shu-Shu gives an impromptu performance of ‘washing’ herself in a bubble-filled, clam-shaped bathtub at the cabaret. She actually finds herself in this situation unexpectedly. A moment before, she has intercepted a lout who tried to seduce an under-age girl backstage. The lout’s jealous girlfriend picks a fight with Shu-Shu instead, who ends up falling into the bathtub, a stage prop. Before she can recover from the fall, she is suddenly on stage with the bathtub, in the middle of a show. Mimicking a strip-tease, she then sings about the wonders of laughter. Not only does her impromptu act bring down the house, but she also catches the eye of a tycoon (Boss). Unlike Nellie, Shu-Shu sends her tycoon suitor away and makes sure he does not return. In stark contrast to South Pacific, the skies get overcast and it rains occasionally in Shanghai Blues. But, like South Pacific, Shanghai Blues also has war as its backdrop, as well as love stories and song-and-dance routines giving the film a quasi-musical touch. Underscoring Tsui Hark’s wicked sense of irony, then, all these, including Twentieth Uncle’s mistaken association of the South Pacific with Southeast Asia reek of parody or parodic appropriations. To dismiss the musical’s dislocated temporality, including the ‘wrong’ cast, as simply historical falsifications is to miss two vital points which Tsui is making here and elsewhere in Shanghai Blues: that history and fiction are different in degree rather than in kind, and that they are both only as real as they are imaginatively constructed. This idea resurfaces, in an equally pointed and piercing way, in the last frame of the main story, which shows Stool wandering past a billboard advertising a Chinese film called Zai Jian Shanghai after sending off Shu-Shu and Do-Re-Mi at the train station (Fig. 10.4).

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The ‘Goodbye Shanghai’ billboard (1:37:41). Source: Shanghai Blues (1984, Dir. Tsui Hark. Film Workshop).

Where the South Pacific billboard advertises a film well ahead of the time it was made, the film which this second billboard promotes never actually existed. There is no such film as Zai Jian Shanghai in the Chinese language film corpus. However, it may be a sly reference to a controversial Mandarin film from the classical Shanghai period: namely, Zaihui Ba Shanghai!, made in 1934, but for which no print remains (Gongsun, 1962a: 27–30; Guo, 2000: 78), for the following reasons. Firstly, the title of the two films contains the term ‘Shanghai’, the name of the city where Stool presently is, and which Shu-Shu and Do-Re-Mi have just left behind. Secondly, ‘zai jian’ and ‘zai hui’ are homonyms, which may be literally translated as ‘see again’ or ‘meet again’. Here, they are gestural salutations akin to the French ‘au revoir’, which likewise carries an implicit promise to meet up again at a future time—in English, ‘see you again’ or ‘meet you again’. This leaves us with the Chinese particle ‘ba’. Ba is a word that moderates the mood of an expression to which it is appended. Generally speaking, it cannot stand alone in speech or in writing, and so is always found at the end of a salutation, command or statement, as in ‘zai hui ba’. China film historian Gongsun Lu’s summary of the film’s plot contains a vital clue for deciphering this mood word. According to Gongsun, Zaihui Ba Shanghai! basically relates the miserable experience of a country girl, named Bai Lu, who goes to Shanghai seeking refuge but finds hardship and humiliation instead. In the end, she makes the decision to leave the ‘sinful and evil metropolis’ for good (Gongsun, 1962b: 29). Viewed in this context, the mood that the particle ‘ba’

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conveys amounts to an indignant, even moralistic, denouncement of Shanghai, accompanied by a sense of simultaneous exasperation and relief, as in ‘I have had enough of Shanghai. So I bid it farewell. Farewell then, Shanghai!’ Contextualised like this, ‘zai hui ba’ thus expresses a certain finality that is more akin to the ‘hard’ ‘goodbye’ than the ‘soft’ ‘see you’. There are two more clues on the Zai Jian Shanghai billboard which may suggest Tsui’s parodic citation of the 1934 film. Firstly, the name of the production company at the top right-hand corner of the bill is ‘Lianhua’: that is, the same studio which produced Zaihui Ba Shanghai! Secondly, Ruan Lingyu, a sensation of the 1930s Shanghai movie world and a ‘Lianhua’ star, gets top billing in the film: she plays Bai Lu. Worth noting here is also the fact that Lianhua was a well-known left-leaning studio from that era. During its lifespan (1930–7) the studio, owned by Luo Mingyou, as we saw at the beginning of this book, had sought to revitalise Chinese cinema and counter Hollywood’s domination of the Chinese film market at the time. Equally significant is the fact that Lianhua was also the first to put Chinese nationalism explicitly on to the filmmaking agenda, believing that a nationalist-driven film industry could, among others, help lift China from the clutches of semi-colonial subjugation. Accordingly, Lianhua deployed the film medium as a tool for advocating nationalist policies, for raising social consciousness, and for directing the Chinese people to a nationalist universalism. Furthermore, the characterisation of Stool in Shanghai Blues contains echoes of the shadowy ghost of Bai Lu. Both are country girls and go to Shanghai, seeking a new life. Bai is a teacher; Stool applies for a teaching position. Bai is raped by a well-to-do doctor, while Stool is nearly raped by Boss, the rich merchant. So if Zai Jian Shanghai is, indeed, a parodic reference to Zaihui Ba Shanghai!, it is as temporally incongruent with the diegetic setting of Shanghai Blues as South Pacific is, because Lianhua closed down in 1937 (consequent to the Japanese occupation of Shanghai), while Ruan Lingyu (1910–35) committed suicide some two years earlier. Anachronisms like this, whether temporal or spatial, are everywhere in Shanghai Blues, the most consistently blatant of which would be the use of Cantonese dialogue and Cantopop-style Mandarin songs throughout the film. They are at odds with pre- and post-war Shanghai. Cantonese is not the lingua franca of this city, while Mandarin songs with a 1980s ‘Cantopop’ beat would be ‘out of sync’ with the music of that era. No less absurd is the particularly mischievous mix/mixing/mix-up seen in the film’s own publicity poster, which renders Do-Re-Mi, Shu-Shu and Stool as a glamourous ‘Chinese’ jug band– tuxedo, evening dress and all (Fig. 10.5). It is by drawing intertextual connections between the South Pacific billboard and American neo-imperialism, and between the Chinese Civil War and the

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The film poster for Shanghai Blues (1984).

Hong Kong-bound train, that the Zai Jian Shanghai billboard in Shanghai Blues gains political significance, albeit indirectly. As Stool makes a 180-degree aboutturn in front of the billboard, she flicks her coat. Suddenly, the movie’s frenzied pace halts. The subsequent freeze offers a contemplative moment capturing Stool in an assertive posture, with the flick of her coat amplifying her sense of (renewed) confidence. This composition magnifies her sense of well-being, making her look all the more defiant and determined. A new day has begun for her, just as Shu-Shu and Do-Re-Mi, in bidding good-bye to Shanghai, have embarked on a new journey (into the unknown) on the Hong Kong-bound train. The freeze shot brings to my mind, in both associative and intertextual ways, the final shot in Bruce Lee’s Fist of Fury (1972, Dir. Lo Wei; dubbed and released in English in the United States under the title The Chinese Connection). The shot famously freezes Bruce Lee’s character, Chen Zhen, in mid-air, aiming a flying kick at his armed arresters. Chen’s arresters are portrayed as the villains of China, comprising white foreigners, Japanese secret police and Chinese traitors (Fist of Fury is set in wartime Shanghai, 1937–45). As the film’s closing song— sung to the beat of a military tattoo—makes clear, Chen’s ‘last stand’ makes him a ‘true hero’ because he sacrifices his life for a nationalistic cause. This freeze

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shot, together with the song, reverses an insult: Chen—and, by extension, the Chinese race—is the ‘Sick Man of East Asia’ no more. Relative to Chen’s, Stool’s frozen pose conjures up the image of a different stand. With regard to Chinese nationalism, it seems ambivalent (it obviously lacks Chen’s heroic martyrdom), exuding the ‘heroism’ of the everyday people instead—that worldly-wise disposition which has enabled everyday people to go about their lives, as if each day is a new day. Put contextually, Stool has cancelled the memory of two traumas (Do-Re-Mi’s rejection of her love for him, and her separation from Do-Re-Mi and Shu-Shu), and is now ready to move on to a new phase in life, in turbulent Shanghai (a life without Do-Re-Mi and Shu-Shu, for example). The freeze frame concurrently draws attention to the Zaihui Ba Shanghai! billboard behind Stool, whose appearance in the filmscape of Shanghai Blues, in the closing scenes, suggests that Zai Jian Shanghai has replaced South Pacific as that city’s current major film attraction (the anachronisms between fact and fiction notwithstanding). Presently, Stool is in the street, providing a stark contrast to the passive local girls of the South Pacific imaginary on the first billboard. As argued above, these girls, in functioning as sexual objects for the white (American) man, cater to the ‘Orientalist’ gaze. That white men—whether in the form of a reel-life character or that of a billboard caricature—are absent from that freeze frame, also the final shot in the film’s main story, is politically significant: it is as if the flick of the coat which Stool executes, as she makes an about-turn, has—literally and figuratively—swept away white male fantasies about exotic places, from the South Pacific to Shanghai, and by extension, American neo-imperialism and Western Orientalism as well.

Imagined Fictions This type of mou lei tan (nonsense) humour reaches ridiculous heights in the scene where Stool visits Do-Re-Mi while he gets ready for work early one morning. He has found an odd job as a walking ‘Darkie Toothpaste’ billboard. So he dresses up like the logo for Darkie Toothpaste, or Heiren Yagao, a pictorial composite comprising a minstrel’s blackface, a smart black tuxedo, and a black top hat on his head, tilted at an angle. The blackface grins wide, revealing glistening white teeth. The toothcare product, Heiren Yagao, literally meaning ‘blackperson toothpaste’, was first developed and marketed by the Hawley & Hazel Chemical Company in Shanghai around 1933. At the time, its English name was simply Hei-Ren (Heiren), or ‘black person’. In 1949 the Niem family, which owned Hawley & Hazel, moved the business to Taipei, and then in 1973 to Hong Kong (DeWolf, 2018). It is not clear exactly when Hawley & Hazel renamed the

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brand Darkie, though. In 1985 (the year after Shanghai Blues was made), Colgate bought up the brand. Bowing to protests (primarily in the United States), it soon renamed it ‘Darlie’ and replaced the minstrel face with a racially ambiguous one (McGill, 1989). Whether known as Hei-Ren, Darkie or Darlie, the toothpaste was, and remains to the present day, one of the top-selling toothcare brands in East and Southeast Asia (DeWolf, 2018). In the United States, the minstrel shows were originally black folk art from the antebellum regions. ‘[B]lackface minstrelsy exploded out of traditions of blackface clowning and burlesque,’ write Annemarie Bean, James Hatch and Brooks McNamara: it soon became ‘the chief American popular entertainment of the nineteenth century’ (Bean et al., 1996: xiii). It continued to flourish, albeit unevenly, well into the first half of the twentieth century as both ‘live and recorded shows . . . that borrowed elements from the evolving black minstrel show, among them vaudeville, burlesque, the revue, and later, film, radio, and television’ (ibid.: xiv). The original minstrel shows drew from various sources— for example, Irish songs, Ethiopian skits and sketches, dances like the Juba from Congo—accenting them with African-influenced South plantation culture (Mahar, 1996: 179–222; Winans, 1996: 141–62; Winter, 1996: 223–44). Originally an all-black routine, blackface minstrelsy eventually attracted white performers, who embellished their faces with coal-black make-up and absurdly red lips, as well as wearing woolly wigs. Their comic skits, variety acts, dancing and music, in which ‘white men from behind the black mask forged some of America’s most racist stereotypes’ (Millner, 2019), were also very popular on British television until proscribed as racist and offensive in the late 1960s, marking, as David Leonard (2012) puts it: a history of dehumanisation, of denied citizenship, and of efforts to excuse and justify state violence. From lynchings to mass incarceration, whites have utilised blackface (and the resulting dehumanisation) as part of its moral and legal justification for violence . . . [White blackface] is never a neutral form of entertainment, but an incredibly loaded site for the production of damaging stereotypes . . . the same stereotypes that undergird individual and state violence, American racism, and a centuries worth of injustice. Physiologically speaking, the blackface in the Hei-Ren/Darkie logo looks more like a ‘Negro’ than a white man in blackface. The brand may well have been inspired by Hollywood’s first ‘talkie’, The Jazz Singer (1927, Dir. Alan Crosland), in which the singing acts entail white actor Al Jolson, who plays the titular character, to perform as a blackface. If the Darkie toothpaste motif, together with Do-Re-Mi’s impersonation in Shanghai Blues, does indeed amount to an

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instance of racially offensive merchandising, packaging and mimicry, then the manifestations would seem to take a swipe at (Chinese) cultural ignorance, even insensitivity, in pre-1949 Shanghai as well. Yet ‘painted face’ characters are not uncommon in Chinese opera. Such characters, known as jings, are, in fact, a prototype. In relation to other stock figures, jings have the most elaborate facial make-up, and as such are known as a hualian (flower face). As I have elaborated elsewhere (Tan, 2015), the hualian figures are invariably male. They may be humans, such as a military general, court official or other highly placed personality, or else they are immortals, such as a deity, goblin or spirit. They usually wear a long, flowing beard; if human, this is usually black or white in colour for denoting age and personality: black for the middle-aged man who is kind but stern, even impetuous; white for an elderly man, which can also connote respectability and sagacity. Only immortal jings wear a yellow, green, red or gold beard. Their elaborate facial make-up may be symmetrical or asymmetrical in design. If the former, the jing is a good entity with positive traits. If the latter, he is a crook, villain or outlaw. Facial colours are used to highlight personality traits: for example, red for righteousness and honesty; white for treachery, craftiness and deceptiveness; blue for wildness and unruliness; and black for brusqueness and gruffness. The painted face thus may have a multitude of colours for denoting multiple personality traits. Do-Re-Mi’s minstrel figure is a parody of the Darkie minstrel. There are some obvious difference between the two constructs. For example, although his face is painted black, the areas around his mouth and eyes, including his lips, are white. He wears an Afro wig and a striped jacket, while his top hat bears a lightcoloured ribbon. In the film the particular mix of the black minstrelry and the Chinese operatic (for example, the ‘painted face’) works to force open a performance space of the mou lei tau kind. Suddenly, Do-Re-Mi breaks into a Peking opera routine. Dragging Stool by her arm, he leads her from his room to the rooftop, where the two then sing and move like untrained Peking opera performers. Their amateurish act, coupled with poor delivery, occasions hilarious absurdity. The mou-lei-tau visual gag here (Fig. 10.6) walks a fine line, as it opens up gaps between American racism (the minstrel show) and Chinese culturalism (the Peking opera). The temporally dislocated movies, the spatially incongruent Cantonese, the spatio-temporally incompatible Mandarin songs, the tongue-in-cheek Shanghai Blues film poster, the mou-lei-tau humour, and other conceptual twists and situational absurdities all point to parodic intent. This gives Shanghai Blues a certain critical speculative edge when it is mapped on to a ‘contestation of language’ (Macherey, 1978: 61) and a ‘formal analogue to the dialogue of past and present’ (Hutcheon, 1988: 25). In the context of Shanghai Blues, this mapping draws

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Figure 10.6 At the end of their mou-lei-tau Peking opera act, Stool (right) stays in a frozen position, as Do-Re-Mi turns around and says: ‘Good!’ (00:44:05). Source: Shanghai Blues (1984, Dir. Tsui Hark. Film Workshop).

attention to the struggle between real time and its narration, between real space and its construction, and between facts and their fictionalisation. It also brings to light the incommensurability of these ‘betweens’— their clarification and confusion. ‘Facts’ (for example, the actual socio-political turbulence of postwar Shanghai) thus vie with ‘fiction’ (for example, Shanghai Blues’ construction of post-war mayhem in Shanghai in hyperbolic and comical ways), as the ‘past’ (Zaihui Ba Shanghai!), ‘present’ (Shanghai Blues) and ‘future’ (South Pacific) clash and converge in spatio-temporally ambivalent localities that range from the East (Shanghai/Hong Kong) to other locations that fall in and between the East–West divide (Hong Kong–Shanghai Blues/Shanghai– Zaihui Ba Shanghai!/ Hollywood–South Pacific). In the intercultural realm, this fact/fiction contestation also circumscribes a discourse of historical ignorance and cultural indifference (the minstrel show/the Peking opera). In Shanghai Blues, then, the application of parody as a narrative tool helps pry open the boundaries of film genres, be they of the classic Shanghai or the Hollywood variety, in favour of genre mixing, while its political significance would be this: parody opens up heterologies by intercepting, intervening and interrupting hegemonic forces such as Western colonialisms, American neoimperialism and Chinese nationalism. In other words, the film’s parody circumscribes an antagonistic and agonistic arena in which are found dispersed, yet

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intersecting, vectors of dialogic intensity and dialectical might, power and resistance, similarities and differences, tensions and displacements, reversals and dislodgements, past and present, ‘self and ‘other’, and fact and fantasy. In fact, parodies and allusions exert an overwhelming presence in Shanghai Blues and can be seen within seconds of the film’s opening. In the prologue, there is a scene showing a local girl and a white man on the back seat of a jeep: they are on their way to the No Night City cabaret. Some Chinese sentries stop the jeep. A French flag flutters above and behind the sentries. One sentry-guard tells the white man about the curfew, and also informs him that the Japanese troops are on the outskirts of the city, preparing an offensive. ‘So what?’ sneers the white man, ‘This is the French Concession. The Japanese won’t dare attack us here. Out of my way!’ Then he instructs his chauffeur to drive on. Orientalist images are simultaneously invoked and parodied here: an authoritative white man, his silent female companion and his invisible chauffeur. As expected in an Orientalist scenario, the sentries give way to the white subject. The ‘white man’, the ‘French Concession’, the ‘French flag’ and the ‘Japanese’ are all symbolic references to imperialist interests in Shanghai in 1937. Beginning in 1842, which saw China’s ceding of the island of Hong Kong to Britain, the subsequent scramble for extraterritorial concessions by foreign powers soon turned Qing China into a subcolony by the turn of the twentieth century. Like all extraterritorial districts in treaty-ports, the ‘French Concession’ operated independently of Chinese laws and regulations. Besides France and Britain, the Qing rulers were forced to grant similar concessions to the United States, Russian, Japan, Italy, Germany and Austria. Ten years on from the film’s prologue, the South Pacific billboard in the Shanghai of 1947 reiterates the enduring presence of American imperialist interests in post-war China and their pervasiveness elsewhere, including the South Pacific. The American atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki forced Imperial Japan to surrender formally, and eventually, in September 1945, some three months after Nazi Germany capitulated, also unconditionally, thereby bringing the hostilities of World War II to a close. In the aftermath, however, was ‘a booby-trapped peace’: ‘In east, south-sea and south Asia’, writes Hans van de Ven (2018), the ‘violent processes of decolonisation’, coupled with the corresponding demand for ‘national independence’, meant that ‘a return to the status quo ante was impossible’ (van de Ven, 2018: 230). The two rising superpowers’ (the USA and the USSR) ‘drift towards competition’, continues van de Ven, ‘added deeper complexities . . . to the new [postwar] instabilities’ (ibid.: 230). Against this volatile background the KMT sought to reassert its rule over China, with the supportive Truman administration mediating and brokering a peaceful settlement between the returning KMT and its arch-rival, the CCP. When the

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talks collapsed, the Chinese Civil War erupted in July 1946. As a consequence, refugees poured into Hong Kong, swelling the colony’s population of about 600,000 in August 1945 to an estimated 2.36 million by March 1950 (Endacott, 1978: 142; Welsh, 1997: 438), or some five months after Mao proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic at Tiananmen Square, Beijing. Amongst them were elite and talented figures, including returning locals who had sought refuge across the border during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong. Together with the locals, or those who survived the occupation, these people contributed to the colony’s post-war recovery and the city’s subsequent economic industrialisation and prosperity (Welsh, 1997: 438–9). Shanghai Blues closes with Stool’s look at the city of Shanghai, which dovetails with the film’s closing song. This song—also the film’s theme song (given in the epigraph to this chapter)—is composed by Do-Re-Mi and sung by Zhou Xiaoxian, a Zhou Xuan look-alike. This character is an obvious throwback to Zhou Xuan of Street Angel (1937, Dir. Yuan Muzhi) fame. As singer and actress, Zhou Xuan was an icon of the Chinese (Shanghai) cultural scene, who continued to work in wartime Shanghai; after the war she sustained her career in Hong Kong until 1950, when she returned to Shanghai, dying there in 1957. Shanghai Blues is similar to Street Angel to the extent that both films are quasi-musicals that tell stories about the struggling ‘Shanghai underclass’, a world populated by musicians, prostitutes and other marginal people who live in dilapidated tenements. Doubling as a symbolic referent of a past era, reiteratively, the closing song additionally serves to reconnect the main story to the prologue. Its lyrics make the reconnection with words like ‘bridge’, ‘embrace’ and ‘the other day’, thereby giving a circular narrative structure to Shanghai Blues. This circularity—together with the term ‘Zan Jian’ on the billboard, which variously means ‘Goodbye’, ‘The End’ or ‘To See Again’, serving as an invitation to re-view the film—forces the film to fold back on itself, making it self-referential and self-conscious in an introspective way. The particular relooping does not, however, send the film, from the first frame of the prologue to the last frame of the main story, into a perpetual loop with no escape button. Fissures are created by the closing song’s concurrent reference to a future time: for example, ‘The I of tomorrow’, ‘The you of tomorrow’ and ‘embrace . . . again’. It is through these fissures that the final montage, on to which the closing credits are superimposed, emerges. This montage manifests a repetition with a difference, as it repeats only particular moments from the main story. In so doing, it reslots the film, both the prologue and the main story, into a past–future time frame, encouraging a critical revisioning or remembering in respective and retroactive ways. Significantly, in the montage, the South Pacific billboard, or what David Bordwell would otherwise note as the ‘reference point’ (Bordwell, 2000: 6) in

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relation to Hollywood, is absent, along with all the film’s past references to ‘white’ or foreign entities. This type of repetition with a difference is akin to the Spivakian ‘catachresal masterword’ (Harasym, 1990a: 155). Put contextually, in invoking America and Hollywood—if these are symbolically understood as a hegemon of international affairs and global cinema respectively—in and since the post-war years, the film ensures their disappearance as such, at least insofar as the narrative space of Shanghai Blues is concerned. The particular disappearing act draws a parallel to Ackbar Abbas’s déjà disparu for theorising the new Hong Kong cinema which emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when the political status of the city was most in doubt (Abbas, 1997), particularly with the signing away of its future in 1984. That Hollywood enjoys no more than a transitory existence in the cultural spaces of Hong Kong movies such as Shanghai Blues, suggesting that this cinema’s new localism can summon and construct its own presence in a world structured by hegemonic cultural forces on the one hand, and their fissures on the other. The Sino-British Declaration, of course, suggests quite the opposite. Tsui Hark, at this crucially important time for Hong Kong’s future, to use Ackbar Abbas’s words from a different context, ‘investigates the dislocations of the local, where the local is something unstable that mutates right in front of our eyes’, like ‘a hybrid language coming out of a hybrid space . . . it is by being local in this way that the new Hong Kong cinema is most international’ (Abbas, 1994: 69). Shanghai Blues, like all the films discussed in this book, is fascinating when studied individually; taken together, however, the films are representative of the important role played by the development of an increasingly transnational cinema in a sinophone context—a cinema significantly connected not only to the world of films from Hong Kong, as shown here, but to the dynamism of their ever-changing local contexts and, through them, to the world at large and its ever-developing complex interconnectivities.

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Afterword

In 2018, I argued, together with Aaron Han Joon Magnan-Park and Gina Marchetti, that ‘Research . . . needs to cross disciplines as it traverses national borders, and comparative, historical, institutional, and industrial approaches’, and that ‘all need to be brought into play to provide a clear picture of Asian cinema [read sinophone here] past and present’ (Magnan-Park et al., 2018a: 6). The films selected in this book, and my analysis of the contexts of those films in and around Hong Kong, from its early filmmaking in the 1930s through to its New Wave disruptions, have, as I hope to have shown, gone some way to forming a small but significant part of that clearer picture within the ever-developing transnational milieu of sinophone cinema. Rey Chow warned in 1998 (cited in Zhang, 2004: 4) about the theoretical inadequacies inherent in simply pluralising the phrase ‘Chinese cinema’, signalling it as an inadequate description of the film industry and the films made in ‘Chinese’ languages. Picking up on that warning, I have argued (as others have also done) in the course of this book, and using 1984 (with the signing of the Sino-British Joint Declaration) as a significant cut-off point, that the plurality and hybridity involved in the production, dissemination and reception of those films means that they are better termed ‘sinophone cinema’, to describe a nonessentialised understanding of the term ‘Chinese’ in China and the Chinese diaspora, and beyond. Rey Chow’s warning is still valid and timely, raising, as it does, the analytic bar for a contemporary film studies involved with a sinophone cinema where ‘Chinese’ film is considerably more challenging to understand than in ways defined by more traditionally based, essentialised modes of thinking. I have engaged with some of those plurality and hybridity challenges in this book, by seeking to read sinophone cultures and cinemas through a nonessentialist lens. To borrow a useful phrase from Mette Hjort and Duncan Petrie, I have done so by focusing on various diasporic ‘modes of address’ (Hjort and Petrie, 2007: 12) characterised by a Han-Chinese based sinification process that evolved over fifty years (and beyond) into a broader, sinophone, self-sinification; this offers broader definitions of Chineseness through new

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localisms, rather than describing the films produced as constrained by national boundaries or territorial identities. I have done so in the hope of better framing our contemporary understanding of the cultures of sinophone film production, reception and interpretation, most especially through the development of particular types of Hong Kong films. As such, my concerns in this book have been principally with investigations of specifically Asian [again, read sinophone here] notions of modernity (tradition/modernism/post-modernism), space (borders and boundaries), time (colonial, postcolonial), and film aesthetics (ways of seeing and framing landscapes, faces, bodies; editing rhythms/shot durations, camera movements and so on) that need to go beyond national borders. (Magnan-Park et al., 2018a: 6–7) A number of related issues for better understanding Hong Kong cinema and sinophone transnationalism have emerged as a result of doing that. The first, discussed in Chapter 1, pertains to the lived reality of British colonialism in Hong Kong especially becoming evident in the films of the 1930s and onwards (see Chow, 1992), and what this meant (and still means now) for a developing/ developed deterritorialised film industry in Hong Kong and the region. A second related issue, described in Chapter 2, is the sort of Chinese culturalism that was nurtured through traditions and so-called nativist ways of life, resulting in contentious Chinese nationalisms—be they of the Confucianist (historical China), Daoist (spiritual China), dynastic (Imperial China), socialist (PRC), republican (Taiwan) or diasporic (deterritorialised Chinese) variety. As Mayfair Yang puts it in a different context, the subjectivity of deterritorialised Chinese ‘cannot be contained by the state apparatuses of either mainland China or Taiwan’ (Yang, 2002: 341). The consequences of that lack of containment, as I hope to have shown in this book, must surely be that sinophone cinema would have been severely limited, and indeed dwarfed by, the stranglehold of equivalent apparatuses in the United States, and other major geo-political locations that had influence on the diaspora. But it was not, and still is not. As Victor Fan (2019) might add, the extraterritorial constraints of location—that is, Hong Kong itself, including the indigenisation movements in and since the 1970s—are testimonies to the stretchability/plasticity of sinophone practices; also, because of those plural and hybrid practices, we are now able to think quite differently about ways of defining ‘China’ and ‘Chineseness’. A third and much more diverse set of Chinese identity issues variously emerges in late colonial Hong Kong-made films in the 1950s and 1960s

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(Chapters 3–5) and the 1970s (Chapters 6–7), through to the 1980s (Chapters 8–10), in an increasingly globally connected city which enjoyed a living standard comparable to that of first world countries—a stark contrast to mainland China at the time, which was still recovering from the economic devastations of a number of wars, and later on the Cultural Revolution. Whether as a British trading outpost with a laissez-faire economy and a predominantly Chinese population, or as a newly industrialising ‘Chinese’ society under British colonial rule, by the time it reached 1984—when a new fate was signed and sealed for it without any reference to its people—Hong Kong had been home to, and for, the global traffic in people, ideas, images, cultures and capital that both fermented and fostered the territory’s simultaneously local, cosmopolitan and global tastes and outlooks. This kind of global traffic drove the Hong Kong film industry from the very beginning, in what has always been a heavily contested space, and has significant implications for how we understand sinophone transnationalism, from the beginnings of its film industry to where we are today. A fourth issue relates to a sinophone film industry which has been called the ‘Hollywood of the East’. It has had a long history of distributing its products to diasporic Chinese communities in the region and beyond, and for a time in the 1970s broke into Hollywood-dominated markets. As we have seen, it has accumulated multifarious repertoires of filmmaking traditions. These are traditions which, over the years, have variously developed in conversation with, and in resistance to, both intra- and inter-regional filmmaking practices and cultural influences—whether they emanate from the Far East (for example, mainland China, Taiwan and Japan), the South (Singapore/Malaya and other Southeast Asian locations/countries) or the West (United States/ Hollywood and Europe)—but all of which go towards making distinctive Hong Kong films. This force of diverse traditions, variously handled by filmmakers from the Shaw Brothers to Tsui Hark, as different from each other as they could be, are raised in various ways in Chapters 1 to 10 in this book—from the earliest Huangmei diao pian (Huang mei opera films), qiqingpian with their caizi/jiaren romances and fanchuan impersonations, fengyuepian (erotic films), guofangpian (national defence films), wuxiapian (warrior films) and bangpian (Bond films), culminating in xin langchao dianying (New Wave films), whether in Mandarin or Cantonese—enabled producers, writers, directors, actors and so on to carve out their distinctive niche in a late colonial Hong Kong where, to use the words of Abbas and Dissanayake, ‘the problems of colonialism were overlaid with those of globalism in uncanny anarchist tendencies’ (Abbas and Dissanayake, 2004: vii). And indeed they still are.

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As a major filmmaking centre in the Chinese diaspora, Hong Kong’s place-ness—its location or locatedness as a British colony, Chinese territory, extraterritorial entity, ‘East-meets-West’ event, Cold War bridge between China and the cosmopolitan, nexus for the global traffic of capital, labour and ideas—has cultivated, and is in turn fostered by, historical conditions that yield rich and diverse arrays of sinophone practices and articulations because it is ‘perpetually torn between conflicting socio-political and culturo-linguistic forces . . . [that] claim their authorities over its [bio-political] life [while] ironically . . . ostracizing it outside their respective territories’ (Fan, 2019: 13). ‘Such a mode of existence’, Victor Fan elaborates: is characterised by this life’s sense-uncertainty, as it constantly tries to individuate itself out of a perpetual process of deindividuation, subjectivise itself out of a continuous undertaking of desubjectivisation, and autonomies itself out of an active deprivation of its autonomy by the conflicting forces that tear it apart. (ibid.: 13) This sense-uncertainty, as I hope to have shown in this book, is therefore central to understanding the historical processes of sinophone cultural formations. They have entailed drawing on, while building up, reservoirs of local cultural resources on the one hand, and on the other, establishing dialogues with traditional Chinese narratives that have long circulated in Hong Kong’s popular memories; these include, of course, non-indigenous cultures or foreign bodies whose sometimes incompatible, sometimes overlapping values and priorities demand astute accommodation and co-existence. This reinforces a complexity, plurality and diversity that can no longer be defined and understood in terms of a singular China-centrist definition of what ‘Chineseness’ is, and results in what Shih refers to as a sinophone articulation in film studies ‘which introduces difference, contradiction, and contingency into those [cultures and] identities’ (Shih, 2007: 35). Such ‘articulation’, she continues, ‘as a practice, not only subverts fixed identities but also opens up the possibility for new identities, which in turn can lead to new social and cultural formations’ (ibid.: 35). As a consequence, ‘sinophone articulation, by the acts and practices of cultural production—naming, writing, making art, making film, and so forth—disrupts the symbolic totality that is Chinese and instead projects the possibility of a new symbolisation beyond reified Chinese and Chineseness’ (ibid.: 35). I hope to have shown here some of those articulations close up, and that the sort of zuguo jiaxiang articulations, for example, which operated in selected early Shanghai and Hong Kong films as key signifiers of identity were, perhaps more importantly, initial definers of a ‘China’ and ‘Chineseness’ which were to

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lay themselves open to be embraced or rejected, challenged or played with in sinophone cinemas. Whatever the fate of these terms, they were, and are, a ‘China’ and ‘Chineseness’ that, one way or another, may be, will be, engaged with well beyond this particular book. They will be defined, redefined and even displaced in the cinemas of the sinophone diasporas into which engagement with Chinese nationalism and sinicist essentialism becomes ever more inevitable. The old caizi/jiaren romances, for example, as I have described here, were a very rich source for sinophone films, and Shaw Brothers, once the premier production studio in the diaspora, were not afraid to mine that source. But these were not just retellings of old stories. John Wei’s work on sinophone mobilities is key here (Wei, 2020) because it draws attention to the importance of the value of others, like filmmakers, in being able to tell those stories in very changed migrant societies. The films that emerged in these societies hold within them, therefore, not just mirrors to the societies they came from and played to, but challenges for change—especially in essentialist ideas about what constitutes China and Chineseness. Similarly, the new sinophone modes of address in bangpian, which often incorporated the narrative conventions of wuxiapian, more importantly engage with, and adopt, the playful transness of the jianghu. This is a highly anarchic and action-filled place, which emerges wherever itinerants and roving mavericks (jianghu ke, or guests of the jianghu), both male and female, skilled in martial arts, gather in significant numbers. Jianghu strongly signals place-withoutbelonging and absence of political affiliations. I have developed here what I consider to be an important analogy with the transness of the jianghu and that of the characters in bangpian, and the transness of the emerging, younger audiences in a Hong Kong that was set to change dramatically in 1997. As such, I have suggested that Shaw Brothers created bangpian that, regardless of the studio’s commercial intent, welcomed the foreign, celebrated the plural and hybrid in quite new ways, and offered freedom from the constraints of the old essentialised definition of China and Chineseness represented by the CCP’s PRC or the KMT’s ROC. I have explored here some of the ways in which these films offered denationalised and depoliticised tropes and characters to an audience that we now refer to as third-culture kids: Chinese movie-goers in the diaspora who, I have argued, represented a new Chinese imaginary which, while connecting back to the old traditions, looked forward to the newly emerging global cultures and offered new Chinese cultural roots set deep in the very new sinophone (jianghu) homeland. And all within the context of the highly contested space of a Hong Kong on its way to 1997. Other significant tropes, I hope to have shown, especially gender transcendency in fanchuan performances, together with the concept of tongzhi, become

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both credible and convincing as important features of those new Chinese cultural roots. But more than that—they effectively become symptomatic of the changes taking place in diasporic societies, where the familiar, the hitherto unquestioned and the political, social and cultural norms have been disrupted. The two Chinese courtesan films discussed in detail in this book, for example, as representative of fengyuepian, hold within them, so to speak, the tongzhi sensibilities and allegorical transformations that link the films to the political concerns, not just of when they were made, but also of the sinophone diaspora today. Those sensibilities and transformations show up in often surprising ways, not least as I have shown here, in their treatment in sinophone film of classic folktales and traditional film content and themes. My close readings of New Waver Tsui Hark’s work elaborates on these new sinophone cultures by demonstrating in his work significant breakaway points— accented tactics of strategic selection and creative manipulation—with respect to cultural traditions, intellectual ideas and filmic forms established both within and outside Hong Kong. With over sixty films to his name, Tsui Hark is one of the most revered of contemporary Hong Kong filmmakers but it is through his early films, as discussed here, which he made at first as a freelance director and then as a studio owner between 1979 and 1984, that his journey from the margins to the popular mainstream of Hong Kong cinema developed. I have concentrated on four of his films in particular—The Butterfly Murders (1979), We’re Going to Eat You (1980), Dangerous Encounter—1st Kind (1980) and Shanghai Blues (1984)—not because they were commercially successful (they were not), but because they demonstrate the continuation and the development of the important themes, issues and motifs which laid the foundation for a changing sinophone cinema in the late colonial Hong Kong cinema of the 1980s. These are themes, issues and motifs that involve astute juggling of ‘foreign’ and ‘local’ cultural capital accrued in, and available to, the late colonial Hong Kong filmscape. In that respect, my overall aim in this book has been to engage with a popular but, I would argue, misguided view that ‘From the start Hong Kong film was indebted to America’ and that ‘Today . . . Hollywood remains the reference point [for Hong Kong cinema]’ (Bordwell, 2000: 18–19). Bordwell’s grand sketch of the Hong Kong–America (Hollywood) intercinematic connection demands an unwarranted leap of faith because the supposed ‘Hongkongification of American cinema’, which he talks about, offers little insight into the interplay of intersections in cinemas (or, for that matter, cross-medium borrowing and cross-territory appropriation) which account for the diverse filmmaking traditions that we know today as sinophone cinema; this is simply because it does not pay enough attention to the manner in which Hong Kong filmmakers, from the 1930s through to the 1980s, have used the medium differently, and for different purposes—to create new Chinese imaginaries.

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I have taken the view that it is from its various extraterritorial positions that Hong Kong delineates an affective (and changing) space for its cinema, through which it mediates its responses to, and against, the push and pull of sovereign powers. These responses are not always directly political but they are variously ‘perturbing’ to what Fan calls the ‘spectator’s sensoria’ (Fan, 2019: 9). I have explored here some of the various cinematic forms this has taken since the 1930s, and in so doing I purposefully raise questions about the role of extraterritorial cinema in Hong Kong and the wider sinophone diaspora. Central, then, to my overall concerns, in addition to some of the very detailed analysis and commentary I offer on particular films, has been my view that films are social documents expressive of the society that produces them, and vice versa, and that the varied yet connected articulations around place, people and identities (as here in sinophone cinema and a sinified diaspora) correlate with societal shifts—be they historical, political or otherwise. Related to these concerns, and running throughout the whole of this book, has been an investigation of the ongoing question of ‘China’ and ‘Chineseness’ (see also Ang, 1998/2013; Chow, 1998/2013; Lee, 1991/2013; Tu, 1991/2013; Wang, 1999/2013), and their cinematic enunciations and representations, especially with regard to cultural and national identities, as well as to gender and ethnicity. What happens to Hong Kong in the future has not been my chief concern in this book, where I primarily explore Hong Kong’s past through its cinema from the 1930s up to the early 1980s, despite my own personal concerns and, may I say, often despair at what has been happening in recent years. But in looking at the past I have inevitably analysed and commented upon many themes central to understanding not just this past but, through that past, to understanding the present and future of an increasingly anxious Hong Kong, over fifty years and more, mirroring in its films an anxiety, drawn from a crisis mentality characterised by a strong sense of uncertainty and foreboding about home and belonging within the overlapping (yet contesting) frames, most especially of some of the principal concepts defining sinophone cinema: extraterrioriality, cosmopolitanism and transnationalism. These concepts, as I have sought to show in this book, can offer to interdisciplinary critical film studies salient contextual frames for locating sinophone cinema, through its acts of enunciation, inscription and performance, self-representation and de-othering in response to (and against) the forces of sovereign and other powers to impose their will on the then colony of Hong Kong, that had, and continue to have, far-reaching implications for the people of Hong Kong in their still highly contested and anxious space, and the wider diaspora, within the sinophone context in which Hong Kongers still find themselves.

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Appendix 1: A Selection of Chineselanguage Opera Film Avatars

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1952 1952

Hong Kong: Tianyi/Unique

Hong Kong: Tianyi/Unique Hong Kong: China United Hong Kong: Jin Feng Hong Kong: unknown Hong Kong: Jin Feng

Shanghai: Shanghai Film Studio, with Huadong 1954 (Eastern China) Opera Research School’s Shaoxing Experimental Troupe Hong Kong: Long Feng Hong Kong: Saam Yeung

Hong Kong: Chik Lei

Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers Hong Kong: Cathay Hong Kong: Film Workshop et al. Taiwan: Central Motion Pictures Hong Kong: BIG Pictures

The Butterfly Lovers, Part 1 (Liang Shanbo Zhu Yingtai, shang ji) The Butterfly Lovers, Part 2 (Liang Shanbo Zhu Yingtai, xia ji) Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai (Liang Shanbo yu Zhu Yingtai) Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai (Xin Liang Shanbo yu Zhu Yingtai) Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai (Liang Shanbo Zhu Yingtai) Leung Shan-pak’s Second Meeting with Chuk Ying-toi aka Liang Shanbo’s Second Meeting with Zhu Yingtai (Liang Shanbo zaihui Zhu Yingtai) Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai (Liang Shanbo yu Zhu Yingtai) Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai (Liang Shanbo Zhu Yingtai) The Romance of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai (Liang Shanbo yu Zhu Yingtai) The Tragic Story of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai (Liang Zhu Ying Hengshi) The Love Eterne (Liang Shanbo yu Zhu Yingtai) Liang San Poh and Chu Ing Tai (Liang Shanbo yu Zhu Yingtai) The Lovers (Liang Zhu) The Butterfly Lovers aka Butterflies in Love/ Hudie Meng: Liang Shanbo yu Zhu Yingtai) The Butterfly Lovers aka Assassin’s Blade (Wuxia Liang Zhu)

Year

2008

2004

1994

1964

1963

1958

1955

1955

1951

1940

1935

1935

1926

The ‘Butterfly Lovers’ cluster Based on the Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai legend, c. Eastern Jin Dynasty era (ad 317 to 420)

Studio Shanghai: Tianyi/Unique

Film titles The Lovers (Liang Zhu Tongshi)

Clusters

Language

Cantonese (wuxia/warrior-errant film)

Huayu/Guoyu (animation)

Cantonese (period drama)

Huayu/Guoyu (Huangmei diao film)

Huayu/Guoyu (Huangmei diao film)

Cantonese (opera film)

Cantonese (opera film)

Minnanhua/Amoy-language (opera film)

Shanghainese (Shaoxing opera film)

Cantonese (opera film; naoju)

Cantonese (opera film)

Cantonese (opera film)

Huayu/Guoyu (period drama)

Cantonese (opera film)

Cantonese (opera film)

Silent film

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The ‘Dream of the Red Chamber’ cluster Based on the Qing novel of the same name by Cao Xueqin (ad 1724 to 1764); first published 1791. (Qing Dynasty: 1644 to 1911)

The ‘Carp Spirit’ cluster Based on The Story of the Fish Basket/Yulan Ji, a Ming folktale by Mingdai Wumingshi (Mindai Wumingshi). Ming Dynasty: ad 1368 to 1644)

Hong Kong: New Light Shanghai: Tianma Film Studio, with Shanghai Yueju School Hong Kong: Great Wall Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers Shanghai: Peacock Film Shanghai: Hua Ying Hong Kong: Qinghua Hong Kong: Guang-Ye & Tai Wah Golden City Hong Kong: Great Wall Hong Kong: Hong Fu Film Shanghai: Hai Yan Film Studio/Hong Kong: Jin Sheng, with Shanghai Yueju Troupe Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers Hong Kong: To-day Motion Pictures Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers

The Carp Spirit (Li yu Jing) Chase Fish (Zhui yu) A Mermaid’s Love (Bibo Xianlü) The Mermaid (Yu Meiren) The Red Chamber Dream (Honglou Meng) Dream of the Red Mansions (Honglou Meng) The Red Chamber Dream (Honglou Meng) The Flowers Drop by the Red Chamber (Hua Luo Honglou) A Dream of Red Mansions (Xin Honglou Meng) Modern Red Chamber Dream (Xin Honglou Meng) The Dream of Red Chamber (Honglou Meng) The Dream of the Red Chamber (Honglou Meng) The Dream of the Red Chamber (Honglou Meng) The Dream of the Red Chamber (Honglou Meng) The Dream of the Red Chamber (Jinyu Liangyuan Honglou Meng)

1977

1978

1962

1962

1956

1952

1951

1950

1949

1944

1927

1965

1960

1959

1958

Huayu/Guoyu (Huangmei diao film)

Huayu/Guoyu (Huangmei diao film)

Huayu/Guoyu (Huangmei diao film)

Shanghainese (Shaoxing opera film)

Minnanhua/Amoy-language (opera film)

Huayu/Guoyu (modern drama)

Cantonese (modern drama)

(Cantonese) (opera film)

Cantonese (period drama)

Hanyu/Guoyu (period drama)

Silent film

Huayu/Guoyu (Huangmei diao film)

Huayu/Putonghua (opera film)

Shanghainese (Shaoxing opera film)

Cantonese (opera film)

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1964

1952

Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers

Hong Kong: studio unknown

The Female Prince (Shuang Feng Qiyuan)

1959

Shanghai: Hai Yan Film Studio, with Anhui Province Huangmei Opera Troupe

The Female Consort Prince aka The Emperor’s Female Son-in-law (Nü Fuma)

1954

Hong Kong: Yizhong

Shanghai: Tianma, featuring Fujian Province Minnanhua Opera Experimental Troupe, PRC Hong Kong: Da Peng/Guangzhou: Zhujiang, with Guangdong Chaoju School’s No. 1 Troupe (PRC) Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers

The Romance of Lychee and Mirror, Parts I, II and III aka Chen San and Fifth Madam (Li Jing Yuan, Shang Ji, Xia Ji, Da Jie Ju) Chen San and Wu Niang (Chen San Wu Niang) The Story of the Lichee and Mirror aka Tan San and Ngo Nian (Li Jing Ji aka Chen San Wu Niang) The Mirror and the Lichee (Xin Chen San Wu Niang)

1967

1961

1957

1954

Hong Kong: studio unknown

Chen San and Fifth Madam (Chen San Wu Niang)

New Story of Chen San and Fifth Madam The ‘Lichee–Mirror’ cluster Based on a well-known Ming folktale from (Xin Chen San Wu Niang) the Fujian and eastern Guangdong region

The ‘Female Consort Prince’ cluster Possibly inspired by the legend of Huang Chongjia of the Former Shu era (ad 907 to 925), a female literary talent who loved to travel and cross-dress as a male. Late Ming novels, such as Enlightenment Stories (Yu Shi Ming Yan) by Feng Menglong (1574 to 1646), reportedly carried the first published stories about this legendary woman passes the Imperial Examinations and becomes a premier scholar (zhuang yuan)

Huayu/Guoyu (Huangmei diao film)

Chaozhouyu/Teochew (opera film)

Minnanhua/Amoy-language (opera film)

Minnanhua/Amoy-language (opera film)

Cantonese (most likely opera film)

Minnanhua/Amoy-language (most likely opera film)

Huayu/Guoyu (Huangmei diao film)

Putonghua (Huangmei xi film)

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Taiwan: Grand Motion Pictures Shanghai: Shanghai Film Studio et al., with Anhui Province Huangmei Opera Troupe Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers Taiwan: Tai Lien Taiwan: Tai Lien Hong Kong: Yung Hwa Hong Kong: Lap Tat Hong Kong: Great Wall Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers Hong Kong: Hing Fat/Xingfa

Seven Fairies (Qi Xiannü) Under the Ash Tree (Tianxian Pei) A Maid from Heaven (Qi Xiannü) Seven Fairies: The Sequel (Qi Xiannü Xuji) Seven Fairies: The Finale (Qi Xiannü Wan Jie Pian) The Ingenious Seduction (Tang Bohu yu Qiu Xiang) How the Scholar Tang Bohu Won the Maid Qiu Xiang (Tang Bohu Dian Qiu Xiang) Three Charming Smiles (San Xiao) Three Smiles (San Xiao) Laugh in the Sleeve (San Xiao Yinyuan) Shanghai: Min Xin

Shanghai: Shanghai Film Studio, with Anhui Province Huangmei Opera Troupe

Marriage of the Fairy Princess (Tianxian Pei)

Way Down West aka The Romance of the The ‘West Chamber’ cluster Based on Yuan Dynasty playwright Wang West Chamber (Xixiang Ji) Shifu’s (1260 to 1336) most famous dramatic work, The Story of the West Chamber/Xixiang Ji. Completed some time between 1295 and -1307 and originally titled Cui Yingying Waits for the Moon at the West Chamber/Cui Yingying Dai Yue Xixiang Ji, the play is about the titular Cui’s love affair and sexual frolics with young scholar Zhang Sheng at the West Chamber of a temple where the two, and her family as well, seek refuge from war

The ‘Tang Bohu Story’ cluster Based on a legendary Ming poet and painter called Tang Bohu (ad 1470 to 1524)

The ‘Seventh Fairy Daughter’ cluster Based on an ancient myth, reportedly in circulation as early as the Han Dynasty (202 bc to ad 220)

1927

1975

1969

1964

1957

1956

1964

1964

1963

1963

1963

1955

Silent film (period drama)

Cantonese (opera film)

Huayu/Guoyu (Huangmei diao film)

Huayu/Putonghua (Huangmei diao film)

Cantonese (opera film)

Huayu/Guoyu (opera film)

Taiyu/Minnanhua/Amoy-language (opera film)

Taiyu/Minnanhua/Amoy-language (opera film)

Huayu/Guoyu (Huangmei diao film)

Putonghua (Huangmei xi film)

Huayu/Guoyu (Huangmei diao film)

Putonghua (Huangmei xi film)

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Sources: various.

Hong Kong: Yin Doi/Xiandai Shanghai: Guo Hua Hong Kong: Great China/Da Zhonghua Hong Kong: Far East/Yuandong Hong Kong: San Daat/Xinda Taiwan: Beixin, with Xiamen Duma Troupe

Hong Kong: Union Film Hong Kong: Yi Zhong Hong Kong: Hua Wen Most likely from Taiwan: studio unknown Hong Kong: Dung Saan/Dongshan Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers Taiwan: Dangdai Yingye

The West Chamber Then and Now (Gu Jin Xixiang) The West Chamber (Xixiang Ji) Romance of the West Chamber (Xixiang Ji) New West Chamber (Xin Xixiang Ji) Romance in the West Chamber (Chunse Man Xixiang) Six Gifted Scholar’s Romance of the WestChamber (Liu Caizi Xixiang Ji) Romance at the Western Chamber (Xixiang Ji) The Romance of the Western Chamber (Xin Xixiang Ji) The Romance of the Western Chamber (Xixiang Ji) The West Chamber (Xixiang Ji) Sai Seung Gei (Xixiang Ji) The West Chamber (Xixiang Ji) The Romance of the West Chamber (Xin Xixiang Ji)

1979

1965

1964

1963

1961

1956

1956

1955

1955

1953

1947

1940

1937

Huayu/Guoyu (most likely Huangmei diao film)

Huayu/Guoyu (Huangmei diao film)

Chaozhouyu/Teochew (opera film)

Most likely in Huayu/Guoyu (most likely opera film)

Shanghainese (Shaoxing opera film)

Minnanhua/Amoy-language (opera film)

Cantonese (opera film)

Taiyu/Minnanhua/Amoy-language (opera film)

Cantonese (opera film in modern-day setting)

Huayu/Guoyu (modern drama)

Cantonese (opera film)

Huayu/Guoyu (period drama)

Cantonese (period drama)

Appendix 2: Glossary of Chineselanguage Film Titles

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1966 1997 1931 1982 1983 1984 1939 1994 1984 1968 1967 1967 1938

A Singer’s Story

Aces Go Places

Aces Go Places II

Aces Go Places III—Our Man from Bond Street

Adventures of the Chinese Tarzan, The

Amorous Lotus, The

An Amorous Woman of the Tang Dynasty

Angel Strikes Again, The

Angel with the Iron Fists

Asia-Pol aka Asia-Pol Secret Service

At This Critical Juncture

1963

A Maid from Heaven

A Queer Story

1951

A Dream of Red Mansions

A Perturbed Girl

1965

A Beggar’s Daughter

1960

1937

48 Hours

1941

2011

3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy

A Page of History (documentary)

1933

24 Hours in Shanghai aka Shanghai Over 24 Hours

A Mermaid’s Love

Year

Title

Zuihou Guantou

Yazhou Mimi Jīngcha

Tie Guanyin

Tie Guanyin Yong Po Baozha Dang

Tangchao Haofang Nü

Shaonü Pan Jinlian

Zhongguo Taishan Lixian Ji

Zuijia Paidang Nühuang Miling

Zuijia Paidang Da Xian Shentong

Zuijia Paidang

Gechang Chunse

Jilao 40

Tian Zhi Jiaonü

Xunye Qianqiu

Bibo Xianlü

Qi Xiannü

Xin Honglou Meng

Jin Yu Nu

Sishiba Xiaoshi

San-D Rouputuan Zhi Jile Baojian

Shanghai Ershisi Xiaoshi

Pinyin

'㙝㪆ಶПᵕФᅱ䡈 ᇣᯊ 䞥⥝཈ ᮄ㑶ὐṺ ϗҭཇ ⹻⊶ҭշ ࢟Ϯग⾟ ໽П偘ཇ ෎Հಯक ℠എ᯹㡆 ᳔Շᢡḷ ᳔Շᢡḷ˖໻ᰒ⼲䗮 ᳔Շᢡḷ˖ཇⱛᆚҸ Ё೑⋄ቅग़䰽䆄 ᇥཇ┬䞥㦆 ૤ᳱ䈾ᬒཇ 䪕㾖䷇࢛⸈⟚⚌‫ܮ‬ 䪕㾖䷇ Ѯ⌆⾬ᆚ䄺ᆳ ᳔ৢ݇༈

ᇣᰖ 䞥⥝཈ ࢯὁग⾟ ϗҭཇ ⹻⊶ҭ֊ ࢯὁग⾟ ໽П倩ཇ ෎Հಯक ℠จ᯹㡆 ᳔Շᢡ⁨ ᳔Շᢡ⁨˖໻乃⼲䗮 ᳔Շᢡ⁨˖ཇⱛᆚҸ Ё೟⋄ቅ⅋䱾㿬 ᇥཇ┬䞥㫂 ૤ᳱ䈾ᬒཇ 䨉㾔䷇࢛⸈⟚⚌咼 䨉㾔䷇ Ѳ⌆⾬ᆚ䄺ᆳ ᳔ᕠ䮰丁

Ϟ⍋Ѡकಯᇣᯊ

Ϟ⍋Ѡकಯᇣᰖ 3D㙝㪆೬ПὉῖᇊ䨦

Jiantizi (Simplified Script)

Fantizi (Complex script)

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1973 1937 1963 1934 1934 1998 1967 1955 1938 1958 1941 1960 1962 1928-1931 1959 2006 2008 2004 1977 1984 1995 1997 1999

Bamboo House of Dolls, The

Battle of Shanghai, The (documentary)

Because of Her

Big Road, The aka The Highway

Bigamy aka Remarriage

Bishonen aka Beauty

Black Falcon, The

Blessings Come in Pairs

Blood-stained Baoshan Fortress, The

Borrowed Wife, The aka The Borrowed Bride

Boundless Future aka Ten Thousand Li Ahead

Bride Hunter

Bride Napping, The

Burning of the Red Lotus Temple, The

Butterfly and Red Pear

Butterfly Lovers – The Musical (Stage)

Butterfly Lovers, The aka Assassin’s Blade

Butterfly Lovers, The aka Butterflies in Love (Animation)

Butterfly Lovers, The (TV series)

Butterfly Lovers, The (TV series)

Butterfly Lovers, The (TV series)

Butterfly Lovers, The (TV series)

Butterfly Lovers, The (TV series)

Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai

Xin Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai

Xin Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai

Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai

Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai

Hudie Meng: Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai

Jiandie: Wuxia Liang Zhu

Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai Yinyueju

Dieying Hongli Ji

Huo Shao Hongliansi

Huatian Cuo

Wang Laohu Qiangqin

Qiancheng Wanli

Jie Qin Pei

Xuejian Baoshan Cheng

Haoshi Cheng Shuang

Hei Ying

Mei Shaonian Zhi Lian

Chonghun

Da Lu

Jiao Wo Ruhe Buxiang Ta

Songhu Kangzhan Jishi

Nü Jizhongying

ཇ䲚Ё㧹 ⎲≾ᡫ៬㑾ᅲ ᬭ៥བԩϡᛇཌྷ ໻䏃 䞡ီ 㕢ᇥᑈПᘟ 咥呄 དџ៤ঠ 㸔⑙ᅱቅජ ‫҆׳‬䜡 ࠡ⿟ϛ䞠 ⥟㗕㰢ᡶ҆ 㢅⬄䫭 ☿⚻㑶㦆ᇎ 㵊ᕅ㑶Ṽ䆄 ṕቅԃϢ⼱㣅ৄ䷇Ф࠻ ࠥ㵊˖℺մṕ⼱ 㵈㵊Ṻ˖ṕቅԃϢ⼱㣅ৄ ṕቅԃϢ⼱㣅ৄ ṕቅԃϢ⼱㣅ৄ ᮄṕቅԃϢ⼱㣅ৄ ᮄṕቅԃϢ⼱㣅ৄ ṕቅԃϢ⼱㣅ৄ

ཇ䲚Ё➳ ⎲Ⓚᡫ᠄㋔ᆺ ᬭ៥བԩϡᛇཌྷ ໻䏃 䞡ီ 㕢ᇥᑈП។ 咥反 དџ៤䲭 㸔◎ᇊቅජ ‫׳‬㽾䜡 ࠡ⿟㨀䞠 ⥟㗕㰢ᨊ㽾 㢅⬄䤃 ☿➦㋙㫂ᇎ 㵊ᕅ㋙Ṽ㿬 ṕቅԃ㟛⼱㣅㟎䷇ῖ࡛ ࡡ㵊˖℺ִṕ⼱ 㵈㵊໶˖ṕቅԃ㟛⼱㣅㟎 ṕቅԃ㟛⼱㣅㟎 ṕቅԃ㟛⼱㣅㟎 ᮄṕቅԃ㟛⼱㣅㟎 ᮄṕቅԃ㟛⼱㣅㟎 ṕቅԃ㟛⼱㣅㟎

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1954 1957 1935 1974 1913 1935 1933 1981 1978 1963 1964 1937 1980 1966

Chen San and Wu Niang

Children of Troubled Times

China Behind

Chuang Tzu Tests His Wife

City Scenes

Close Combat

Coldest Winter in Peking, The

Contract, The

Cowherd and the Weaver, The aka Milky Way Lovers

Crimson Palm, The

Crossroads

Dangerous Encounter—1st Kind aka Don’t Play with Fire

Dawn Will Come aka My Husband Is a Murderer

circa 1657

Carnal Prayer Mat, The (novel)

Chen San and Fifth Madam

1979

Butterfly Murders, The

1958

1935

Butterfly Lovers, The: Parts 1 and 2

1959

2017

Butterfly Lovers, The (TV series)

Chase Fish

2007

Butterfly Lovers, The (TV series)

Carp Spirit, The

2000

Butterfly Lovers, The (TV series)

Hun Duan Naihetian

Diyi Leixing Weixian

Shi Zi Jietou

Xue Shouyin

Niulang Zhinü

Maishen Qi

Huangtian Houtu

Roubo

Dushi Fengguang

Zhuangzi Shiqi

Zaijian Zhongguo

Fengyun Ernü

Chen San Wu Niang

Chen San Wu Niang

Zhui Yu

Li Yu Jing

Rouputuan

Die Bian

Liang Shanbo Zhu Yingtai Qianji & Houji

Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai Xinzhuan

Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai

Xin Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai

冝儮㊒ 䗑剐 䰜ϝѨ࿬ 䰜ϝѨ࿬ 亢ѥ‫ܓ‬ཇ ‫ݡ‬㾕Ё೑ ᑘᄤ䆩ྏ 䛑Ꮦ亢‫ܝ‬ 㙝᧣ ⱛ໽ৢೳ प䑿༥ ⠯䚢㒛ཇ 㸔᠟ॄ

冝儮㊒ 䗑儮 䱇ϝѨ࿬ 䱇ϝѨ࿬ 乼䳆‫ܦ‬ཇ ‫ݡ‬㽟Ё೟ 㥞ᄤ䀺ྏ 䛑Ꮦ乼‫ܝ‬ 㙝᧣ ⱛ໽ᕠೳ 䊷䑿༥ ⠯䚢㐨ཇ 㸔᠟ॄ

儖ᮁ༜ԩ໽

㙝㪆ಶ

㙝㪆೬

儖ᮋ༜ԩ໽

㵊ব

㵊䅞

कᄫ㸫༈

ṕቅԃ⼱㣅ৄࠡ䲚 ৢ䲚

ṕቅԃ⼱㣅㟎ࠡ䲚 ᕠ䲚

㄀ϔ㉏ൟॅ䰽

ṕቅԃϢ⼱㣅ৄᮄӴ

ṕቅԃ㟛⼱㣅㟎ᮄ‫ڇ‬

㄀ϔ串ൟॅ䱾

ṕቅԃϢ⼱㣅ৄ

ṕቅԃ㟛⼱㣅㟎

कᄫ㸫丁

ᮄṕቅԃϢ⼱㣅ৄ

ᮄṕቅԃ㟛⼱㣅㟎

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1939 1950 1968 1974

Forever and Ever

Games Gamblers Play

1959

Female Consort Prince, The aka Emperor’s Female Son-in-law, The

Flowers Drop by the Red Chamber, The

1963

Father Takes a Bride

Flower of the Great Earth

1959

Fairy of Ninth Heaven, The

1933

1973

Enter the Dragon

Flames

1978

Dream of the Red Chamber, The

1972

1977

Dream of the Red Chamber, The

1967

1962

Dream of the Red Chamber, The

Fist of Fury

1962

Dream of the Red Chamber, The

Feng Yang Flower Drum

1956

Dream of Red Chamber, The

1964

1791

Dream of the Red Chamber, The (Qing novel)

1934

1967

Dragnet of the Law aka Lady in Distress: The Invincible Fighter

Female Virtues

1913

Difficult Couple, The aka Die for Marriage

Female Prince, The

1958

Diau Charn of Three Kingdoms

Guima Shuang Xing

Jin Shi Qin

Hua Luo Honglou

Dadi Zhi Hua

Lieyan

Jing Wu Men

Fengyang Huagu

Fu Dao

Shuang Feng Qiyuan

Nü Fuma

Xiao Ernü

Jiutian Xuannü

Long Zheng Hu Dou

Xin Honglou Meng

Jinyu Liangyuan Honglou Meng

Honglou Meng

Honglou Meng

Honglou Meng

Honglou Meng

Wudi Nü Shashou

Nan Fu Nan Qi

Diao Chan

䉖㴝 䲒໿䲒ྏ ᮴ᬠཇᴔ᠟ 㑶ὐṺ 㑶ὐṺ 㑶ὐṺ 㑶ὐṺ 䞥⥝㡃㓬㑶ὐṺ ᮄ㑶ὐṺ 啭ѝ㰢᭫ б໽⥘ཇ ᇣ‫ܓ‬ཇ ཇ偌偀 ঠ޸༛㓬 ཛ䘧 ޸䰇㢅哧 ㊒℺䮼 ⚜✄ ໻ഄП㢅 㢅㨑㑶ὐ 䞥⷇ᚙ 儐偀ঠ᯳

䉖㷀 䲷໿䲷ྏ ⛵ᭉཇ↎᠟ ㋙ῧ໶ ㋙ῧ໶ ㋙ῧ໶ ㋙ῧ໶ 䞥⥝㡃㎷㋙ῧ໶ ᮄ㋙ῧ໶ 啡⠁㰢價 б໽⥘ཇ ᇣ‫ܦ‬ཇ ཇ侭侀 䲭勇༛㎷ ်䘧 勇䱑㢅哧 ㊒℺䭔 ⚜✄ ໻ഄП㢅 㢅㨑㋙ῧ 䞥⷇ᚙ 儐侀䲭᯳

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circa 1617 1974 1991 1934 1934 1965 1927 1957 1951 1997 1959 2018 1925 1998 1973 1957 1959

Golden Lotus, The (novel)

Golden Lotus, The

Golden Lotus ‘Love and Desire’, The

Golden Times

Goodbye Shanghai!

Grand Substitution, The

Great Battles of the Republican Revolutionary Army, Navy and Air Forces, The (documentary)

Half Way Down

Handsome Hero Perplexed by Love, The aka Love Traps Warrior Panan

Happy Together

Happy Wedding, The

Havana Divas

Heroine Li Fei-Fei

Hold You Tight

House of 72 Tenants, The

How the Scholar Tang Bohu Won the Maid Qiuxiang

How Wong Ang the Heroine Caught the Murderer aka How Oriole the Heroine Caught the Murderer

1966 1978

1959

Gold Braided Fan, The

Golden Dagger Romance (TV series)

1935

Goddess of Freedom, The

Golden Buddha, The

1934

Goddess, The

Nüxia Huang Ying Qin Xiong Ji

Tang Bohu Dian Qiuxiang

Qishi’er Jia Fangke

Yu Kuaile Yu Duoluo

Nüxia Li Fei-Fei

Guba Huadan

Kua Feng Cheng Long

Chunguang Zhaxie

Qing Kun Wu Pan’an

Ban Xialiu Shehui

Guomin Gemingjun Hailukong Dazhan Ji

Wangu Liufang

Zaihui Ba Shanghai!

Huangjin Shidai

Jinping Fengyue

Jinping Shuang Yan

Jin pingmei

Jindao Qingxia

Jin Pusa

Chuan Jin Baoshan

Ziyou Shen

Shennü

䞥⫊ঠ㡇 䞥⫊亢᳜ 咘䞥ᯊҷ ‫ݡ‬Ӯ৻ˈϞ⍋ ϛস⌕㢇 ೑⇥䴽ੑ‫ݯ‬⍋䰚ぎ໻៬䆄 ञϟ⌕⼒Ӯ ᚙೄ℺┬ᅝ ᯹‫ܝ‬С⊘ 䎼޸Ь啭 সᏈ㢅ᮺ ཇմᴢ亲亲 ᛜᖿФᛜ෩㨑

䞥⫊䲭㡋 䞥⫊乼᳜ 咗䞥ᰖҷ ‫ݡ‬᳗৻ˈϞ⍋ 㨀স⌕㢇 ೟⇥䴽ੑ䒡⍋䱌ぎ໻᠄㿬 ञϟ⌕⼒᳗ ᚙೄ℺┬ᅝ ᯹‫ܝ‬С⊘ 䎼勇Ь啡 সᏈ㢅ᮺ ཇִᴢ亯亯 ᛜᖿῖᛜຂ㨑

ཇմ咘㦎᪦ߊ䆄

䞥⫊ṙ

䞥⫊ṙ

ཇִ咗厃᪦‫ܛ‬㿬

䞥ߔᚙմ

䞥ߔᚙִ

ϗकѠᆊ᠓ᅶ

䞥㦽㧼

䞥㦽㭽

૤ԃ㰢⚍⾟佭

こ䞥ᅱ᠛

こ䞥ᇊ᠛

૤ԃ㰢咲⾟佭

㞾⬅⼲

㞾⬅⼲

ϗकѠᆊ᠓ᅶ

⼲ཇ

⼲ཇ

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Da Ji San Xiao Yinyuan

1972 1933 1981 1980 1956 1965 1967 1972 1982 1962 1959 1966 1964 1966 1967 1967 2001 1964 1975 1977

Husband and Wife for Seven Lives (TV series)

Idiot’s Wedding Night, The

If I Were Real

Imperious Princess, The

Ingenious Seduction, The

Inside the Forbidden City

Interpol 009

Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan

It Takes Two

Jade Hairpin, The

Kingdom and the Beauty, The

Lady Bond aka Chivalrous Girl

Lady General Hua Mulan

Lady in the Moon

Lady Information Agent, The aka Lady in Pink

Lady Jade Locket

Lan Yu

Last Woman of Shang

Laugh in the Sleeve

Legend of the Purple Hairpin, The

Zi Chai Ji

Lan Yu

Lian Suo

Hongfen Jingang

Chang’e Ben Yue

Hua Mulan

Nü Shashou

Jiangshan Meiren

Bi Yu Zan

Nan Xiong Nan Di

Ai Nu

Tejing 009

Songgong Mishi

Tang Bohu Yu Qiuxiang

Jinzhi Yuye

Jiaru Wo Shi Zhende

Shazai Dongfang

Qishi Fuqi

Hong Niang

1961 (incomplete)

Hung Niang

Nüxia Huang Ying Ye Po Sanshi’an

1959

How Wong Ang the Heroine Solved the Case of the Three Dead Bodies aka How Oriole the Heroine Solves the Case of the Three Dead Bodies

ཇմ咘㦎໰⸈ϝሌḜ

㑶࿬ ϗϪ໿ྏ ‫ڏ‬Ҩ⋲᠓ ‫؛‬བ៥ᰃⳳⱘ 䞥ᵱ⥝৊ ૤ԃ㰢Ϣ⾟佭 ᅟᅿ⾬৆ ⡍䄺 ⠅཈ 䲒‫ܘ‬䲒ᓳ ⹻⥝ㇾ ∳ቅ㕢Ҏ ཇᴔ᠟ 㢅᳼݄ Ⴚ࿹༨᳜ 㑶㉝䞥߮ 䖲䫕 㪱ᅛ ྆Ꮕ ϝュ࿏㓬 ㋿䩫䆄

ཇִ咗厃໰⸈ϝሡḜ

㋙࿬ ϗϪ໿ྏ ‫ڏ‬Ҩ⋲᠓ ‫؛‬བ៥ᰃⳳⱘ 䞥ᵱ⥝㨝 ૤ԃ㰢㟛⾟佭 ᅟᆂ⾬৆ ⡍䄺 ᛯ཈ 䲷‫ܘ‬䲷ᓳ ⹻⥝ㇾ ∳ቅ㕢Ҏ ཇ↎᠟ 㢅᳼㰁 Ⴚ࿹༨᳜ ㋙㉝䞥࠯ 䗷䥪 㮡ᅛ ྆Ꮕ ϝュ࿏㎷ ㋿䟉㿬

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2013 1935 1933 1957 1980 1965 1963 1964 1926 1994

Liang-Zhu 50: Classical Huangmei Diao Concert

Lifeline

Little Toys aka Playthings

Lizhi’s Tale, The

Lost Souls

Lotus Lamp, The

Love Eterne, The

Lover’s Rock

Lovers, The

Lovers, The

1926

1955

Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai

1962

1954

Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai

Madam White Snake

1952

Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai

Madam White Snake

1951

Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai aka The Love Story of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai

1966

1940

Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai

1984

1964

Liang San Poh and Chu Ing Tai

Lust for Love of a Chinese Courtesan

1952

Leung Pak’s Second Meeting with Chuk Ying-Toi aka Liang Shanbo’s Second Meeting with Zhu Yingtai

Lucky Purse, The

1972

Legends of Lust

Bai She Zhuan

Bai She Zhuan

Ai Nu Xinzhuan

Xiao Jinnang

Liang Zhu

Liang Zhu Tongshi

Qingren Shi

Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai

Bao Lian Deng

Da She

Lizhi Ji

Xiao Wanyi

Shengming Jing

Liang Zhu 50: Jingdian Huangmei Diao Yanchanghui

Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai

Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai

Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai

Xin Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai

Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai

Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai

Liang Shanbo Zaihui Zhu Yingtai

Fengyue Qi Tan

亢᳜༛䈁 ṕቅԃ‫ݡ‬Ӯ⼱㣅ৄ ṕቅԃϢ⼱㣅ৄ ṕቅԃϢ⼱㣅ৄ ᮄṕቅԃϢ⼱㣅ৄ ṕቅԃϢ⼱㣅ৄ ṕቅԃϢ⼱㣅ৄ ṕቅԃϢ⼱㣅ৄ ṕ⼱˖㒣‫݌‬咘ṙ䇗ⓨଅӮ ⫳ੑ䦵 ᇣ⥽ᛣ 㤨ᵱ䆄 ᠧ㲛 ᅱ㦆♃ ṕቅԃϢ⼱㣅ৄ ᚙҎ⷇ ṕ⼱⮯৆ ṕ⼱ 䫔䫺ಞ ⠅཈ᮄӴ ⱑ㲛Ӵ ⱑ㲛Ӵ

乼᳜༛䄮 ṕቅԃ‫ݡ‬Ӯ⼱㣅ৄ ṕቅԃ㟛⼱㣅㟎 ṕቅԃ㟛⼱㣅㟎 ᮄṕቅԃ㟛⼱㣅㟎 ṕቅԃ㟛⼱㣅㟎 ṕቅԃ㟛⼱㣅㟎 ṕቅԃ㟛⼱㣅㟎 ṕ⼱˖㍧‫݌‬咘ṙ䂓ⓨଅ᳗ ⫳ੑ䬰 ᇣ⥽ᛣ 㤨ᵱ㿬 ᠧ㲛 ᇊ㫂➜ ṕቅԃ㟛⼱㣅㟎 ᚙҎ⷇ ṕ⼱⮯৆ ṕ⼱ 䢋䣺ಞ ᛯ཈ᮄ‫ڇ‬ ⱑ㲛‫ڇ‬ ⱑ㲛‫ڇ‬

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1947 1967 1939

Operation Lipstick

Orphan Island Paradise

1974

My Father, My Husband, My Son aka Father, Husband and Son

Night Inn

1952

Modern Red Chamber Dream

1953

1967

Mirror and the Lichee, The

1952

1965

Mermaid, The

New West Chamber

1930

Memories of the Old Capital

New Story of Chen San and Fifth Madam

1933

Maternal Instinct

1951

1955

Marriage of the Fairy Princess aka The Heavenly Match

New Love Story of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, The

1938

March of the Guerrillas, The aka The March of the Partisans

1940

1975

Man from Hong Kong, The

1978

1961

Magnificent Concubine, The aka Yang Kwei Fei

New Dream of the Red Chamber

1964

Magic Lamp, The

My Motherland aka White Clouds of Home

1967

Magic Fan, The

᠛ЁҎ ᅱ㦆♃ ᴼ䌉བྷ Ⳉᤷ咘啭 ␌ߏ䖯㸠᳆˄ℷ⇨℠˅ ໽ҭ䜡 ↡ᗻП‫ܝ‬ ᬙ䛑᯹Ṻ 剐㕢Ҏ ᮄ䰜ϝѨ࿬ ᮄ㑶ὐṺ ៥⠊៥໿៥ᄤ ⱑѥᬙе ᮄ㑶ὐṺ ᮄṕቅԃϢ⼱㣅ৄ ᮄ䰜ϝѨ࿬ ᮄ㽓ॶ䆄 ໰ᑫ 䇡㔥࿛࿗ ᄸቯ໽ූ

ᇊ㫂➜ ἞䊈བྷ Ⳉ᧫咗啡 䘞᪞䘆㸠᳆˄ℷ⇷℠˅ ໽ҭ䜡 ↡ᗻП‫ܝ‬ ᬙ䛑᯹໶ 儮㕢Ҏ ᮄ䱇ϝѨ࿬ ᮄ㋙ῧ໶ ៥⠊៥໿៥ᄤ ⱑ䳆ᬙ䛝 ᮄ㋙ῧ໶ ᮄṕቅԃ㟛⼱㣅㟎 ᮄ䱇ϝѨ࿬ ᮄ㽓ॶ㿬 ໰ᑫ 䂰㎆რ࿗ ᄸዊ໽ූ

Ye Dian Die Wang Jiaowa DND Wang Jiaowa Gudao Tiantang

Xin Xixiang Ji

Xin Chen San Wu Niang

Xin Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai

Xin Hongluo Meng

Baiyun Guxiang

Wo Fu Wo Fu Wo Zi

Xin Honglou Meng

Xin Chen San Wu Niang

Yu Meiren

Gudu Chunmeng

Muxing Zhi Guang

Tianxian Pei

Youji Jinxingqu

Zhi Dao Huanglong

Yang Guifei

Bao Lian Deng

᠛ЁҎ

Shan Zhong Ren

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1955 1955 1954 1947

Romance of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, The

Romance of Lychee and Mirror, The, Part I, II and III

Romance of the West Chamber

1990

Red Dust

Romance in the West Chamber

1949

Red Chamber Dream, The

1956

1927?

Red Chamber Dream, The

2004

1933

Raging Torrents aka Wild Torrents

Romance at the Western Chamber

1959

Purple Hairpin, The

Rice Rhapsody

1976

Private Eyes, The

1966

1976

Princess Chang Ping

Return of Lady Bond

1934

Plunder of the Peach and Plum, The

1968

1967

Perilous Rescue, The

1968

1966

Perfumed Arrow, The

Reincarnation of Red Plum, The aka The Reincarnation of Lady Plum Blossom or Love in the Red Chamber

1986

Peking Opera Blues

Red Plum Pavilion, The

1923

Orphan Rescues Grandfather aka An Orphan Rescues His Grandpa

Xixiang Ji

Li Jing Yuan Shangji, Xiaji & Dajieju

Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai

Chunse Man Xixiang

Xixiang Ji

Hainan Ji Fan

Nü Shashou Huxue Jiu Gu’er

Zaishi Hongmei Ji

Hongmei Ge

Gun Gun Hongchen

Honglou Meng

Honglou Meng

Kuang Liu

Zi Chai Ji

Banjin Baliang

Di Nü Hua

Taoli Jie

Kongzhong Nü Shashou

Nü Xiucai

Dao Ma Dan

Gu’er Jiu Zu Ji

ञ᭸ܿϸ ㋿䩫䆄 ⢖⌕ 㑶ὐṺ 㑶ὐṺ ⒮⒮㑶ᇬ 㑶ṙ䯕 ‫ݡ‬Ϫ㑶ṙ䆄

ཇᴔ᠟㰢えᬥᄸ‫ܓ‬ ⍋फ叵佁 㽓ॶ䆄 ᯹⒵㽓ॶ

ञ᭸ܿܽ ㋿䟉㿬 ⢖⌕ ㋙ῧ໶ ㋙ῧ໶ ⓒⓒ㋙้ ㋙ṙ䭷 ‫ݡ‬Ϫ㋙ṙ㿬

ཇ↎᠟㰢えᬥᄸ‫ܦ‬ ⍋फ䲲仃 㽓ॶ㿬 ᯹ⓓ㽓ᒖ

㽓ॶ䆄

Ᏹཇ㢅

Ᏹཇ㢅

㽓ॶ㿬

ḗᴢࡿ

ḗᴢࡿ

ṕቅԃϢ⼱㣅ৄ

ぎЁཇᴔ᠟

ぎЁཇ↎᠟

㤨䬰䆄䰜ϝѨ࿬Ϟ䲚ǃϟ 䲚ǃ໻㒧ሔ

ཇ⾔ᠡ

ཇ⾔ᠡ

ṕቅԃ㟛⼱㣅㟎

ߔ偀ᮺ

ߔ侀ᮺ

㤨䦵㿬䱇ϝѨ࿬Ϟ䲚ǃϟ䲚ǃ ໻㌤ሔ

ᄸ‫ܓ‬ᬥ⼪䆄

ᄸ‫ܦ‬ᬥ⼪㿬

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1961 1925 1938 1938 1964 1979 1981 1963 1964 1964 1991 1996 1998 1974 1984 1955 1936 1934 1935 1931 1947

Rouge

Rouge Tears

Sable Cicada

Sai Seung Gei

Secret, The

Security Unlimited

Seven Fairies

Seven Fairies, The Finale

Seven Fairies, The Sequel

Sex and Zen

Sex and Zen II

Sex and Zen III

Sex for Sale

Shanghai Blues

Six Gifted Scholar’s Romance of the West-Chamber

Soaring Aspiration

Song of the Fishermen, The

Song of Triumph

Songstress Red Peony, The

Spring River Flows East—The Dawn

1956

Romance of the Western Chamber, The

Romance of the Western Chamber, The

1979

Romance of the West Chamber, The

Yi Jiang Chunshui Xiang Dong Liu (Xia)—Tianliang Qianhou

Genü Hong Mudan

Kaige

Yu Guang Qu

Zhuang Zhi Lingyun

Liu Caizi Xixiang Ji

Shanghai Zhi Ye

Mianju

Yuputuan III Guanren Wo Yao

Yuputuan II Yunü Xinjing

Yuputuan Zhi Touqing Baojian

Qi Xiannü Xuji

Qi Xiannü Wan Jie Pian

Qi Xiannü

Modeng Baobiao

Feng Jie

Xixiang Ji

Diao Chan

Yanzhi Lei

Yanzhi

Xixiang Ji

Xin Xixiang Ji

Xin Xixiang Ji

ᮄ㽓ॶ䆄 ᮄ㽓ॶ䆄 㽓ॶ䆄 㛁㛖 㛁㛖⊾ 䉖㴝 㽓ॶ䆄 ⮃ࡿ ᨽⱏֱ䬪 ϗҭཇ ϗҭཇᅠ㒧㆛ ϗҭཇ㓁䲚 ⥝㪆ಶПًᚙᅱ䡈 ⥝㪆ಶ,,П⥝ཇᖗ㒣 ⥝㪆ಶċПᅬҎ៥㽕 䴶‫݋‬ Ϟ⍋П໰ ݁ᠡᄤ㽓ॶ䆄 ໂᖫ‫ޠ‬ѥ ⏨‫ܝ‬᳆ ߃℠ ℠ཇ㑶⠵Ѝ ϔ∳᯹∈৥ϰ⌕˄ϟ˅üü ໽҂ࠡৢ

ᮄ㽓ॶ㿬 ᮄ㽓ॶ㿬 㽓ॶ㿬 㛁㛖 㛁㛖⎮ 䉖㷀 㽓ॶ㿬 ⯟ࡿ ᨽⱏֱ⼼ ϗҭཇ ϗҭཇᅠ㌤㆛ ϗҭཇ㑠䲚 ⥝㪆೬Пًᚙᇊ䨦 ⥝㪆೬,,П⥝ཇᖗ㍧ ⥝㪆೬ċПᅬҎ៥㽕 䴶‫݋‬ Ϟ⍋П໰ ݁ᠡᄤ㽓ॶ㿬 ໃᖫ⎽䳆 ⓕ‫ܝ‬᳆ ߅℠ ℠ཇ㋙⠵Ѝ ϔ∳᯹∈৥ᵅ⌕˄ϟ˅üü໽ ҂ࠡᕠ

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1947 1933 1909 1964 1964 1961 1295-1307 ? 1937 1933 1967 1933 1964 1933 1969 1936 1967 1951 1959 1950 1968 1958

Spring River Flows East—The Eight War-Torn Years

Spring Silkworms

Stealing a Roast Duck

Story of Qin Xianglian, The

Story of Sue San, The

Story of the Lichee and Mirror, The aka Tan San and Ngo Nian

Story of the West Chamber, The aka Cui Yingying Waits for the Moon at the West Chamber (play)

Story of the Fish Basket, The

Street Angel

Struggle

Summons to Death

Survival of the Nation

Three Charming Smiles, The

Three Modern Women

Three Smiles, The

Tomboy aka Girl in Disguise

Too Late for Love

Tragedy in Canton

Tragedy of the Emperor’s Daughter

Tragedy of the Pearl River

Tragedy of the Poet King

Tragic Story of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, The

⥝ූ᯹ 㤨䬰䆄䰜ϝѨ࿬ 㽓ॶ䆄የ㦎㦎ᕙ᳜㽓ॶ䆄 剐㇂䆄 偀䏃໽Փ ᣷ᠢ ‫ڀ‬ੑヺ ⇥ᮣ⫳ᄬ ϝュ ϝϾᨽⱏཇᗻ ϝュ ࣪䑿ྥ࿬

㤨䦵㿬䱇ϝѨ࿬ 㽓ᒖ㿬የ厃厃ᕙ᳜㽓ᒖ㿬 儮㈗㿬 侀䏃໽Փ ᥭᠢ ‫ڀ‬ੑヺ ⇥ᮣ⫳ᄬ ϝュ ϝ‫ן‬ᨽⱏཇᗻ ϝュ ࣪䑿ྥ࿬

Li Jing Ji DND Chen San Wu Niang

ً⚻吁

ً➦勼 ⾺佭㦆

Ᏹཇ㢅 ⦴∳⊾ ᴢৢЏ

Ᏹཇ㢅 ⦴∳⎮ ᴢᕠЏ ṕ⼱ᘼ৆

Lihouzhu /LDQJ=KX+HQVKL

Zhujiang Lei

Dinü Hua

ṕ⼱ᘼ৆

⛑☿ϛ䞠ᚙ 㕞ජᘼ৆

㕞ජᘼ৆

Yangcheng Henshi

Fenghuo Wanli Qing

⛑☿㨀㺣ᚙ

Huashen Gu’niang

San Xiao

San’ge Modeng Nüxing

San Xiao

Minzu Shengcun

Cuiming Fu

Zhengzha

Malu Tianshi

Yulan Ji

Xixiang Ji/Cui Yingying Dai Yue Xixiang Ji

Qin Xianglian ⥝ූ᯹

᯹㱩

᯹㸊

Yutang Chun

ϔ∳᯹∈৥ϰ⌕˄Ϟ˅üü ܿᑈ⾏х

ϔ∳᯹∈৥ᵅ⌕˄Ϟ˅üüܿ ᑈ䲶і

⾺佭㫂

Tou Shaoya

Chun Can

Yi Jiang Chunshui Xiang Dong Liu (Shang)—Banian Liluan

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1959 1952 1932 1963 1972 1927 1980 1940 1963 1965 1937 1933 1937 1947 1930 1970 1983

Triennial Mourning on the Bridge

Two Naughty Girls

Two Orphan Girls from the Northeast

Under the Ash Tree

Warlord, The

Way Down West aka The Romance of the West Chamber

We’re Going to Eat You

West Chamber, The

West Chamber, The

West Chamber, The

West Chamber Then and Now, The

White Gold Dragon, The aka The Platinum Dragon

White Gold Dragon Sequel, The aka The Platinum Dragon II

Wife in the Morning, Sister-in-Law at Night

Wild Flowers aka Wild Flowers by the Road

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Zu: The Warriors of the Magic Mountain

Xin Shushan Jianxia

Zuotian Jintian Mingtian

Yecao Xian Hua

Chen Qi Mu Sao

Xu Bai Jin Long

Bai Jin Long

Gu Jin Xi Xiang

Xixiang Ji

Xixiang Ji

Xixiang Ji

Diyu Wu Men

Xixiang Ji

Da Junfa

Huai Yin JiDNDTianxian Pei

Dongbei Er Nüzi (Zhandi Er Gunü)

Yidui Yanzhi Ma

Sannian Yiku Erlang Qiao

ϰ࣫Ѡཇᄤ˄៬ഄѠᄸཇ˅ ᾤ㤿䆄˄໽ҭ䜡˅ ໻‫ݯ‬䯔 㽓ॶ䆄 ഄ⣅᮴䮼 㽓ॶ䆄 㽓ॶ䆄 㽓ॶ䆄 সҞ㽓ॶ ⱑ䞥啭 㓁ⱑ䞥啭 ᰼ྏᲂ႖ 䞢㤝䯆㢅 ᯼໽Ҟ໽ᯢ໽ ᮄ㳔ቅࠥմ

ᵅ࣫Ѡཇᄤ˄᠄ഄѠᄸཇ˅

໻䒡䭹 㽓ॶ㿬 ഄ⤘⛵䭔 㽓ॶ㿬 㽓ॶ㿬 㽓ॶ㿬 সҞ㽓ॶ ⱑ䞥啡 㑠ⱑ䞥啡 ᰼ྏᲂ႖ 䞢㤝䭥㢅 ᯼໽Ҟ໽ᯢ໽ ᮄ㳔ቅࡡִ

ϔᇍ㛁㛖偀

ϔᇡ㛁㛖侀

ᾤ㬁㿬˄໽ҭ䜡˅

ϝᑈϔુѠ䚢ḹ

ϝᑈϔુѠ䚢‟

Appendix 3: Glossary of Chineselanguage Persons, Film Companies/ Studios, Opera Troupes and Media

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Director

Director

Director, actor

Chen Yu-Hsin aka Chen Yi-Hsin (b. 1919)

Director

Chen Huan-Wen (b. circa 1910s)

Chen Peng (b.1993)

Director (TV)

Chen Chun-Liang (1942-2016)

Chen Kengran (1906-58)

Director

Actor

Chang Chung, Paul (1931-2010)

Chao Lei (1928-96)

Actor

Chang Aman (b. 1964)

Chang Tseng-Chai (1931-2010)

Actress

Director

Chan Po-Chu, Connie (b. 1946)

Director

Novelist

Cao Xueqin (1724-64)

Chan Pei (d. 1966)

Director

Cai Chusheng (1906-68)

Actress

Director

But Fu (b. circa 1900)

Chan Chor-wai (1943–2012)

Director

Bu Wancang (1903-74)

Director

Director (Chinese Canadian)

Bi Guo-Zhi, Kenneth (b. 1967)

Novelist

Director

Bao Xueli (b. 1936)

Cha, Louis (1924-2018)

Actress

Bai Yang (1920-96)

Cen Fan (1926-2008)

Novelist, playwright

Profession

Ba Jin (1904-2005)

Persons

Name

Hong Kong

PRC

Shanghai (PRC)

Hong Kong

Taiwan

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Shanghai (PRC)

Qing China

Shanghai (ROC; PRC); Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Shanghai (PRC); Hong Kong

Canada; Hong Kong; Singapore

Taiwan

Shanghai (ROC; PRC)

ROC; PRC

Place of Work/Location

Chen Yixin/ Chen Youxin

Chen Peng

Chen Kengran

Chen Huanwen

Chen Junliang

Zhao Lei

Zhang Cengze

Zhang Chong

Zhang Min

Chen Boazhu

Chen Pi

Chen Chuhui

Jin Yong

Cen Fan

Cao Xueqin

Cai Chusheng

Bi Hu

Bu Wancang

Bi Guozhi

Bao Xueli

Bai Yang

Ba Jin

Pinyin

Ꮘ䞥 ⱑᴼ 剡ᄺ⼐ ↩೑ᱎ रϛ㢡 ↩㰢 㫵Ἦ⫳ ᳍䲾㢍 ብ㣗 䞥ᒌ 䰜Ἦ㬭 䰜Ⲃ 䰜ᅱ⦴ ᓴᬣ ᓴ‫ކ‬ ᓴ᳒⋑ 䍉䳋 䰜֞㡃 䰜⛩᭛ 䰜䫓✊ 䰜吣 䰜ϔᮄ䰜জᮄ

ⱑ἞ 入ᅌ⾂ ⬶೟ᱎ र㨀㪐 ⬶㰢 㫵Ἦ⫳ ᳍䲾㢍 ብ㆘ 䞥ᒌ 䱇Ἦ㬭 䱇Ⲃ 䱇ᇊ⦴ ᔉᬣ ᔉ‫ކ‬ ᔉ᳒╸ 䍭䳋 䱇֞㡃 䱇✹᭛ 䱇䦫✊ 䱇區 䱇ϔᮄ䱇জᮄ

Jiantizi (Simplified Script)

Ꮘ䞥

Fantizi (Complex Script)

7015_TAN.indd 259

05/08/21 4:26 pm

Writer

Director

Director

Director

Actor, director

Fung Chi-Kong (b. 1911)

Gong Tian-Mei (b. circa 1940)

Gu Eryi (1915-70)

Director

Feng Kai (b. 1961)

Fong Ling-Ching, Eddie (b. 1954)

Director

Fang Peilin (1908-48)

Feng Menglong (1574-1646)

Producer

Dan Duyu (1897-1972)

Hong Kong

Director

Chow Sze-Luk (1914-63)

Actress (opera, film)

Director

Chor Yuen (b. 1934)

Director (American)

Director

Choi Ming-Yum (b. 1954)

Chu Kim-Daan (b. 194?)

Director

Cho Kei (1916-96)

Clouse Robert (1928-97)

Hong Kong

Producer, director (Chinese American)

Chiu Shu-Sun aka Joseph Sunn (1904-90)

Shanghai (PRC)

Taiwan

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Ming China

Taiwan

Shanghai (ROC)

Shanghai (ROC)

USA; Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Taiwan

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

ROC

Actor, director

Chiang Wai-Kwong (1910-91)

Director

Director

Chiang Kai-Shek (1887-1975)

Hong Kong Shanghai (ROC)

Chin Man-Kei Cash (b. 196?)

Politician

Cheng Shu-Ren (b. circa 1900)

Shanghai (ROC); Hong Kong

Chin Han (b. 1938)

Actress

Director

Cheng Pei-Pei (b. 1946)

Director

Cheng Bugao (1896-1966)

Gu Eryi

Gong Tianmei

Feng Zhigang

Fang Lingzheng

Feng Menglong

Feng Kai

Fang Peilin

Dan Duyu

Zhu Jiandan

Zhou Shilu

Chu Yuan

Cai Mingqin

Zuo Ji

Zhao Shushen

Qian Wenqi

Jin Han

Jiang Weiguang

Jiang Jieshi

Chen Shuren

Zheng Peipei

Cheng Bugao

⿟ℹ催 䚥ԽԽ ⿟ᷥҕ 㫷ҟ⷇ 㩟ӳ‫ܝ‬ 䞥∝ 䪅᭛⧺ 䍉ᷥ➞ Ꮊ޴ 㫵ᯢ䩺 Ἦॳ ਼䆫⽘ ᴅࠥЍ 㔫ԃ⡍g催⋯ᮃ Ԛᴰᅛ ᮍ≯䳪 ‫߃ރ‬ ‫ރ‬Ṻ啭 ᮍҸℷ ‫ރ‬ᖫ߮ ᅿ໽㕢 乒㗠Ꮖ

⿟ℹ催 䜁ԽԽ ⿟‍ҕ 㫷ҟ⷇㫷ҟ⷇ 㫷‫ܝ؝‬ 䞥⓶ 䣶᭛⧺ 䍭‍➞ Ꮊᑒ 㫵ᯢℑ Ἦॳ ਼䀽⽓ ᴅࡡЍ 㕙ԃ⡍g催⋯ᮃ Ԛᴰᅛ ᮍ≯䳪 侂߅ 侂໶啡 ᮍҸℷ 侂ᖫ࠯ ᆂ໽㕢 主㗠Ꮖ

7015_TAN.indd 260

05/08/21 4:26 pm

Director

Director

Director (Japanese)

Actor

Director

Actor, director

Inoue Umetsugu (1923-2010)

Jin Han (b.1937)

Kao Li (b. 1924)

Karl Maka (b. 1944)

Huang Yu (1916-2013)

Hung Chung-Ho (1902-63)

Director

Huang Sha (1919-88)

Hui On-Wah, Ann (b. 1947)

Director

Huang Hai (b. circa 1960?)

Director, writer

Director (TV)

Huang Chongjia (883-924)

Actor, comedian

Literary figure

Hu Yan-Ni, Jenny (b. 1946)

Hui Koon-Man, Michael (b. 1942)

Actress

Hu Tu (b. circa 1900)

Huang Zuolin (1906-94)

Director

Director

Hu Siao-Fung (1925-2009)

Director, actor

Director

Hu Rui (b. circa 1900)

Director

Hou Yao (1903-42)

Hu Chin-Chuan King (1931-97)

Director

Director

Hou Hsiao-hsien (b. 1947)

Music composer (Japanese)

Hattori Ryūichi (b. 1907)

Ho Meng-Hua (1923-2009)

Director (TV)

Gu Huixiong (b. 1930)

Taiwan

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Japan; Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Shanghai (ROC; PRC)

Hong Kong

Shanghai (PRC)

Shanghai (PRC)

Ancient China

Hong Kong

Shanghai (ROC)

Hong Kong

Shanghai (ROC)

Hong Kong; Taiwan

Shanghai (ROC)

Taiwan

Hong Kong

Hong Kong; Japan

Mai Jia

Gao Li

Jin Han

Hong Zhonghao

Xu Anhua

Xu Guanwen

Huang Zuolin

Huang Yu

Huang Sha

Huang Hai

Huang Chongjia

Hu Yanni

Hu Tu

Hu Xiaofeng

Hu Rui

Hu Jinquan

Hou Yao

Hou Xiaoxian

He Menghua

Gu Huixiong

䆌䵡ढ ⋾ӆ䈾 ѩϞṙ⃵ 䞥∝ 催ゟ 呺௝

䀅䵡㧃 ⋾ӆ䈾 ѩϞṙ⃵ 䞥⓶ 催ゟ 呹௝

咘ԤЈ 䆌‫ݴ‬᭛

咗Ԥ㞼

咘ඳ

䀅‫ݴ‬᭛

咘≭

㚵⍖

㚵⍖

咗ඳ

㚵ᇣዄ

㚵ᇣዄ

咘⍋

㚵䫤

㚵䢇

咗≭

㚵䞥䪼

㚵䞥䡧

咗⍋

փᲰ

փᲰ

㚵➩ྂ

փᄱ䋸

փᄱ䊶

咗ዛ௣

ԩṺढ

ԩ໶㧃

㚵➩ྂ

᳡䚼㡃ϔ

᳡䚼㡃ϔ

咗ዛ௣

乒䕝䲘

主䓱䲘

7015_TAN.indd 261

05/08/21 4:26 pm

Director (TV)

Actress

Li Dongnan (b. circa 1950s?)

Li Li-Hua (1924-2017)

Director

Lee Ying-Yuen (b. 1907)

Actor, director

Director

Lee Ying (1913-68)

Actress

Director

Lee Tit (1913-96)

Li Ching (1948-2018

Director

Lee Sun-Fung (1909-85)

Leung Siu-Po (b. circa 1890)

Actor

Director

Lee Chi-Ching (b. circa 1900?)

Lee Han-Hsiang aka Li HanHsiang (1926-96)

Director

Law Ming-Yau (1900-67)

Lee Ching (1914-2000)

Actor, singer

Producer

Lau Tak-Wah, Andy (b. 1961)

Director, actor

Producer

Producer, director (Chinese American)

Kwan Man-Ching aka Moon Kwan (1894-1995)

Lai Man-Wai (1893-1953)

Director, producer

Kwan Kam-Pang, Stanley (b. 1957)

Lai Bak-Hoi (1889-1955)

Actress (opera, film)

Director (Korean)

Kuei Chih-Hung (1937-99

Director

Ko Lei-Hen aka Go Lee-Han (1890-1982)

Kong Suet-Liu (b. 194?)

Actor, musician

Kenny Bee (b. 1953)

Shanghai (ROC); Hong Kong

Taiwan

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Shanghai (ROC)

Hong Kong

Hong Kong; Shanghai (ROC)

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Li Lihua

Li Dongnan

Li Jing

Liang Shapo

Li Yingyuan

Li Ying

Li Tie

Li Chenfeng

Li Hanxiang

Li Qing

Li Zhiqing

Luo Mingyou

Liu Dehua

Li Minwei

Li Beihai

Guan Wenqing

Guan Jinpeng

Gui Zhihong

Jiang Xuelu

Gao Lihen

Zhong Zhentao

ᴢ㦕 ᴢࡼ⬋ ᴢБढ

ᴢࢩ⬋ ᴢ呫㧃

ṕᇥവ

ṕᇥവ ᴢ㦕

ᴢ㣅 ᴢᑨ⑤

ᴢឝ⑤

ᴢ䪕 ᴢ㣅

ᴢ᰼亢

ᴢ㡱⏙

ᴢ㡱⏙

ᴢ䨉

㔫ᯢԥ

㕙ᯢԥ

ᴢ᰼乼

߬ᖋढ

࡝ᖋ㧃

ᴢ⏙

咢⇥ӳ

咢⇥‫؝‬

ᴢ㗄⼹

咢࣫⍋

咢࣫⍋

ᴢ⏙

݇᭛⏙

䮰᭛⏙

ᴢ㗄⼹

Ḗ⊏⋾ ݇䫺吣

䆆䲾呁

∳䲾収

䮰䣺區

催Ṽ⮩

催Ṽ⮩

Ḗ⊏⋾

䩳䬛⍯

䥒䦂▸

7015_TAN.indd 262

05/08/21 4:26 pm

Actress

Actress (opera, film)

Director, actor

Director

Director

Director (Japanese)

Director

Novelist, writer

Politician

Opera performer (transgender acting)

Loh Tih, Betty (1937-68)

Lung Kim-Sang (b. 194?)

Lung Kong, Patrick (1934-2014)

Lung To (1910-86)

Ma Chor-Sing, Jingle (b. 1957)

Mak Chih-Ho aka Akinori Matsuo b. 1928

Mak Dong-Git, Michael (b. 1952)

Mao Dun (1896-1981)

Mao Tse-Tung (1893-1976)

Mei Lanfang (1894-1961)

Director

Lo Chen (1923-2003)

Director

Director

Liu Qiong (1913-2002)

Director, actor

Director

Liu Cheung-Hung (b. circa 1940?)

Lo Wei (1918-96)

Actress

Ling Po, Ivy (b. 1939)

Lo Duen (1911-2000)

Director

Actress

Lin Dai, Linda (1934-64)

Director

Liang Che-fu (1920-92)

Liao Tsung-Yao (b. circa 1930)

Director

Lee Ping-Qian aka Li Pingqian (1902-84)

Beijing (ROC; PRC)

ROC; PRC

ROC; PRC

Hong Kong

Japan; Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Shanghai (ROC; PRC)

Taiwan

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Taiwan

Taiwan

Shanghai (ROC); Hong Kong

Mei Lanfang

Mao Zedong

Mao Dun

Mai Dangjie

Mai Zhihe

Ma Chucheng

Long Tu

Long Gang

Long Jiansheng

Le Di

Luo Wei

Lu Dun

Luo Zhen

Liu Qiong

Liao Xiangxiong

Ling Bo

Lin Dai

Liao Zongyao

Liang Zhefu

Li Pingqian

‫⊶ޠ‬

߬⨐ 㔫㟏 शᬺ 㔫㓈 Ф㩖 啭ࠥロ 啭߮ 啭೒ 偀Ἦ៤ 呺ᖫ੠˄ᵒሒᰁ‫˅݌‬ 呺ᔧᵄ 㣙Ⳓ ↯⋑ϰ ṙ݄㢇

࡝⪞ 㕙㟏 ⲻᬺ 㕙㎁ ῖ㩖 啡ࡡロ 啡࠯ 啡೪ 侀Ἦ៤ 呹ᖫ੠˄ᵒሒᰁ‫˅݌‬ 呹⭊٥ 㣙Ⳓ ↯╸ᵅ ṙ㰁㢇

ᵫ咯

ᵫ咯

ᒪ⼹䲘

ᒪᅫ㗔

ᒪᅫ㗔

‫⊶ޠ‬

ṕ૆໿

ṕ૆໿

ᒪ⼹䲘

ᴢ㧡‫׽‬

ᴢ㧡‫׽‬

7015_TAN.indd 263

05/08/21 4:26 pm

Producer

Producer, director, writer

Producer

Director

Director

Director, critic

Shaw Runme (1901-85)

Shen Xiling (1904-40)

Shi Hui (1915-57)

Shu Kei (b. 1976)

Producer

Shaw Run Run (1907-2014)

Shaw Runje (1896-1979)

Director

Shao Lo-Hui (1919-93)

Shaw Runde (1898-1973)

Director

Director, scriptwriter

Poon Lui (1926-2017)

Director

Actress (opera, film)

Pak Suet-Sin (b. 1926)

Sang Hu (1916-2004)

Director

Pai Ching-Jui (1931-97)

Qiu Qixiang (1898-1959)

Director

Actor, director

Actress

Nam Hung (b. 1934)

O San-Kuei (b. 194?)

Playwright

Nam Hoi Sap-Sam Long aka Jiang Yu-Yi (1910-84)

Ng Wui (1912-96)

Director

Actress (opera, film)

Mui Suet-Sze (b. 1941)

Director

Mok Hong-See (1908-69)

Mou Tun-Fei (1941-2019)

Writer

Mingdai Wumingshi (?)

Hong Kong

PRC

Shanghai

Shanghai (ROC); Hong Kong; Singapore

Shanghai (ROC); Hong Kong

Shanghai (ROC); Hong Kong

Shanghai (ROC); Hong Kong; Singapore

Taiwan

Shanghai (ROC; PRC)

Shanghai (ROC)

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Taiwan

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Ming China

Shu Qi

Shi Hui

Shen Xiling

Shao Renmei

Shao Renjie

Shao Dunren

Shao Yifu

Shao Luohui

Sang Hu

Qiu Qixiang

Pan Lei

Bai Xuexin

Bai Jingrui

Ke Sangui

Wu Hui

Nan Hong

Nanhai ShisanLang

Mei Xueshi

Mou Dunfei

Mo Kangshi

Mindai Wumingshi

㟦⎛

㟦⎛

䚉ಸҎ

䚉ಸҎ

⷇᣹

䚉䘌໿

䚉䘌໿

≜㽓㢧

䚉㔫䕝

䚉㕙䓱

⷇ᧂ

ḥᓻ

ḥᓻ

≜㽓㢧

㺬㡥佭

㺬㡥佭

䚉ҕᵄ˄䚉䝝㖕˅

┬൦

┬ຬ

䚉ҕᵮ

ⱑ䲾ҭ

ⱑ䲾ҭ

䚉ҕᵮ

ⱑ᱃⨲

ⱑ᱃⨲

䚉ҕ٥˄䚉䝝㖕˅

ਈಲ ᷃ϝ䌉

᷃ϝ䊈

फ㑶

फ㋙ ਇಲ

ṙ䲾䆫 फ⍋कϝ䚢˄∳䁝䦤˅

⠳ᬺ㢒

⠳ᬺ㢒

फ⍋कϝ䚢˄∳䅑䦤˅

㥿ᒋᯊ

㥿ᒋᰖ

ṙ䲾䀽

ᯢҷ᮴ৡ⇣

ᯢҷ⛵ৡ⇣

7015_TAN.indd 264

05/08/21 4:26 pm

Director (Australian)

Director, playwright, scriptwriter, librettist

Tian Han (1898-1968)

Trenchard-Smith Brian (b. 1946)

Politician

Teng Hsiao-ping (1904-97)

Director

Director

Tong Wong (1916-76)

Actress (opera, film)

Tang Pik-Wan (1926-91)

Tang Xiaodan (1910-2012)

Director

Poet, painter

Tang Bohu (1470-1524)

Tong Shu-Shuen, Cecille (b. 1941)

Director (Japanese)

Tai Kao-Mei aka Furukawa Takumi (1917-2018)

Actor

Actor (opera, film)

Sun-Ma Sze-Tsang (1916-97)

Opera librettist

Director

Sun Yu (1900-90)

Tong Dik-Sang (1917-59)

Hong Kong

Politician

Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925)

Tin Ching (1935-93)

Ming China

Director

Sun Lap Key, Christopher (b. 1967)

Australia

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Shanghai (ROC)

ROC; PRC

Shanghai (ROC; PRC)

Japan; Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Shanghai

ROC

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Shanghai (ROC); Hong Kong; PRC

Director

Director

Hong Kong

So Yi (1900-85)

Actor (opera, film)

Sit Kok-Sin (1904-56)

Hong Kong

Situ Huimin (1910-87)

Actress

Siew Kuan aka Ling Po, Ivy (b. 1939)

Tang Huang

Tang Shuxuan

Tang Disheng

Tian Qing

Tian Han

Deng Xiaoping

Tang Xiaodan

Deng Biyun

Tang Bohu

Dai Gaomei

Xinma Shizeng

Sun Yu

Sun Yixian

Sun Liji

Su Yi

Situ Huimin

Xue Juexian

Xiao Juan

ᇣ࿳ 㭯㾝‫ܜ‬ ৌᕦ᜻ᬣ 㢣ᗵ ᄭゟ෎ ᄭ䘌ҭ ᄭЁቅ˅ ᄭ⨰ ᮄ偀Ꮬ᳒ ᠈催㕢˄সᎱधᏇ˅ ૤ԃ㰢 䙧⹻ѥ ∸ᰧЍ 䙧ᇣᑇ ⬄∝ ⬄䴦 ૤⍸⫳ ૤к⩛ ૤✠ Ꮧ䌪ᘽg⡍Ӻᶹᖋ৆ᆚᮃ

ᇣ࿳ 㭯㾎‫ܜ‬ ৌᕦ᜻ᬣ 㯛ᗵ ᄿゟ෎ ᄿ䘌ҭ ᄿЁቅ˅ ᄿ⨰ ᮄ侀᏿᳒ ᠈催㕢˄সᎱधᏇ˅ ૤ԃ㰢 䛻⹻䳆 ⑃ᲝЍ 䛻ᇣᑇ ⬄⓶ ⬄䴦 ૤⒠⫳ ૤᳌⩛ ૤✠ Ꮧ䋈ᘽg⡍‫׿‬ᶹᖋ৆ ᆚᮃ

7015_TAN.indd 265

05/08/21 4:26 pm

Director

Actor

Producer

Director

Wu Xingzai (1904-79)

Wu Yonggang (1907-82)

Director

Wu Chia-Hsiang (1919-93)

Wu Fung (b. 1930)

Director

Woo Yu-Sum, John (b. 1946)

Wu Cun (1904-72)

Actor, comedian

Director

Wong Hok-Sing (1915-93)

Wong Tze-Wah, Dayo (b. 1960)

Director (independent)

Wei Louisa S. (b. 196?)

Director

Actor

Wang Yu, Jimmy (b. 1944)

Director

Director

Wang Wei-Yi (1912-2013)

Wong Tin-Lam (1927-2010)

Director

Wang Tung (b. 1942)

Wong Kar-Wai (b. 1958)

Actor

Director

Wang Ciling (1907-41)

Playwright

Director

Tu Kuang-Chi (1914-80)

Wang Shifu (1260-1336)

Director, producer

Tsui Hark (b. 1950)

Wang Shaofang (1920-86)

Actor, director

Director (theatre)

Tsao Fu-Kuo (b. circa 1960s)

Director (Chinese Malaysian, Taiwanese?)

Tsai Ming-liang (b. 1957)

Tsang Chi-Wai, Eric (b. 1953)

Director

Tsai Cheng-Pin (?)

Shanghai (ROC; PRC)

Shanghai

Hong Kong

Shanghai (ROC; PRC)

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong; Taiwan

Yuan China

Shanghai/Anhui (PRC)

Shanghai

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Taiwan

Hong Kong

Taiwan

Taiwan

Wu Yonggang

Wu Xingzai

Hu Feng

Wu Cun

Wu Jiaxiang

Wu Yusen

Wang Zhihua

Wang Tianlin

Wang Jiawei

Huang Hesheng

Wei Shiyu

Wang Yu

Wang Weiyi

Wang Tong

Wang Shifu

Wang Shaofang

Wang Ciling

Tu Guangqi

Xu Ke

Cao Fuguo

Zeng Zhiwai

Cai Mingliang

Cai Zhengbin

㫵ℷᕀ 㫵ᯢ҂ ᳒ᖫӳ ᳍໡೑ ᕤ‫ܟ‬ ሴ‫ܝ‬ਃ ⥟⃵啭 ⥟ᇥ㟿 ⥟ᅲ⫿ ⥟ス ⥟Ўϔ ⥟㖑 儣ᯊ✰ 咘吸ໄ ⥟ᆊि ⥟໽ᵫ ⥟Пढ ਈᅛỂ ਈᆊ偻 ਈᴥ 㚵ᵿ ਈᗻḑ ਈ∌߮

㫵ℷᕀ 㫵ᯢ҂ ᳒ᖫ‫؝‬ ᳍ᕽ೟ ᕤ‫ܟ‬ ሴ‫ܝ‬ଳ ⥟⃵啡 ⥟ᇥ㟿 ⥟ᆺ⫿ ⥟ス ⥟⚎ϔ ⥟㖑 儣ᰖ✰ 咗厈㙆 ⥟ᆊ㸯 ⥟໽ᵫ ⥟П㧃 ਇᅛỂ ਇᆊ倸 ਇᴥ 㚵ἧ ਇᗻḑ ਇ∌࠯

7015_TAN.indd 266

05/08/21 4:26 pm

Director

Director

Director

Actress (opera, film)

Director

Actress

Director, actor, writer, producer

Director

Director

Actress (opera, film)

Yeung Kung-Leung (1909-65)

Yim Ho (b. 1952)

Yin Suet-Fan (b. 194?)

Ying Yunwei (1904-67)

Yip Sin-Man aka Yeh ChianWen, Sally (b. 1961)

Yon Fan (b. 1947)

Yuan Muzhi (1909-78)

Yuan Qiu-Feng (b. 1924)

Yuan Xuefen (1922-2011)

Director (Japanese)

Yang Shu-shi/Yeung Shu-Hei aka Nakashira Kō (1926-78)

Actor, director

Director

Yang Evan (1920-78)

Yen Chuan aka Yen Chun (1917-80)

Director

Yang Edward (1947-2007)

Yang Xiaozhong (1899-1969)

Director

Yam Kit (b. 194?)

Producer

Actress

Yam Kim-Fei aka Yam Kim-Fai (1913-89)

Yan Chuntan (b. circa 1900?)

Actress (opera, film)

Xu Xingzhi (1904-91)

Yam Pang-Nin (1894-1968)

Director (TV)

Director

Xu Jinliang (b. 1961)

Taiwan

Shanghai (PRC)

Hong Kong

Shanghai (ROC); Northeast (PRC)

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Shanghai

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Shanghai (ROC; PRC)

Japan; Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Taiwan

Shanghai (ROC)

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Shanghai

Xu Jinjiang

Yuan Xuefen

Yuan Qiufeng

Yuan Muzhi

Yang Fan

Ye Qianwen

Ying Yunwei

Yan Xuefen

Yan Hao

Yang Gongliang

Yan Jun

Yang Xiaozhong

Yang Shuxi

Yi Wen

Yang Dechang

Yan Chuntang

Ren Pengnian

Ren Jie

Ren Jianhui

Xu Xingzhi

ӏᕁᑈ Ϲ᯹ූ ᴼᖋᯠ

ӏᕁᑈ ಈ᯹ූ ἞ᖋᯠ

ᴼᇣӆ Ϲ֞ ᴼᎹ㡃 Ϲ⌽ 㿔䲾㢀 ᑨѥि ৊‫׽‬᭛ ᴼᏚ 㹕⠻П 㹕⾟ᵿ 㹕䲾㢀

἞ᇣӆ ಈ֞ ἞Ꮉ㡃 ಈ⌽ 㿔䲾㢀 ឝ䳆㸯 㨝‫׽‬᭛ ἞Ꮪ 㹕⠻П 㹕⾟ἧ 㹕䲾㢀

ᯧ᭛

ӏ⋕

ӏ┨

ᴼᷥᏠ Ёᑇᒋ˅

ӏࠥ䕝

ӏࡡ䓱

἞‍Ꮰ Ёᑇᒋ˅

䆌ᑌП

䀅ᑌП

ᯧ᭛

ᕤ䫺∳

ᕤ䣺∳

7015_TAN.indd 267

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Director

Zhu Shi-Lin (1899-1967)

Shanghai, ROC Hong Kong Taiwan Hong Kong Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Asia Pictures (est. 1953?)

Beixing (est. 195?)

BIG Pictures (est. 2005)

Blue Queen Cultural Communication (est. 2003)

Canon Profit International (est. 1991)

Shanghai (ROC); Hong Kong

Shanghai (ROC)

Shanghai (ROC; PRC)

Shanghai (ROC)

PRC

Hong Kong

Shanghai (ROC; PRC)

Shanghai (ROC)

Hong Kong

Shanghai (ROC); Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Asia Film Company (1909-14)

Film Studios/Companies

Producer, director, scriptwriter

Zhao Ziyang (1919-2005)

Zheng Zhengqiu (1889-1935)

Politician

Zhao Yi-Shan (b. circa 1930?)

Director, actor

Director

Zhao Dan (1915-80)

Director

Actor

Zhang Shichuan (1891-1953)

Zheng Junli (1911-69)

Producer, director, scriptwriter

Yueng Kuen (1931-2012)

Zheng Jiduo (1905-37)

Director

Director

Yueh Feng, Griffin (1910-99)

Director

Yue Leung (d. 1971)

Jin Gao Run Dianying Guoji

Lan Hou Wenhua Chuanbo

Tian Xia Ying Hua

Beixing Yingye She

Ya Zhou Yingye

Ya Xi Ya Ying Xi

Zhu Shilin

Zheng Zhengqiu

Zheng Junli

Zheng Jiduo

Zhao Ziyang

Zhao Yishan

Zhao Dan

Zhang Shichuan

Yang Quan

Yue Feng

Yu Liang

䞥催⍺⬉ᕅ೑䰙

䞥催┸䳏ᕅ೟䱯

ᴅ⷇味

ᴅ⷇味

㪱ৢ᭛࣪Ӵ᪁

䚥ℷ⾟

䜁ℷ⾟

㮡ᕠ᭛࣪‫ڇ‬᪁

䚥৯䞠

䜁৯㺣

໽ϟᕅ⬏

䚥෎䪢

䜁෎䨌

໽ϟᕅ⬿

䍉㋿䰇

䍭㋿䱑

᯳࣫ᕅϮ⼒

䍉ϔቅ

䍭ϔቅ

᯳࣫ᕅὁ⼒

䍉Ѝ

䍭Ѝ

Ѯ⌆ᕅϮ

ᓴ⷇Ꮁ

ᔉ⷇Ꮁ

Ѯ㒚Ѯᕅ៣

ᴼᴗ

἞⃞

Ѳ⌆ᕅὁ

ኇᵿ

ኇἧ

Ѳ㌄Ѳᕅ᠆

ֲ҂

ֲ҂

7015_TAN.indd 268

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Hong Kong Taiwan

Hong Kong Hong Kong Hong Kong

Hong Kong Hong Kong Taiwan Hong Kong Hong Kong Hong Kong Taiwan Shanghai, ROC Hong Kong Hong Kong

Cathay (1965-7?)

Central Motion Pictures (est. 1954)

Chik Lei (est. 1953?)

China United (est. 1940)

Chung Wa (1933-4)

Cinema City (1980-91)

Concord Production (1971-6)

Da Da Arts Promotion [stage] (?)

Da Peng aka The RoC (est. 196?)

Daai Ming (est. 1948)

Dadi (est. 1939)

Dangdai

Diantong (1934)

Dun Saan (1949-64)

Emperor (est. 1999)

Ying Huang Yule Jituan

Dong Shan Dianying

Dian Tong Yingpian

Dang Dai Yingye

Da Di Yingye

Da Ming Yingye

Da Peng Yingye

Da Da Guoji Yishu

Xie He Dianying

Xin Yi Cheng Yingye

Zhonghua Zhizao Sheng Mo Yingpian

Zhongguo Lian Mei Yingpian

Zhili Yingye

Zhong Yang Dianying Shiye Gufe

Guo Tai Jigou (Xianggang)

೑⋄ᴎᵘ 佭␃ Ё༂⬉ᕅџϮ㙵ӑ

ỡ߽ᕅϮ Ё೑㘨㕢ᕅ⠛ Ёढࠊ䗴ໄ咬ᕅ⠛

ᮄ㡎ජᕅϮ ण੠⬉ᕅ ໻໻೑䰙㡎ᴃ ໻吣ᕅϮ ໻ᯢᕅϮ ໻ഄᕅϮ ᔧҷᕅϮ ⬉䗮ᕅ⠛ ϰቅ⬉ᕅ 㣅ⱛစФ䲚ಶ

೟⋄″ᾟ 佭␃ Ё༂䳏ᕅџὁ㙵ӑ

ỡ߽ᕅὁ Ё೟㙃㕢ᕅ⠛ Ё㧃㻑䗴㙆咬ᕅ⠛

ᮄ㮱ජᕅὁ न੠䳏ᕅ ໻໻೟䱯㮱㸧 ໻區ᕅὁ ໻ᯢᕅὁ ໻ഄᕅὁ ⭊ҷᕅὁ 䳏䗮ᕅ⠛ ᵅቅ䳏ᕅ 㣅ⱛ࿯ῖ䲚೬

7015_TAN.indd 269

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Hong Kong Hong Kong Hong Kong Hong Kong Taiwan Hong Kong Shanghai, ROC

Golden Harvest (est. 1970)

Golden Phoenix (est. 1976)

Grand (1963-70)

Grandview aka Daguan (19334?)

Great China-Lily (1925-30)

Hong Kong

Fotocine (est. 1980)

Golden City (est. circa 1938)

Hong Kong

Film Workshop (est. 1984)

Gam Gwok (est. 1967)

Hong Kong Taiwan

Film Dynasty (circa 1970s)

Hong Kong

Far-Sun (est. 1973)

Film Art (est. 1963)

Hong Kong Hong Kong

Far East (est. 1953?)

Hong Kong

Everwide (1996-2008)

Fan-Hua (est. circa 1950s)

Hong Kong

Eng Wah (est. 1957?)

Da Zhonghua Baihe Dianying

Da Guan Shengpian

Guo Lian Yingye

Jia Feng Yingye

Jia He Yule Shiye

Jin Cheng Yingpian

Jin Guo Yingye

Yingyi Jituan

Dianying Gongzuoshi

Dianying Chaodai

Dian Yi Yingye

Hua Sheng Yingshe

Yuan Dong Yingpian

Fan Hua Yingye

Yong Zhan (Xianggang)

Xianggang Rong Hua

௝޸ᕅϮ ೑㘨ᕅϮ ໻㾖ໄ⠛ ໻Ёढⱒড়⬉ᕅ

௝勇ᕅὁ

໻㾔㙆⠛ ໻Ё㧃ⱒড়䳏ᕅ

௝⾒စФџϮ

௝⾒࿯ῖџὁ

೟㙃ᕅὁ

䞥೑ᕅϮ 䞥ජᕅ⠛

ᕅ㡎䲚ಶ

ᕅ㮱䲚೬ 䞥೟ᕅὁ

⬉ᕅᎹ԰ᅸ

䳏ᕅᎹ԰ᅸ

䞥ජᕅ⠛

⬉㡎ᕅϮ ⬉ᕅᳱҷ

䳏㮱ᕅὁ

㢅⫳᯴⼒

㢅⫳᯴⼒

䳏ᕅᳱҷ

㐕ढᕅϮ 䖰ϰᕅ⠛

㐕㧃ᕅὁ

∌ሩ 佭␃

∌ሩ 佭␃

䘴ᵅᕅ⠛

佭␃㤷ढ

佭␃ᾂ㧃

7015_TAN.indd 270

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Hong Kong

Hong Hu (est. 1956)

Hong Kong Hunan, PRC

Hong Kong

Hui’s (est. 1974)

Hunan Shidai Mingxing Media (est. 2004)

JCE (est. 2003)

Shanghai, ROC

Hong Kong

Ho Gwong (est. 1951)

Hua Ying (1943-5)

Hong Kong

Hing Fat (est. 1960)

Shanghai, ROC

Shanghai, PRC

Hai Yan (1957-66)

Hong Kong

Shanghai, ROC

Guo Hua (1938-42)

Hua Wen (est. 1961)

Hong Kong

Guang-Ye (est. 1949)

Hsin Hwa (1934-42)

Hong Kong

Great Wall (est. 1950)

Chenglong Yinghuang Yingye

Hunan Shidai Mingxing Chuanmei

Xushi Yingye

Zhonghua Dianying Lianhe

Huanwen Yingpian

Xinhua Yingye

Hong Hu Yingpian

Hao Guang Yingpian

Xing Fa Yingye

Haiyan Dianying Zhipian Chang

Guo Hua Yingye

Guangye Yingpian

Changcheng Dianying Zhipian

䆌⇣ᕅϮ ␪फᯊҷᯢ᯳Ӵၦ

៤啭㣅ⱛᕅϮ

䀅⇣ᕅὁ

៤啡㣅ⱛᕅὁ

Ёढ⬉ᕅ㘨ড়

Ё㧃䳏ᕅ㙃ড়

␪फᰖҷᯢ᯳‫ڇ‬ၦ

ᮄढᕅϮ ढ᭛ᕅ⠛

ᮄ㧃ᕅὁ

㑶㰢ᕅ⠛

㋙㰢ᕅ⠛

㧃᭛ᕅ⠛

݈থᕅϮ

⍋➩⬉ᕅࠊ⠛ॖ

⍋➩䳏ᕅ㻑⠛ᒴ

䈾‫ܝ‬ᕅ⠛

೑ढᕅϮ

೟㧃ᕅὁ

㟜ⱐᕅὁ

ᑓϮᕅ⠛

ᒷὁᕅ⠛

䈾‫ܝ‬ᕅ⠛

䭓ජ⬉ᕅࠊ⠛

䭋ජ䳏ᕅ㻑⠛

7015_TAN.indd 271

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Hong Kong Hong Kong Shanghai, ROC Hong Kong; Shanghai, ROC Hong Kong Hong Kong Hong Kong

Long Feng aka Dragon & Phoenix (est. 1952)

Ming Sing (1922-37)

Minxin aka China Sun (192337)

MP & GI (Motion Picture & General Investment) (1956-65)

Nam Kwok aka Southern (1948-51)

Nam Yuet (1933-4?)

Hong Kong

Kwan Sang (est. 1955)

Local Production (est. 2006)

Hong Kong

Kuo Hwa (est. circa 1938)

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Kam Fong (est. 1951)

Shanghai, ROC

Hong Kong

Johnny Mark (est. 1981)

Lianhua aka United Photoplay (1930-7)

Hong Kong

Jet Tone (est. 1992)

Lap Tat (est. 1955)

Hong Kong

Jin Sheng (Golden Voice) (est. 1947)

Nanyue Yingpian

Nanguo Yingye

Guoji Dianying Maoye

Minxin Yingpian

Mingxing Yingpian

Long Feng Yingpian

Bendi Zhizuo

Lianhua Yingye

Li Da Yingye

Qun Sheng Yingye

Guo Hua Yingye

Jin Feng Yingpian

Mai Dangxiong Zhizuo

Zedong Dianying

Jin Sheng Yingpian

⇥ᮄᕅ⠛ ೑䰙⬉ᕅសϮ फ೑ᕅϮ फ㉸ᕅ⠛

೟䱯䳏ᕅសὁ फ೟ᕅὁ फ㉸ᕅ⠛

㘨ढᕅϮ

㙃㧃ᕅὁ

⇥ᮄᕅ⠛

ゟ䖒ᕅϮ

ゟ䘨ᕅὁ

ᯢ᯳ᕅ⠛

㕸⫳ᕅϮ

㕸⫳ᕅὁ

ᯢ᯳ᕅ⠛

೑ढᕅϮ

೟㧃ᕅὁ

ᴀഄࠊ԰

䞥޸ᕅ⠛

䞥勇ᕅ⠛

啭޸ᕅ⠛

呺ᔧ䲘ࠊ԰

呹⭊䲘㻑԰

ᴀഄ㻑԰

⋑ϰ⬉ᕅ

╸ᵅ䳏ᕅ

啡勇ᕅ⠛

䞥ໄᕅ⠛

䞥㙆ᕅ⠛

7015_TAN.indd 272

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Hong Kong Hong Kong Japan Hong Kong Hong Kong Shanghai, ROC Hong Kong Hong Kong Hong Kong Hong Kong Shanghai, PRC

Hong Kong Hong Kong Shenzhen, PRC

Nanyang aka South Sea (193650)

New Light (est. circa 1948)

Nikkatsu Corporation (est. 1912)

One Dollar Production (est. 2001)

Paragon (est. 1972)

Peacock (est. 1926?)

Qinghua (est. 1947)

Saam Yeung (est. 1943)

San Sang (est. 1939)

Seasonal (est. 1973)

Shanghai Film Studio (est. 1949)

Shaw and Son (1950-8)

Shaw Brothers (est. 1958)

Shenzhen Tengxun (est. 2011)

Shenzhen Tengxun Shiping

Shaoshi Xiongdi (Xianggang)

Shaoshi Fuzi

Shanghai Dianying Zhipianchang

Si Yuan Yingye

Xin Sheng Yingpian

San Yang Yingye

Qing Hua Dianying

Kong Que Dianying

Jia Feng Dianying

Yiyuan Zhizuoshi

Ri Huo Zhu Shi Huishe

Xin Guang Yingpian

Nanyang Dianying

⏅ഇ㝒䆃㾚乥

⏅ഇ倄㿞㽪丏

ᮄ⫳ᕅ⠛

ᮄ⫳ᕅ⠛

䚉⇣‫ܘ‬ᓳ 佭␃

ϝ䰇ᕅϮ

ϝ䱑ᕅὁ

䚉⇣‫ܘ‬ᓳ 佭␃

䴦ढ⬉ᕅ

䴦㧃䳏ᕅ

䚉⇣⠊ᄤ

ᄨ䲔䳏ᕅ

ᄨ䲔䳏ᕅ

䚉⇣⠊ᄤ

௝ዄ⬉ᕅ

௝ዄ䳏ᕅ

ᗱ䖰ᕅϮ

ϔ‫ࠊܗ‬԰ᅸ

ϔ‫ܗ‬㻑԰ᅸ

Ϟ⍋⬉ᕅࠊ⠛ॖ

᮹⌏᷾ᓣӮ⼒

᮹⌏᷾ᓣ᳗⼒

ᗱ䘴ᕅὁ

ᮄ‫ܝ‬ᕅ⠛

ᮄ‫ܝ‬ᕅ⠛

Ϟ⍋䳏ᕅ㻑⠛ᒴ

फ⋟⬉ᕅ

फ⋟䳏ᕅ

7015_TAN.indd 273

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Hong Kong Hong Kong Hong Kong Hong Kong

Union (est. 1953)

Unique (est. 1979)

United Productions (est. 1984)

Wa Mei aka Huamei (est. 1913)

Shanghai, ROC, Hong Kong

Tianyi aka Unique (1925-37) Hong Kong

Shanghai, PRC

Tian Ma (1957-66)

Hong Kong, Taiwan

Hong Kong

Tao Yuen (est. 1958)

To-day Motion Picture (est. 1978)

Hong Kong

Tai Wah (est. 1950)

Tomson (est. 1984)

Taiwan

Taiwan

Ta Chung (est. 1969?)

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Star Motion Pictures (est. 1963)

Tai Seng (1940-2)

Hong Kong

Sing Fung Meng

Tai Lien (est. 1956?)

Hong Kong

Si Wei (est. 1958)

Hua Mei Dianying

Lianhe Zhizuo

Bigao Dianying

Zhong Lian Dianying Qiye

Tang Chen Yingshi

Jin Ri Dianying

Tianyi Yingpian

Tianma Dianying Zhipianchang

Tao Yuan Dianying Qiye

Da Hua Yingpian

Da Cheng Yingpian

Tai Lian Yingye

Dazhong Yingye

Mingxing Dianying Qiye

Xin Feng Ming Dianying

Siwei Yingye

Ё㘨⬉ᕅӕϮ ↨催⬉ᕅ 㘨ড়ࠊ԰ ढ㕢ᕅ⠛

Ё㙃䳏ᕅӕὁ ↨催䳏ᕅ 㙃ড়㻑԰ 㧃㕢ᕅ⠛

໽ϔᕅ⠛

໽ϔᕅ⠛

Ҟ᮹⬉ᕅ

໽偀⬉ᕅࠊ⠛ॖ

໽侀䳏ᕅ㻑⠛ᒴ

∸㞷ᕅ㾚

ḗ⑤⬉ᕅӕϮ

ḗ⑤䳏ᕅӕὁ

Ҟ᮹䳏ᕅ

໻ढᕅ⠛

໻㧃ᕅ⠛

⑃㞷ᕅ㽪

ৄ㘨ᕅϮ

໻ӫᕅϮ

໻ⴒᕅὁ

໻៤ᕅ⠛

ᯢ᯳⬉ᕅӕϮ

ᯢ᯳䳏ᕅӕὁ

ৄ㙃ᕅὁ

ᮄ޸号⬉ᕅ

ᮄ勇勈䳏ᕅ

໻៤ᕅ⠛

ಯ㓈ᕅϮ

ಯ㎁ᕅὁ

7015_TAN.indd 274

05/08/21 4:26 pm

Hong Kong Hong Kong Hong Kong Hong Kong Hong Kong Hong Kong Guangzhou, PRC

Yizhong (est. 195?)

Yongning Creation Workshop (est. 2001)

Yue Chow (est. 194?)

Yuet Wah Brothers (est. 1957?)

Yung Hwa (1947-56)

Yung Sheng aka Young Sun (est. 1974?)

Zhujiang (est. 1956)

Shanghai, ROC

Xinchao (est. 1937) Shanghai, ROC

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Shanghai, ROC

Yihua aka Chinese Arts (1932-41)

Yin Doi (est. 1937)

Xinshidai (est. 1937)

Hong Kong

Yau Yee (est. 1939)

Xinmin (est. 1913)

Shanghai, ROC & PRC

Wenhua (1946-52)

Zhu Jiang Dianying Zhipianchang

Yong Sheng Yingye

Yong Hua Yingye

Yue Hua Xiongdi Yingye

Yu Zhou Dianying

Yong Ning Gongzuoshi

Yi Zhong Yingpian

Xin Shidai Yingpian

Xin Min

Xin Chao Dianying

Xian Dai Yingye

Yi Hua Yingye

You Yi Yingpian

Wen Hua Yingye

ᮄ⇥ ᮄᯊҷᕅ⠛ ϔЁᕅ⠛ ∌ᅕᎹ԰ᅸ ᅛᅭᕅ⠛ 䍞ढ‫ܘ‬ᓳᕅϮ ∌ढᕅϮ ∌छᕅϮ ⦴∳⬉ᕅࠊ⠛ॖ

ᮄ⇥

ϔЁᕅ⠛ ∌ᆻᎹ԰ᅸ ᅛᅭᕅ⠛ 䍞㧃‫ܘ‬ᓳᕅὁ ∌㧃ᕅὁ ∌ᯛᕅὁ ⦴∳䳏ᕅ㻑⠛ᒴ

ᮄ╂⬉ᕅ

ᮄ╂⬉ᕅ

ᮄᰖҷᕅ⠛

㡎ढᕅϮ ⧒ҷᕅϮ

㮱㧃ᕅὁ

ট䇞ᕅ⠛

ট䂐ᕅ⠛

⧒ҷᕅὁ

᭛ढᕅϮ

᭛㧃ᕅὁ

7015_TAN.indd 275

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Guangdong Chaojuyuan Yi Tuan Huadong Xiqu Yanjiuyuan Yueju Shiyan Ju Tuan

PRC

PRC

PRC

PRC Shanghai

Hong Kong Taiwan Taiwan

Fujian Province Minnanhua Opera Experimental Troupe (est. 1953)

Guangdong Chaoju School’s No. 1 Troupe (est. 1956)

Huadong (Eastern China) Opera Research School’s Shaoxing Opera Experimental Troupe (1950-5)

Shanghai Yueju (Shaoxing Opera) School (est. 1955)

Shanghai Yueju (Shaoxing School) Opera No. 2 Troupe (all female) (est. 1955)

Sin Fung Meng Opera Troupe (1956-69)

Xiamen Duma Troupe (est. 194?)

Yang Lihua Gezai Troupe (est. 1981)

Yang Lihua Gezai Xituan

Xiamen Duma Jutuan

Xianfengming Ju Tuan

Shanghai Yuejuyuan Er Tuan

Shanghai Yuejuyuan

Fujian Sheng Minnanxi Shiyan Tuan

Chufengming Ju Tuan

Hong Kong

Chor Fung Ming (Young Phoenix) Opera Troupe (est. 1963)

Anhui Province Huangmei Xi Ju Tuan

PRC

 

Anhui Province Huangmei Opera Troupe (est. 1953)

Opera Troupes ᅝᖑⳕ咘ṙ៣࠻ಶ

䲣޸号࠻ಶ

⽣ᓎⳕ䯑फ៣ᅲ偠ಶ

ᑓϰ╂࠻䰶ϔಶ

ढϰ៣᳆ⷨお䰶䍞࠻ᅲ偠 ࠻ಶ

Ϟ⍋䍞࠻䰶 Ϟ⍋䍞࠻䰶Ѡಶ

ҭ޸号࠻ಶ ॺ䮼䛑偀࠻ಶ ᴼБ㢅℠Ҩ៣ಶ

ᅝᖑⳕ咗ṙ᠆࡛೬

厉勇勈࡛೬

⽣ᓎⳕ䭽फ᠆ᆺ倫೬

䮰ᵅ╂࡛䰶ϔ೬

㧃ᵅ᠆᳆ⷨお䰶䍞࡛ᆺ 倫࡛೬

Ϟ⍋䍞࡛䰶 Ϟ⍋䍞࡛䰶Ѡ೬

ҭ勇勈࡛೬ ᒜ䭔䛑侀࡛೬ ἞呫㢅℠Ҩ᠆೬



7015_TAN.indd 276

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PRC

Hong Kong Hong Kong PRC Hong Kong Hong Kong Hong Kong Hong Kong

Hunan Shidai Mingxing Media (est. 201?)

Ming Pao (est. 1959)

Ming Pao Weekly (est. 1968)

Shenzhen Tengxun (Tencent) (est. 1998)

Sing Tao Daily [STD] aka Sing Tao Jih Po (est. 1938)

South China Morning Post [SCMP] (est. 1903)

Southern Screen [SS] (est. 1958)

TVB or Television Broadcasts (est. 1967) Hong Kong

Ming Bao

Taiwan

FTV or Formosa TV aka Ming Shi (est. 1996)

Wen Wei Po [WWP] (est. 1948)

Hunan Shidai Mingxing Chuanmei

Hong Kong

CTV or Commercial Television (1975-8)

Wen Hui Bao

Dianshi Guangbo

Nanguo Dianying

Nanhua Zao Bao

Xingdao Ri Bao

Shenzhen Tengxun

Ming Bao Zhoukan

Min Shi

Xianggang Jiayi Dianshi

Zhongguo Dianshi

Taiwan

CTV or China Television Company aka Zhong Shi (est. 1969)

Zhonghua Dianshi

Yeqing Gezai Xituan

Taiwan

Taiwan

CTS or Central Television System aka Hua Shi (est. 1971)

Media

Ye Qing Gezai Troupe (est. 1982)

Շ㡎⬉㾚 ⇥㾚 ␪फᯊҷᯢ᯳Ӵၦ

ᯢ᡹ ᯢ᡹਼ߞ ⏅ഇ㝒䆃 ᯳ቯ᮹᡹ फढᮽ᡹ फ೑⬉ᕅ ⬉㾚ᑓ᪁

Շ㮱䳏㽪 ⇥㽪 ␪फᰖҷᯢ᯳‫ڇ‬ၦ

ᯢฅ ᯢฅ਼ߞ ⏅ഇ倄㿞 ᯳ዊ᮹ฅ फ㧃ᮽฅ फ೟䳏ᕅ 䳏㽪ᒷ᪁

᭛∛᡹

Ё೑⬉㾚

Ё೟䳏㽪

᭛ःฅ

Ёढ⬉㾚



৊䴦℠Ҩ៣ಶ

Ё㧃䳏㽪

㨝䴦℠Ҩ᠆೬

Appendix 4: Glossary of Chineselanguage Terms and Phrases

Term/Phrase

Fantizi/Jiantizi

Meaning

ai gui

ⷂ儐ⷂ儐

short devils

ai su

ઔ䀈ઔ䆝

mournful ditties

ba

৻৻

exclamation that functions as a mood-moderator (in Chinese)

baihua

ⱑ䁅ⱑ䆱

plain speech or language

bangpian

䙺⠛䙺⠛

James Bond-style films

biantai aiqing

䅞ᜟᛯᚙবᗕ⠅ᚙ

perverse love

biantaixing shenghuo

䅞ᜟᗻ⫳⌏বᗕᗻ⫳⌏

perverse lifestyle

biantaixing xinli

䅞ᜟᗻᖗ⧚বᗕᗻᖗ⧚

perverse psychology

cai cha deng

᥵㤊➜䞛㤊♃

tea-harvesting songs

cai cha ge

᥵㤊℠䞛㤊℠

tea-picking songs

cai hua zei

᥵㢅䊞䞛㢅䌐

rapist, sexual predator

caizi

ᠡᄤᠡᄤ

talented man; male scholar

caizi/jiaren (in Cantonese: choijigaaiyan)

ᠡᄤՇҎᠡᄤՇҎ

talented man and beautiful lady; scholar and beauty

Canton

ᒷᎲᑓᎲ

present-day Guangzhou

Changjiang

䭋∳䭓∳

Yangtze River

chou

ϥϥ

jester or clown (in Chinese traditional theatre)

Chu Ju

Ἦ࡛Ἦ࠻

Chu Opera

chu wai mai chang

ߎ໪䊷ଅߎ໪पଅ

to leave home to sell our songs: that is, to become itinerant singers

cipian bu kan wu si yao bing (Cantonese)

ℸ⠛ϡⳟ૨⅏㽕⮙

Don’t watch this movie, die or fall sick!

da daoyan

໻ᇢⓨ໻ᇐⓨ

Great Director

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da ge

໻‫ן‬໻Ͼ

big, strong fellow

da xi

໻᠆໻៣

established or major opera form

da zhangfu

໻Ϝ໿໻Ϝ໿

great husband

dan

ᮺᮺ

female, female roles (in traditional Chinese theatre)

diguo

ᭉ೟ᬠ೑

enemy country

diren

ᭉҎ։⬹ᬠҎ։⬹

enemy

diren qinlue

։⬹։⬹

invasion(s) by the enemy(enemies)

diguo zhuyi

Ᏹ೟Џ㕽Ᏹ೑ЏН

imperialism

diyu wumen, Ni pianpian chuang jin lai

ഄ⤘⛵䭔ˈԴ‫أأ‬䮪䘆՚ഄ⣅ ᮴䮼ˈԴ‫أأ‬䯃䖯ᴹ

Hell has no gate, yet you force your way in

dong dao qiang

ࢩߔᾡࡼߔᵾ

to wield sabres and guns

dongzuo

ࢩ԰ࡼ԰

action

dou zheng

價⠁᭫ѝ

struggles

egao (in Cantonese: ok gaau)

ᚵ᧲ᙊ᧲

wicked spoof

eiga (Japanese)

᯴⬿᯴⬏

films

er’hu

Ѡ㚵Ѡ㚵

type of Chinese string instrument

fanchuan

ডІডІ

to cross-dress (across genders or other lines/demarcations)

fanchuaners

ডІ㗙ডІ㗙

cross-sex performers by profession

fangyan

ᮍ㿔ᮍ㿔

regional Chinese languages

fantizi

㐕储ᄫ㐕ԧᄫ

complex Chinese scripts

feitu

ࣾᕦࣾᕦ

bandits

fenghua xueyue

乼㢅䲾᳜亢㢅䲾᳜

flowery language and ornate diction

fengyue changhe

乼᳜จড়亢᳜എড়

licentious places

fengyuepian

乼᳜⠛亢᳜⠛

literally, ‘wind and moon’ films— euphemism for erotic films

feng zi xiu daibiao

ᇕ䊛ׂҷ㸼ᇕ䌘ׂҷ㸼

feudalist, capitalist and revisionist representative(s)

Former Shu (ad 907–925)

ࠡ㳔ࠡ㳔

a Chinese kingdom

fuming bu ke wei

⠊ੑϡৃ䘩⠊ੑϡৃ䖱

The father’s authority must be obeyed

fuqi

໿ྏ໿ྏ

husband and wife

Gan yu qita tongming dianying yijiao gaoxia

ᬶ㟛݊Ҫৠৡ䳏ᕅϔ䓗催ϟᬶ Ϣ݊Ҫৠৡ⬉ᕅϔ䕗催ϟ

to take on other similarly titled films boldly

gao qiang

催㜨催㜨

a kind of rhyme scheme in Chinese opera

Guangdong ge ci, ling yi feng ge

ᒷᵅ℠䀲ˈ঺ϔ乼Ḑᑓϰ℠ 䆡ˈ঺ϔ亢Ḑ

another level of flavour and fervour

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guanhua

ᅬ䁅ᅬ䆱

the speech/language of officialdom

Guanyin

㾔䷇㾖䷇

Goddess of Mercy

guilü

㽣ᕟ㾘ᕟ

patterns

guisu

⅌ቀᔦᆓ

trustworthy lover-cum-home provider

guonan

೟䲷೑䲒

national calamity

guofangpian

೟䰆⠛೑䰆⠛

national defence films

Guoji sijia zhentanshe

೟䱯⾕ᆊ‫⼒᥶ى‬೑䰙⾕ᆊպ ᥶⼒

International Private Investigation Organisation

Guoyu

೟䁲೑䇁

national language

guxiang

ᬙ䛝ᬙе

home town

guzhuang

স㺱স㺙

ancient- or period-costumed

hai wai

⍋໪⍋໪

overseas

Han Ju

⓶࡛∝࠻

Han Opera

handi

⓶ഄ∝ഄ

the land of the Han

hanhua

⓶࣪∝࣪

sinification

hanjian

⓶ཌ∝ཌ

traitor of the Han race

hanyi zuohao song qinglang (song lyric)

ᆦ㸷‫خ‬ད䗕ᚙ䚢ᆦ㸷‫خ‬ད䗕 ᚙ䚢

to deliver warm clothes to [my] young lover

haohan

ད⓶

good man

Heiren Yagao

咥Ҏ⠭㝣咥Ҏ⠭㝣

Darkie Toothpaste

heixian renwu

咥㎮Ҏ⠽咥㒓Ҏ⠽

‘black-line’ person(s) who belongs to the reactionary and counterrevolutionary cliché

Hongmei

㋙ṙ㑶ṙ

literally, ‘Red Plum’

Huabei

㧃࣫ढ࣫

northern China

hua gu

㢅哧㢅哧

flower drum music

hualian

㢅㞝㢅㜌

literally, flower face; in Chinese opera, the term specifically refers to ‘painted faces’ role-types— characters with highly elaborate facial make-up

huangjin shi wangfa

咗䞥ᰃ⥟⊩咘䞥ᰃ⥟⊩

literally, Gold is the King’s Law

Huangmei diao pian

咗ṙ䂓⠛咘ṙ䇗⠛

Huangmei or ‘Yellow Plum’ opera films

Huangmei xi

咗ṙ᠆咘ṙ៣

Chinese opera form, Huangmei literally meaning ‘Yellow Plum’

huaqiao

㧃‫ڥ‬ढռ

overseas Chinese

Huayu

㧃䁲䆱䇁

Hua language—colloquial term for standard Mandarin in the Chinese diaspora

huo shui

⽡∈⽌∈

[Women are like] calamitous torrents

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huran yi zhen wu qing bang, da de yuanyang ge yifang (song lyric)

ᗑ✊ϔ䰷⛵ᚙẦᠧᕫ勯勺৘ϔ ᮍᗑ✊ϔ䰉᮴ᚙẦᠧᕫ吇吃 ৘ϔᮍ

a sudden sweep of the merciless truncheon, tearing apart the Mandarin ducks (in Chinese folklore Mandarin ducks symbolise undying love and total loyalty)

jianzei

ཌ䊞ཌ䌐·

wicked thieves

jianghu

∳␪∳␪

literally, rivers and lakes— metaphor for a location, deemed ‘stateless’ and fluid like rivers and lakes, in which itinerants and roving mavericks gather and live a ‘floating’ life, sometimes violently

jianghu ke

∳␪ᅶ∳␪ᅶ

guests of the jianghu

Jiangnan qu

∳फ᳆∳फ᳆

Southern River ditties

jiantizi

ㇵ储ᄫㅔԧᄫ

simplified Chinese script

jiaren

ՇҎՇҎ

beautiful woman or beauty

jiaxiang

ᆊ䛝ᆊе

home town

jiebai xiongdi

㌤ᢰ‫ܘ‬ᓳ㒧ᢰ‫ܘ‬ᓳ

sworn brother

jiguan

″䮰ᴎ݇

mechanically operated traps

jin nian lai diren qin lue

䖥ᑈ՚ᭉҎ։⬹䖥ᑈᴹᬠҎ ։⬹

the enemy invasions of recent years

jing

㊒㊒

painted faces (in traditional Chinese theatre)

Jing Ju

Ҁ࡛Ҁ࠻

Peking Opera

jingqi

倮༛᚞༛

astonishing, astounding

KMT

೟⇥咼೑⇥‫ܮ‬

Guomindang or the Nationalist Party

Kuai Huo Lin

ᖿ⌏ᵫᖿ⌏ᵫ

literally, the Forest of Fast Living, or simply translated as Merryland (in the movieland)

kungfu

ࡳ໿ࡳ໿

Chinese martial arts

lang jian nűse nű shan langcai

䚢‫ݐ‬ཇ㡆ˈཇ᪙䚢ᠡ䚢‫ݐ‬ཇ 㡆ˈཇ᪙䚢ᠡ

The man has a pretty female-like aura, while the lady is talented like a male

laodan

㗕ᮺ㗕ᮺ

Elderly person role-types (in Chinese opera)

li



Chinese miles

li qi

䲶༛⾏༛

extraordinary

lian xiang

䗷ᒖ䖲ॶ

bamboo or stick clapper music

Lienü bu er fu

⚜ཇϡѠ໿⚜ཇϡѠ໿

A virtuous woman should not know two husbands

liu he

݁ড়݁ড়

the United Six

miaoxie

ᦣᆿᦣ‫ݭ‬

account, treatment

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mingsing leng mou dak ding (Cantonese)

ᯢ᯳䴮‫ݛ‬ᕫ䷖

pretty stars—beyond comparison

mou lei tau (Cantonese)

⛵䞤丁᮴६༈

nonsense, nonsense comedy

Nanyang

फ⋟फ⋟

South Seas

naoju (in Cantonese: naau kek)

僻࡛䯍࠻

noisy and boisterous play

Nong yuan zuo dangnian Xiao Meng Jiang

ۖ丬‫⭊خ‬ᑈᇣᄳྰրᜓ‫خ‬ᔧᑈ ᇣᄳྰ

I wish to be Little Meng Jiang of the past

nű xiucai

ཇ⾔ᠡཇ⾔ᠡ

female scholar

nűren wucai shi de

ཇҎ⛵ᠡᰃᖋཇҎ᮴ᠡᰃᖋ

An uneducated woman is a moral asset

nütongxinglian (abbreviated as nütong)

ཇৠᗻ។ ㇵ々˖ཇৠ ཇৠᗻ ᘟ˄ㅔ⿄˖ཇৠ˅

female homosexuals or lesbians

nüxia

ཇִཇմ

female chivalrous warrior

pianshang xiangxi zimu/quanbu quci luoben

⠛Ϟ䁇㌄ᄫᐩˈܼ䚼᳆䀲㨑༨ ⠛Ϟ䆺㒚ᄫᐩˈܼ䚼᳆䆡㨑༨

full and detailed subtitles for all the songs

Putonghua

᱂䗮䁅᱂䗮䆱

common speech/language

qi yuan

༛㓬༛㎷

a strange fate of the preordained type

qiangzhan films

ᾡ᠄⠛ᵾ៬⠛

gunfight films

qigong

⇷ࡳ⇨ࡳ

gravity-defying art of gliding through the air

qiguai

༛ᗾ༛ᗾ

odd and strange in surprising ways

qiji

༛䐳༛䗍

strangely marvellous, wonderful and miraculous

qiqingpian

༛ᚙ⠛༛ᚙ⠛

strange or queer films

qite

༛⡍༛⡍

peculiar, extraordinary, special and queer

qiyi

༛⭄༛ᓖ

fantastical, bizarre, odd

quanbu ge chang, quanbu nü’er xiang

ܼ䚼℠ଅˈܼ䚼ཇ‫ܦ‬佭ܼ䚼℠ ଅˈܼ䚼ཇ‫ܓ‬佭

to totally fill [the film] with singing and the perfume of women

renmin de chuangzuo

Ҏ⇥ⱘࡉ԰Ҏ⇥ⱘ߯԰

creations for and by the people

renmin de douzheng

Ҏ⇥ⱘ價⠁Ҏ⇥ⱘ᭫ѝ

the struggles of the people

Rijun

᮹䒡᮹‫ݯ‬

Imperial Japanese Army

Riben guizi

᮹ᴀ儐ᄤ᮹ᴀ儐ᄤ

Japanese devils

sanfan fenzi

ϝডߚᄤϝডߚᄤ

‘three-antis’ elements, generally refers to people deemed to be ‘anti-Party’, ‘anti-People’ and ‘anti-Socialism’

sanming sangao

ϝৡϝ催ϝৡϝ催

three distinctions, three highnesses

seqing

㡆ᚙ㡆ᚙ

vulgar eroticism

seqingpian

㡆ᚙ⠛㡆ᚙ⠛

vulgar sex films

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shange

ቅ℠ቅ℠

songs of the mountains

shanlu

ቅ䏃ቅ䏃

literally, ‘mountainous tracks’— euphemism for the less-trodden (sexual) paths which male homosexuals would take, as opposed to the well-trodden ways of the heterosexual mainstream

shen wei nüzi, zhi sheng nan’er

䑿⚎ཇᄤˈᖫࢱ⬋‫ܦ‬䑿Ўཇ ᄤˈࠊ㚰⬋‫ܓ‬

Though in body a female, in ambition I surpass men

sheng

⫳⫳

male roles (in traditional Chinese theatre)

shenguai

⼲ᗾ⼲ᗾ

supernatural

shi

຿຿

state official

shidaiqu

ᰖҷ᳆ᯊҷ᳆

popular modern songs

shijie

᏿ྤᏜྤ

older sister of/from the same profession

sihai wei jia

ಯ⍋⚎ᆊಯ⍋Ўᆊ

literally, to make the four seas one’s home

su

֫֫

down-to-earth, common, not aweinspiring, non-transcendental

suqing

֫ᚙ֫ᚙ

down-to-earth sentiments or affects

tejingpian

⡍䄺⠛⡍䄺⠛

special agent films

ticai

丠ᴤ乬ᴤ

subject matter

Tie Guanyin

䨉㾔㣅䪕㾖䷇

female Iron Buddha/Goddess of Mercy

tongxinglian

ৠᗻ។ৠᗻᘟ

homosexuality

tongzhi

ৠᖫৠᖫ

comrade; colloquially, homosexual person

wei nűzi yu xiaoren nan yang ye/jin zhi ze buxun/yuan zhi ze yuan

ଃཇᄤ㟛ᇣҎ䲷仞гˈ䖥Пࠛϡ 䘰ˈ䘴Пࠛ䘴ଃཇᄤϢᇣҎЎ 䲒‫ݏ‬гˈ䖥П߭ϡ䗞ˈ䖰П߭ᗼ

Only women and small-minded people are difficult to care for; if kept in close proximity, they become haughty; if held at a distance, they will complain

wei yueyu dianying zheng guangrong! wei Guangdongren tu yi kou qi!

⚎㊉䁲䳏ᕅ⠁‫ܝ‬ᾂ⚎ᒷᵅҎ৤ ϔষ⇷Ў㉸䇁⬉ᕅѝ‫ܝ‬㤷Ў ᑓϰҎ৤ϔষ⇨

To Cantonese cinema vie for glory!/For Cantonese people heave a sigh of relief!

weizui zisha

⬣㔾㞾↎⬣㔾㞾ᴔ

the act of suicide out of fear of punishment

wen

᭛᭛

civil, scholar-type

wensheng

᭛⫳᭛⫳

learned man

wenwusheng

᭛℺⫳᭛℺⫳

learned military man

wire-fu

wu

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a film term used to describe scenes in which characters execute gravitydefying kungfu acts with the help of wires strung to the body ℺℺

military

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283

wuda films

℺ᠧ⠛℺ᠧ⠛

pugilist films, especially noted for unarmed combat

wudan

℺ᮺ℺ᮺ

military role-types or characters

wu qi

℺఼℺఼

weapons

wulitou

⛵䞤丁᮴६༈

nonsensical

wusheng

℺⫳℺⫳

military man

wuxia (in Cantonese: mou hap)

℺ִ℺մ

warrior-chivalry

wuxiapian

℺ִ⠛℺մ⠛

warrior-chivalry films

xiamenpian

ॺ䭔⠛ॺ䮼⠛

Amoy-language or Minnanhua films

xianggang xin langchao dianying

佭␃ᮄ⌾╂䳏ᕅ佭␃ᮄ⌾╂ ⬉ᕅ

New Wave Hong Kong cinema

xiangzheng

䈵ᖉ䈵ᕕ

symbolisation, representation, biomimesis

xiaoren

ᇣҎᇣҎ

a vile person

xiaoshuo

ᇣ䁾ᇣ䇈

novel

xieshi

ᆿᆺ‫ݭ‬ᅲ

writing the real or realist writing

xieyi

ᆿᛣ‫ݭ‬ᛣ

sketching ideation, writing essence

xinchao

ᮄ╂ᮄ╂

trendy

xingbiantai de renwu

ᗻ䅞ᜟⱘҎ⠽ᗻবᗕҎ⠽

sexually perverse characters

xinlangpian

ᮄ⌾⠛ᮄ⌾⠛

New Wave films

Xuerou jian chu Changcheng chang

㸔㙝ᓎߎ䭋ජ䭋㸔㙝ᓎߎ䭓 ජ䭓

Flesh and blood built the long, long Great Wall

yang

䱑䰇

male, masculine

yanggang

䱑࠯䰇߮

masculine and strong

yanggang zhi qi

䱑࠯П⇷䰇߮П⇨

the energy of yang (masculine) and gang (brutal strength)

yang ge

⾻℠⾻℠

sowing songs

yanqing

䈨ᚙ㡇ᚙ

tasteful eroticism

yanqingpian

䈨ᚙ⠛㡇ᚙ⠛

soft erotic films

yaojing guiguai baizhou xianxing

ཪ㊒儐ᗾⱑᰱ⧒ᔶཪ㊒儐ᗾⱑ ᰐ⦄ᔶ

spirits and spectres appearing in broad daylight

yi er ba

ϔѠܿϔѠܿ

28 January (1932)

yin

䱄䰈

female, feminine

yinfu

⎿်⎿ཛ

whore

yingxiong

㣅䲘㣅䲘

hero

Yizhongwang Miao

㕽ᖴ⥟ᒳНᖴ⥟ᑭ

Temple of the Righteous and Loyal Prince

yizhuang

ᯧ㺱ᯧ㺙

sartorial disguise

yuanyang

勯勺吇吃

Mandarin ducks

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Yuanyang guishou

勯勺儐᠟吇吃儐᠟

‘Mandarin Duck Ghost Hands’—a monstrous type of deadly martial art skill

zai hui

‫ݡ‬᳗‫ݡ‬Ӯ

to see or meet again, or good-bye, farewell

zai jian

‫ݡ‬㽟‫ݡ‬㾕

to see or meet again, or good-bye, farewell

zaju

䲰࡛ᴖ࠻

mixed theatre containing song, dance and dialogue

Zhenjiebang pian

⦡ྤ䙺⠛⦡ྤ䙺⠛

Elder Sister Bond films, or female bangpian

zhi zui jin mi

㋭䝝䞥䗋㒌䝝䞥䗋

to be intoxicated by paper (cash) and lost in gold

zhiquan

⊏⃞⊏ᴗ

administrative right

Zhongguo

Ё೟Ё೑

China

zhongguohua

Ё೟࣪Ё೑࣪

sinification

zhongxue weiti, xixue weiyong (abbreviated to zhongti xiyong)

Ёᅌ⚎储ˈ㽓ᅌ⚎⫼˄ㇵ々˖Ё 储㽓⫼˅ЁᄺЎԧˈ㽓ᄺЎ⫼ ˄ㅔ⿄˖Ёԧ㽓⫼˅

Chinese learning as the basis, and Western learning as the instrument

Zhongyuan

ЁॳЁॳ

Central Plain

zhuang yuan

⢔‫ܗ‬⢊‫ܗ‬

first-class scholar

zhuanji

‫ڇ‬㿬Ӵ䆄

marvel tales

zhuquan

Џ⃞Џᴗ

sovereign authority

ziqiang

㞾ᔋ㞾ᔎ

self-improvement or selfstrengthening

zisha shi pandang xinwei, duikang wenhua dageming

㞾↎ᰃয咼㸠⚎ˈᇡᡫ᭛࣪໻ 䴽ੑ㞾ᴔᰃয‫ܮ‬㸠Ўˈᇍᡫ᭛ ࣪໻䴽ੑ

Suicide is conspiratorial behaviour against the Party; the act opposes the Great Cultural Revolution

zuguo

⼪೟⼪೑

ancestral country

zu guo jia xiang or zuguo jiaxiang

⼪೟ᆊ䛝⼪೑ᆊе

ancestral land

zui dadan

᳔໻㞑᳔໻㚚

boldest

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Filmography and TV Resources

24 Hours in Shanghai aka Shanghai over 24 Hours/Shanghai Ershisi Xiaoshi. 1933. [Film]. Shen Xiling dir. Shanghai: Ming Sing. 3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy/San-D Rouputuan Zhi Jile Baojian. 2011. [Film]. Sun Lap Key, Christopher dir. Hong Kong: Local Production/One Dollar Production. 48 Hours/Sishiba Xiaoshi. 1937. [Film]. Kwan Man-Ching and Chiu Shu-Sun dirs. Hong Kong: Grandview. A Beggar’s Daughter/Jin Yu Nu. 1965. [Film]. Wong Tin-Lam dir. Hong Kong: MP & GI. A Dream of Red Mansions/Xin Honglou Meng. 1951. [Film]. Ng Hui dir. Hong Kong: Golden City. A Maid from Heaven/Qi Xiannü. 1963. [Film]. Chen Yu-Hsin and Ho Meng-Hua dirs. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. A Mermaid’s Love/Bibo Xianlü. 1960. [Film]. Huang Yu dir. Hong Kong: Great Wall. A Page of History/Xunye Qianqiu. 1941. [Film]. Lai Man-Wai prod. Lai Man-Wai dir. Hong Kong: Minxin. A Perturbed Girl/Tian Zhi Jiaonü. 1966. [Film]. Lee Han-Hsiang, with Sun Tsun-Shou and Liu Yi-Shih dirs. Taiwan: Grand. A Queer Story/Jilao 40. 1997. [Film]. Shu Kei dir. Hong Kong: Golden Harvest. A Singer’s Story/Gechang Chunse. 1931. [Film]. Lee Ping-Qian dir. Shanghai: Tianyi. A Trip to the Moon/Le Voyage dans la Lune. 1902. [Film]. Georges Méliès dir. France: Méliès Studio. Aces Go Places/Zuijia Paidang. 1982. [Film]. Tsang Chi-Wai, Eric dir. Hong Kong: Cinema City. Aces Go Places II/Zuijia Paidang Da Xian Shentong. 1983. [Film]. Tsang Chi-Wai, Eric dir. Hong Kong: Cinema City. Aces Go Places III—Our Man from Bond Street/Zuijia Paidang Nühuang Miling. 1984. [Film]. Tsui Hark dir. Hong Kong: Cinema City. Adventures of the Chinese Tarzan, The/Zhongguo Taishan Lixian Ji. 1939. [Film]. Wang Ciling dir. Hong Kong: Hsin Hwa. Amorous Lotus, The/Shaonü Pan Jinlian. 1994. [Film]. Lee Han-Hsiang dir. Hong Kong: United Productions. An Amorous Woman of the Tang Dynasty/Tangchao Haofang Nü. 1984. [Film]. Fong Ling-Ching, Eddie dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers.

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Hong Kong Cinema and Sinophone Transnationalisms

An Andalusian Dog/Un Chien andalou. 1929. [Silent film]. Luis Buñuel dir. France: A Luis Buñuel production. Angel Strikes Again, The/Tie Guanyin Yong Po Baozha Dang. 1968. [Film]. Lo Wei dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Angel with the Iron Fists/Tie Guanyin. 1967. [Film]. Lo Wei dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Asia-Pol aka Asia-Pol Secret Service/Yazhou Mimi Jīngcha. 1967. [Film]. Mak Chih-Ho aka Akinori Matsuo dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers and Nikkatsu Corporation. At This Critical Juncture/Zuihou Guantou. 1938. [Film]. Chan Pei, Lee Chi-Ching, Nam Hoi Sap-Sam Long, Su Yi, Chiu Shu-Sun and Ko Lei-Hen et al. dirs. Hong Kong: Grandview. Bamboo House of Dolls, The/Nü Jizhongying. 1973. [Film]. Kuei Chih-Hung dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Battle of Shanghai, The/Songhu Kangzhan Jishi. 1937. [Film]. Lai Man-Wai dir. Hong Kong: Minxin. Because of Her/Jiao Wo Ruhe Buxiang Ta. 1963. [Film]. Wong Tin-Lam and Evan Yang dirs. Hong Kong: MP & GI. Big Road, The aka The Highway/Da Lu. 1934. [Film]. Sun Yu dir. Shanghai: Lianhua. Bigamy aka Remarriage/Chonghun. 1934. [Film]. Wu Cun dir. Shanghai: Ming Sing. Bishonen aka Beauty/Mei Shaonian Zhi Lian. 1998. [Film]. Yon Fan dir. Hong Kong: Far-Sun. Black Falcon, The/Hei Ying. 1967. [Film]. Tai Kao-Mei dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Blessings Come in Pairs/Haoshi Cheng Shuang. 1955. [Film]. Yeung Kung-Leung dir. Hong Kong: Kwan Sang. Blood-stained Baoshan Fortress, The/Xuejian Baoshan Cheng. 1938. [Film]. Situ Huimin dir. Hong Kong: Xinshidai. Borrowed Wife, The aka Borrowed Bride, The/Jie Qin Pei. 1958. [Film]. Huang Yu dir. Hong Kong: Great Wall. Boundless Future aka Ten Thousand Li Ahead/Qiancheng Wanli. 1941. [Film]. Cai Chusheng dir. Hong Kong: San Sang. Bride Hunter/Wang Laohu Qiangqin. 1960. [Film]. Hu Siao-Fung and Cha Louis dirs. Hong Kong: Great Wall. Bride Napping, The/Huatian Cuo. 1962. [Film]. Yen Chuan dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Burning of the Red Lotus Temple, The/Huo Shao Hongliansi. 1928-31. [Film]. Zhang Shichuan dir. Shanghai: Ming Sing, 18 instalments. Butterfly and Red Pear/Dieying Hongli Ji. 1959. [Film]. Lee Tit dir. Hong Kong: Bo Ying. Butterfly Lovers – The Musical/Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai Yinyueju. 2006. [Stage]. Pun Kai Loon dir. Kuala Lumpur: DAMA Music Theatre. Butterfly Lovers, The aka Assassin’s Blade/Jiandie: Wuxia Liang Zhu. 2008. [Film]. Ma Jingle dir. Hong Kong: BIG Pictures. Butterfly Lovers, The aka Butterflies in Love/Hudie Meng: Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai. 2004. [Animation]. Tsai Ming-Chun dir. Taiwan: Central Motion Pictures. Butterfly Lovers, The/Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai. 1977. [TV]. Wong Tin-Lam dir. Hong Kong: TVB, 4 episodes. Butterfly Lovers, The/Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai. 1984. [TV]. Gu Huixiong dir. Taiwan: Yang Lihua Gezai Troupe, 14 episodes.

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Filmography and TV Resources

287

Butterfly Lovers, The/Xin Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai. 1995. [TV]. Huang Hai and Wu Tiange dirs. Shanghai: Shanghai Film Studio, 23 episodes. Butterfly Lovers, The/Xin Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai. 1997. [TV]. Li Dongnan dir. Taiwan: Ye Qing Gezai Troupe, 6 episodes. Butterfly Lovers, The/Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai. 1999. [TV]. Feng Kai dir. Taiwan: FTV, 47 episodes. Butterfly Lovers, The/Xin Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai. 2000. [TV]. Xu Jinliang dir. Taiwan: CTV, 42 episodes. Butterfly Lovers, The/Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai. 2007. [TV]. Chen Junliang dir. Hunan: Hunan Shidai Mingxing Media, 41 episodes. Butterfly Lovers, The/Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai Xinzhuan. 2017. [TV]. Chen Peng dir. Shenzhen: Shenzhen Tengxun, 29 episodes. Butterfly Lovers, The: Parts 1 and 2/Liang Shanbo Zhu Yingtai. 1935. [Film]. Shaw Runje dir. Hong Kong: Tianyi. Butterfly Murders, The/Die Bian. 1979. [Film]. Tsui Hark dir. Hong Kong: Seasonal. Carp Spirit, The /Li Yu Jing. 1958. [Film]. Wong Hok-Sing dir. Hong Kong: New Light. Chase Fish/Zhui Yu. 1959. [Film]. Ying Yunwei dir. Shanghai: Tianma Film Studio. Chen San and Fifth Madam/Chen San Wu Niang. 1954. [Film]. Unknown dir. Hong Kong: studio unknown. Chen San and Wu Niang/Chen San Wu Niang. 1957. [Film]. Yang Xiaozhong dir. Shanghai: Tianma. Children of Troubled Times/Fengyun Ernü. 1935. [Film]. Xu Xingzhi dir. Shanghai: Diantong. China Behind/Zaijian Zhongguo. 1974. [Film]. Tong Shu-Shuen Cecille, Cheuk Ang-Tong and Gong Tian-Mei dirs. Taipei: Film Dynasty. Chuang Tzu Tests His Wife/Zhuangzi Tests His Wife. 1913. [Film]. Lai Bak-Hoi dir. Hong Kong: Asia Film Company & Huamei. City Scenes/Dushi Fengguang. 1935. [Film]. Yuan Muzhi dir. Shanghai: Diantong. Close Combat/Roubo. 1933. [Film]. Hu Tu dir. Shanghai: Yihua. Coldest Winter in Peking, The/Huangtian Houtu. 1981. [Film]. Pai Ching-Jui dir. Taiwan: Central Motion Pictures. Contract, The/Maishen Qi. 1978. [Film]. Michael Hui Koon-Man dir. Hong Kong: Golden Harvest and Hui’s. Cowherd and the Weaver, The aka Milky Way Lovers/Niulang Zhinü. 1963. [Film]. Cen Fan dir. Shanghai: Hai Yan/Hong Kong: Da Peng. Crimson Palm, The/Xue Shouying. 1964. [Film]. Chen Yu-Hsin dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Crossroads/Shi Zi Jietou. 1937. [Film]. Shen Xiling dir. Shanghai: Ming Sing. Dangerous Encounter—1st Kind aka Don’t Play with Fire/Diyi Leixing Weixian. 1980. [Film]. Tsui Hark dir. Hong Kong: Fotocine. Dawn Will Come aka My Husband Is a Murderer/Hun Duan Naihetian. 1966. [Film]. Kao Li dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Diau Charn of Three Kingdoms/Diao Chan. 1958. [Film]. Lee Han-Hsiang dir. Hong Kong: Shaw and Son.

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Hong Kong Cinema and Sinophone Transnationalisms

Difficult Couple, The aka Die for Marriage/Nan Fu Nan Qi. 1913. [Film]. Zhang Shichuan and Zheng Zhengqiu dirs. Shanghai: Asia Film Company/Xinmin. Dragnet of the Law aka Lady in Distress: The Invincible Fighter/Wudi Nü Shashou. 1967. [Film]. Mok Hong-See dir. Hong Kong: Hing Fat. Dream of Red Chamber, The/Honglou Meng. 1956. [Film]. But Fu dir. Hong Kong: Hong Hu. Dream of the Red Chamber, The/Honglou Meng. 1962. [Film]. Cen Fan dir. Shanghai: Hai Yan/Hong Kong: Jin Sheng. Dream of the Red Chamber, The/Honglou Meng. 1962. [Film]. Yuan Qiu-Feng dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Dream of the Red Chamber, The/Jinyu Liangyuan Honglou Meng. 1977. [Film]. Lee Han-Hsiang dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Dream of the Red Chamber, The/Xin Honglou Meng. 1978. [Film]. Chin Han dir. Hong Kong: To-day. Dream of the Red Mansions/Honglou Meng. 1944. [Film]. Bu Wancang dir. Shanghai: Hua Ying. Enter the Dragon/Long Zheng Hu Dou. 1973. [Film]. Robert Clouse dir. Hong Kong/USA: Golden Harvest, Concord Production and Warner Brothers. Fairy of Ninth Heaven, The/Jiu Tian Xuan Nü. 1959. [Film]. Mok Hong-See dir. Hong Kong: Kuo Hwa. Father Takes a Bride/Xiao Ernü. 1963. [Film]. Wong Tin-Lam dir. Hong Kong: MP & GI. Female Consort Prince, The aka The Emperor’s Female Son-in-law/Nü Fuma. 1959. [Film]. Liu Qiong dir. Shanghai: Hai Yan. Female Prince, The/Shuang Feng Qiyuan. 1964. [Film]. Chow Sze-Luk dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Female Virtues/Fu Dao. 1934. [Film]. Chen Kengran dir. Shanghai: Ming Sing. Feng Yang Flower Drum/Fengyang Huagu. 1967. [Film]. Lee Han-Hsiang and Chu Mu dirs. Taiwan: Grand. Fist of Fury/Jing Wu Men. 1972. [Film]. Lo Wei dir. Hong Kong: Golden Harvest and Si Wei. Flames/Lieyan. 1933. [Film]. Hu Rui dir. Shanghai: Yihua. Flower of the Great Earth/Dadi Zhi Hua. 1939. [Film]. So Yi dir. Hong Kong: Yau Yee. Flowers Drop by the Red Chamber, The/Hua Luo Honglou. 1950. [Film]. Ng Wui dir. Hong Kong: Guang-Ye & Tai Wah. Forever and Ever/Jin Shi Qin. 1968. [Film]. Lo Wei dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. From Spikes to Spindles. 1976. [Film]. Christine Choy dir. New York: Third World Newsreel. Games Gamblers Play/Guima Shuang Xing. 1974. [Film]. Hui Koon-Man Michael dir. Hong Kong: Golden Harvest and Hui’s. Goddess, The/Shennü. 1934. [Film]. Wu Yonggang dir. Shanghai: Lianhua. Goddess of Freedom, The/Ziyou Shen. 1935. [Film]. Situ Huimin dir. Shanghai: Diantong. Gold Braided Fan, The/Chuan Jin Baoshan. 1959. [Film]. Chiang Wai-Kwong dir. Hong Kong: Tao Yuen. Golden Buddha, The/Jin Pusa. 1966. [Film]. Lo Wei dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers.

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Filmography and TV Resources

289

Golden Dagger Romance/Jindao Qingxia. 1978. [TV]. Tsui Hark dir. Hong Kong: CTV, 9 episodes. Golden Lotus ‘Love and Desire’, The/Jinping Fengyue. 1991. [Film]. Lee Han-Hsiang dir. Hong Kong: Canon Profit International. Golden Lotus, The/Jinping Shuang Yan. 1974. [Film]. Lee Han-Hsiang dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Golden Times/Huangjin Shidai. 1934. [Film]. Bu Wancang dir. Shanghai: Yihua. Goldfinger. 1964. [Film]. Guy Hamilton dir. UK: Eon Production. Goodbye Shanghai!/Zaihui Ba Shanghai! 1934. [Film]. Zheng Jiduo dir. Shanghai: Lianhua. Grand Substitution, The/Wangu Liufang. 1965. [Film]. Yen Chuan dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Great Battles of the Republican Revolutionary Army, Navy and Air Forces, The/Guomin Gemingjun Hailukong Dazhan Ji. 1927. [Film]. Lai Man-Wai dir. Shanghai: Minxin. Half Way Down/Ban Xialiu Shehui. 1957. [Film]. Tu Kuang-Chi dir. Hong Kong: Asia Pictures. Handsome Hero Perplexed by Love, The aka Love Traps Warrior Panan/Qing Kun Wu Pan’an. 1951. [Film]. Chan Pei dir. Hong Kong: Ho Gwong. Happy Together/Chunguang Zhaxie. 1997. [Film]. Wong Kar-Wai dir. Hong Kong: Jet Tone, Block 2 Pictures, Seowoo Film and Prenom H. Happy Wedding, The/Kua Feng Cheng Long. 1959. [Film]. Lung To dir. Hong Kong: Tao Yuen. Havana Divas/Guba Huadan. 2018. [Film]. Wei Louisa S. dir. Hong Kong: Blue Queen Cultural Communication. Heroine Li Fei-Fei/Nüxia Li Fei-Fei. 1925. [Film]. Shaw Runje dir. Shanghai: Tianyi. Hold You Tight/Yu Kuaile Yu Duoluo. 1998. [Film]. Kwan Kam-Pang Stanley dir. Hong Kong: Golden Harvest. House of 72 Tenants, The/Qishi’er Jia Fangke. 1973. [Film]. Chor Yuen dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. How the Scholar Tang Bohu Won the Maid Qiu Xiang/Tang Bohu Dian Qiuxiang. 1957. [Film]. Fung Chi-Kong/ dir. Hong Kong: Lap Tat Fi. How Wong Ang the Heroine Caught the Murderer aka How Oriole the Heroine Caught the Murderer/Nüxia Huang Ying Qin Xiong Ji. 1959. [Film]. Yam Pang-Nin dir. Hong Kong: Lap Tat. How Wong Ang the Heroine Solved the Case of the Three Dead Bodies aka How Oriole the Heroine Solves the Case of the Three Dead Bodies/Nüxia Huang Ying Ye Po Sanshi’an. 1959. [Film]. Yam Pang-Nin dir. Hong Kong: Lap Tat Film. Huangmei Diao Mega-Musical: Liang–Zhu 40 Concert—Forever Elder Brother Liang/Huangmei Diao Daxing Yinyue Wutaiju Liang–Zhu 40—Yongyuan De LiangXiong. 2003. [Stage]. Tsao Fu-Kuo dir. Taiwan: Da Da Arts Promotion. Hung Niang/Hong Niang. 1961. [Incomplete film]. Lee Han-Hsiang dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Husband and Wife for Seven Lives/Qishi Fuqi. 1972. [TV]. Tang Ji dir. Taiwan: CTS, 91 episodes.

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Hong Kong Cinema and Sinophone Transnationalisms

Idiot’s Wedding Night, The/Shazai Dongfang. 1933. [Film]. Lai Bak-Hoi dir. Hong Kong: Chung Wa. If I Were Real/Jiaru Wo Shi Zhende. 1981. [Film]. Wang Tung dir. Hong Kong: Yung Sheng. Imperious Princess, The/Jinzhi Yuye. 1980. [Film]. Chin Han dir. Hong Kong: To-day Motion Picture. Ingenious Seduction, The/Tang Bohu Yu Qiu Xiang. 1956. [Film]. Bu Wancang and Lee Ying dirs. Hong Kong: Yung Hwa. Inside the Forbidden City/Songgong Mishi. 1965. [Film]. Kao Li dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Interpol 009/Tejing 009. 1967. [Film]. Yeung Shu-Hei aka Nakashira Kō dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan/Ai Nu. 1972. [Film]. Chor Yuen dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. It Takes Two/Nan Xiong Nan Di. 1982. [Film]. Karl Maka dir. Hong Kong: Cinema City. Jade Hairpin, The/Bi Yu Zan. 1962. [Film]. Wu Yonggang dir. Shanghai: Hai Yan/Hong Kong: Da Peng, with Shanghai Shaoxin Opera No. 2 Troupe. Jazz Singer, The. 1927. [Film]. Alan Crosland dir. US: Warner Bros. Kingdom and the Beauty, The/Jiangshan Meiren. 1959. [Film]. Lee Han-Hsiang dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Lady Bond aka Chivalrous Girl/Nü Shashou. 1966. [Film]. Mok Hong-See dir. Hong Kong: Hing Fat. Lady General Hua Mulan/Hua Mulan. 1964. [Film]. Yueh Feng Griffin dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Lady in the Moon/Chang’e Ben Yue. 1966. [Film]. Yuan Qiu-Feng dir. Hong Kong: Cathay Studio. Lady Information Agent, The aka Lady in Pink/Hongfen Jingang. 1967. [Film]. Yueng Kuen dir. Hong Kong: Film Art. Lady Jade Locket/Lian Suo. 1967. [Film]. Yen Chuan dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Lan Yu/Lan Yu. 2001. [Film]. Kwan Kam-Pang Stanley dir. Hong Kong: Yongning Creation Workshop. Last Woman of Shang/Da Ji. 1964. [Film]. Yueh Feng Griffin dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Laugh in the Sleeve/San Xiao Yinyuan. 1975. [Film]. Lee Tit dir. Hong Kong: Hing Fat. Legend of the Purple Hairpin, The/Zi Chai Ji. 1977. [Film]. Lee Tit dir. Hong Kong: Golden Phoenix. Legends of Lust/Fengyue Qi Tan. 1972. [Film]. Lee Han-Hsiang dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Leung Shan-Pak’s Second Meeting with Chuk Ying-Toi aka Liang Shanbo’s Second Meeting with Zhu Yingtai/Liang Shanbo Zaihui Zhu Yingtai. 1952. [Film]. Chan Pei dir. Hong Kong: Kam Fong. Liang San Poh and Chu Ing Tai/Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai. 1964. [Film]. Yen Chuan dir. Hong Kong: Cathay. Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai/Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai. 1940. [Film]. Yueh Feng Griffin dir. Hong Kong: China United.

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Filmography and TV Resources

291

Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai aka The Love Story of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai/Xin Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai. 1951. [Film]. Chan Pei dir. Hong Kong: Kam Fong. Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai/Liang Shanbo Zhu Yingtai. 1952. [Film]. But Fu dir. Hong Kong: unknown. Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai/Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai. 1954. [Film]. Sang Hu and Huang Sha dirs. Shanghai: Shanghai Film Studio. Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai/Liang Shanbo Zhu Yingtai. 1955. [Film]. Chow Sze-Luk dir. Hong Kong: Long Feng. Liang–Zhu 50: Classical Huangmei Diao Concert/Liang Zhu 50: Jingdian Huangmei Diao Yanchanghui. 2013. [Stage]. Unknown dir. Taipei: unknown. Lifeline/Shengming Jing. 1935. [Film]. Kwan Man-Ching dir. Hong Kong: Grandview. Little Toys aka Playthings/Xiao Wanyi. 1933. [Film]. Sun Yu dir. Shanghai: Lianhua. Lizhi’s Tale, The/Lizhi Ji. 1957. [Film]. Ng Hui dir. Hong Kong: Yuet Wa Brothers. Lost Souls/Da She. 1980. [Film]. Mou Tun-Fei dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Lotus Lamp, The/Bao Lian Deng. 1965. [Film]. Yueh Feng Griffin dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Love Eterne, The/Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai. 1963. [Film]. Lee Han-Hsiang dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Lover’s Rock/Qingren Shi. 1964. [Film]. Poon Lui dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Lovers, The/Liang Zhu Tongshi. 1926. [Film]. Shaw Runje dir. Shanghai: Tianyi. Lovers, The/Liang Zhu. 1994. [Film]. Tsui Hark dir. Hong Kong: Film Workshop, Paragon Films and Golden Harvest. Lucky Purse, The/Xiao Jinnang. 1966. [Film]. Wong Tin-Lam dir. Hong Kong: Star Motion Pictures. Lust for Love of a Chinese Courtesan/Ai Nu Xinzhuan. 1984. [Film]. Chor Yuen dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Madam White Snake/Baishe Zhuang. 1926. [Film]. Shaw Runje dir. Shanghai: Tianyi. Madam White Snake/Bai She Zhuan. 1962. [Film]. Yueh Feng Griffin dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Magic Fan, The/Shan Zhong Ren. 1967. [Film]. Tang Huang dir. Hong Kong: Cathay. Magic Lamp, The/Bao Lian Deng. 1964. [Film]. Wong Tin-Lam, Lo Wei, Evan Yang, Wu Chia-Hsiang and Tong Wong dirs. Hong Kong: MP & GI. Magnificent Concubine, The aka Yang Kwei Fei/Yang Guifei. 1961. [Film]. Lee Han-Hsiang dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Man from Hong Kong, The/Zhi Dao Huanglong. 1975. [Film]. Wang Yu and Brian TrenchardSmith dirs. Hong Kong: Golden Harvest and Paragon Films. March of the Guerrillas, The aka The March of the Partisans/Youji Jinxingqu. 1938. [Film]. Situ Huimin dir. Hong Kong: Xinchao. Marriage of the Fairy Princess aka The Heavenly Match/Tianxian Pei. 1955. [Film]. Shi Hui dir. Shanghai: Shanghai Film Studio. Maternal Instinct/Muxing Zhi Guang. 1933. [Film]. Bu Wancang dir. Shanghai: Lianhua. Memories of the Old Capital/Gudu Chunmeng. 1930. [Film]. Sun Yu dir. Shanghai: Lianhua. Mermaid, The/Yu Meiren. 1965. [Film]. Kao Li dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers.

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Hong Kong Cinema and Sinophone Transnationalisms

Mirror and the Lichee, The/Xin Chen San Wu Niang. 1967. [Film]. Kao Li dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Modern Red Chamber Dream/Xin Honglou Meng. 1952. [Film]. Yueh Feng Griffin dir. Hong Kong: Great Wall. My Father, My Husband, My Son aka Father, Husband and Son/Wo Fu Wo Fu Wo Zi. 1974. [Film]. Pai Ching-Jui, Tsai Cheng-Pin and O San-Kuei dirs. Taiwan: Ta Chung. My Motherland aka White Clouds of Home/Baiyun Guxiang. 1940. [Film]. Situ Huimin dir. Hong Kong: Dadi. New Dream of the Red Chamber/Xin Hongluo Meng. 1978. [Film]. Jin Han dir. Taiwan: Jin Ri. New Love Story of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, The/Xin Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai. 1951. [Film]. Chan Pei dir. Hong Kong: Kam Fong. New Story of Chen San and Fifth Madam/Xin Chen San Wu Niang. 1952. [Film]. But Fu dir. Hong Kong: studio unknown. New West Chamber/Xin Xixiang Ji. 1953. [Film]. Tu Kuang-Chi dir. Hong Kong: Far East. Night Inn/Ye Dian. 1947. [Film]. Huang Zuolin dir. Shanghai: Wenhua. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. 1969. [Film]. Peter R. Hunt dir. UK: Eon Production. Operation Lipstick/Die Wang Jiaowa aka Wang Jiaowa. 1967. [Film]. Inoue Umetsugu dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Orphan Island Paradise/Gudao Tiantang. 1939. [Film]. Cai Chusheng dir. Hong Kong: Dadi. Orphan Rescues Grandfather aka An Orphan Rescues His Grandpa/Gu’er Jiu Zu Ji. 1923. [Film]. Zhang Shichuan dir. Shanghai: Ming Sing. Peking Opera Blues/Dao Ma Dan. 1986. [Film]. Tsui Hark dir. Hong Kong: Cinema City. Perfumed Arrow, The/Nű Xiucai. 1966. [Film]. Kao Li dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Perilous Rescue, The/Kongzhong Nü Shashou. 1967. [Film]. Mok Hong-See dir. Hong Kong: Hing Fat. Plunder of the Peach and Plum, The/Taoli Jie. 1934. [Film]. Ying Yunwei dir. Shanghai: Diantong. Princess Chang Ping/Di Nü Hua. 1976. [Film]. John Woo Yu-sum/Wu Yusen dir. Hong Kong: Golden Harvest and Golden Phoenix. Private Eyes, The/Banjin Baliang. 1976. [Film] dir. Hui Koon-Man Michael. Hong Kong: Golden Harvest and Hui’s. Purple Hairpin, The/Zi Chai Ji. 1959. [Film]. Lee Tit dir. Hong Kong: Bo Ying/Baoying. Raging Torrents aka Wild Torrents/Kuang Liu. 1933. [Film]. Cheng Bugao dir. Shanghai: Ming Sing. Red Chamber Dream, The/Honglou Meng. 1927? [Film]. Cheng Shu-Ren dir. Shanghai: Peacock. Red Chamber Dream, The/Honglou Meng. 1949. [Film]. Chow Sze-Luk dir. Hong Kong: Qinghua. Red Dust/Gun Gun Hongchen. 1990. [Film]. Yim Ho dir. Hong Kong: Tomson. Red Plum Pavilion/Hongmei Ge. 1968. [Film]. Wong Tin-Lam dir. Hong Kong: Cathay. Reincarnation of Red Plum, The aka The Reincarnation of Lady Plum Blossom or Love in the Red Chamber/Zaishi Hongmei Ji. 1968. [Film]. Wong Hok-Sing dir. Hong Kong: Chi Luen and Gam Gwok.

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Filmography and TV Resources

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Return of Lady Bond/Nü Shashou Huxue Jiu Gu’er. 1966. [Film]. Mok Hong-See dir. Hong Kong: Hing Fat. Rice Rhapsody/Hainan Ji Fan. 2004. [Film]. Kenneth Bi Guo Zhi dir. Hong Kong: Emperor and JCE. Romance at the Western Chamber/Xixiang Ji. 1956. [Film]. Ng Hui dir. Hong Kong: Union. Romance in the West Chamber/Chunse Man Xixiang. 1955. [Film]. Kwan Man-Ching dir. Hong Kong: San Daat. Romance of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, The/Liang Shanbo Yu Zhu Yingtai. 1955. [Film]. Wong Tin-Lam dir. Hong Kong: Saam Yeung. Romance of Lychee and Mirror, The: Part I, II and III/Li Jing Yuan Shangji, Xiaji & Dajieju. 1954. [Film]. Chen Huan-Wen dir. Hong Kong: Grandview. Romance of the West Chamber/Xixiang Ji. 1947. [Film]. Yeung Kung-Leung dir. Hong Kong: Great China. Romance of the West Chamber, The/Xin Xixiang Ji. 1979. [Film]. Liu Cheung-Hung dir. Taiwan: Dangdai. Romance of the Western Chamber, The/Xin Xixiang Ji. 1956. [Film]. Chen Huan-Wen dir. Hong Kong: Yizhong. Romance of the Western Chamber, The/Xixiang Ji. 1961. [Film]. Zhao Yi-Shan dir. Hong Kong: Hua Wen. Rouge/Yanzhi. 1925. [Film]. Lai Bak-Hoi dir. Hong Kong/Guangzhou: Minxin. Rouge Tears/Yanzhi Lei. 1938. [Film]. Wu Yonggang dir. and script. Shanghai: Hsin Hwa/ Hong Kong: Nam Yuet. Sable Cicada/Diao Chan. 1938. [Film]. Bu Wancang dir. Hong Kong: Hsin Hwa. Sai Seung Gei/Xixiang Ji. 1964. [Film]. Yang Fan dir. Hong Kong: Dun Saan. Secret, The/Feng Jie. 1979. [Film]. Ann Hui On-Wah/Xu Anhua dir. Hong Kong: Unique. Security Unlimited/Modeng Baobiao. 1981. [Film]. Hui Koon-Man Michael dir. Hong Kong: Golden Harvest. Seven Fairies/Qi Xiannü. 1963. [Film]. Lee Han-Hsiang dir. Taiwan: Grand. Seven Fairies, The Finale/Qi Xiannü Wan Jie Pian. 1964. [Film]. Liang Che-Fu dir. Taiwan: Tai Lien. Seven Fairies,The Sequel/Qi Xiannü Xuji. 1964. [Film]. Liang Che-Fu dir. Taiwan: Tai Lien. Sex and Zen/Yuputuan Zhi Touqing Baojian. 1991. [Film]. Mak Dong-Git Michael dir. Hong Kong: Golden Harvest and Johnny Mark. Sex and Zen II/Yuputuan II Yunü Xinjing. 1996. [Film]. Cash Chin Man-Kei dir. Hong Kong: Golden Harvest. Sex and Zen III/Yuputuan III Guanren Wo Yao. 1998. [Film]. Aman Chang dir. Hong Kong: Everwide. Sex for Sale/Mianju. 1974. [Film]. Chang Tseng-chai dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Shanghai Blues/Shanghai Zhi Ye. 1984. [Film]. Tsui Hark dir. Hong Kong: Film Workshop. Six Gifted Scholar’s Romance of the West-Chamber/Liu Caizi Xixiang Ji. 1955. [Film]. Shao Lo-Hui dir. Taiwan: Beixin. Soaring Aspiration/Zhuang Zhi Lingyun. 1936. [Film]. Wu Yonggang dir. Shanghai: Hsin Hwa.

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Song of the Fishermen, The/Yu Guang Qu. 1934. [Film]. Cai Chusheng dir. Shanghai: Lianhua. Song of Triumph/Kaige. 1935. [Film]. Bu Wancang dir. Shanghai: Yihua. Songstress Red Peony, The/Genü Hong Mudan. 1931. [Film]. Zhang Shichuan dir. Shanghai: Ming Sing. South Pacific. 1958. [Film]. Joshua Logan dir. US: Rodgers and Hammerstein. Spring River Flows East—The Dawn/Yi Jiang Chunshui Xiang Dong Liu (Xia)—Tianliang Qianhou. 1947. [Film]. Cai Chusheng and Zheng Junli dirs. Shanghai: Lianhua. Spring River Flows East—The Eight War-Torn Years/Yi Jiang Chunshui Xiang Dong Liu (Shang)—Banian Liluan. 1947. [Film]. Cai Chusheng and Zheng Junli dirs. Shanghai: Lianhua. Spring Silkworms/Chun Can. 1933. [Film]. Cheng Bugao dir. Shanghai: Ming Sing. Stealing a Roast Duck/Tou Shaoya. 1909. [Film]. Leung Siu-Po dir. Hong Kong/Shanghai: Asia Film Company. Story of Qin Xianglian, The/Qin Xianglian. 1964. [Film]. Yen Chuan and Chen Yu-Hsin dirs. Hong Kong: Cathay. Story of Sue San, The/Yutang Chun. 1964. [Film]. Hu Chin-Chuan aka King Hu dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Story of the Lichee and Mirror, The aka Tan San and Ngo Nian/Li Jing Ji aka Chen San Wu Niang. 1961. [Film]. Zhu Shi-Lin dir. Hong Kong: Da Peng/Guangzhou: Zhujiang. Street Angel/Malu Tianshi. 1937. [Film]. Yuan Muzhi dir. Shanghai: Ming Sing. Struggle/Zhengzha. 1933. [Film]. Qiu Qixiang dir. Shanghai: Tianyi. Summons to Death/Cuiming Fu. 1967. [Film] dir. Lo Wei. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Survival of the Nation/Minzu Shengcun. 1933. [Film]. Tian Han dir. Shanghai: Yihua. Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The. 1974. [Film]. Tobe Hooper dir. US: Vortex. Three Charming Smiles, The/San Xiao. 1964. [Film]. Lee Ping-Qian dir. Hong Kong: Great Wall. Three Modern Women/San’ge Modeng Nüxing. 1933. [Film]. Bu Wancang dir. Shanghai: Lianhua. Three Smiles, The/San Xiao. 1969. [Film]. Yueh Feng Griffin dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Tomboy aka Girl in Disguise/Huashen Gu’niang. 1936. [Film]. Fang Peilin dir. Shanghai: Yihua. Too Late for Love/Fenghuo Wanli Qing. 1967. [Film]. Lo Chen dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Tragedy in Canton/Yangcheng Henshi. 1951. [Film]. Lo Duen dir. Hong Kong: Nam Kwok. Tragedy of the Emperor’s Daughter/Dinü Hua. 1959. [Film]. Cho Kei and Lung To dirs. Hong Kong: Tai Seng/Dasheng. Tragedy of the Pearl River/Zhujiang Lei. 1950. [Film]. Wang Wei-Yi dir. Hong Kong: Nam Kwok. Tragedy of the Poet King/Lihouzhu. 1968. [Film]. Lee Sun-Fung dir. Hong Kong: Sin Fung Meng. Tragic Story of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, The/Liang Zhu Henshi. 1958. [Film]. Lee Tit dir. Hong Kong: Chik Lei.

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Triennial Mourning on the Bridge/Sannian Yiku Erlang Qiao. 1959. [Film]. Yue Leung dir. Hong Kong: Daai Ming. Two Naughty Girls/Yidui Yanzhi Ma. 1952. [Film]. Ng Wui dir. Hong Kong: Chengchang. Two Orphan Girls from the Northeast/Dongbei Er Nüzi. 1932. [Film]. Lee Ping-Qian dir. Shanghai: Tianyi. Under the Ash Tree/Huai Yin Ji aka Tianxian Pei. 1963. [Film]. Gu Eryi dir. Shanghai: Shanghai Film Studio and Tian Ma/Hong Kong: Fan-Hua. Warlord, The/Da Junfa. 1972. [Film]. Lee Han-Hsiang dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. Waterloo Bridge. 1940. [Film]. Mervyn LeRoy dir. USA: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Way Down West aka The Romance of the West Chamber/Xixiang Ji. 1927. [Film]. Hou Yao dir. Shanghai: Minxin. We’re Going to Eat You/Diyu Wu Men. 1980. [Film]. Tsui Hark dir. Hong Kong: Seasonal. West Chamber, The/Xixiang Ji. 1940. [Film]. Zhang Shichuan dir. Shanghai: Guo Hua. West Chamber, The/Xixiang Ji. 1963. [Film]. Liao Tsung-Yao dir. Taiwan: studio unknown. West Chamber, The/Xixiang Ji. 1965. [Film]. Yueh Feng dir. Hong Kong: Shaw Brothers. West Chamber Then and Now, The/Gu Jin Xixiang. 1937. [Film]. Lee Ying-Yuen dir. Hong Kong: Yin Doi. White Gold Dragon, The aka The Platinum Dragon/Bai Jin Long. 1933. [Film]. Tang Xiaodan dir. Shanghai: Tianyi. White Gold Dragon Sequel, The, aka The Platinum Dragon II/Xu Bai Jin Long. 1937. [Film]. Sit Kok-Sin and Go Lee-Han dirs. Hong Kong: Nanyang. Wife in the Morning, Sister-in-Law at Night/Chen Qi Mu Sao. 1947. [Film]. Hung Chung-Ho dir. Hong Kong: Yue Chow. Wild Flowers aka Wild Flowers by the Road/Yecao Xian Hua. 1930. [Film]. Sun Yu dir. Shanghai: Lianhua. Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow/Zuotian Jintian Mingtian. 1970. [Film]. Lung Kong Patrick dir. Hong Kong: Eng Wah. You Only Live Twice. 1967. [Film]. Lewis Gilbert dir. UK: Eon Production. Zu: The Warriors of the Magic Mountain/Xin Shushan Jianxia. 1983. [Film]. Tsui Hark dir. Hong Kong: Paragon.

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References and Further Reading

Aaron Michele (2004) New Queer Cinema: A Critical Reader. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Abbas Ackbar (1994) The new Hong Kong cinema and the déjà disparu. Discourse: Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture, 16(3): 65–77. Abbas Ackbar (1997) Hong Kong: Culture and Politics of Disappearance. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Abbas Ackbar and Dissanayake Wimal (2004) Series preface. In: Andrew Schroeder, (auth.) Tsui Hark’s Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, p. vii. Abel Richard (ed.) (2005) Encyclopedia of Early Cinema. New York: Routledge. ADFHK (2012) The Amoy-dialect Films of Hong Kong/Xianggang Xiayudianying Fangzong. Ng May (ed.) Hong Kong: Hong Kong Film Archives. Aitken Ian and Ingham Michael (2014a) Hong Kong, Britain, China: The documentary film, 1896–1941, A Page of History (1941) and The Battle of Shanghai (1937). In: Aitken Ian and Ingham Michael (eds) Hong Kong Documentary Film. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 6–45. Aitken Ian and Ingham Michael (eds) (2014b) Hong Kong Documentary Film. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. AJ (2020) Hong Kong’s Lam says 12 arrested at sea ‘not democracy activists’. Al Jazeera, 15 September 2020. Available at: (last accessed 15 December 2020). Althusser Louis (2001) Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays. Brewster Ben (trans.). New York: Monthly Review Press. An Grace (2009) The pan-Asian cinematic imaginary in Olivier Assayas’s Irma Vep. In: Tan See-Kam, Feng Peter X and Marchetti Gina (eds) Chinese Connections: Critical Perspectives on Film, Identity, and Diaspora. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, pp. 22–36. Andre Paul (2014) Can North Korea follow the ‘Chinese way’? The tricky case of constitutionalizing a socialist regime. The Journal of East Asian Affairs 28(1, Spring/Summer): 53–84. Andrews David (2006) Soft in the Middle: The Contemporary Softcore Feature in Its Contexts. Columbus: Ohio State University Press.

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Ang Ien (1998/2013) Can one say no to Chineseness? Pushing the limits of the diasporic paradigm. In: Shih Shu-Mei, Tsai Chien-hsin and Bernards Brian (eds) Sinophone Studies: A Critical Reader (2013). New York: Columbia University Press, pp. 57–73. Appadurai Arjun (1991) Global ethnoscapes: Notes and queries for a transnational anthropology. In: Fox Richard Gabriel (ed.) Recapturing Anthropology: Working in the Present. Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research Press, pp. 191–210. Appadurai Arjun (1996) Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Armes Roy (1987) Third World Filmmaking and the West. Berkeley: University of California Press. Aspinwall Nick (2020) Taiwan opens office to help people fleeing Hong Kong in wake of National Security Law. The Diplomat, 2 July 2020. Available at: (last accessed 1 August 2020). BAIKE.BAIDUa (year unknown) Niulang Zhinü/Milky Way Lovers (1963). Available at: (last accessed 1 March 2021). BAIKE.BAIDUb (year unknown) Tianxian Pei/Under the Ash Tree (1962). Available at: (last accessed 1 March 2021). BAIKE.BAIDUc (year unknown) Xia Cheng Ping. Available at: (last accessed 1 March 2021). Bao Weihong (2014) Fiery Cinema: The Emergence of an Affective Medium in China, 1915– 1945. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Barlow Tani (1994) Theorizing woman: funü, guojia, jiating (Chinese woman, Chinese state, Chinese family). In: Zito Angela and Barlow Tani E. (eds) Body, Subject, and Power in China. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, pp. 253–290. BBC (2020a) Hong Kong boat activists: China jails group for up to three years. BBC News, 30 December. Available at: (last accessed 1 March 2021). BBC (2020b) Hong Kong pro-democracy tycoon Jimmy Lai detained for fraud. BBC News, 3 December 2020. Available at: (last accessed 15 December 2020). Bean Annemarie, Hatch James and McNamara Brooks (eds) (1996) Inside the Minstrel Mask: Readings in Nineteenth-century Blackface Minstrelsy. Hanover, NH: Wesleyan University Press. Beck Ulrich (2002) The cosmopolitan society and its enemies. Theory, Culture and Society 19(1-2): 17–44. Beck Ulrich, Sznaider Natan and Winter Rainer (eds) (2003) Global America? The Cultural Consequences of Globalization. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. Benjamin Walter (2009) The Origin of German Tragic Drama. Osborne John (trans.). London: Verso. Benshoff Harry M. and Sean Griffith (2006) Queer Images: A History of Gay and Lesbian Film in America. Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield.

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Berry Chris (1988) The sublimative text: Sex and revolution in Big Road. East-West Film Journal 2(2, June): 66–86. Berry Chris (1989) Chinese left cinema in the 1930s: Poisonous weeds or national treasures. Jump Cut 34 (March): 87–94. Berry Chris (ed.) (1991) Perspectives on Chinese Cinema. London: BFI Publishing. Berry Chris (1996) Sexual disOrientations: Homosexual rights, East Asian films, and postmodern postnationalism. In: Tang Xiaobing and Synder Steve (eds) In Pursuit of Contemporary East Asian Culture. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, pp. 157–82. Berry Chris (1998) If China can say no, can China make movies? Or, do movies make China? Rethinking national cinema and national agency. Boundary 2 25(3): 129–50. Berry Chris (ed.) (2008) Chinese Films in Focus II. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Bhabha Homi K (2004) The Location of Culture. New York: Routledge. Blanchard Ben, Holden Michael and Wu Venus (2017) China says Sino-British Joint Declaration on Hong Kong no longer has meaning. Reuters, 30 June 2017. Available at:

(last accessed 1 June 2018). Bo Nengju (2000) The death of Huangmei xi famous actress Yan Fengying/Huangmei xi zhuming yanyuan Yan Fengying. Yanhuang Chunqiu 8: 68-71. Bordwell David (2000) Planet Hong Kong: Popular Cinema and the Art of Entertainment. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Bray Mark and Packer Steve (1993) Education in Small States: Concepts, Challenges and Strategies. New York: Pergamon Press. Brophy David, Garnaut Anthony and Tighes Justin (2012) Introduction: The Xinhai Revolution and Inner Asia. Inner Asia 14(2): 319–22. Burston Paul and Richardson Colin (eds) (1995) A Queer Romance: Lesbians, Gay Men, and Popular Culture. London: Routledge. Butler Judith (1997) Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative. New York: Routledge. Cai Hongsheng (1982) Cai Chusheng’s Path to Creative Works/Cai Chusheng de Chuangzuo Daolu. Beijing: Wenshu Yishu Press. Cai Hongsheng (2004) Cai Chusheng biography and creative work record/Cai Chusheng shengping yu chuangzuo nianbiao. Contemporary Cinema/Dangdai Dianying 4: 35–6. Cao Xueqin (date unknown) The Dream of the Red Chamber/Honglou Meng [a Qing novel, first published 1791]. Carroll John M (2007) A Concise History of Hong Kong. London: Rowman and Littlefield. Census 1931-1941 (1986) Hong Kong Census Reports, 1841-1941. Hong Kong: Census Department. Chan Ching Wai (2000) The Structure and Marketing Analysis of Hong Kong Film Industry. Hong Kong: Film Biweekly Publications/Hong Kong Arts Development Council. Chan Johannes (1988) Freedom of expression: Censorship and obscenity. In: Wacks Raymond (ed.) Civil Liberties in Hong Kong. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 208–42.

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Chan Joseph M (2002) Disneyfying and globalizing the Chinese legend Mulan: A study of transculturation. In: Chan Joseph M and Mcintyre Bryce T (eds) In Search of Boundaries: Communication, Nation-states and Cultural Identities. Westport, CT: Ablex, pp. 225–48. Chan Joseph M and McIntyre Bryce T (eds) (2002) In Search of Boundaries: Communication, Nation-states and Cultural Identities. Westport, CT: Ablex. Chan Phil CW (2008) Stonewalling through schizophrenia: An anti-gay rights culture in Hong Kong? Sexuality and Culture 12(2): 71–87. Chan Stephen Ching-kiu (2010) Figures of hope and the filmic imaginary of Jianghu in contemporary Hong Kong cinema. Cultural Studies 15(3/4): 486–514. Chang Cheh (2002) Chang Cheh — Memoirs and Film Reviews/Zhang Che/Hui Yi Lu, Ying Ping Ji. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Film Archive. Chang Jing Jing (2019) Screening Communities: Negotiating Narratives of Empire, Nation, and the Cold War in Hong Kong Cinema. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. Chang Kwang-chih (1999) China on the eve of the historical period. In: Loewe Michael and Shaughnessy Edward L (eds) The Cambridge History of Ancient China: From the Origins of Civilization to 221 BC. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 37–73. Chang Wai-hung (ed.) (2006) A City Within: The Urban Identities in Contemporary Hong Kong Cinema/Shuang Cheng Ying Dui: Xianggang Dianying yu Xianggang Chengshi Chu Dui Tan. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Film Critics Society. Cheah Pheng and Robbins Bruce (eds) (1998) Cosmopolitics: Thinking and Feeling Beyond the Nation. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Chen Edwin W (2003) Musical China, classical impressions: A preliminary study of Shaws’ Huangmei Diao film. In: Wong Ain-ling (ed.) The Shaw Screen: A Preliminary Study. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Film Archive, pp. 51–73. Chen Edwin Weizhi (2005) I Love Huangmei Tune: Classic Impressions of Traditional China — A Preliminary Study of Hong Kong and Taiwan’s Huangmei Opera Films/Wo Ai Huangmei Diao: Si Zhu Zhongguo, Gudian Yinxiang — Gang Tai Huangmei Diao Dianying Chu Tan. Taipei: Mu Chun Dushu. Chen Xiaomei (2006) Reflections on the legacy of Tian Han: ‘Proletarian modernism’ and its traditional roots. Modern Chinese Literature and Culture 18(1, Spring): 155–215. Cheng Bugao (1983) Memories of a Film World/Yingtan Yijiu. Beijing: Zhongguo Dianying Press. Cheng Evelyn (2021) Chinese foreign minister takes firm tone, calls for ‘non-interference’ between China and the U.S. CNBC (7 March). Available at: (last accessed 10 March 2021). Cheng Jihua, Li Shaobai and Xing Zuwen (eds) (1963) A History of Developments in Chinese Cinema/Zhongguo Dianying Fazhang Shi (vols. I and II). Beijing: Zhongguo Dianying Press. Cheng Pei-pei (2000) Yue Feng: The director who showed me the path to Buddhism/Yue Feng: Dai Wo Ru Pusadao De Daoyan Yue Laoye. In: Kwok Ching-ling (ed.) Hong Kong Here I Come/Monographs of Hong Kong Film Veterans 1/Nan Lai Xianggang: Xianggang

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Yingren Kousu Lishi Congshu Zhiyi [Bilingual]. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Film Archive, pp. 79–81. Cheng Yu (1984) Lü Qi: Softcore sex and hardcore mentality. In: Li Cheuk-to (ed.) A Study of Hong Kong Cinema in the Seventies. Hong Kong: Urban Council, pp. 101–2. Cheuk Pak Tong (2008) Hong Kong New Wave Cinema (1978-2000). Bristol: Intellect Books. Cheung Esther MK and Chu Yiu-wai (eds) (2003) Between Home and World: A Reader in Hong Kong Cinema. Hong Kong: Oxford University Press. Cheung Esther MK, Marchetti Gina and Tan See Kam (2011a) Introduction. In: Cheung Esther MK, Marchetti Gina and Tan See Kam (eds) Hong Kong Screenscapes: From the New Wave to the Digital Frontier. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, pp. 1–14. Cheung Esther MK, Marchetti Gina and Tan See Kam (eds) (2011b) Hong Kong Screenscapes: From the New Wave to the Digital Frontier. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. Chiang Mark (1998) Coming out into the global system: Postmodern patriarchies and transnational sexualities in The Wedding Banquet. In: Eng David L and Hom Alice Y (eds) Q & A: Queer in Asian America. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, pp. 374–95. Chiao Peggy Hsiung-ping (2003) The female consciousness, the world of signification and safe extramarital affairs: A 40th year tribute to The Love Eterne. Teo Stephen (trans.). In: Wong Ain-ling (ed.) The Shaw Screen: A Preliminary Study. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Film Archive, pp. 75–86. Chinese Studies – Pinyin to Wade-Giles Conversion Table (date unknown) Indiana University Bloomington East Asian Studies. Available at: (last accessed 1 March 2021). Ching Frank (1987a) Hong Kong plays political censor for China: Colony government retains illegal powers to block films that might offend Beijing. Asian Wall Street Journal, 17 March, pp. 1, 9. Ching Frank (1987b) Memo disputes colony’s claim on censorship. Asian Wall Street Journal, 25 March, pp. 1, 6. Cho Allan (2010) The Hong Kong Wuxia Movie: Identity and Politics, 1966–1976. Saarbrücken: Lambert Academic Publishing. Cho Sookja (2018) Transforming Gender and Emotion: The Butterfly Lovers Story in China and Korea. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Chow Rey (1991) Woman and Chinese Modernity: The Politics of Reading between West and East. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. Chow Rey (1992) Between colonisers: Hong Kong’s postcolonial self-writing in the 1990s. Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies 2(2, Fall): 151–70. Chow Rey (1993) Writing Diaspora: Tactics of Intervention in Contemporary Cultural Studies. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Chow Rey (1995) Primitive Passions: Visuality, Sexuality, Ethnography and Contemporary Chinese Cinema. New York: Columbia University Press. Chow Rey (1998/2013) On Chineseness as a theoretical problem. In: Shih Shu-Mei, Tsai Chien-hsin and Bernards Brian (eds) Sinophone Studies: A Critical Reader (2013). New York: Columbia University Press, pp. 43–56.

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Shih Shu-mei (2013b) Introduction: What is Sinophone studies. In: Shih Shu-Mei, Tsai Chien-hsin and Bernards Brian (eds) Sinophone Studies: A Critical Reader. New York: Columbia University Press, pp. 1–16. Shih Shu-Mei (2014) Foreword: The Sinophone redistribution of the audible. In: Yue Audrey and Khoo Olivia (eds) Sinophone Cinemas. Houndmills, Basingstoke, and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. viii–xi. Shih Shu-Mei, Tsai Chien-hsin and Bernards Brian (eds) (2013) Sinophone Studies: A Critical Reader. New York: Columbia University Press. Shohat Ella and Robert Stam (1994) Unthinking Eurocentrism: Multiculturalism and the Media. London: Routledge. Shu Don-lok (2005) Cultivate the Light, Expand the Shadow—The Half-Century Path of Southern Film Company/Kenguang Tuoying: Nanfang Yingye Banshiji de Daolu. Hong Kong: Kubrick. Silbergeld Jerome (1999) China into Film: Frames of Reference in Contemporary Chinese Cinema. London: Reaktion Books. Sing Ming (2004) Hong Kong’s Tortuous Democratization: A Comparative Analysis. London: Routledge. Sinn Elizabeth (2008) Lesson in openness: Creating a space of flow in Hong Kong. In: Siu Helen F and Ku Agnes S (eds) Hong Kong Mobile: Making a Global Population. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, pp. 13–43. Siu Helen F and Ku Agnes S (eds) (2008a) Hong Kong Mobile: Making a Global Population. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. Siu Helen F and Ku Agnes S (2008b) Taking stock of a migrant population: Who is a Hong Konger? In: Siu Helen F and Ku Agnes S (eds) Hong Kong Mobile: Making a Global Population. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, pp. 83–7. Smith Carolyn D (ed.) (1996) Strangers at Home: Essays on the Effects of Living Overseas and Coming ‘Home’ to a Strange Land. Putnum, NY: Aletheia. Solanas Fernando and Gettino Octavio (2000) Towards a third cinema: Notes and experiences for the development of a cinema of liberation in the third world. In: Stam Robert and Miller Toby (eds) (2000) Film and Theory: An Anthology. Malden, MA: Blackwell, pp. 265–86. Sommer Matthew H (1997) The penetrated male in late imperial China: Judicial constructions and social stigma. Modern China 23(2): 140–80. Song Geng (2004) The Fragile Scholar: Power and Masculinity in Chinese Culture. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. SS (1966) The Golden Buddha goes to Thailand for location shoots/Jin Pusa taiguo pai waijing. Southern Screen 56(2): 32. SS (1972a) Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan/Ai Nu. Southern Screen 167: 116–17. SS (1972b) An innovative blockbuster about the abnormal sexual lives of men and women: Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan/Kehua nannü biantai xingshenghuo de chuangxin jupian—Ai Nu. Southern Screen 172 (June): 58–9. SS (1972c) Pei Ti uses perverse love to protect and attack He Lili/Pei Ti liyong biantai aiqing weixi He Lili. Southern Screen 173 (July): 38–41.

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Stam Robert and Miller Toby (eds) (2000) Film and Theory: An Anthology. Malden, MA: Blackwell. STD (1958) A publicity shot of Siew Kuan, with a caption that dubs her as the ‘movie queen’ of Xiamen pian. Sing Tao Daily, 12 June, p. 9. STD (1963a) The Love Eterne [Ad.] Sing Tao Daily, 1 April, p. 6. STD (1963b) 1963 belongs to Ling Bo!/Yi jiu liu san nian shi Ling Bo de! Sing Tao Daily, 25 October, p. 8. Stevenson Mark and Wu Cuncun (2012) Homoeroticism in Imperial China: A Sourcebook. New York: Routledge. Stokes Lisa Odham (2007) Historical Dictionary of Hong Kong Cinema. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. Sun Shaoyi (2016) Chinese-language film or Chinese cinema? Review of an ongoing debate in the Chinese mainland. Journal of Chinese Cinemas 10(1): 61–6. Sun Shuyun (2008) The Long March: The True History of Communist China’s Founding Myth. New York: Anchor Books. Szeto Mirana (2014a) Mainlandization or Sinophone translocality? Challenges for Hong Kong SAR New Wave cinema. Journal of Chinese Cinemas 6(2): 115–34. Szeto Mirana (2014b) Sinophone libidinal economy in the age of neoliberalization and Mainlandization: Masculinities in Hong Kong SAR New Wave cinema. In: Yue Audrey and Khoo Olivia (eds) Sinophone Cinemas. Houndmills, Basingstoke, and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 120-46. Tan EK (2013) Sinophone studies: Rethinking overseas Chinese studies and Chinese diaspora studies. Sun Yat-sen Journal of Humanities 35: 1–26. Tan See Kam (1994) Hong Kong cinema: Marginalisation and cultural resistance. The South East Asian Journal of Social Science 22: 53–69. Tan See Kam (1996a) Ban(g)! ban(g)! Dangerous Encounter—1st Kind: Writing with censorship. Asian Cinema 8(1, Spring): 83–108. Tan See Kam (1996b) Making space for heterologies: De Certeau’s links with postcolonial criticisms. Social Semiotics 6(1): 27–44. Tan See Kam (1997) Dangerous Encounters: The new Hong Kong cinema and (post)coloniality. Unpublished PhD dissertation, Melbourne University. Tan See Kam (2000) The cross-gender performances of Yam Kim-Fei, or the Queer Factor in postwar Hong Kong Cantonese opera/opera films. Journal of Homosexuality 39(3/4): 201–11. Republished in Grossman Andrew (ed.) (2008) Queer Asian Cinema: Shadows in the Shade. Binghamton, NY: Harrington Park Press, pp. 201–12. Tan See Kam (2001) Chinese diasporic imaginations in Hong Kong films: Sinicist belligerence and melancholia. Screen 42(1, Spring): 1–20. Reprinted in Cheung Esther MK and Chu Yiu-wai (eds) (2003) Between Home and World: A Reader in Hong Kong Cinema. Hong Kong: Oxford University Press, pp. 47–76. Tan See Kam (2003) Singapore contemporary cinema: History, policies and Eric Khoo. Jumpcut: A Review of Contemporary Media 46 (Summer). Available at: (last accessed 1 June 2013). Tan See Kam (2007a) From South Pacific to Shanghai Blues. In: Marchetti Gina and Tan See-Kam (eds) Hong Kong Film, Hollywood and New Global Cinema: No Film Is an Island. London: Routledge, pp. 13–34.

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Tan See Kam (2007b) Huangmei opera films, Shaw Brothers and Ling Bo: Chaste love stories, genderless cross-dressers and sexless gender-plays? Jumpcut: A Review of Contemporary Media 49 (Spring). Available at: (last accessed 1 June 2009). Tan See-Kam, Feng Peter X and Marchetti Gina (eds) (2009a) Chinese Connections: Critical Perspectives on Film, Identity, and Diaspora. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Tan See Kam (2009b) Singapore as a society of strangers: Eric Khoo’s Mee Pok Man, 12 Storeys and Be With Me. In: Tan See-Kam, Feng Peter X and Marchetti Gina (eds) Chinese Connections: Critical Perspectives on Film, Identity, and Diaspora. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, pp. 205–19. Tan See Kam (2011) Surfing with the surreal in Tsui Hark’s wave: Collage practice, hybrid texts and flexible citizenship. In: Cheung Esther MK, Marchetti Gina and Tan See Kam (eds) Hong Kong Screenscapes: From the New Wave to the Digital Frontier. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, pp. 33–50. Tan See Kam (2014) Melancholia and melancholizing in fengyue (erotic) movies: Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan and Lust for Love of a Chinese Courtesan. Screen 54(1): 82–103. Tan See Kam (2015) Shaw Brothers’ bangpian: Global Bondmania, cosmopolitan dreaming and cultural nationalism. Screen 56(2, Summer): 195–213. Tan See Kam (2016) Tsui Hark’s Peking Opera Blues. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. Tan See Kam and Annette Aw (2008) The Love Eterne: Almost a (heterosexual) love story. In: Berry Chris (ed.) Chinese Films in Focus II. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 160–7. Tan See Kam and Fernandos J (2008) Singapore. In: Hjort Mette and Petrie Duncan (2008) The Cinema of Small Nations. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 127–43. Tan See Kam and Jiang Wei (2011) From The Love Eterne to Lustful Confessions of the Chinese Courtesan: A queer reading of Shaw Brother’s strange romance films/Cong Liang Zhu zhi Ainu Xinzhuan: Shaoshi Qiqingpian de ku’er yuedu. In: Liu Hui and Fu Poshek (eds) Hong Kong’s ‘China’: The Shaw Brothers Movies/Xianggang de ‘Zhongguo’: Shaoshi Dianying. Hong Kong: Oxford University Press, pp. 39–60. Tan See Kam, Marchetti Gina and Feng Peter X (2009a) Introduction. In: Tan See Kam, Peter X Feng and Marchetti Gina (eds) (2009) Chinese Connections: Critical Perspectives on Film, Identity, and Diaspora. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, pp. 1–8. Tan See Kam, Peter X Feng and Marchetti Gina (eds) (2009b) Chinese Connections: Critical Perspectives on Film, Identity, and Diaspora. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Tang Denise Tse-Shang (2011) Conditional Spaces: Hong Kong Lesbian Desires and Everyday Life. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. Tang Xiaobing and Snyder Stephen (eds) (1996) In Pursuit of Contemporary East Asian Culture. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Tannock Stuart (1995) Nostalgia critique. Cultural Studies 9(3): 453–64. Taylor Jeremy (2011) Rethinking Transnational Chinese Cinemas: The Amoy-dialect Film Industry in Cold War Asia. London: Routledge. Taylor Jeremy E. (2014) The Amoy-dialect Film Industry and the Philippine-Chinese/ Xiayu dianying ye yu Feilübin huaqiao. In: Ng May (ed.) (2012) The Amoy-dialect

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