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A look at American filmmaking in the post-1989 Chinese diaspora

The Chinese Diaspora on American Screens

Race, Sex, and Cinema

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Gina Marchetti

"The Chinese Diaspora on American Screens is most impressive for its broad discussion, crossing over to different film forms and genres, film history, social/political history, Orientalist discourse, and textual and visual analysis. Marchetti is fully informed and engaged in the current debates on race, ethnicity, nationalism, sex, and gender. She pays attention to a specific set of well-known globally circulating films in an interrelated way, which is especially interesting and illuminating. Marchettiís study is richly supported by an extraordinary amount of scholarship drawn from postcolonial studies. The insights she generates are unique and stimulating. The rigorous integration of these perspectives is long overdue both in Chinese cinema studies and Chinese studies."
Jenny Lau, Professor of Chinese Cinema at San Francisco State University, and editor of Multiple Modernities: Cinema and Popular Media in Transcultural East

The Chinese Diaspora on American Screens looks at the way in which issues of race and sexuality have become central concerns in cinema generated by and about Chinese communities in America after the mid-1990s. This companion volume to Marchetti's From Tian'anmen to Times Square looks specifically at the Chinese diaspora in relation to ethnic, racial, gender, and sexual identity as depicted in the cinema.

Examining films from the United States and Canada, as well as transnational co-productions, The Chinese Diaspora on American Screens includes analyses of films such as The Wedding Banquet and Double Happiness in addition to interviews with celebrated filmmakers such as Wayne Wang.

Marchetti also reflects on how Chinese identity is presented in a multitude of media forms, including commercial cinema, documentaries, experimental films, and hybrid digital media to offer a textured look at representations of the Chinese diasporic experience after Tian'anmen.

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Excerpt

Read the Introduction (pdf).

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Reviews

"In her new book, Gina Marchetti expands the boundaries of Asian and Asian American media scholarship by shifting the focus from that of fixed identities to that of the concept of diaspora.... Marchetti's project [is] an intriguing and important one.... An added bonus to the analyses are interviews with filmmakers and authors that give another perspective to the films. This book makes an excellent addition to the slowly growing body of important scholarship on Asian and Asian American media studies in that it exemplifies, in its own methods and assumptions, the open boundaries inherent to this field."
Journal of Asian Studies

"The book is written with a clarity of prose and analysis, yet Marchetti's ideas and concepts are never rote or simplistic. Marchetti's close readings are also outstanding, strongly supporting the complex cross-connections of thought that she explicates with precision and fluidity.... [A]n excellent addition to the field of Asian and Asian American film studies."
Afterimage Vol. 42, No. 2

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Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
1. Introduction: Race, Sex, and the Chinese Diaspora in American Film

PART I In the Black Pacific
2. Jackie Chanís Black Connections
   Interview: Jeff Yang
3. Interracial Romance in Action: Romeo Must Die
4. Black in the Chinese Diaspora: Double-Consciousness in Yvonne Welbonís Remembering Wei Yi-fang, Remembering Myself
   Interview: Yvonne Welbon

PART II Sex, Gender, and Generation in Diaspora
5. Queering the Patriarchy: The Wedding Banquet, Toc Storee, and Dirty Laundry
   Interview: Richard Fung
6. Guests at the Wedding Banquet: The Joy Luck Club, Double Happiness, Siao Yu, and Shopping for Fangs
   Interview: Wayne Wang
7. In Pursuit of Video Hapa-ness: Banana Split and Kip Fulbeckís Boyhood among Ghosts
   Interview: Kip Fulbeck
8. Conclusion: Screening the Chinese Diaspora in the New Millennium

Appendix: Filmography
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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About the Author(s)

Gina Marchetti is Associate Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature, School of Humanities, at the University of Hong Kong. In 1995, her book, Romance and the "Yellow Peril": Race, Sex and Discursive Strategies in Hollywood Fiction, won the award for best book in the area of cultural studies from the Association for Asian American Studies. Her recent books include Andrew Lau and Alan Mak's Infernal Affairs-The Trilogy, From Tian'anmen to Times Square: Transnational China and the Chinese Diaspora on Global Screens (Temple), Chinese Connections: Critical Perspectives on Film, Identity, and Diaspora co-edited with Tan See-Kam, Peter X Feng (Temple) and Hong Kong Film, Hollywood and the New Global Cinema, co-edited with Tan See-Kam.

Subject Categories

Cinema Studies
Asian Studies
Mass Media and Communications

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