This book, one of two in the Queer Film Classics series to focus on Asian queer cinema, places the film in its historical and cultural context while drawing on fresh insights from recent works on transgender and queer studies to provide readers with an intimate, provocative, and original look at the film.
The QUEER FILM CLASSICS series, begun in 2009, consists of critical yet populist monographs on classic films of interest to LGBT audiences written by esteemed film scholars and critics. The series is edited by authors Thomas Waugh and Matthew Hays.
Print: Arsenal Pulp Press
E-book: Amazon Kindle
Read reviews of the book in Reconstruction and Foreign Influence.
Undercurrents: Queer Culture and Postcolonial Hong Kong engages the critical rubric of “queer” to examine Hong Kong’s media culture during the transitional and immediate postcolonial period. The book argues that while there is no overt consolidation of gay and lesbian identities in Hong Kong culture, undercurrents of diverse and complex expressions of gender and sexual variance are widely in evidence. It also suggests that there are parallels between the crisis and uncertainty of the territory’s postcolonial transition and the queer aspects of its cultural productions. Drawing from theoretical insights in a wide range of disciplines — from sexuality studies and film studies to social and cultural theory — each chapter advances one thematic exposition of the central argument. The major themes studied include: cinematic sexuality and postcolonial urban space; genre films’ recurrent portrayals of girlhood intimacies; cross-gender embodiments in cinema and transgender activism; the queer iconicity of the late Leslie Cheung; the “do it yourself” credo of multimedia autobiographical projects. The book uncovers a queer culture that has been largely overlooked in the West and demonstrates the cultural vitality of a city amidst political transition.