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Farewell My Concubine: A Queer Film Classic is a thought-provoking consideration of Chen Kaige's acclaimed 1992 Chinese film set in the mid-20th century about two male Beijing opera stars and the woman who comes between them, set against the political turmoil of a China in transition. The film's treatment of gender performance and homosexuality was a first in Chinese cinema, and the subject of much controversy there. The movie, which helped to bring contemporary Chinese films onto the world stage, won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival (the first Chinese film to do so), and was nominated for a Best Foreign-Language Film Oscar.

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.

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Print: Arsenal Pulp Press
Amazon Kindle

Read reviews of the book in Reconstruction and Foreign Influence.

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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.

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University of British Columbia Press (print or ebook)
Hong Kong University Press (shipped to Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and PRC)

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Read reviews of the book in:
GLQ, Journal of Intercultural Studies, The China Quarterly