Double Negations: Hong Kong Cultural Identity in Hollywood’s Transnational Representations

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This article attempts to develop a critical understanding of the reconstitution of Hong Kong identity in Hollywood productions involving Hong Kong film talents. It argues that the ‘local’ in the city's historical context of the nineties no longer refers to any entity pertaining to a particular locality and culture but is always already determined by the framework of the transnational, which structures the perception of its local social reality. In particular, the paper suggests that the remaking of Hong Kong cultural identity in Hollywood films could be grasped in terms of the notion of a double negation. While the formation of such an identity is based on a negation of Chineseness, Hong Kong's transnational crossing to Hollywood initiates another negation that negates the very symbolic realm common to Chineseness. Jackie Chan's Hollywood blockbuster, Rush Hour, is used to illuminate the ways in which Hong Kong film stars and directors working for the global entertainment syndicate re-appropriate their agency in the production of a transnational narrative of their identity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-485
Number of pages22
JournalCultural Studies
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2001

User-Defined Keywords

  • Asian American
  • Chineseness
  • Hollywood
  • Hong Kong Cinema
  • Identity
  • Jackie Chan
  • Transnational
  • Representation


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