Hong Kong Paradox: Appearance and Disappearance in Western Cinema

Tammy Lai-Ming HO*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter investigates what I call “the paradox of appearance and disappearance of Hong Kong” in Western cinema over the past two decades. The city has in recent years appeared in a number of big-budget Hollywood productions (e.g. The Dark Knight, Transformers, Doctor Strange, Pacific Rim), attesting to its continuing visual and “exotic” appeal to Western audiences, reminding one of the role pre-handover Hong Kong played in the conception and design of Blade Runner. However, the real Hong Kong is often displaced in these films and supplanted by a recycled and stereotyped impression of the city’s skyline and urban landscape. The chapter looks at instances of Hong Kong being otherworlded and the implications for the Hong Kong identity in the global cinematic gaze.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCultural Conflict in Hong Kong
Subtitle of host publicationAngles on a Coherent Imaginary
EditorsJason S. Polley, Vinton W.K. Poon, Lian-Hee Wee
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9789811077661
ISBN (Print)9789811077654, 9789811339967
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2018

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Disappearance
  • Global gaze
  • Hollywood
  • Western cinema
  • Otherworlded


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