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China's Encounter with Global Hollywood"Cultural Policy and the Film Industry, 1994-2013"$
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Wendy Su

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813167060

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813167060.001.0001

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Chinese Martial Arts Cinema in the Twenty-First Century

Chinese Martial Arts Cinema in the Twenty-First Century

Hybridity and Soft Power

(p.141) 5 Chinese Martial Arts Cinema in the Twenty-First Century
China's Encounter with Global Hollywood

Wendy Su

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter posits that between 2000 and 2013, a new Chinese martial arts cinema emerged. This new genre was a collective cultural phenomenon arising from the Chinese government’s full embrace of the concept of “soft power” in an attempt to battle the global dominance of US popular culture. The author argues that this new Chinese martial arts cinema was a direct result of China’s changing cultural policy, as well as a survival strategy adopted by mainland Chinese and Hong Kong filmmakers to cope with the dual pressures of film marketization and state censorship. This genre reemerged in a seemingly hybrid mode that conforms to the aesthetics of the Hollywood spectacle but reinforces nationalism, patriotism, and orthodox Confucian values, which are especially conducive to state rule. The genre is also a deliberate construction and promotion of Chinese history, culture, and philosophy. New Chinese martial arts cinema thus represents both escapism from and conformity to the established social order, and it reinforces both governmental power and cultural power.

Keywords:   martial arts cinema, soft power, hybridity, nationalism, Confucianism, Chinese culture

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