Questioning diaspora : mobility, mutation, and historiography of the Shaw brothers film studio
Chinese Journal of Communication
Chinese diaspora, Cultural economy, Hong kong film industry, Mobility and diversification, MPandGI cathay, Shaw brothers studio
This piece reviews the historical accounts of Shaw Brothers Studio, targeting its presentation as a diaspora company whose commercialism was enhanced by political pragmatism, frugality, and agility. The studio's activities were constrained by twentieth-century geopolitics, but its behavior was also shaped by its show business competitors, new technologies, and emergent popular forms. Existing historical accounts tend to overstate the studio's diasporic qualities, especially compared to other firms. This essay argues that there are limits to the diaspora model and proposes a more complex understanding of the firm. Alternative factors are considered in the company's colonial stratagems, in both its earlier and later phases, and in its dealings with Hong Kong's left-wing studios and subsequent businessin Taiwan. Finally, Shaw Brothers Studio's appropriation of Japanese and other Asian talent is significant to the diaspora model of Shaw Brothers Studio.
Copyright © 2011 The Communication Research Centre. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.
Davis, D. W. (2011). Questioning diaspora : mobility, mutation, and historiography of the Shaw brothers film studio. Chinese Journal of Communication, 4(1), 40-59. doi:10.1080/17544750.2011.544081