Mainlandization or Sinophone translocality? Challenges for Hong Kong SAR New Wave cinema

Mirana M. SZETO, University of Hong Kong
Yun Chung CHEN, Hong Kong Baptist University

Copyright © 2012 Intellect Ltd Article.

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The seeming revival of Hong Kong cinema through Hong Kong–China co-productions catered increasingly to the China market allowing major Hong Kong creative talents to prosper and even influence industry conventions and infrastructure in China. However, Hong Kong below-the-line jobs are increasingly replaced by those from China, making such careers unsustainable. Such ‘mainlandized’ co-productions find the more liberal Sinophone communities of Hong Kong and South East Asia harder to penetrate. Mainlandization and Hollywoodization in all Sinophone markets threatens Hong Kong film with ontological crisis. In this context, the Special Administrative Region (SAR) New Wave and their new generation of post-1980s audience make us wonder if cultural articulations that go beyond vertically imagined colonial/national identity politics are still possible; whether sensitive portrayals of inter-local Sinophone dialogues, the kind of creole translocality from below that has characterized much Hong Kong film productions are still viable, without giving up a decent China market.