The Comeback of Hong Kong Cinema: For a Limited Time Only (81286)

Session Information: Media and Journalism
Session Chair: Stephen Chu

Saturday, 25 May 2024 16:05
Session: Session 4
Room: Room 705
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

It is commonly agreed among critics that the mid-1990s witnessed the drastic decline of Hong Kong film industry once known as “Hollywood of the East.” Having had ups and downs in the new millennium, the influence Hong Kong cinema continued to be fading. Its characteristics were also seen as diminishing because of the rise of Mainland-Hong Kong co-productions targeting the Mainland market. Despite the unprecedented challenges since the large-scale social unrest, however, Hong Kong movie fans saw a surprising comeback of Hong Kong movies during the pandemic. Five local productions raked more than HK$30M at the box office - an unusual feat achieved previously in 1995. While a series of small- to mid-budget “local” introspective dramas caught the audience’s attention, the momentum of the “comeback” of Hong Kong cinema started waning after Hong Kong “returned to normal” by dropping most of the Covid-19 restrictions in March 2023. In this special context, this essay explores whether the surprise comeback of Hong Kong cinema is for a limited time only or not, which will help theorize the recent trend by situating the distinction and/or importance of Hong Kong cinema in the larger framework of Hong Kong Studies. There has been renewed interest in the studies of Hong Kong culture and society since the social unrest in 2019, which brought Hong Kong into the international limelight. Against this backdrop, this essay endeavors to shed light on the development of Hong Kong studies vis-à-vis the triangulation among the national, the local, and the global.

Stephen Chu, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

About the Presenter(s)
Professor Stephen Chu is a University Professor/Principal Lecturer at The University of Hong Kong in Hong Kong

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00