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Film culture crossover: Film fight choreography and the east/west binary after Bruce Lee

Bowman, Paul 2012. Film culture crossover: Film fight choreography and the east/west binary after Bruce Lee. Ctrl-Z: New Media Philosophy 2012 (1) , 9.

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This paper reads the emergence of ‘Oriental style’ in Hollywood (Park 2010) as an exemplary case of what Rey Chow calls ‘cultural translation (Chow 1995). The paper explores some of the intimate yet paradoxical relationship between ‘Oriental’ martial arts and the drive for ‘authenticity’ in both film choreography and martial arts practices; plotting the trajectories of some key martial arts crossovers since Bruce Lee. It argues that, post-Bruce Lee, Western film fight choreography first moved into and then moved away from overtly Chinese, Japanese, Hong Kong or indeed obviously ‘Oriental style’; a move that many have regarded as a deracination or westernisation of fight choreography. However, a closer look reveals that this apparent deracination is actually the unacknowledged rise of Filipino martial arts within Hollywood. The significance of making this point, and the point of making this kind argument overall boils down to the insight it can give us into how ‘cultures’ and texts are constructed, and also into our own reading practices and the roles they play, sometimes in perpetuating certain problematic ethno-nationalist discourses.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
Uncontrolled Keywords: Batman Begins, Bruce Lee, Rey Chow, Cultural Translation, Hollywood, Jeff Imada, Dan Inosanto, Jeet Kune Do (JKD), Keysi Fighting Method (KFM), Martial Arts Choreography, Oriental Style, Jane Park, Jacques Rancière.
ISSN: 2200-8616
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 05:32

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