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Remaking Chinese CinemaThrough the Prism of Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Hollywood$
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Yiman Wang

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824836078

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824836078.001.0001

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The Love Parade Goes On

The Love Parade Goes On

“Western-Costume Cantonese Opera Film” and the Foreignizing Remake

(p.82) Chapter 3 The Love Parade Goes On
Remaking Chinese Cinema

Yiman Wang

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter takes on a fantasy genre, the operetta film (or Western-costume Cantonese opera film), and examines the significant ways in which the exotic “foreign” Other constructs the local Self in the 1930s and the 1950s. It analyzes The Love Parade (dir. Ernst Lubitsch, 1929, Paramount), its 1930s Shanghai operatic and film adaptations, and the 1957 Hong Kong Cantonese opera film My Kingdom for a Husband (Xuangong yanshi, lit. Romance in the Jade Palace). The 1957 Hong Kong film version was directed by Zuo Ji, Hong Kong's veteran Cantonese film director who also remade Scaramouche (dir. George Sidney, 1952) and Love Me or Leave Me (dir. Charles Vidor, 1955). The chapter examines how Lubitsch's “internal foreigner” perspective (along with the use of exotic, fantastic mise-en-scène) is translated for 1930s and 1950s Cantonese-speaking audiences. The remakes' privileging of the exotic foreign Other has an important implication. It posits a strategy of remaking that is antithetical to pure domestication and instead explores self-foreignization. This furnishes a new perspective for the understanding of cross-Pacific film remaking, national/regional cinema construction, and situation-based subaltern positioning. It demonstrates that the (re)formation of the local Self hinges on what Lawrence Venuti would call the “foreignizing translation,” which entails violent and awkward encounter and juxtaposition between incommensurable elements that resist assimilation and simple hybridization.

Keywords:   fantasy films, operetta film, The Love Parade, Chinese cinema, cross-Pacific film, film remaking

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