New Asian Cinema and Its Circulation of Violence

By Laikwan Pang

Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 159-187

This is a paper about the recent new cinematic brand name “New Asian Cinema.” Not trying to offer a comprehensive delineation and definition of this new concept, this paper instead focuses on its ambiguities and flexibilities. This new cinematic brand name traverses not only national, cultural, and linguistic boundaries, it also diffuses the widely accepted dichotomy between mainstream commercial films and alternative cinema. The author demonstrates how the new global cinema environment facilitates this new identity, and how these films continue to be situated in the struggles of the global and the local. This discussion is gauged on violence as “content” and as “styles,” demonstrating how the polysemous nature of violence allows these different national and types of cinema copy and transform each other.