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Martial Arts Cinema and Hong Kong ModernityAesthetics, Representation, Circulation$
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Man-Fung Yip

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9789888390717

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888390717.001.0001

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(p.186) Epilogue
Martial Arts Cinema and Hong Kong Modernity

Man-Fung Yip

Hong Kong University Press

An underlying premise of this book is that Hong Kong martial arts cinema from the mid-1960s through the end of the 1970s, marked by new aesthetic and thematic directions as well as by new practices of transnationality, is best conceptualized as a cultural counterpart and response to processes of modernization and modernity that were shaping the former British colony. But despite its specific time focus, the issues explored in the book have broader significance and are useful for understanding martial arts films of more recent times. Without doubt, Hong Kong continued and intensified its march towards urban-capitalist modernization throughout the 1980s, the 1990s, and beyond. The pace of growth—economically, socially, and demographically—showed no signs of slowing during the period. On the one hand, the population expanded from 4 million in 1970 to 6.7 million in 2000. On the other hand, although the economy underwent a process of restructuring in the 1980s when the “Open Door” policy of post–Cultural Revolution China and other factors resulted in the relocation of Hong Kong’s industrial sector to the mainland and triggered its transition from labor-intensive manufacturing to finance- and service-oriented industries, the city continued to enjoy great prosperity and had by the mid-1990s established itself as one of the world’s foremost centers of international trade and finance. Rapid growth spawned more transportation, shops, infrastructure, entertainment, and commodities. As a result, the city became more congested, frantic, and noisy—in short, perceptually busier and more intense—than ever before. Meanwhile, gender relations and identities were also in constant reformulation as both men and women tried to negotiate the changing social, economic, and political contexts of Hong Kong....

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