A Threesome Pedagogy? Johnnie To and the moment of crisis

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Abstract

This paper examines the forms of social antagonism and moments of the
266 The 12th Biennial Crossroads in Cultural Studies Conference political via examples of cinematic action Johnnie To has created around the evolving deadlock implicating Hong Kong’s future (over a span of three decades since the late colonial period). Typically for To, I argue, a threesome engagement with some crisis situation is dramatized (whether in hospital rescues, judo combats or underworld chases). The complexity of the threesome encounters is explored on multiple layers with reference to To’s interventionist dramaturgy and grounded play of affect. I ask how such affective engagement through screen performativity—as the concerned subjects struggle with fear, anger and anxiety while learning to cope with despair, distrust and disengagement—contributes to an appreciation of the politics of pedagogy in popular culture beyond the screened situation. I shall discuss To’s films Three (2016), Throwdown (2004), The Heroic Trio (1993) and Executioners (1993, with Ching Siu-tung).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2018
EventThe 12th Association for Cultural Studies "Crossroads in Cultural Studies" conference - China, Shanghai, China
Duration: 12 Aug 201815 Aug 2018
http://www.cul-studies.com/ACScrossroads2018/ACScrossroads2018/index.htm

Conference

ConferenceThe 12th Association for Cultural Studies "Crossroads in Cultural Studies" conference
Abbreviated titleCorssroads 2018
CountryChina
CityShanghai
Period12/08/1815/08/18
OtherAssociation for Cultural Studies (ACS) in conjunction with Shanghai University
Internet address

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