Questioning Diaspora: Mobility, Mutation and Historiography in the Shaw Brothers Film Studio

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This piece reviews the historical accounts of Shaw Brothers Studio, targeting its presentation as a diaspora company whose commercialism was enhanced by political pragmatism, frugality, and agility. The studio's activities were constrained by twentieth-century geopolitics, but its behavior was also shaped by its show business competitors, new technologies, and emergent popular forms. Existing historical accounts tend to overstate the studio's diasporic qualities, especially compared to other firms. This essay argues that there are limits to the diaspora model and proposes a more complex understanding of the firm. Alternative factors are considered in the company's colonial stratagems, in both its earlier and later phases, and in its dealings with Hong Kong's left-wing studios and subsequent businessin Taiwan. Finally, Shaw Brothers Studio's appropriation of Japanese and other Asian talent is significant to the diaspora model of Shaw Brothers Studio.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-59
Number of pages20
JournalChinese Journal of Communication
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

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Studios
diaspora
historiography
firm
geopolitics
pragmatism
new technology
Hong Kong
Taiwan
twentieth century
Industry

Keywords

  • Shaw Brothers Studio
  • Hong Kong film industry
  • MP & GI Cathay
  • Chinese diaspora
  • cultural economy
  • mobility and diversification

Cite this

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Questioning Diaspora: Mobility, Mutation and Historiography in the Shaw Brothers Film Studio. / DAVIS, Darrell William.

In: Chinese Journal of Communication, Vol. 4, No. 1, 01.01.2011, p. 40-59.

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

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