Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 06 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter argues that the imaginary of the Chinese male body in Hong Kong kung fu cinema functions both as a site through which vengeance is sought against the Chinese experience of modernity as well as a figure of racial melancholia that expresses the failure to achieve such vengeance. Fredric Jameson’s notion of the political unconscious serves as a way to connect existing criticism on the Chinese experience of colonial modernity and the image of Chinese masculinity in kung fu cinema to the question of kung fu cinema’s relationship to Hong Kong’s contemporary historical condition. An analysis of Lo Wei’s Fist of Fury (1972), starring Bruce Lee, then offers the opportunity to explore a particular restaging of colonial modernity by kung fu cinema that invites a consideration of the kung fu film as a vehicle of “traumatic-melancholic cinematic affect.”

Keywords: kung fu, racial melancholia, masculinity, Chinese male body, colonial modernity, vengeance, trauma, affect, political unconscious

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.