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date: 16 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Since the 1920s and 1930s, commodified screen presences of "woman" have fascinated Chinese film audiences. When communism became the reigning ideology in the People’s Republic, Chinese cinemas elsewhere continued to thrive by investing in the power of women as fetishized objects. In the new era of prosperity since the 1980s, Mainland Chinese filmic representations, now often reflecting the influences of Hong Kong and Taiwan as well as Hollywood, seem to have returned to such fetishism with a vengeance, with female superstars cannibalizing attention not only as actresses but also as screen goddesses promoting high-end merchandise. By juxtaposing key moments in Chinese cinema’s approach to "woman" with critiques of the (hetero)sexual politics of representation in 1970s Anglo-American feminist film theory, this chapter asks how relations among film, "woman," and commodity fetishism might be rethought in a transcultural context in which the rhetoric of particularism has become hegemonic.

Keywords: commodity fetishism, communism, sexual politics, Anglo-American feminist film theory, particularism

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