CCGL9001 Global Issues

Hong Kong Cinema through a Global Lens

This course is under the thematic cluster(s) of:

  • Creative Arts (CA)

[This is a certified Communication-intensive (CI) Course which meets all of the requirements endorsed by HKU’s Senate, including (i) the teaching assessment of oral and digital communication ‘literacies’; and (ii) at least 40% of the course grade assigned to communication-rich assessment tasks.]

Course Description

In an age where cross-cultural interactions and global traffics are frequent, Hong Kong cinema cannot be regarded merely as a local cinema. It is an interesting site where complex global processes can be traced. Flows of capital, film personnel, technologies, ideas and creativity are vibrantly circulating inside and outside the cultural industry of filmmaking, resulting in phenomena such as transnational co-productions and cross-cultural cooperations. These dynamic processes are inflected in characterization, plot development, and space-time configurations on Hong Kong screens. This course takes students on an interdisciplinary exploration of the local-global interactions from a variety of approaches. With a selection of Hong Kong films, the course aims to help students attain a thorough understanding of the two-way relationship between the local, popular entertainment and the global film scene by investigating the major questions concerning globalization.

Course Learning Outcomes

On completing the course, students will be able to:

  1. Review the multi-faceted nature of globalization by acquiring new knowledge about Hong Kong cinema in the global context.
  2. Identify key concepts that illustrate the interconnected relationship between the global scene and local lives through analysis of cinematic texts and film-institutional practices.
  3. Articulate the complexity of identity issues in a global world through discussions of filmic texts and filmmakers’ experiences.
  4. Communicate effectively in oral and written forms through their analyses and discussions of cinematic and cultural texts.

Offer Semester and Day of Teaching

Course will be offered twice:
Section 1 – First semester (Wed); Section 2 – Second semester (Wed)

Study Load

Activities Number of hours
Lectures 24
Tutorials 10
Reading / Self-study 60
Film viewings 36
Assessment: Essay / Report writing 25
Assessment: Presentation (incl preparation) 13
Total: 168

Assessment: 100% coursework

Assessment Tasks Weighting
Video tests 60
Group presentation (with report) 30
Participation in lectures and tutorials 10

Required Reading

Selections from:

  • Abbas, A. (1997). Hong Kong: Culture and the politics of disappearance. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. [pp. 16-47]
  • Cheung, E. M. K., Marchetti, G., & Tan, S. -K. (2011). Hong Kong screenscapes: From the new wave to the digital frontier. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.
  • Chu, Y. W. (2004). Introduction: Globalization and Hong Kong film industry. In E. M. K. Cheung & Y. W. Chu (Eds.), Between home and world (pp. 2-15). Hong Kong: Oxford University Press.
  • Corrigan, T. (2005/2011). A short guide to writing about film. New York: Longman.
  • Desser, D. (2005). Making movies male: Zhang Che and the Shaw Brothers martial arts movies, 1965-1975. In L. K. Pang & D. Wong (Eds.), Masculinities and Hong Kong cinema (pp. 17-34). Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.
  • Ford, S. (2008). Mabel Cheung Yuen-Ting’s An autumn’s tale. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.
  • Hall, K. E. (2009). John Woo’s The killer. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.
  • Kam, L. (2010). Hong Kong culture: Word and image. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.
  • Lo, K. C. (2005). Chinese face/off : The transnational popular culture of Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.
  • Magnan-Park, A. H. J. (2002). Bruce Lee as the kung fu superman: ‘Yellow masks’ and the restoration of the ethnic hero. Cinescapes of the “yet-to-be-fully-national”: Hong Kong Action Cinema’s Transnational Engagement. PhD. diss. The University of Iowa. [pp. 107-174]
  • Magnan-Park, A. H. J. (2011). Restoring the transnational from the abyss of ethnonational film historiography: The case of Chung Chang Wha. The Journal of Korean Studies, 16(2), 249-284.
  • Marchetti, G. (2007). Andrew Lau and Alan Mak’s Infernal Affairs – the trilogy. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.
  • Marchetti, G., & Tan, S. -K. (2007). Hong Kong film, Hollywood and the new global cinema: No film is an island. London: Routledge.
  • Morris, M., Li, S. L., & Chan, C. K. S. (2005). Hong Kong connections: Transnational imagination in action cinema. Durham, NC: Duke University Press; Hong Kong University Press.
  • Pang L., & Wong, D. (2005). Masculinities and Hong Kong cinema. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.
  • Sima, Q. [Ssu-ma, Ch’ien] (1968). Records of the grand historian of China (B. Watson, Trans.). New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Yau, C. M. E. (2001). Introduction: Hong Kong cinema in a borderless world. In C. M. E. Yau (Ed.), At full speed: Hong Kong cinema in a borderless world (pp. 1-28). Minneapolis, MN; London: University of Minnesota Press.

Required Film Viewing

  • Chan, F. (Director). (2004). 餃子 [Dumplings].
  • Cheung, M. (Director). (1987). 秋天的童話 [An Autumn’s Tale].
  • Chow, S. (Director). (2004). 功夫 [Kung Fu Hustle].
  • Clouse, R. (Director). (1973). 龍爭虎鬥 [Enter the Dragon].
  • Hu, K. (Director). (1966). 大醉俠 [Come Drink with Me].
  • Lau, A., & Mak, A. (Directors). (2002). 無間道 [Infernal Affairs].
  • Wong, K. (Director). (2000). 花樣年華 [In the Mood for Love].
  • Woo, J. (Director). (1989). 喋血雙雄 [The Killer].
  • Zwart, H. (Director). (2010). 功夫夢 [The Karate Kid].

Course Co-ordinator and Teacher(s)

Course Co-ordinator Contact
Dr F.Y.W. Law
School of Humanities (Comparative Literature), Faculty of Arts
Tel: 3917 2765
Teacher(s) Contact
Dr F.Y.W. Law
School of Humanities (Comparative Literature), Faculty of Arts
Tel: 3917 2765