East of West pp 111-123 | Cite as

Representing the Chinese Nation-State in Filmic Discourse

  • Sheldon H. Lu


Media theorists and cultural critics have argued that the post-Cold War era is the age of transnational media and cultural globalization. Transnationalization, in this formulation, breaks down national barriers and penetrates the remote corners of the globe. Globalization, as succinctly defined by Roland Robertson, “refers both to the compression of the world and the intensification of consciousness of the world as a whole.”2 This space-time compression has in part been brought about by the spread of new communication technologies across the globe. Residents of Third World countries can gain easy access to the cultural products of the First World such as film, TV programs, popular music, and fashion. At first glance, it would seem that the primacy of the nation-state is fading and that cultural production and consumption occur frequently at the local, transnational, and global levels.3 Such a view seems to be confirmed by the global box-office success of the Hollywood blockbuster Titanic in 1998. This film has been widely seen all over the world, including in Chinese-speaking communities—mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong—and has even won the praise of Chinese president Jiang Zemin.4


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    For a detailed study of the two films, see Sheldon H. Lu, “Filming Diaspora and Identity: Hong Kong and 1997,” in The Cinema of Hong Kong: History, Form, Genre, ed. David Desser and Poshek Fu (London and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000).Google Scholar
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    See my “Filming Diaspora and Identity”; see also Yeh Yueh-yu, “A Life of Its Own: Musical Discourses in Wong Kar-wai’s Films” Post Script 19 (1999): 120–36.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Claire Sponsler and Xiaomei Chen 2000

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  • Sheldon H. Lu

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