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Chow Yun-fat and Territories of Hong Kong Stardom

Lin Feng

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Examines Chow Yun-fat’s role in mediating Chinese identities across cultural industries

As one of the most popular and versatile Hong Kong film stars, Chow Yun-fat has enjoyed international success over the last four decades. Using Chow’s transnational and trans-regional star persona as a case study, Lin Feng investigates stardom as an agent for mediating the sociocultural construction of Hong Kong and Chinese identities. Through the analysis of Chow’s on- and off-screen star image, the book recognises that a star’s image is unstable and fragmented across distinct historical junctures, geographic borders and media platforms. Following Chow’s career move from Hong Kong to Hollywood, and then to transnational Chinese cinema, Chow Yun-fat and Territories of Hong Kong Stardom highlights the complex redefinitions of local and global, traditional and modern, and East and West, that Chow’s image has undergone, exploring the nature of Chinese and transnational stardom, the East Asian film industry, and Asian male stardom beyond martial arts and action cinema.


Part I From a Hong Kong Citizen to a Cosmopolitan Resident: A Face of Social Mobility in Hong Kong between 1973 and 1995
1: The Birth of a TV Star: A Modern Hong Kong Xiaosheng
2: From a TV Star to a Film Actor: Star Performance in Hong Kong Cinema
3: Star Endorsement and Hong Kong Cinema: The Social Mobility of Chow Yun-fat
4: ‘Come Laugh with Me’: the Construction of Cosmopolitan Residentship in Chow Yun-fat’s Comedies
Part II From an Expatriate Hong Kong Star to a Returning HKSAR Star: A Chinese Icon in the Transnational Cinema from 1995 Onwards
5: The Birth of a Hollywood Star: an Asian Hero in America
6: A Middle-aged Man in the Transnational Martial Arts Cinema: Aging Star and the Myth of Midlife Angst
7: Glocalising Chinese Stardom: Internet Publicity and the Negotiation of Transnational Stardom
8: Endowing the Fatherhood: The Power Game beyond Chinese Cinema
Appendix I: Chow Yun-fat’s Filmography
Appendix II: Chow Yun-fat’s TV Works

About the Author

Lin Feng is Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Leicester.


"This is a well-focused, highly original and impressively detailed analysis of one of the world's leading Chinese film stars in terms of the shifting meanings of celebrity cultures and transnational media."

- Julian Stringer, University of Nottingham