Chapter

Spies, Vamps and Women Warriors: Translating the Exotic into the Technics of Chinese Femininity

Olivia Khoo

in The Chinese Exotic

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9789622098794
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207516 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789622098794.003.0003
Spies, Vamps and Women Warriors: Translating the Exotic into the Technics of Chinese Femininity

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This chapter examines how the movements of the fold can be translated and further understood through the movement of Chinese screen actresses, from the Asian film industry into that of the West. It focuses on how two popular Hong Kong film stars, Maggie Cheung and Michelle Yeoh, have translated or “crossed over” from Hong Kong cinema into the institutional sites of French art house cinema (Cheung in Olivier Assayas's Irma Vep), and Hollywood (Yeoh in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies). The chapter also explains how the figures of the spy, vamp, and woman warrior, particularly as introduced by Yeoh and Cheung through their cross-over roles, characterize diasporic Chinese femininity.

Keywords: fold; Maggie Cheung; Michelle Yeoh; cross-over; art house; Olivier Assayas; Irma Vep; Tomorrow Never Dies; Chinese femininity

Chapter.  18284 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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