Chapter

There Are Many Ways to Be Realistic

Esther M. K. Cheung

in Fruit Chan's Made in Hong Kong

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9789622099777
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882206953 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789622099777.003.0003
There Are Many Ways to Be Realistic

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This chapter explores Chan's realist mode in the traditions of Chinese-language cinemas. There are many modes of realism and Chan's case illustrates this concept clearly. His concern for underprivileged people and social injustice brings him close to this realist tradition. His so-called “Handover Trilogy” and his later films such as Durian Durian and Hollywood Hong Kong embody certain basic traits: the story of ordinary people, the theme of marginality, on-location shooting, jerky hand-held camerawork, frequent use of objective point of view camera, and the casting of non-professional actors. All these characteristics have led critics to conclude that he belongs safely to the tradition of social realism and that the Hong Kong through his lens is a “real” one.

Keywords: Chan; realist mode; realism; Handover Trilogy; Durian Durian; Hollywood Hong Kong; social realism

Chapter.  3889 words. 

Subjects: Film

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