Queer Asian Cinema : Shadows in the Shade book cover
1st Edition

Queer Asian Cinema
Shadows in the Shade

ISBN 9781560231400
Published January 31, 2001 by Routledge
362 Pages

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Book Description

Explore queer themes in films from Hong Kong gangster flicks to Bollywood melodramas!

Although Asian films have reached a new height in popularity worldwide, Queer Asian Cinema: Shadows in the Shade is the first full-length book in English solely devoted to examining the aesthetics and politics of homosexuality in Asian films.

This unique book presents multiple points of view on the portrayal of gay, lesbian, and transgendered people in film throughout Asia. From the subversive sadomasochism of Japan's ”pink films” to the hard-boiled world of Hong Kong's gangster movies, Queer Asian Cinema analyzes and discusses attitudes toward homosexuality in the full spectrum of Asian film. In addition to studies of the representation of identified gay men, lesbians, and transgendered individuals, it reveals the hidden homoerotic subtext of otherwise conventional films.

Queer Asian Cinema: Shadows in the Shade examines diverse aspects of Asian films, including:

  • the political and psychological links between feudal and sadomasochist hierarchies
  • the inevitable punishment of homoerotic bonds in gangster films
  • the integration of the homosexual couple into the Confucian family structure in Korean films
  • the complexities of cross-gender casting
  • the differences between transvestism and cross-dressing
  • the definition of male genitalia as obscene

    Queer Asian Cinema: Shadows in the Shade brings together experts in both film-making and movie criticism, providing a balanced viewpoint to unite the worlds of academic and popular perceptions on this subject. It opens an exciting discussion of this important and largely neglected area of cinematic discourse.

Table of Contents


  • Preface
  • “Beautiful Publicity”: An Introduction to Queer Asian Film
  • Japan's Progressive Sex: Male Homosexuality, National Competition, and the Cinema
  • The (Temporary?) Queering of Japanese TV
  • Two Japanese Variants of the Absolute Transvestite Film
  • Obscenity and Homosexual Depiction in Japan
  • The Rise of Homosexuality and the Dawn of Communism in Hong Kong Film, 1993-1998
  • Happy Alone? Sad Young Men in East Asian Gay Cinema
  • The Cross-Gender Performances of Yam Kim-Fei, or The Queer Factor in Postwar Hong Kong Cantonese Opera/Opera Films
  • Farewell My Fantasy
  • The Outcasts: A Family Romance
  • Homosexual Men (and Lesbian Men) in a Heterosexual Genre: Three Gangster Films from Hong Kong
  • Remembered Branches: Towards a Future of Korean Homosexual Film
  • Queering Bollywood: Alternative Sexualities in Popular Indian Cinema
  • Memories Pierce the Heart: Homoeroticism, Bollywood-Style
  • The Changing Image of the Hero in Hindi Films
  • Long Life of a Short Film
  • Transvestites and Transgressions: Panggagaya in Philippine Gay Cinema
  • Index
  • Reference Notes Included

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Andrew Grossman