Rethinking Transnational Chinese Cinemas: The Amoy-Dialect Film Industry in Cold War Asia, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Rethinking Transnational Chinese Cinemas

The Amoy-Dialect Film Industry in Cold War Asia, 1st Edition

By Jeremy E. Taylor


172 pages

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The Amoy-dialect film industry emerged in the 1950s, producing cheap, b-grade films in Hong Kong for direct export to the theatres of Manila Chinatown, southern Taiwan and Singapore. Films made in Amoy dialect - a dialect of Chinese - reflected a particular period in the history of the Chinese diaspora, and have been little studied due to their ambiguous place within the wider realm of Chinese and East Asian film history. This book represents the first full length, critical study of the origin, significant rise and rapid decline of the Amoy-dialect film industry.

Rather than examining the industry for its own sake, however, this book focuses on its broader cultural, political and economic significance in the region. It questions many of the assumptions currently made about the ‘recentness’ of transnationalism in Chinese cultural production, particularly when addressing Chinese cinema in the Cold War years, as well as the prominence given to ‘the nation’ and ‘transnationalism’ in studies of Chinese cinemas and of the Chinese Diaspora. By examining a cinema that did not fit many of the scholarly models of ‘transnationalism’, that was not grounded in any particular national tradition of filmmaking and that was largely unconcerned with ‘nation-building’ in post-war Southeast Asia, this book challenges the ways in which the history of Chinese cinemas has been studied in the recent past.


"Jeremy Taylor has written a delightful book about the Hokkien-language cinema industry during the 1950s and early 1960s… Taylor has searched extraordinarily widely to obtain relevant material. In addition to reading extensively in the scholarly literature, he has conducted interviews, obtained much information from a broad variety of newspapers and trade journals, and visited and mined many archives. The very readable text has 17 photographs illustrating many of the book’s themes… For those interested in Overseas Chinese, Taiwan or Chinese cinema, this book is a gem!" - J. Bruce Jacobs, Monash University; The China Journal, No. 67

Table of Contents

1. Rethinking Transnationalism 2. Defining Amoy-Dialect Cinema 3. Origins and Development 4. The Shaping of a Cinema 5. The ‘New Amoy-Dialect Films’ 6. A Cold-War Industry 7. The End of Amoy-Dialect Cinema

About the Author

Jeremy E. Taylor is a lecturer in Chinese Studies at the School of East Asian Studies, University of Sheffield, UK.

About the Series

Media, Culture and Social Change in Asia

The aim of this series is to publish original, high-quality work by both new and established scholars in the West and the East, on all aspects of media, culture and social change in Asia. New proposals are welcome, and should be sent in the first instance to the series editor, Stephanie Donald, at

Editorial Board:

Gregory N. Evon, University of New South Wales
Devleena Ghosh, University of Technology, Sydney
Michael Keane, Curtin University
Tania Lewis, RMIT University, Melbourne
Vera Mackie, University of Wollongong
Kama Maclean, University of New South Wales

Laikwan Pang, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Gary Rawnsley, Aberystwyth University
Ming-yeh Rawnsley, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Jo Tacchi, Loughborough University
Adrian Vickers, University of Sydney
Jing Wang, MIT
Ying Zhu, Hong Kong Baptist University



Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies