From the critically acclaimed Malaysian film Sepet to the on-going box office successes of the films created by Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai, cinematic texts from the nations of Asia are increasingly capturing audiences beyond their national boundaries. Tradition, Culture and Aesthetics in Contemporary Asian Cinema explores the rise of popular Asian cinema and provides an understanding of the aesthetic elements that mark these films as 'Asian cinema'. Incorporating examples of contemporary films from China, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and India, Peter C. Pugsley gives readers a fresh insight into the rapidly developing discourse on popular Asian media. The book's chapters focus on the aesthetic features of national cinemas and the intersections of local/global encountered in the production, distribution and consumption of contemporary Asian films. By tracking across some of the most influential countries in Asia the book is able to offer new perspectives into the visual and aural features that create greater understanding between East and West. As distribution and technological advances make Asian films more readily available, an understanding of the different aesthetics at play will enable readers of this book to recognise key cultural motifs found in cinematic texts from Asia.
’A major scholarly achievement, demonstrating not only the contours of Asian cinema, but also its significant aesthetic underpinnings, major auteurs and the manner in which it was marketed and received in the West. A long-awaited text for classroom use, but one which should be read by anyone who speaks of Asian� cinema in global contexts.’ David Desser, Emeritus, University of Illinois, USA
Contents: Introduction; An Asian aesthetic; Orientalism and tradition on screen; Of auteurs and aesthetes; The emerging consciousness of Asia; Beyond Asia: the international film festival; Conclusion; Bibliography; Films cited; Index.