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Pacific Crossings: Remaking Bodies and Cultures Through Film


Jane Chi Hyun Park

University of Sydney, AU
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This paper draws on scholarship from Inter-Asia and Asian diasporic cultural studies to look at two recent attempts by East Asian performers to appeal to Western audiences on the big screen, reading their crossover attempts as embodied forms of cultural and aesthetic translation. The first considers the ‘success’ of an Australian film, Mao’s Last Dancer, based on the life of a male Chinese diasporic ballet dancer, and the second, the
‘failure’ of two Hollywood films, Blood: The Last Vampire and Ninja Assassin which star Korean actors, Jeon Ji-hyun (Gianna Jun) and Jung Ji-hoon (Rain), Focusing on the ways in which these stars were produced and consumed transnationally, the paper questions the cultural, institutional and generic terms through which western films showcasing nonwestern
bodies and themes are deemed to fail or succeed. It argues, ultimately, that a close examination of how certain narratives, genres, stars and performances are (mis)translated across different cultures demonstrates the continued existence of cultural and national differences in a supposedly swiftly globalizing world.
How to Cite: Park, J.C.H., 2014. Pacific Crossings: Remaking Bodies and Cultures Through Film. JOMEC Journal, (6), p.None. DOI:
Published on 01 Nov 2014.
Peer Reviewed


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