Clelia Kung Fu revised final version.pdf (272.96 kB)
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Is everybody Kung Fu fighting? Indian popular cinema and martial arts films

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journal contribution
posted on 07.09.2020, 12:48 authored by Clelia CliniClelia Clini
Hong Kong’s martial arts film have been popular in India since the 1970s (Srinivas 2012: 66) and they have had a profound influence on the Hindi action films of the 1970s-1980s, as martial arts were progressively integrated into their narratives (Banerjea 2005; Vitali 2006). This article investigates the appeal of Hong Kong the martial arts films, and of the figure of Bruce Lee in particular, with specific reference to the social, cultural and political context of reception in India. The context within which Bruce Lee made his entrance on the Indian screens was in fact critical for his success. In particular, the article examines the appeal of martial arts, and their incorporation in the Hindi action films of the 1970s, in relation to (post)colonial discourses of Asian masculinity. Drawing upon Yvonne Tasker’s examination of the “anticolonial narrative” embedded in Hong Kong martial arts films (2012: 504), the analysis discusses the incorporation of a martial arts style of combat within Indian popular films as a response to colonial and orientalist tropes of Asian effeminacy and softness (Said, 1978) and argues that martial arts allowed the 1970s Hindi action hero to articulate an alternative, anticolonial, version of Asian masculinity.

History

School

  • Loughborough University London

Published in

Transnational Screens

Volume

11

Issue

3

Pages

218 - 232

Publisher

Taylor and Francis

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© Taylor and Francis

Publisher statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Transnational Screens on 12 Oct 2020, available online: https://doi.org/10.1080/25785273.2020.1823075

Acceptance date

30/06/2020

Publication date

2020-10-12

Copyright date

2020

ISSN

2578-5273

eISSN

2578-5265

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Clelia Clini. Deposit date: 4 September 2020