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Revisiting Star StudiesCultures, Themes and Methods$
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Sabrina Qiong Yu and Guy Austin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474404310

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474404310.001.0001

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Film stars in the perspective of performance studies: play, liminality and alteration in Chinese Cinema

Film stars in the perspective of performance studies: play, liminality and alteration in Chinese Cinema

Chapter:
(p.45) 2. Film stars in the perspective of performance studies: play, liminality and alteration in Chinese Cinema
Source:
Revisiting Star Studies
Author(s):

Yingjin Zhang

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474404310.003.0003

Star studies sees film stars as “structured polysemy” and anticipates a salient system of meaning for us to decode and appreciate. Performance theory treats meaning as “conjunctural” rather than “structured” and privileges improvisation and juxtaposition. Approaching star studies through performance theory helps explore a wealth of filmic techniques and performative tactics. This article focuses on Tony Leung Chiu-Wai’s “self-effacing” performance of repetition and examines special cases of play and liminality as well presence and absence in In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-Wai, 2000) and Lust Caution(Ang Lee, 2007). These cases challenge our conventional habit of thought and cognition and reveal the unacknowledged potential of artistic alternative and alteration vis-à-vis history and reality. This study of Tony Leung’s performance directs attention beyond action stars to romantic male roles in Chinese films.

Keywords:   performance theory, star studies, play, liminality, alteration, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Chinese cinema

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