If you were in Hong Kong during 1997, you might have noticed someone humming the above song. Stanley Kwan depicts this trivial fact of life several times in the ï¬lm Hold You Tight [Yu huale yu duoluo] (1998), whose title refers to the futile yet intensely desired gesture in âUndercurrent.â This popular song was animated by an undercurrent of anxiety that pervaded Hong Kong since the signing of the Sino-British Joint Declaration in 1984. The year 1997, when sovereignty over the territory was to be transferred from British to Chinese hands, became a cultural symbol of fear and apprehension. positions 9:2 Â© 2001 by Duke University Press positions 9:2 Fall 2001 The feeling that nothing could be âheld tightâ characterized the political as well as the cultural imaginary of this period of transition. Yet Hong Kong cinema responded to this pervasive milieu of change and uncertainty in a uniquely indirect manner. In the most innovative ï¬lms of this period, the postcolonial predicament appears at most as an undercurrent, a not-quitevisible force that nonetheless animates what is amply visible on-screen: sex, romance, family conï¬icts, underworld heroism, teenage gangsters, period drama, martial arts legends, and absurdist humor. It is perhaps
positions asia critique – Duke University Press
Published: Sep 1, 2001
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