Coproducing Asia

Coproducing Asia: Locating Japanese–Chinese Regional Film and Media

Stephanie DeBoer
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 256
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.ctt5vkbt7
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  • Book Info
    Coproducing Asia
    Book Description:

    East Asia largely functions as a single film and media market, but behind it exists a multifaceted world of coproduction crossing linguistic and national borders. InCoproducing Asia, Stephanie DeBoer guides readers through a rich genealogy of regional film and media coproduction, all the while introducing innovative methods for their examination across decades, locations, and scales of production in East Asia and beyond.

    Beginning with the present and moving back in time,Coproducing Asiapaints a picture of the assemblages of coproduction in East Asia and their negotiation of Cold War geopolitics and imperial legacies along with the emergence of China as a global market. Addressing wide-screen international romances of the early 1960s, technology transfers of Cold War action cinema, Sino-Japanese "friendship" TV collaborations, Asian omnibus film and video, and more recent China-centered blockbusters, DeBoer deftly contextualizes each case study while accounting for the difficulties involved in the cultural, creative, and industry mediations associated with coproduction.

    Based on rarely seen archival research as well as interviews with producers in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Shanghai,Coproducing Asiaprovides compelling frames for understanding the significance of film and media coproduction in East Asia, making clear that it is not only a site of technological transformation but also an arena for competing senses of regional location and place.

    eISBN: 978-1-4529-4093-9
    Subjects: Art & Art History, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[vi])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [vii]-[viii])
  3. INTRODUCTION: COPRODUCTION AND THE NEW EAST ASIA
    (pp. 1-24)

    Film and media coproductions have long tested the limits of and desires for East Asian cultural production. Intermittently made across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, transnational coproductions have both challenged and confirmed hopes for how the region might be mobilized over an ever-contested and contingent array of locations, imaginaries, technologies, and practices. A 2001 issue of the international version ofNewsweekpromoted the “multinational power” of pan-Asian film and media and succinctly articulated the dominant discourses that have recently encouraged the making of regional coproductions.¹ Featuring the media capitals of Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul, Bangkok, and Taipei, the article’s multipage...

  4. 1 THE BRIGHT ASIAN MARKETPLACE: REGIONAL SPECTERS OF CONNECTION AND DESIRE
    (pp. 25-54)

    The beginning credits for the 1961 coproductionNight in Hong Kongare followed by a wide CinemaScope landscape of the city’s harbor, as a series of wide-screen shots displays rising skyscrapers and cargo ships set against idyllic, lush mountains and sampans sailing across sparkling water.¹ A scene reminiscent of other (here Hollywood) takes on the colony, its landscapes are rendered in competing desires for all that were deemed possible for coproduced film in East Asia at this moment—equitable exchange, technological development, and unfettered access to locations in the greater region. Collaboratively produced by Japan’s Toho studio and MP&GI’s studio...

  5. 2 COLLABORATION DECENTERED: TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER AND THE HONG KONG COPY
    (pp. 55-84)

    Held in Tokyo in 1963, the tenth annual Asian Film Festival opened with the promotional logo of a three-dimensional globe encircled by the title of the festival printed repeatedly in large capital letters.¹ This encompassing of the globe within the purview of the regional festival announced, as a critic in Tokyo declared, the particular “international flavor” and aspirations of the gathering.² The festival had been established ten years earlier under the Federation of Motion Picture Producers at the initiative of Nagata Masaichi, the president of Japan’s Daiei studio, and under the vice presidency of Run Run Shaw, who led studios...

  6. 3 SINO-JAPANESE TECHNOFRIENDSHIP: LOCATION, PRESENCE, AND MEMORY’S DISPLACEMENT
    (pp. 85-114)

    The 1972 realignment of official relations between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Japan was marked by a series of television images and, notably, by the first on-location satellite broadcast of Sino-Japanese encounter. NHK’s (Japan Broadcasting Corporation’s) multiple transmissions of this event were grounded in establishing shots of Tiananmen Square’s concrete span and the wide boulevards that brought the Japanese entourage from their direct Tokyo–Beijing flight, a first in the postwar period, to the center of the Chinese capital. Chinese premier Zhou Enlai and Japanese prime minister Tanaka Kakue were then featured against the broad exterior and interior...

  7. 4 TOKYO ON THE MOVE: OMNIBUS ASIA, MEDIA CAPITAL, AND THE LIMITS OF THE LINK
    (pp. 115-150)

    An advertisement produced by Skycorp is illustrative of the emergent geographies that had come to surround attempts at regional film and media collaborations linked to Japan as the new millennium approached. A Tokyo-based talent agency, Skycorp sought to promote stars and produce coproductions, reaching beyond the confines of Japan and extending out to the rapidly growing markets and industries of East and Southeast Asia. As the headline of the full-poster advertisement boldly promised, “The 21st century is the age of Asia. SKY is linking up with Asia.” Written in Japanese, English, and Chinese, this headline sat above an abstracted regional...

  8. 5 WORKING THROUGH CHINA: SCALE, PLACE, AND NEW ASIAN COPRODUCTION
    (pp. 151-182)

    Hong Kong–based film producer Bill Kong declared of his 2008–9 big-budgetRed Cliff,“We created it with everything: immense scale and speed, impressive images, and intense drama.”¹ The epic film’s perceived success in multiplexes and DVD venues throughout the Asian region and beyond confirmed for many the new transnational terms through which East Asian cinema had been transformed over the first decade of the new millennium as well as the ever-expanding vistas to which it aspired.²Red Cliff’s sweeping landscapes and second-century Chinese intrigue provided evidence for how the intensely large scales of Asian coproductions offered a new...

  9. CONCLUSION. SCALING THE FRAME: GENEALOGIES OF COPRODUCTION AND THE ASIAN FRONTIER
    (pp. 183-188)

    A colleague once suggested to me that whatCoproducing Asiadoes is “tell us how we got here.” In other words, this book informs us of moments in East Asian coproduction that precede the ubiquities in Asian collaboration during our present age. This assessment is certainly appropriate. Yet it is productive only if we also recognize such a journey as one that is not determined by fixed origins and foreordained end points. I have provided in these pages a series of genealogical frames of entry into regional coproduction as it has been repeatedly reconfigured across decades, locations, and scales of...

  10. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. 189-192)
  11. NOTES
    (pp. 193-226)
  12. FILMOGRAPHY
    (pp. 227-230)
  13. INDEX
    (pp. 231-245)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 246-246)