Globalizing genre, hybrid film
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Two years after the phenomenal success of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, another Chinese martial arts film – Hero, opened in the United States to enthusiastic critics and audiences. This study examines the reception of Hero by a specific group of the film’s U.S. audiences – film reviewers – in an effort to understand the appeal of a genre considered very “Chinese” to American viewers, and to explore issues regarding culture and international communication. Drawing on globalization theories and film studies literatures, discourse analysis of Hero’s reviews reveal that Hero is not perceived as a film from a “foreign” cinema or a “foreign” genre – the exotic “other”, but a hybrid film from a familiar, stylized and hybrid genre. This study articulates two contradictions of globalization – convergence and disjunction, “local” and “global”, and suggests that hybridity is the critical lens through which contemporary cultural formation and international communication ought to be conceptualized.