What makes a film feminist?: gender perspectives of directors of westernised and Hong Kong cinema between 1990 and 2000

Ai, Yiran ORCID: 0000-0001-8634-5998 (2022). What makes a film feminist?: gender perspectives of directors of westernised and Hong Kong cinema between 1990 and 2000. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Women’s cinema has been the focus of much of the scholarly discussion that has developed feminist film criticism. However, theorists have not treated the concept of ‘feminist film’ in much detail, and previous studies of feminist cinema have not dealt with the possibility of male filmmakers doing feminist filmmaking. This thesis argues that the gender identity of directors who can make feminist films is not fixed and addresses the neglected aspect of male directors presenting feminist perspectives through cinema. Along with the focus on cinematic representations of gender, this thesis also analyses the roles played by sociocultural context, history, ethnicity and sexual orientation in capturing feminist representations on film. Adopting an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural approach, combining feminist film theory with cultural studies, gender studies and film theory and philosophy, this study conducts a close reading of All About My Mother (Pedro Almodóvar, 1999), Centre Stage (Stanley Kwan, 1991), Summer Snow (Ann Hui, 1995) and The Piano (Jane Campion, 1993) – Westernised and Hong Kong films made by directors with different genders (male and female) between 1990-2000. By situating these films and directors in a transregional, transcultural or intertextual context, this thesis indicates that feminist film in contemporary times is not only about the on-screen representations of female identities or experiences, women’s oppression and strength but also revelations about how hegemonies regarding gender, race, class and culture impact on the social identities and lives of individuals. The films discussed here show that film feminism or feminist filmmaking is not merely a one-dimensional discussion of gender but a dynamic process – in theoretical and practical manners – that intersects with different sociocultural issues in a diverse environment.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music, Department of Modern Languages
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/12208


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