In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

188 China Review International: Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring 1995 assessing the general success ofmaking age-based retirement a norm for cadres, the author attributes the manipulation of a conflict of interest between the generations as a key mechanism driving the process. In other words, the policy makers in Beijing took full advantage ofthe self-interest ofthe younger cadres in seeking their support for such a state policy. In view ofthe severe limitations on conducting interviews and surveys in China, the author carefully explains her survey and interview methods in her appendix . In particular, she defends the use ofnonprobability samples in testing relationships between variables. While not refuting her methodology or her main research findings, one cannot but wish the surveys and interviews had been more regionally balanced. Larry N. Shyu University ofNew Brunswick Gina Marchetti. Romance and the "Yellow Peril": Race, Sex, and Discursive Strategies in Hollywood Fiction. Berkeley: University ofCalifornia Press, 1993. 258 pp. Hardcover $30.00. Paperback $14.00. When Bertolini Bertolucci's The Last Emperor won two Academy Awards in 1990 for the categories ofbest director and best feature film, Hollywood in a way finally paid tribute to its legendary fascination with Asian cultures and people, and the recent revival of interest in such films as The Year ofthe Dragon, M. Butterfly, and The Joy Luck Club only further confirms the West's insatiable appetite for the exotic . Nevertheless, despite these films' resilience in the culture industry, few scholars in film study have undertaken a critical analysis ofthe ideological functioning of Hollywood's notorious representations ofAsians, Pacific Islanders, and Asian Americans. In other words, while these films continue to occupy an important status in the American popular imagination, very few scholarly studies have been dedicated to this genre. Gina Marchetti's Romance and the "Yellow Peril" is a timely response to this imbalance and offers an intriguing examination of the American cultural preroga- ,-, ,„„,- , rr ¦ tives that give rise to the cinematic production ofAsia as the exotic Other. Draw-© 1995 by University° r ofHawai'i Pressm& on Poststructuralist and feminist theories ofrepresentation, Marchetti eloquently argues that Hollywood's Asia films articulate a crucial juncture in the history ofU.S. cultural politics and the development of a film industry. Generally Reviews 189 considered to nurture the libidinal fantasies ofWhite America, these films often reveal a much more complex ideological texture when critically tested against more popular assumptions about race and sex. Marchetti forcefully argues that Hollywood's Asia films ought not to be considered simply as misrepresentations of the East, but rather as cinematic reenactments of "a fundamental contradiction within the American psyche between the liberal ideology ofthe 'melting pot' and the conservative insistence on a homogeneous, white, Anglo-Saxon, American identity" (Introduction, p. 5). Situating this genre squarely within American history and cultural politics, Marchetti cogently demonstrates how many of Hollywood's Asia films structurally exploit a fundamental ambiguity in American cultural values toward race and sexuality. Commonly exploring the theme of interracial love and marriage, these films libidinally invoke a range offorbidden pleasures held in check by the notion of miscegenation. But transgression notwithstanding, these films ultimately serve to reinforce ideologically existing norms and unequal hierarchies of race, gender, and class. From this broader perspective, any examination ofthe narrative strategies employed by Hollywood's Asia films contributes to a contemporary réévaluation of questions of identity and the maintenance ofthat identity against supposed "threats" from the outside. Marchetti's study is divided into eight chapters (excluding the introduction and the conclusion) and follows chronologically the order of the films under discussion . Thematically, however, each chapter focuses on a different but related aspect ofromance and sexuality, with examples from up to three films, in order to illustrate how Hollywood's representation ofAsia relies crucially on very conventional definitions oflove and race. In many cases, however, as Marchetti argues, the films also broach a wide range of social issues and portray the contradictions that necessarily arise from divergent ideologies ofrace, gender, and class. The author 's informed discussions of the films in question are strikingly lucid and cogently argued, substantiating at every instance her insightful point that Hollywood 's Asia narratives simultaneously censor and perpetuate a discourse of Orientalism as...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9367
Print ISSN
1069-5834
Pages
pp. 188-191
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.