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No way as way: Towards a poetics of Martial Arts cinema

Barrowman, Kyle 2014. No way as way: Towards a poetics of Martial Arts cinema. JOMEC Journal 5 10.18573/j.2014.10263

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This essay explores the history and evolution of academic film studies, focusing in particular on the development of an admirably interdisciplinary branch of inquiry dedicated to exploring martial arts cinema. Beginning with the clash between the auteur theory and the development of a psycholinguistic model of film theory upon film studies’ academic entrenchment and political engagement in the 1960s and 1970s, this essay continues past the Historical Turn in the 1970s and 1980s into the Post-Theory era in the 1990s and beyond, by which time studies of martial arts cinema, thanks in large part to the ‘cultural studies intervention’, began to attract scholars from various academic disciplines, most notably cultural studies. At once diagnostic and prescriptive, this essay seeks to historically contextualize the different modes of thinking that have informed past engagements with the cinema in general while also offering a polemical metacriticism of exemplars in an effort to highlight deficiencies in the current interpretive orthodoxy informing contemporary engagements with martial arts cinema in particular. This essay endeavors to find a way to allow the larger enterprise of ‘Martial Arts Studies’ to compliment, rather than colonize and cannibalize, the study of martial arts cinema, and this polemic offers as a model for scholars both in and out of film studies a ‘poetics of martial arts cinema’ committed to dialectical, ‘alterdisciplinary’ scholarship.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Publisher: Cardiff University Press
ISSN: 2049-2340
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 28 June 2018
Date of Acceptance: 2 June 2014
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2020 03:15

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