Romance and the "Yellow Peril": Race, Sex, and Discursive Strategies in Hollywood Fiction (Google eBook)

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University of California Press, Jan 16, 1994 - 269 pages
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Hollywood films about Asians and interracial sexuality are the focus of Gina Marchetti's provocative new work. While miscegenation might seem an unlikely theme for Hollywood, Marchetti shows how fantasy-dramas of interracial rape, lynching, tragic love, and model marriage are powerfully evident in American cinema. The author begins with a discussion of D. W. Griffith's "Broken Blossoms," then considers later films such as "Shanghai Express," "Madame Butterfly," and the recurring geisha movies. She also includes some fascinating "forgotten" films that have been overlooked by critics until now. Marchetti brings the theoretical perspective of recent writing on race, ethnicity, and gender to her analyses of film and television and argues persuasively that these media help to perpetuate social and racial inequality in America. Noting how social norms and taboos have been simultaneously set and broken by Hollywood filmmakers, she discusses the "orientalist" tensions underlying the construction of American cultural identity. Her book will be certain to interest readers in film, Asian, women's, and cultural studies.
  

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Contents

Introduction
1
The Rape Fantasy The Cheat and Broken Blossoms
10
The Threat of Captivity The Bitter Tea of General Yen and Shanghai Express
46
Passport Seductions Lady of the Tropics
67
The Scream of the Butterfly Madame Butterfly China Gate and The Lady from Yesterday
78
White Knights in Hong Kong Love Is a ManySplendored Thing and The World of Suzie Wong
109
Tragic and Transcendent Love Sayonara and The Crimson Kimono
125
Japanese War Brides Domesticity and Assimilation in Japanese War Bride and Bridge to the Sun
158
The Return of the Butterfly The Geisha Masquerade in My Geisha and An American Geisha
176
Conclusion The Postmodern Spectacle of Race and Romance in Year of the Dragon
202
Notes
223
Bibliography
239
Index
249
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About the author (1994)

Gina Marchetti is Assistant Professor of Film at the University of Maryland.

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