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Tales of Encounter: A Case Study of Science Fiction Films in Greater China in the 1970s and 1980s

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image of Frontiers of Literary Studies in China

An important motif in science fiction films is the encounter between different species—usually between human kind and alien kind. In films of this type, both anxieties and hopes are imagined and exhibited. By examining three science fiction films made in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Chinese mainland in the late 1970s and early 1980s—that is, The Super Inframan (Zhongguo chaoren, 1975), God of War (Zhanshen, 1976), and Death Ray on Coral Island (Shanhudao shang de siguang, 1980)—this paper analyzes the ideologies and anxieties behind such encounters. These films present different “Chinese” pictures, revealing the fluidity of Chineseness, as well as the variety of frameworks within the genre of Chinese-language science fiction films. In this time of globalization, it is important to examine these early science fiction films in order to explore the relation between local social concerns and their artistic presentation.

Affiliations: 1: Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, The Ohio State University at Columbus,Columbus, OH 43210-1340,


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