‘Made in Hong Kong’

This paper explores the cinematic representation of the socio-spatial (re)production of publicness in contemporary Hong Kong, through analysing series of Hong Kong city films. I argue that Hong Kong urban cinema has demonstrated a cinematic urban topography of the city and the fluid urban space engendered by everyday practices.

This raises several questions in relation to what the socio-spatial productions are in the city, and how films represent these transformations of the urban spaces against the particular political, cultural and historical background. In order to demonstrate this, I will draw particular attention to several local films produced from 1979 to 2018 - from Hong Kong New Wave to the Film Development Fund project- to discuss the urban space in two dimensions: the formal urban plan and the informal socio-spatial practices. By mapping the geographical relations between Hong Kong city and cinema and analysing the urban spaces represented in the films, I will examine how Hong Kong urban cinema shows deliberate layers of the city in terms of physical, social and psychological factors. Then, I will shed light on the cinematic representation of the spatial appropriations of public space and the blurred public-private boundary in Hong Kong, as well as the reduction of this fluidity against a consumerism and privatised urban environment.

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