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Frontiers of Literary Studies in China

Front Liter Stud Chin    2012, Vol. 6 Issue (4) : 582-597
research-article |
Minor Movies: On the Deterritorialising Power of Wong Kar-wai’s Works
Sebastian Nestler()
Department of Media and Communication, University of Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt 9020, Austria
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The article approaches Wong Kar-wai’s cinematic work using the notion of “minor literature” as coined by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. Minor literature—or, in other words, minor language—signifies oppositional/resistant uses of a major/hegemonic language. It appropriates hegemonic language and deterritorialises it by re-signifying its original meanings. By transferring this concept from literature to cinema, we can describe Hong Kong cinema, which deterritorialises Hollywood cinema, as a minor cinema in relation to Hollywood. Following this interpretation, Wong Kar-wai’s movies appear as a “minor language of a minor cinema” because they are significantly different from Hong Kong’s mainstream action cinema. Consequently, Wong’s movies possess a high level of deterritorialising power, which opens up new spaces of meaning and gives voice to positions usually oppressed by mainstream cinema. Finally, a close reading of Wong’s movie Happy Together shows how “minor movies” challenge the mainstream’s unison and give space to a resistant and transforming polyphony.

Keywords film studies      cultural studies      post-structuralism      Hong Kong cinema      Wong Kar-wai      minor movies      Happy Together     
Corresponding Authors: Sebastian Nestler,   
Issue Date: 05 December 2012
 Cite this article:   
Sebastian Nestler. Minor Movies: On the Deterritorialising Power of Wong Kar-wai’s Works[J]. Front Liter Stud Chin, 2012, 6(4): 582-597.
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