The Spectacle of the Other: Representations of Chinatown in Michael Cimino’s Year of the Dragon (1985) and John Carpenter’s Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Selma Siew Li Bidlingmaier

Abstract


Since the late nineteenth century, Chinatowns have always been portrayed on the silver screen as spaces of danger, spiritual and moral decadence, and 'otherness.' This paper examines the representations of Chinatowns in two movies released in the 1980s, Year of the Dragon (1985) and Big Trouble in Little China (1986), while addressing plausible reasons for the endurance and durability of the negative depictions of Chinatown.

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