Another day at The Office

Huallywood co- productions, verticality, and the project of a comparative film studies

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Abstract

This paper seeks to better understand China’s role in film co-
productions with Asian partners through a model of compara-tive film studies. Taking the Hong Kong-China coproduction The Office as a case study, the paper explores how the film allegorizes a dynamic of economic polarization, rendered through technology of aspiration and an aesthetics of verti-cality. I suggest that any theorization of verticality and aspira-tion in The Office and in other regional co-productions might be better served by a more ‘horizontal’ form of thinking, such as that proposed by an emergent project of comparative film studies outlined by Paul Willeman to account for new inter-connections in film production taking place in the Asia Pacific.

The paper outlines what is at stake in a vertical characteriza-
tion of Huallywood co-productions, and the capacity of com-
parative film studies to register capitalism’s differentia trajectories within the region.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalTransnational Screens
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Cite this

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title = "Another day at The Office: Huallywood co- productions, verticality, and the project of a comparative film studies",
abstract = "This paper seeks to better understand China’s role in film co-productions with Asian partners through a model of compara-tive film studies. Taking the Hong Kong-China coproduction The Office as a case study, the paper explores how the film allegorizes a dynamic of economic polarization, rendered through technology of aspiration and an aesthetics of verti-cality. I suggest that any theorization of verticality and aspira-tion in The Office and in other regional co-productions might be better served by a more ‘horizontal’ form of thinking, such as that proposed by an emergent project of comparative film studies outlined by Paul Willeman to account for new inter-connections in film production taking place in the Asia Pacific.The paper outlines what is at stake in a vertical characteriza-tion of Huallywood co-productions, and the capacity of com-parative film studies to register capitalism’s differentia trajectories within the region.",
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AB - This paper seeks to better understand China’s role in film co-productions with Asian partners through a model of compara-tive film studies. Taking the Hong Kong-China coproduction The Office as a case study, the paper explores how the film allegorizes a dynamic of economic polarization, rendered through technology of aspiration and an aesthetics of verti-cality. I suggest that any theorization of verticality and aspira-tion in The Office and in other regional co-productions might be better served by a more ‘horizontal’ form of thinking, such as that proposed by an emergent project of comparative film studies outlined by Paul Willeman to account for new inter-connections in film production taking place in the Asia Pacific.The paper outlines what is at stake in a vertical characteriza-tion of Huallywood co-productions, and the capacity of com-parative film studies to register capitalism’s differentia trajectories within the region.

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