Experts in Action

Experts in Action

Transnational Hong Kong–Style Stunt Work and Performance

  • Author: Steimer, Lauren
  • Publisher: Duke University Press
  • ISBN: 9781478010579
  • eISBN Pdf: 9781478021261
  • Place of publication:  Durham , United States
  • Year of digital publication: 2021
  • Month: January
  • Pages: 234
  • Language: English
Action movie stars ranging from Jackie Chan to lesser-known stunt women and men like Zoë Bell and Chad Stahelski stun their audiences with virtuosic martial arts displays, physical prowess, and complex fight sequences. Their performance styles originate from action movies that emerged in the industrial environment of 1980s Hong Kong. In Experts in Action Lauren Steimer examines how Hong Kong--influenced cinema aesthetics and stunt techniques have been taken up, imitated, and reinvented in other locations and production contexts in Hollywood, New Zealand, and Thailand. Foregrounding the transnational circulation of Hong Kong--influenced films, television shows, stars, choreographers, and stunt workers, she shows how stunt workers like Chan, Bell, and others combine techniques from martial arts, dance, Peking opera, and the history of movie and television stunting practices to create embodied performances that are both spectacular and, sometimes, rendered invisible. By describing the training, skills, and labor involved in stunt work as well as the location-dependent material conditions and regulations that impact it, Steimer illuminates the expertise of the workers whose labor is indispensable to some of the world's most popular movies.
  • Cover
  • Contents
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction / Experts in Action
  • One / Risky Business: Financial and Physical Risk in the Action Stardom of Jackie Chan
  • Two / Hong Kong Action Cinema as a Mode in Thai Action Stardom: Tony Jaa and the New Stunting Star Model
  • Three / A Hong Kong Reservoir for Xena: Communicative Translation and the Bodily Disposition of Stunting Star Zoë Bell
  • Four / Hong Kong Action in Transit: The Postmillennial Stunt Craftwork of Chad Stahelski and Dayna Grant
  • Conclusion / Novice and Expert Performance—A Call to Action
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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