Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Analyzing Cultural Reimaginations and Global Chinese Power in CCTV's "The Legend of Bruce Lee"
by Chan, Melissa Meilin, M.A., University of California, Santa Barbara, 2013, 92; 1545797
Abstract (Summary)

Bruce Lee is a martial arts action star whose enduring screen image has lasted many decades beyond his death, and this is partially due to the numerous clones that came out after the star's premature death in 1973. These clones and various spin-offs of Lee's life's works resulted in the phenomenon dubbed "Bruceploitation." As time passed, the Bruceploitation phenomenon slowed down, but more recently there has been an interest in Bruce Lee's life with various films and television series that attempt to tell the life story of the actor, especially with his family's involvement. While earlier forms of Bruceploitation films strove to exploit Lee's image for financial profits, these more recent works do not seem to exploit Lee in the same way. In particular, Bruceploitation in more recent works aims to exploit the martial arts star's narrative to associate his persona with specific ideologies. I argue, however, that the more recent television series by China Central Television, The Legend of Bruce Lee, is in fact following in the legacy of Bruceploitation in that this category of texts is not only about making money without the consent of the star, but it is rooted in the act of exploitation, which redefined the image of Bruce Lee in a national Chinese context. Although the CCTV series may not look for financial profits as its main goal through the perpetuation of Lee's narrative, it is exploiting his image for ideological purposes. In particular, the series exploits Lee's image to assert national Chinese power in a global context, which can be seen through the production practices, circulation of the series, and the construction of specific scenes throughout the series.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Berry, Michael S.
Commitee: Curtin, Michael, Shimizu, Celine Parrenas
School: University of California, Santa Barbara
Department: Asian Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 52/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Asian Studies, Asian American Studies, Film studies
Keywords: Bruce lee, Soft power
Publication Number: 1545797
ISBN: 9781303425011