Abstract

Abstract David Moreau and Xavier Palud’s 2008 transnational remake of the Hong Kong horror film Gin gwai (The Eye) (2002) into The Eye exemplifies an alternative cultural dynamics and gender politics in the border-crossing of cinematic texts. Moving away from the binary opposition of the original/remake and East–West analytical paradigms, this article argues that any attempt to employ cinematic transnationalism as an innovative and illuminating critical apparatus to analyse and investigate the increasingly popular global entertainment phenomenon of transnational film remakes needs to contextualize the films’ cultural discourses, gender politics and representational rhetoric within both axes of the national and the transnational. Therefore, this article adopts an alternative critical lens in transnational remake studies that recognizes both the reciprocity and the rivalry between the East Asian original and the Hollywood remake in order to tease out the contested gender politics and cultural dynamics in the re-articulation of a cinematic other. Accentuating a competitive symbiosis between Gin gwai and The Eye, this article argues that The Eye inscribes an ethnocentric feminist discourse to erase Gin gwai’s apparent patriarchal gender politics, but The Eye’s liberating feminist re-visualization only allows the American protagonist agency at the expense of her inferior Mexican other.

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