This thesis explores the reception and fandom of Asian Extreme films in the UK over the last twelve years. It draws on the findings of a research project undertaken in collaboration with the British Board of Film classification (BBFC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The twenty-first century has seen an explosion in the popularity of Asian cult cinema in the West; it is within this evolving landscape that, for a number of years, the BBFC encountered difficulties when classifying many Asian Extreme films. This research draws on Annette Kuhn’s model of censorship as an on-going and provisional process that arises out of the interaction between a number of institutions, discourses and practices; in this case, the competing discourses generated by Tartan’s controversial marketing strategies, the regulatory activity of the BBFC, the response of the British ‘mainstream’ press and the practices and cultures generated by fan communities have all contributed to the discursive frameworks influencing the reception of these films in the UK. As a mixed-method, multi-stage research project this thesis combines archival research, a small-scale reception study, a survey of online fan activity, twelve semi-structured interviews and an online quali-quantitative questionnaire. Using these research tools, it sets out to capture a portrait of the pleasures, enjoyments and meanings that British audiences derive from Asian Extreme films. As a contested category, the Asian Extreme genre acts as important site for investigating a range of academic debates that have evolved in the overlapping fields of film censorship, fan studies, cult cinema, genre studies and East Asian cinema. In these ways, this study contributes to a number of academic debates and, in particular, offers new insights into the practices of film regulation in contemporary British culture.
|Date of Award
|02 Apr 2014
| Arts and Humanities Research Council
|Martin Barker (Supervisor) & Kate Egan (Supervisor)