In order to understand Bruce Lee, we must look beyond Bruce Lee to the artist's intricate cultural and historical contexts. This work begins by contextualising Lee, examining his films and martial arts work, and his changing cultural status within different times and places. The text examines Bruce Lee's films and philosophy in relation to the popular culture and cultural politics of the 1960s and 1970s, and it addresses the resurgence of his popularity in Hong Kong and China in the twenty-first century. The study also explores Lee's ongoing legacy and influence in the West, considering his function as a shifting symbol of ethnic politics and the ways in which he continues to inform Hollywood film-fight choreography. Beyond Bruce Lee ultimately argues Lee is best understood in terms of "cultural translation" and that his interventions and importance are ongoing.
About the author
Paul Bowman teaches cultural studies at Cardiff University. He is author of numerous books on visual culture, cultural politics, and popular culture, including Post-Marxism Versus Cultural Studies, Deconstructing Popular Culture, and Theorizing Bruce Lee. He is editor of many collections on film, cultural studies, postcolonialism, and poststructuralism.
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