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‘Shanghai is Burning’: Extravaganza, transgender representation and transnational cinema

Bao, Hongwei



© The Author(s) 2018. This article offers a critical analysis of Matthew Baren’s 2018 film Extravaganza, a documentary about drag scenes in Shanghai. By focusing on some drag performers represented in this film, in tandem with an examination of the social and industry contexts of the film, as well as my interviews with the filmmaker and performers, I problematise the gender identity of the performers and the national identity of the film. Drawing on Deleuze and Guattari’s notion of ‘becoming’ and Song Hwee Lim’s discussion of ‘trans’, I propose to think about certain modes of transnational production with the critical concept of ‘becoming trans’. ‘Becoming trans’ offers a productive way of conceptualising new modes of ‘minor’ transnational cinematic connections in a globalised world without having to resort to identity politics.


Bao, H. (2018). ‘Shanghai is Burning’: Extravaganza, transgender representation and transnational cinema. Global Media and China, 3(4), 233-255.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 20, 2018
Online Publication Date Dec 18, 2018
Publication Date Dec 18, 2018
Deposit Date Dec 6, 2018
Publicly Available Date Dec 6, 2018
Journal Global Media and China
Print ISSN 2059-4364
Electronic ISSN 2059-4372
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Issue 4
Pages 233-255
Public URL
Publisher URL


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