Celebrating and Discussing the Queerly Masculine: Hollywood Superheroes Reimagined in Fan Videos on Chinese Barrage Video Websites
Macovski, Michael S
The field of fan culture has burgeoned in recent years in China - particularly under the influence of Japanese and American pop culture. Within the fan practices performed by the Chinese fans of Hollywood superhero films, there is one approach especially emphasizes queer interpretations. This fan approach is, moreover, important within a new technological form known as barrage video, which involves the streaming of fan comments across the screen, superimposed on with the original video content. Fan video, as a major form of fan creations in the post-Web 2.0 era, is also widely utilized within the Chinese fandom of superhero films. Fan vidders actively upload fan videos to barrage video websites in order to share their queer readings and achieve interaction with other fans. In this thesis, taking two fan videos, “It’s Definitely Not the Avengers” and “[Stucky/Evanstan] Fifty Shades of Grey Official Trailer (Humor)”, as examples, I first examine the content and other cinematic elements of these two videos. I focus on how Chinese consumers interpret ambiguous gender roles and queer relationships between Hollywood superhero characters. In the second part, I approach the massive barrage comments attached to these two videos from a qualitative textual analysis perspective to study the reasons and motivations for fans’ participating in the barrage video viewing experience. The major conclusion of this research is that non-traditional gender implications are incubated in these fan-made barrage videos - because this video genre allows fans to join a female-dominant practice which provides both anonymity and safe community, both of which enable fans to question mainstream gender stereotypes.
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