Director Stephen Shin Hong Kong 1991

91 Min., OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Mie Hiramoto

Black Cat

Followed by a talk on Zoom

Rebellious and spirited, Chinese American-born Catherine works as a waitress in New York City. After a near-fatal run-in with a secret agent, she wakes up in a CIA facility where she is implanted with a microchip and trained to be a cold-blooded killer. Operating under the assassin code name ‘Black Cat’, she is transferred to Hong Kong on a mission where she is forced to choose between a new found love and the agency. Bordering on nihilism, Black Cat strays away from the classic Girls With Guns model, whilst still retaining some of the genre’s traits. Fight scenes are few and far between, as the protagonist’s conflicts primarily take place in the psychological domain. As the heroine transforms into a government controlled cyborg, the film provides a glimpse into the complexities of technofeminism, illustrating the problematic dynamic between woman, discipline, and machine.

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Mie Hiramoto is Associate Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at National University of Singapore. Her research area focuses on gender, language and female appropriation of Asian masculinity in martial arts films. She serves as co-editor-in-chief for Gender and Language and associate editor for Journal of Language and Sexuality among other journal-related services. She also serves as Deputy Principal Investigator of the FASS Gender and Sexuality Research Cluster in NUS.