Posts Tagged ‘cinema studies’

CinemaTalk: a Conversation with Michael Berry

Monday, August 24th, 2009

dGenerate Films presents CinemaTalk, an ongoing series of conversations with esteemed scholars of Chinese cinema studies. These conversations are presented on this site in audio podcast and/or text format. They are intended to help the Chinese cinema studies community keep abreast of the latest work being done in the field, as well as to learn what recent Chinese films are catching the attention of others. This series reflects our mission to bring valuable resources and foster community around the field of Chinese film studies.

Michael Berry (photo courtesy of University of California, Santa Barbara / Michael Berry)Michael Berry is Associate Professor of Contemporary Chinese Cultural Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of the BFI Film Classics monograph Jia Zhang-ke’s Hometown Trilogy, which offers extended analysis of the films Xiao Wu, Platform, and Unknown Pleasures; A History of Pain: Trauma in Modern Chinese Literature and Film, which explores literary and cinematic representations of atrocity in twentieth century China; and Speaking in Images: Interviews with Contemporary Chinese Filmmakers, a collection of dialogues with contemporary Chinese filmmakers including Hou Hsiao-hsien, Zhang Yimou, Stanley Kwan, and Jia Zhangke. Also an active literary translator, Berry has translated several important contemporary Chinese novels by Yu Hua, Ye Zhaoyan, Chang Ta-chun, and Wang Anyi. Current literary translation projects include the modern martial arts novel The Last Swallow of Autumn (Xia Yin) and Wu He’s (Dancing Crane) award-winning novel Remains of Life (Yu Sheng), a fascinating literary exploration of the 1930 Musha Incident, which was honored with a 2008 NEA Translation Grant.

In this conversation with dGenerate’s Kevin Lee, Michael shares his insights on Jia Zhangke, specifically his career development since the “Hometown Trilogy” and his recent controversy at the Melbourne International Film Festival. Be sure to read Jia’s statement of withdrawal from the Melbourne Film Festival as a point of reference.

Play the Podcast (Time: 17:39)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Download it here (right-click to download, file size: 8.2 MB).

Get a list of Michael’s publications and a timecoded index of topics covered in the interview after the jump.

(more…)

CinemaTalk: A Conversation with Lu Xinyu

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

dGenerate Films presents CinemaTalk, an ongoing series of conversations with esteemed scholars of Chinese cinema studies. These conversations are presented on this site in audio podcast and/or text format. They are intended to help the Chinese cinema studies community keep abreast of the latest work being done in the field, as well as to learn what recent Chinese films are catching the attention of others. This series reflects our mission to bring valuable resources and foster community around the field of Chinese film studies.

Lyu

Lu Xinyu (photo courtesy of UCLA International Institute)

Lu Xinyu is Professor and Director of the Radio and TV Department, School of Journalism, Fudan University, Shanghai, China. Professor Lu is widely regarded as the leading scholar on independent Chinese documentaries. Her influential book Documenting China: The New Documentary Movement (Beijing, SDX Joint Publishing Company, 2003) was the first book to systematically theorize the New Documentary Movement in China from the beginning of 1990s. She spent the past academic year as a visiting scholar in the department of cinema studies at New York University.

Selected Publications by Lu Xinyu:

Books:

  • Writing and What It Obscures (Guangxi Normal University Press, 2008)
  • Documenting China: The Contemporary Documentary Movement in China (SDX Joint Publishing Company, Beijing, 2003)
  • Mythology. Tragedy. Aristotle’s Art of Poetry: New Concept to Ancient Greek’s Poetics Tradition (Fudan University Press, Shanghai, 1995)

Papers and Articles:

  • “The Power and Pain of Chinese New Documentary Movement”, Dushu No. 5, 2006.
  • “Ruins of the Future Class and History in Wang Bing’s Tiexi District”, New Left Review, 31 Jan/Fab 2005. London.
  • “Tiexi District: History and Class Consciousness”, Dushu No. 1, 2004.
  • “The History of Documentary and the Document of the History”, Journalism Quarterly, Winter, 2003.
  • “A Memorandum about Contemporary Chinese Documentary Development”, South China Television Journal No. 6, 2002 and No. 1, 2003.
  • “Began from the Other Side: New Documentary Movement in China”, Frontiers No. 3, 2002.

In this interview conducted by dGenerate’s Yuqian Yan, Lu Xinyu told us about her current work during her visit in New York and how she was attracted to independent Chinese documentary from an aesthetic and humanist background. Starting from Aristotle’s poetic concept of “tragedy”, she led us to understand the New Documentary Movement as a unique art form that depicts the tragic life of ordinary people in the rapidly changing Chinese society. The interview was conducted in Chinese. Full English transcript after the break.

Play the Podcast (in Mandarin Chinese) (Time: 16:43)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Download it here (right-click to download). (File Size:7.7 MB)

(more…)

CinemaTalk: A Conversation with Chris Berry

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Chris Berry

dGenerate Films is pleased to introduce CinemaTalk, an ongoing series of conversations with esteemed scholars of Chinese cinema studies. These conversations will be presented on this site in audio podcast and/or text format. They are intended to help the Chinese cinema studies community keep abreast of the latest work being done in the field, as well as to learn what recent Chinese films are catching the attention of others. This series reflects our mission to bring valuable resources and foster community around the field of Chinese film studies.

For our first CinemaTalk, we spoke with Chris Berry, Professor of Film and Television Studies in the Department of Media and Communication at Goldsmiths, University of London. Some of Chris’ work includes:

  • Author, Cinema and the National: China on Screen (Columbia University Press and Hong Kong University Press, 2006) with Mary Farquhar
  • Author, Postsocialist Cinema in Post-Mao China: The Cultural Revolution after the Cultural Revolution (New York: Routledge, 2004)
  • Editor (with Ying Zhu), TV China (Indiana University Press, 2008)
  • Editor, Chinese Films in Focus II (British Film Institute, 2008)
  • Editor (with Feii Lu), Island on the Edge: Taiwan New Cinema and After (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2005)
  • Editor (with Fran Martin and Audrey Yue), Mobile Cultures: New Media and Queer Asia (Durham: Duke University Press, 2003)
  • Translator and Editor, Ni Zhen’s Memoirs from the Beijing Film Academy: The Origins of China’s Fifth Generation Filmmakers (Duke University Press, 2002)
  • Author, “Imaging the Globalized City: Rem Koolhaas, U-thèque, and the Pearl River Delta,” in Cinema at the City’s Edge, edited by Yomi Braester and James Tweedie (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, forthcoming), part of a series TransAsia: Screen Cultures, co-edited by Chris Berry and Koichi Iwabuchi

Kevin Lee, dGenerate’s VP of Programming of Education, spoke with Chris about various topics from his current work and areas of focus, to comparisons between contemporary Chinese cinema and the Fifth Generation filmmakers whom he helped to champion in the 1980s and 1990s, to which recent Chinese films that have excited him the most.

Play the Podcast

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Download it here (right-click to download). (File size: 28.7MB)

Full transcript follows after the break.

(more…)