Chapter

Watching Documentary: Critical Public Discourses and Contemporary UrbanChinese Film Clubs

Seio Nakajima

in The New Chinese Documentary Film Movement

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9789888028528
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207202 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789888028528.003.0007
Watching Documentary: Critical Public Discourses and Contemporary                             UrbanChinese Film Clubs

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This chapter answers the often-raised question of whether and where these “independent” and therefore “underground” productions are screened in China, by conducting an ethnographic investigation of the film clubs of Beijing and their role in the circulation and discussion of the new documentary films. According to this study, there are least four different types of film club in Beijing: “politically oriented film clubs”; “commercially oriented film clubs”; “art for art's sake film clubs”; and “artistic, commercial film clubs.” The chapter also analyzes the kinds of debates that occur in these spaces about the films that are screened. These debates address not only the distinctions between documentary and fictional film but also the influence of the West on Chinese filmmaking practices.

Keywords: Chinese documentary; underground productions; ethnographic investigation; Beijing; film clubs; Chinese filmmaking

Chapter.  7419 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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