Chapter

Translating the Unspeakable: On-Screen and Off-Screen Voices in Wu Wenguang’s Documentary Work

Bérénice Reynaud

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/9789888028528.003.0009
Translating the Unspeakable: On-Screen and Off-Screen Voices in Wu                             Wenguang’s Documentary Work

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The chapters collected in the final part of the book, “Between Filmmaker and Subject: Re-creating Realism,” return to investigate in more detail some of the formal features of documentary film. While many have noted the distinctive visual quality of the new documentary films, their aural qualities have been less frequently examined. This chapter rectifies this gap with detailed analysis of the voice and its complex deployments in Bumming in Beijing and Fuck Cinema. It examines Wu Wenguang's explorations of the aural and his use of it in ways that challenge ontologically and ethically not only the seemingly self-evident veracity of “seeing is believing” which is the foundation of documentary cinema but also the distinctions between self and other, and filmmaker and the filmed that are equally crucial to it.

Keywords: Chinese documentaries; Bumming in Beijing; documentary film; aural; Fuck Cinema

Chapter.  8369 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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