Chapter

Performing the Margins:

Nicole Kempton

in Hong Kong Screenscapes

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9789888028566
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882206991 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789888028566.003.0006
Performing the Margins:

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This chapter wrestles with the question of independence in the Hong Kong context, looking at the ways that independence is constituted and circulated, arguing that independence originates less from the production side—a lack of studio financing—and more from the independent community's self-styled imaginative construction of the independent film ideal, a counter-public embodying the so-called “indie spirit” through attempts to define itself as distinct from the mainstream. The imagined community of cinematic independence facilitates the circulation of these texts among a critically receptive community both in Hong Kong and around the world, and in the process of circulation, the notion of independence is further refined, mutated, and contested. Throughout the chapter, the public sphere is mobilized as a vehicle for understanding the circulation of film texts in a variety of contexts. In his 1989 book Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Jürgen Habermas asked under what social conditions a public sphere is created.

Keywords: Hong Kong; independent film; indie spirit; mainstream; cinematic independence; public sphere; circulation; Jürgen Habermas

Chapter.  6533 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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