I can't believe I haven't posted about these wonderful podcasts and interviews available on the dGenerate Films website, especially given that I've worked so much on preparing, recording and editing them. But yes, I've started a new series of podcast interviews over there called CinemaTalk, an ongoing series of conversations with esteemed scholars of Chinese cinema studies. These conversations are presented on dGenerate 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 dGenerate's mission to bring valuable resources and foster community around the field of Chinese film studies. The first one we did was with the one and only Chris Berry, Professor of Film and Television Studies in the Department of Media and Communication at Goldsmiths, University of London. I 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.
You can go here to listen to or download the podcast audio, as well as read the full transcript.
Next we interviewed Lu Xinyu, 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.
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. Click here to listen to the audio and read a full English transcript.
I must also mention the outstanding series of blog articles the site has been getting from Shelly Kraicer, programmer at the Vancouver International Film Festival and passionate expert on Chinese Cinema. He's already posted three essays, each of them both informative, insightful and fun to read. They are titled, "An Independent Scene, Thriving Miles from Main Street," "Does China's Past Have a Future?" and "Between the Cracks of Capitalist China." By all means check them out.