CFP: Chinese-Language Cinema Conference

August 29, 2013

Shanghai University’s School of Film-TV, in cooperation with Beijing University’s School of Arts and Institute of Film, TV, Theater, Jinan University’s School of Literature, and Shenzhen University’s Institute of Cultural Industries, will be hosting the Third Global Chinese-Language Cinema Conference on December 14 and 15, 2013. Continuing the tradition established by the previous two conferences held at Jinan University and Beijing University respectively, the Third Global Chinese-Language Cinema will once again examine Chinese-language cinema from a global perspective. This year’s theme is “Chinese-Language Cinema: The Global Flows of Image, Capital, and Culture.” The conference is now actively seeking quality submissions pertinent to the following topics:

  • New Landscape and New Development of Chinese Cinema: After the New Agreement between China and the US;
  • Current Status, Interaction, and Integration of the Film Industries of Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong;
  • Hollywood and Its Industrial and Cultural Impact on Chinese Cinema;
  • Chinese Cinema’s Global Reach and Influence;
  • Cross-Border and Transnational/Trans-Regional Flows of Chinese-Language Cinema: From Historical and Comparative Perspectives.

Papers submitted in Chinese and English will be considered, although papers in Chinese are preferred. The conference will be held at Shanghai University on December 14 and 15, 2013. Here are some logistics:

  • Day & Time: December 14 and 15, 2013 (registration starts on December 13, which is a Friday)
  • Conference Place: International Conference Center, Shanghai University
  • Submission Deadline: Nov. 15, 2013
  • Submission Address: huayudianying@yeah.net
  • Further Contact: huayudianying@yeah.net
  • Phone Contact: Mr. Qi Wei, 156-0169-1900

For the detailed description of the forum in Chinese, please download it HERE (PDF). Please do not contact this blogger about the details of the forum. Questions and submissions should be sent directly to huayudianying@yeah.net.


New Media and Cultural Transformation

August 17, 2013

New Media and Cultural Transformation (Co-Editor; 新媒体与文化转型).  Shanghai: Shanghai Joint Press, July 2013.
Total Pages: 589 pages;
Price: 89 yuan;
Amazon Number (ASIN): B00EDYUK5Y;
Available at Amazon China: http://www.amazon.cn/

Book cover of "New Media and Cultural Transformation" published by the Shanghai Joint Press.

Book cover of “New Media and Cultural Transformation” published by the Shanghai Joint Press.

This is a collection of more than 20 articles translated from the leading journals in the field based mainly in the United States and the Great Britain. The aim to publish this anthology in China is trying to clarify some key terms, to tentatively define the field, and to delineate theoretical and methodological approaches to the emerging field of new media, for examples, the confusing and overlapping terms like the Internet culture, new media studies, digital media studies, networked culture, information society, contemporary media studies, etc.

Divided into five chapters or themes, namely, “Theory and Method,” “The Rise of the Networked Society and Changes in Regulatory Systems,” “Civil Society, Business Empire, and the Notion of Power,” “Film, TV, Game, and the Audience in the Digital Age,” and “Social Contract, Competition, and Transnational Mechanism,” the book also includes a long introduction the editors wrote, in which we argued that, broadly speaking, two major scholarly approaches have emerged in the studies of new media, 1) Social sciences approach, added by such disciplines as communication, sociology, anthropology, political sciences, statistics, even international relations; and 2) Humanities and the arts approach, added by literary studies, art history, philosophy, visual culture, cinema studies, aesthetics, even linguistics. In social sciences direction, the notion of Power, broadly defined, dominates the studies of new media, whereas in humanities and the arts, the notion of Interactivity, broadly defined, dominates the studies of new media. The introduction concludes that the notions of Interface/Screen have emerged as the key terms that potentially could build the link between the aforementioned two approaches.


CFP: Beijing University’s Graduate Students Forum on Chinese Cinema

August 14, 2013

Beijing University’s School of Arts and Institute of Film, TV,  and Theater are co-hosting a one-day graduate students forum on Chinese Cinema, and the main focus of the forum is to examine Chinese cinema from a comparative perspective, namely, comparing Chinese cinema with other national cinemas (including Hollywood) from artistic, cultural, and industrial angles. The forum welcomes contributions from graduate students across the globe. Papers submitted in Chinese and English will be considered. The forum will be held at Beijing University on Nov. 9, 2013, and accepted authors will be officially invited and their landing expenses (meals and hotel stays) will be taken care of by the hosting institutions. Here are some logistics:

  • Day & Time: Nov. 9, 2013
  • Forum Place: Institute of Film, TV & Theater, Beijing University
  • Submission Deadline: Sept. 30, 2013
  • Submission Address: dygjbslt@126.com
  • Further Contact:  dygjbslt@126.com
  • Phone Contact: Mr. Zhao Linuo, 15991675800

For the detailed description of the forum in Chinese, please download it HERE (PDF). Please do not contact this blogger about the details of the forum. Questions and submissions should be sent directly to dygjbslt@126.com.


Wong Kar-Wai at the Academy

August 1, 2013

Last Monday on July 22, I attended Academy’s official event “An Academy Salute to Wong Kar Wai,” featuring a dialogue between writer-director Matthew Weiner and Wong about Wong’s filming career and his recent film “The Grandmaster,” which will be released by the Weinstein Company later this month. The dialogue had some awkward moments, and I didn’t know whether Wong intentionally tried to dodge some of the questions or the questions were simply raised inappropriately. To the audience’s surprise, at the end of the dialogue, Wong introduced actress Zhang Ziyi and writer Zou Jingzhi, who were in the audience. It provided some much needed lively air before the screening started.

Academy's Salute to Writer-Director Wong Kar-Wai, featuring a dialogue with Wong and North American the premiere of his "The Grandmaster"

Academy’s Salute to Writer-Director Wong Kar-Wai, featuring a dialogue with Wong and North American premiere of “The Grandmaster.”

I am a fan of Wong’s “Chungking Express” (1994), “Happy Together” (1997) and “In the Mood for Love” (2000), but to be honest, I found “The Grandmaster” mediocre and lackluster. It didn’t do justice to Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi, the two great talents from Hong Kong and mainland China. The following day, I had a FB chat with a friend of mine about the film, and here are some of my casual comments:

From left to right: Event host Matt Weiner (creator of the AMC television drama series "Mad Men" and writer and producer of the HBO drama series "The Sopranos"), actress Ziyi Zhang, writer-director Wong Kar Wai, writer Zou Jingzhi and then Academy President Hawk Koch.

From left to right: Event host Matt Weiner (creator of the AMC television drama series “Mad Men” and writer-producer of the HBO drama series “The Sopranos”), actress Ziyi Zhang, writer-director Wong Kar Wai, writer Zou Jingzhi and then Academy President Hawk Koch.

Disliked Wong’s film, too many close-ups… The only memorable scene is the fighting at the train station, and the film will be remembered only for that scene.

Leung was not his usual self. Somehow I was bothered by his perpetual focus on the body parts, the hands, the feet, the faces, the eyes. For some reason, I feel the close-ups in Wong’s other films are more attached to the place, such as the narrow lane in HK, the foreign land in “Happy Together,” etc. Here those close-ups have no attachment to the place at all. Even the space is fragmented, and could be anywhere. This is probably the reason as to why those “historical footage” and information seem to come from nowhere: Nostalgic about the 1950s’ HK? Hardly so. A statement about the collaboration with the Japanese army? Did’t get it.

Wong mentioned that train station scene during the talk and apologized to Zhang Ziyi for keeping her in the cold small town for two months mainly for that sequence (what a luxury!). Seems he was also very proud of that scene. In China, the film was not particularly liked for another reason: the decision to have the two cross-talk comedians (Zhao Benshan and Xiao Shenyang) included in the film, who have little big-screen experience and symbolize low-taste laughter. Wong’s overture to the mainland market?