Friday, March 24, 2017

SCMS Conference 2017, Thursday March 23rd

Reflections on three panels from Thursday, March 23: the "Race/Ethnicity/Species: Chinese Cinema’s Others" panel included perspectives on the politics of fifteen CCP ethnographic minority (CCP term) documentaries produced for internal government exhibition between 1957 and 1965 (Dr. Ying Qian), recent ecocinema and Chinese co-productions, namely Wolf Totem and Born in China (Dr. Yiman Wang), and mediations between the lived experiences of majority/visible and minority/invisible status in recent Chinese documentaries (Dr. Jenny Chio).

The "Trans-locality, Temporality, and Queer Asian Cinema in the Age of Globalization" panel featured an outstanding line-up of presentations, but what comes to mind in retrospect are the reflections filmmaker and scholar Po-Chen Tsai offered in relation to what it means to be queer in this time and space in Taiwan in terms of nationalism, downward mobility, and current political and economic conditions. One of her case study films is the dark, complex Thanatos, Drunk (Chang, 2015).

Weijia Du's work included this slide regarding
dubbing foreign films into Chinese on the Mainland during the Cold War

This year at SCMS there were fewer Cold War panels than in years past, but the lack of quantity was made up by the superb quality of "Cinema of Displacement: Negotiating Politics, Gender, Identity, and Family in Chinese-language Cinema" which covered Cold War films from China (Weijia Du, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Hong Kong (I In Chiang, Rhodes College), and Taiwan (Mei-Hsuan Chiang, Taipei National University of the Arts) in a captivating convergence of perspectives.

The Bean, Chicago

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