Friday, November 30, 2007

"Bumming in Beijing"

Contemporary Chinese Documentary Film: “Bumming in Beijing”
Monday, December 3, 2007
, 6:30 PM - 10:30 PM, The Michigan Theater, 603 East Liberty Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

First a reception at 6:30pm in the lobby of the historic Michigan Theater with film scholar Berenice Reynaud and director Wu Wenguang. Then at 7:00 pm, a showing of contemporary Chinese documentary film, "Bumming in Beijing" (Director Wu Wenguang, China, 1990, 70 minutes, Mandarin with English subtitles)--a nuanced documentary account of the wanderings of five young artists who migrated to Beijing from the provinces during the heady years of the late 1980s leading up to and including the tragic confrontation in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Followed by Q&A with Reynaud and Wu.

Lecture: Floating, (In)visible, Off-Screen: Voices and Bodies in the New Chinese Documentary
Monday December 3, 2007, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM, University of Michigan School of Social Work Building, Room 1636

Also, earlier in the day, Berenice Reynaud, California Institute of the Arts film scholar, will be speaking on contemporary Chinese documentary filmmaking. Based on the theories of Michel Chion, Pascal Bonitzer and Serge Daney on the relationship between image and sound, and in particular between the field of the visible ("on-screen") and the voice in cinema, Berenice Reynaud proposes to study the relationship between the voice and the body in the "New Chinese Documentary Movement." Coming after years of mainstream documentary, in which image and sound were superimposed together through a disembodied, all-knowing, official voice-over commentary, the independent video documentaries of the early 1990s on (starting with Wu Wenguang's "Bumming in Beijing") can be read as a series of multiple, sometimes contradictory strategies to reinsert the voice and attach it to a body. She will describe the evolution of the "movement" from this point of view, ending with new levels of sophistication (off-screen voices, voices in non-Chinese languages, voices that function as a "menace" threatening the integrity of the screen image.

For more information, check out the University of Michigan Center for Chinese Studies.